Black Mamba Venom—Medicine of the Future?

on October 17, 2012

Scientists are trying to develop new pain-relieving medicines using the venom from the black mamba.

black Mamba

Image by Tad Arensmeier from

The venom about to be released from this black mamba is a rapid-acting lethal mixture of neurotoxins and cardiotoxins. But researchers in France have discovered additional ingredients of unknown use to the snake but potentially of great use to mankind.

It’s hard to imagine that anything good could come from the venom of the deadly black mamba. But scientists are hard at work, developing new painkillers that are made from the venom of this snake. The scientists are finding that these pain-relieving chemicals from the snake venom, called mambalgins, work just as well, if not better, than traditional narcotic medications such as morphine.1

Initial testing suggests that mambalgins relieve pain without some of the troubling side effects (including drug addiction) common to narcotic painkillers. Mambalgins can be removed from the black mamba venom without including any of the deadly toxins. More testing is necessary, but it looks like mambalgins could be a valuable discovery in helping people control pain.

About 6,000 years ago God cursed a serpent above all other creatures (Genesis 3:14–15) for the role it played in the Fall of man. How ironic it would be if the deadly mamba today contains the key to easing the curse of pain for many.1

– Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell

Other animals, such as the phantasmal poison frog, also produce poisons that could be used to develop medicines.2 Toxins in the skin of these frogs cause death to predators. Scientists are studying ways to make painkillers out of the chemicals in these toxins.

If you would like to learn more, please see:

1Elizabeth Mitchell, News to Note, October 13, 2012, Answers in Genesis,

2Poison Dart Frogs, Answers, v7 n4,