Snake envenomation is a socio-medical problem of considerable magnitude. About 2.5 million people are bitten by snakes annually, more than 100,000 fatally. However, although bites can be deadly, snake venom is a natural biological resource that contains several components of potential therapeutic value. Venom has been used in the treatment of a variety of pathophysiological conditions in Ayurveda, homeopathy and folk medicine. With the advent of biotechnology, the efficacy of such treatments has been substantiated by purifying components of venom and delineating their therapeutic properties. This review will focus on certain snake venom components and their applications in health and disease.