Snakebite is a serious medical and socio-economic problem affecting the healthy individuals and agricultural and farming populations worldwide. In India, Vipera russelli snakebite is common, ensuing high morbidity and mortality. The venom components persuade multifactorial stress phenomenon and alter the physiological setting by causing disruption of the blood cells and vital organs. The present study demonstrates the anti-ophidian property of Crocin (Crocus sativus), a potent antioxidant against viper venom-induced oxidative stress. The in vivo oxidative damage induced by venom was clearly evidenced by the increased oxidative stress markers and antioxidant enzymes/molecules along with the proinflammatory cytokines including IL-1β, TNF-α and IL-6. Furthermore, venom depleted the hemoglobin, hematocrit, mean corpuscular volume and platelet count in experimental animals. Crocin ameliorated the venom-induced oxidative stress, hematological alteration and proinflammatory cytokine levels. At present, administration of antivenom is an effective therapy against systemic toxicity, but it offers no protection against the rapidly spreading oxidative damage and infiltration of pro-inflammatory mediators. These pathologies will continue even after antivenom administration. Hence, a long-term auxiliary therapy is required to treat secondary as well as neglected complications of snakebite. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.