Tuesday, April 15, 2014

(VIDEO) Romania Keeps Ancient Tradition of Bee Medicine Alive

BUCHAREST, April 13 — Bee venom to combat multiple sclerosis, pollen for indigestion, honey to heal wounds — the humble bee has been a key source of alternative medicines since ancient times, and Romania is working to keep the tradition of “apitherapy” alive…

Monday, April 14, 2014

Man Says Bee Venom Therapy Helps Treat His Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Alternative therapy helps MS patient pursue lost passion
By Brandon Dumsky, The Examiner, 4/12/2014
John O’Brien of Blue Springs loved running, but a debilitating disease has prevented him to enjoy his passion for nearly 25 years.
That is until now. O’Brien has just participated in a marathon for the first time in decades – ever since the early 1970s, when the former smoker was introduced to running by his daughter.
…In 1990, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a disease in which your body’s immune system eats away the protective sheath, called myelin, that covers nerves. According to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, some symptoms include balance problems, muscle weakness, blurry vision and coordination difficulties. A cure has not been found for the autoimmune disease.
“It was devastating,” said O’Brien of the day he was told the diagnosis. “I sunk into a major depression.”
A year later, O’Brien took an early retirement from his computer programming position and has since relied on disability and his pension as sources of income. Since his diagnosis, he has used a walking cane for mobility, and for some years, he became wheelchair-bound due to his progressive form of MS. He also said he experienced “intense bouts of fever” from his condition.
“I would get limp and sometimes couldn’t even blink.”
In 1998, a person introduced him to apitherapy, the medicinal use of products made by honeybees. This includes bee venom usage, according to the American Apitherapy Society.
Using bee venom for the first time to treat John’s MS was a turning point for him, say the O’Briens. Laura said he was ailing severely due to his MS before the apitherapy treatments…

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Researcher Wins Awards for Research Combatting MRSA with Manuka Honey

Cardiff Met researcher wins top industry award for combatting MRSA with manuka honey
Cardiff University, 4/12/2014
Professor Rose Cooper, Professor of Microbiology at Cardiff School of Health Sciences (CSHS), has been recognised for her extensive research into the antibacterial qualities of manuka honey, specifically in combatting hospital-borne bacteria like MRSA...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Apitherapy is Popular in Romania

Romania Keeps Ancient Tradition of Bee Medicine Alive
Isabelle Wesselingh, AFP News, 4/10/2014
Bee venom to combat multiple sclerosis, pollen for indigestion, honey to heal wounds -- the humble bee has been a key source of alternative medicines since ancient times, and Romania is working to keep the tradition of "apitherapy" alive.
The tradition goes back to ancient Greece when Hippocrates applied honey to treat wounds, and the Romans saw pollen as "life-giving".
In the past of India, China and Egypt, a resinous substance collected by bees from the buds of certain trees, known as "propolis", was popular as an antiseptic.
"The hive is the oldest and healthiest natural pharmacy," said Cristina Mateescu, director general of the Institute for Apicultural Research and Development in Bucharest.
Today in the wilderness of Romania's Carpathian mountains, honey bee products are still a familiar part of traditional medicine…
- Apitherapy pioneer -
Every town in Romania has its "plafar" -- natural pharmacies selling products made from plants, honey, beeswax and propolis.
"Romania is a pioneer of apitherapy, which it recognised very early as a component of scientific medicine," said US professor Theodor Charbuliez, head of the Apimondia Commission of Apitherapy, a group that brings together thousands of practitioners from around the world…

Friday, April 11, 2014

Manuka-Type Honeys May Be Used as Topical Anti-Biofilm Treatment Management of Wound Healing

Manuka-type honeys can eradicate biofilms produced by Staphylococcus aureus strains with different biofilm-forming abilities
PeerJ 2014 Mar 25;2:e326
Chronic wounds are a major global health problem. Their management is difficult and costly, and the development of antibiotic resistance by both planktonic and biofilm-associated bacteria necessitates the use of alternative wound treatments. Honey is now being revisited as an alternative treatment due to its broad-spectrum antibacterial activity and the inability of bacteria to develop resistance to it. Many previous antibacterial studies have used honeys that are not well characterized, even in terms of quantifying the levels of the major antibacterial components present, making it difficult to build an evidence base for the efficacy of honey as an antibiofilm agent in chronic wound treatment. Here we show that a range of well-characterized New Zealand manuka-type honeys, in which two principle antibacterial components, methylglyoxal and hydrogen peroxide, were quantified, can eradicate biofilms of a range of Staphylococcus aureus strains that differ widely in their biofilm-forming abilities. Using crystal violet and viability assays, along with confocal laser scanning imaging, we demonstrate that in all S. aureus strains, including methicillin-resistant strains, the manuka-type honeys showed significantly higher anti-biofilm activity than clover honey and an isotonic sugar solution. 
We observed higher anti-biofilm activity as the proportion of manuka-derived honey, and thus methylglyoxal, in a honey blend increased. However, methylglyoxal on its own, or with sugar, was not able to effectively eradicate S. aureus biofilms. We also demonstrate that honey was able to penetrate through the biofilm matrix and kill the embedded cells in some cases. As has been reported for antibiotics, sub-inhibitory concentrations of honey improved biofilm formation by some S. aureus strains, however, biofilm cell suspensions recovered after honey treatment did not develop resistance towards manuka-type honeys. New Zealand manuka-type honeys, at the concentrations they can be applied in wound dressings are highly active in both preventing S. aureus biofilm formation and in their eradication, and do not result in bacteria becoming resistant. Methylglyoxal requires other components in manuka-type honeys for this anti-biofilm activity.
Our findings support the use of well-defined manuka-type honeys as a topical anti-biofilm treatment for the effective management of wound healing.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Antibacterial Effects Observed for Australian Stingless Bee Propolis Extracts

Anti-staphylococcal activity of C-methyl flavanones from propolis of Australian stingless bees (Tetragonula carbonaria) and fruit resins of Corymbia torelliana (Myrtaceae)
Fitoterapia, 2014 Apr 3. pii: S0367-326X(14)00098-7
Propolis of Australian stingless bees (Tetragonula carbonaria, Meliponini) originating from Corymbia torelliana (Myrtaceae) fruit resins was tested for its antimicrobial activities as well as its flavonoid contents.
This study aimed at the isolation, structural elucidation and antibacterial testing of flavanones of C. torelliana fruit resins that are incorporated into stingless bee propolis. Flavanones of this study were elucidated by spectroscopic and spectrometric methods including UV, 1D and 2D NMR, EI-MS, ESI-MS and HR-MS. The results indicated known C-methylated flavanones namely, 1 (2S)-cryptostrobin, its regioisomer 2 (2S)- stroboponin, 3 (2S)- cryptostrobin 7-methyl ether, and 6 (2S)- desmethoxymatteucinol, and known flavanones 4 (2S)- pinostrobin and 5 (2S)- pinocembrin as markers for C. torelliana fruit resins and one propolis type.
Ethanolic preparations of propolis were shown to be active against Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25923) and to a lesser extent against Pseudomonas aeruginosa (ATCC 27853). C. torelliana flavananones inhibited the growth of S. aureus therefore contributing to the antibacterial effects observed for Australian stingless bee propolis extracts.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Honey Drops may Help Treat Allergic Eye Disease

A double blind clinical trial on the efficacy of honey drop in vernal keratoconjunctivitis
Purpose. This trial was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of topical honey eye drops in patients with diagnosed VKC.
Methods. This clinical trial was conducted on 60 patients with diagnosed VKC. The patients were selected and randomly allocated between two groups of 30. Patients in two groups received honey eye drop (60% in artificial tear) or placebo, other than cromolyn and fluorometholone 1% eye drops, to be used topically in each eye, four times per day. The patients were examined with slit lamp and torch at baseline and the follow-up visits on the 1st, 3rd, and 6th months of the study for redness, limbal papillae, and intraocular pressure.
Results. Out of 60 patients who completed the study, 19 patients (31.7%) were female. There was significant increase in eye pressure and reduction in redness as well as limbal papillae, following the consumption of the honey drop in honey group compared to placebo control group (P < 0.05). At the end of trial, one patient in honey group and 7 ones in placebo group had limbal papillae (P < 0.05).
Conclusion. Topical honey eye drops, when used along with Cromolyn and Fluorometholone eye drops, might be beneficial for the treatment of VKC.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Propolis Has Positive Effects on Protein Metabolism in Dairy Cows

Effects of phenolic compounds in propolis on digestive and ruminal parameters in dairy cows
R. Bras. Zootec, vol.43 no.4 Viçosa Apr. 2014
Four rumen-cannulated primiparous lactating cows were studied in a 4 × 4 Latin square design experiment to evaluate the effects of propolis-based products (PBP) with different concentrations of propolis and alcohol levels on total digestibility, (TD), ruminal digestibility (RD), intestinal digestibility (ID), pH, ruminal ammonia-nitrogen production (NH3-N), rumen microbial synthesis, and blood parameters. 
The feed consisted of 591.9 g/kg corn silage and 408.1 g/kg concentrate (dry matter [DM] basis), and treatments differed with regard to the inclusion (via ruminal cannula) or exclusion of PBP as follows: control (without the PBP), PBP B1 (3.81 mg of phenolic compounds/kg of ingested DM), PBP C1 (3.27 mg of phenolic compounds/kg of ingested DM), and PBP C3 (1.93 mg of phenolic compounds/kg of ingested DM). Inclusion of PBP reduced the RD of dietary crude protein (CP). Treatment PBP C1 reduced ruminal NH3-N production, while PBP B1 increased the ID of CP relative to that in the control. 
These findings indicate that propolis had a positive effect on rumen nitrogen metabolism. Rumen pH, efficiency of microbial protein synthesis, and blood parameters were not affected by addition of PBP, but there were significant effects on the other parameters when the treatments containing propolis were contrasted. Higher TD of DM (0.717 vs. 0.685), OM (0.737 vs. 0.703), and CP (0.760 vs. 0.739), as well as higher NDF (0.622 vs. 0.558) and TDN (0.747 vs. 0.712) were observed when comparing PBP C1 with C3.
Inclusion of propolis in diets for dairy cows have positive effects on protein metabolism in the rumen. Variation in the amounts of phenolic compounds in the different PBP may explain the diverse effects on the digestive parameters evaluated.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Early-Bird Discount for Annual Charles Mraz Apitherapy Course Extended Through April 15th

"BUSY BEE" Discount for CMACC Extended through April 15th, Register Here!
Celebrate the American Apitherapy Society's 
25 Year Anniversary at the 18th Annual Charles Mraz Apitherapy Course and Conference
May 2-4, 2014
National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, IL
Medical Doctors, a spectrum of Holistic Health Care Practitioners, Veterinarians, Researchers, Backyard Beekeepers, and members of the general public interested in self-reliant health care will convene from all over the US and the world to learn about Apitherapy.
Conference Registration and More Information
With Special Keynote Speaker Brad Weeks, MD, and Guest Speakers Frank Yurasek L.Ac. PhD, Sheila Kingsbury ND, RH,  Hossein Yeganehrad, and now Antonio Couto!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

International Symposium on Bee Products - Croatia, September 28th - October 1st, 2014

Annual meeting of the International Honey Commission (IHC)
Grand Hotel 4 Opatija flowers - Opatija - Croatia
September 28th - October 1st, 2014
As you may have already been announced, the place and the date of the venue have been decided at the last IHC meeting during the APIMONDIA 2014 Congress in Kiev, Ukraine. It is our great honor and pleasure to invite you to this joint event that represent the most significant scientific meeting that deals with the particular issues of origin, quality and safety of the beehive products as well as with their properties. More specifically, during the four day program, the Symposium will deal with the following topics:
  • New challenges in honey quality and standardization
  •  Innovative analytical tools for bee products evaluation
  •   Standards and regulations for other bee products rather than honey
  •   Non-conventional uses of bee products
  •   Biological and functional properties of bee products
  •  Impact of the climate changes on bee products
Please note that registration is open to all interested participants. For more information about the Program and technical issues please check the official Symposium web site at http://www.ihc2014opatija.com/default.asp. Latest news related to the Symposium are also available through its' Facebook profile (https://www.facebook.com/IHC.Opatija2014). We are sure that the scientific and technical program will lead to a rewarding expansion of the further professional and scientific perspectives. In addition, all efforts of promotion and dissemmination of the information regarding the Symposium are highly regarded by the Organizers.
Looking forward to welcome you in a beautiful Opatija!
Dražen Lušić, PhD, SE
Assistant Professor
E-address: drazen.lusic@ihc2014opatija.com

IHC 2014 Opatija Team

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Propolis Extracted with Water Have Better Radical Scavenging Ability

Nutritional and functional properties of aqueous and hydroalcoholic extracts from Argentinean propolis
Nat Prod Commun, 2014 Feb;9(2):167-70
Bee propolis is a natural product extensively used as an ingredient in functional foods in amounts that may confer health benefits. The aim of this study was to investigate the nutritional and functional properties (antioxidant activity) of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of propolis samples from Santiago del Estero province, northern Argentina.
All propolis extracts contained macronutrients (glucose, fructose, sucrose and proteins), micronutrients (Na, K, Ca, P and Mg) and trace elements (Fe). Spectrophotometric, TLC and HPLC-DAD analyses showed the presence of several phenolic, flavonoid and non-flavonoid compounds, but in all cases the flavonoids prevailed. The PCA of polyphenolic content provided a clear separation of propolis in Group 1 (SE1, 2, 3, 4 and 7) and Group 2 (SE5 and 6) associated with phenolic compound content and collection regions. Two compounds, pinocembrin and chrysin, which could be used as chemical markers of Santiago del Estero propolis, were identified in all samples.
Propolis samples extracted with water presented better radical scavenging ability than ethanolic extracts, independent of the antioxidant method (scavenging activity of ABTS*+, DPPH*, HO* and O2(-)* and beta-carotene bleaching test). Such results correlated closely with the levels of total phenols and flavonoids in samples. The results justify the use of Argentine propolis as a functional dietary supplement.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Honey Induces Wound Healing at Greater Rate Than Conventional Methods

Medical Honey and Its Role in Paediatric Patients
Br J Nurs, 2014 Mar 27;23(6):S30-4
Background: The use of complementary medical treatment in wound management has continued to grow throughout the world. There is a large body of evidence that supports the use of honey as a wound dressing for a wide range of wound types. The authors present an update of present knowledge about honey as a form of complementary medicine in paediatric wound management.
Methods: The literature cited was found by searching the PubMed, BIOSIS and ISI Web of Science databases for the phrase 'honey and wound'. Papers where honey was used in a mixture with other therapeutic substances were excluded. Randomised controlled trials as well as case studies were taken into consideration.
Results: This paper reviews data on the effectiveness of honey in wound healing; 80 citations or references were found that matched the criteria. Furthermore, the wound-healing properties of honey are described and the mechanism of action discussed. The authors' data show that honey induced enhanced epithelialisation, minimised scar formations and had an anti-microbiotic effect.

Conclusion: These results should encourage the use of medical honey in the field of paediatrics. It is a safe and natural substance that induces wound healing at a greater rate than conventional methods.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Honey for the Skin and the Body

A Sweet Escape: Bees, Honey and Skin Care
By: Michele Steinert, Skin Inc, 4/1/2014
The beauty industry is a multibillion dollar industry and the trend toward incorporating more natural ingredients is growing. Clients are interested in experiencing natural farm-to-table types of treatments. There are many products to choose from that incorporate honey, beeswax or propolis and can be added to your spa offerings, and honey itself can be one of the easiest ingredients to incorporate into spa and skin care treatments...

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Fake Products Risk New Zealand Honey Exports

Radio New Zealand, 3/31/2014
A Waikato University scientist says there is a risk that fraudulent products will wreck the international reputation of New Zealand honey exports.
Associate Professor Merilyn Manley-Harris says it is extremely urgent that New Zealand sets up standardised labelling of honey, especially the lucrative manuka variety.
New Zealand produced more than 16,000 tonnes of honey in 2012 and 2013 and in 2012 honey exports were worth $120 million with manuka honey making up about 90 per cent of that.
The Ministry of Primary Industries has formed two working groups to come up with a robust labelling guideline for manuka honey - one made up of scientists and one from the industry…

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Honey Has Beneficial Effect on Stress Hormone, Reproductive System

Stress hormone and reproductive system in response to honey supplementation combined with different jumping exercise intensities in female rats
Biomed Res Int, 2014;2014:123640
This study was performed to determine the effects of 8-week honey supplementation combined with different jumping exercise intensities on serum cortisol, progesterone, estradiol, and reproductive organs. 
Eighty-four 9-week-old female rats were divided into 7 groups: baseline controls (C0), sedentary group (C), 20 and 80 jumps per day (Ex20J, Ex80J), honey (H), and combined honey with 20 and 80 jumps per day (HEx20J, HEx80J) groups. Jumping exercise was performed at 5 days/week and honey was given at a dosage of 1 g/kg body weight/day for 7 days/week. The level of serum cortisol was higher in Ex20J and Ex80J compared to C. There was significantly lower value of serum cortisol in HEx20J compared to Ex80J. Serum progesterone levels were significantly lower in Ex20J and Ex80J compared to C. However, serum progesterone levels were significantly higher in HEx20J and HEx80J compared to Ex20J and Ex80J. Relative uterine weights were significantly greater in HEx20J compared to C and HEx80J, respectively. There was no significant difference in estradiol level and relative ovarian weights among all the groups.
Therefore, honey elicited beneficial effects in reducing the increase of cortisol and in increasing the reduction of progesterone levels induced by different intensities jumping exercise in female rats.