Monday, November 30, 2015

Use of Diluted Bee Venom Injected at Acupuncture Points Reduces Pain

Repetitive acupoint treatment with diluted bee venom relieves mechanical allodynia and restores intraepidermal nerve fiber loss in oxaliplatin-induced neuropathic mice

J Pain. 2015 Nov 18. pii: S1526-5900(15)00943-8

The chemotherapeutic agent, oxaliplatin produces a robust painful neuropathy resulting in the loss of intraepidermal nerve fibers (IENFs). We have previously reported that an acupoint injection of diluted bee venom (DBV) produces a temporary anti-allodynic effect in oxaliplatin-induced neuropathic mice. Here we show a significant long-lasting antinociceptive effect of repetitive DBV acupoint treatment on oxaliplatin-induced mechanical allodynia and a significant reduction in the loss of IENFs.

DBV (0.1mg/kg, s.c.) was administered once a day for 18 days beginning on day 15 after oxaliplatin injection. Immunohistochemistry for IENF was performed on the glabrous skin of the hind-paw foot pad using the pan-neuronal marker, protein gene product 9.5. A temporary increase in mechanical threshold was observed 60 min after a single DBV injection into the Zusanli acupoint, and this effect was enhanced over time by repetitive DBV treatments. The basal mechanical threshold prior to daily DBV injection also increased from day 7 post-DBV injections, and peaked at day 14 after DBV treatment. Moreover, the oxaliplatin-induced loss of IENFs was significantly reduced in repetitive DBV-treated mice.

Repetitive pretreatment with the alpha-2 adrenoceptor antagonist, yohimbine (5mg/kg, s.c.) completely prevented both the anti-allodynic effects and the increase in IENFs observed in repetitive DBV-treated mice.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Malaysian Tualang Honey May Help Treat Leukemia

Antileukemic Effect of Tualang Honey on Acute and Chronic Leukemia Cell Lines

Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:307094. Epub 2015 Nov 3

Complementary medicine using natural product as antitumor is on the rise. Much research has been performed on Tualang Honey and it was shown to have therapeutic potential in wound healing, and antimicrobial activity and be antiproliferative against several cancer models such as human osteosarcoma (HOS), human breast (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231), and cervical (HeLa) cancer cell lines.

To date, there was limited study on antileukemic properties of Tualang (Koompassia excelsa) Honey. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antileukemic effect of Tualang Honey on acute and chronic leukemia cell lines. Leukemia cell lines (K562 and MV4-11) and human mononuclear cell isolated from peripheral blood were grown in RPM1 1640 culture medium. The cells were incubated with increasing concentrations of Tualang Honey. After incubation, the evaluation of viability and apoptosis was performed. The morphological changes of leukemia cells were the presence of cytoplasmic blebs followed by apoptotic bodies and round shape of cells. IC50 against K562 and MV4-11 was determined. Tualang Honey gave 53.9% and 50.6% apoptosis activity on K562 and MV4-11, respectively, while on human mononuclear cell it was 37.4%.

Tualang Honey has the apoptosis-inducing ability for acute and chronic myeloid leukemia (K562 and MV4-11) cell lines.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Yili Dark Bee Propolis Eradicates Oral Cariogenic Biofilm

Effects of Yili dark bee propolis on oral cariogenic biofilm in vitro

[Article in Chinese]


To evaluate the effects of Yili dark bee propolis on the main cariogenic biofilm and mechanisms.


Susceptibilities to the ethanolic extract of propolis against Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans), Streptococcus sobrinus (S. sobrinus), Streptococcus sanguis (S. sanguis), Actinomyces viscosus (A. viscosus), and Actinomyces naeslundii (A. naeslundii) were analyzed by crystal violet stain method to determine the minimum biofilm eradication concentration (MBEC). The biofilm was initially cultivated for 24 h. Subsequently, the propolis groups with different concentration MBEC and initial pH 7.0 were cultured for 24 h. Moreover, the pH value was measured to evaluate the acid-producing ability of the tested plaque biofilm. The effects of propolis on the insoluble extracellular polysaccharide synthesis of S. mutans biofilm were evaluated by anthrone method.


The MBEC of Yili propolis on S. mutans, S. sobrinus, S. sanguis, A. viscosus, and A. naeslundii were 6.25, 1.56, 3.13, 0.78, and 0.78 mg.mL-1, respectively. Propolis could decrease the ΔpH of the tested plaque biofilm, and the differences between the control and propolis groups were statistically significant.


Yili propolis demonstrate remarkable eradicative effects on the cariogenic plaque biofilm, showing inhibition of the synthesis of biofilm-produced acids and insoluble extracellular polysaccharides.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Honey Significantly Reduced Severity of Mucositis-Associated Pain

A Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluating the Role of Honey in Reducing Pain Due to Radiation Induced Mucositis in Head and Neck Cancer Patients

Indian J Palliat Care. 2015 Sep-Dec;21(3):268-273


There are various drugs tried for relieving pain associated with radiation-induced mucositis. This paper aims to study role of honey in relieving pain due to radiation induced mucositis in head and neck cancer patients receiving concomitant chemoradiation.


A randomized controlled trial on 78 subjects (40 in test group and 38 in control group) was undertaken to study the analgesic effect of honey, but the analysis of 69 patients was done as nine patients (four in test and five in control group) were lost to follow-up or left treatment in between the study. All patients were advised to do salt-soda and benzydamine mouth gargles, alternatively every 3 hours. Test group patients additionally received 20 ml honey three times a day during the entire course of radiation treatment and 3 months following radiation therapy (RT).


Honey significantly reduced the severity of mucositis associated pain and resulted in lesser treatment gaps and a decrease in overall radiotherapy treatment duration. None of the test group and majority of controls (51.5%) had severe pain score during the 7th week of RT. The same pattern was seen in the post-RT period. Mean pain score was significantly different in both groups during all weeks during and upto 6 weeks post-RT (mean score of 3.08 and 6.54 for test and control respectively at 7th week RT, P < 0.001).


Honey being a cheap, palatable, and natural medicament can be used for decreasing pain associated with radiation-induced mucositis in cancer patients.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Health Benefits of Bee Products Outlined

What's the buzz? Honey terms

From the Backyard Beekeepers Association Nov 23, 2015

Pollination: Agriculture depends greatly on the honeybee for pollination. Honeybees account for 80 percent of all insect pollination. Without such pollination, we would see a significant decrease in the yield of fruits and vegetables.

Pollen: Bees collect 66 pounds of pollen per year, per hive. Pollen is the male germ cells produced by all flowering plants for fertilization and plant embryo formation. The honeybee uses pollen as a food. Pollen is one of the richest and purest natural foods, consisting of up to 35 percent protein, 10 percent sugars, carbohydrates, enzymes, minerals, and vitamins A (carotenes), B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (nicotinic acid), B5 (panothenic acid), C (ascorbic acid), H (biotin) and R (rutine).

Honey: Honey is used by the bees for food all year round. There are many types, colors and flavors of honey, depending upon its nectar source. The bees make honey from the nectar they collect from flowering trees and plants. Honey is an easily digestible, pure food. Honey is hydroscopic and has antibacterial qualities. Eating local honey can fend off allergies.

Beeswax: Secreted from glands, beeswax is used by the honeybee to build honeycomb. It is used by humans in drugs, cosmetics, artists' materials, furniture polish and candles.

Propolis: Collected by honeybees from trees, the sticky resin is mixed with wax to make a sticky glue. The bees use this to seal cracks and repair their hive. It is used by humans as a health aid, and as the basis for fine wood varnishes.

Royal Jelly: The powerful, milky substance that turns an ordinary bee into a queen bee. It is made of digested pollen and honey or nectar mixed with a chemical secreted from a gland in a nursing bee's head. It commands premium prices rivaling imported caviar, and is used by some as a dietary supplement and fertility stimulant. It is loaded with all of the B vitamins...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Indian Propolis Extract Protects Against Bone Marrow Toxicity

Mitigating effect of Indian propolis against mitomycin C induced bone marrow toxicity

Cytotechnology. 2015 Nov 21

A major drawback with cancer chemotherapy is its severe toxic effects on non-target tissues. Assessment of natural products for their protective effect against anticancer drugs-induced toxicity is gaining importance in cancer biology.

The present study was aimed at assessing the protective effect of hydroethanolic extract of Indian propolis (HEIP) against mitomycin C (MMC)-induced genotoxicity and cytotoxicity. Swiss albino mice were injected with various doses of HEIP (100, 200, 300, 400, 600 and 800 mg/kg b. wt., i.p) 1 h prior to MMC (8 mg/kg, i.p.) injection. The geno- and cyto-toxicities were evaluated in mice by performing bone marrow micronucleus and TUNEL assays. In vitro antioxidant and lipid peroxidation inhibitory assays were carried out to understand the mechanism of the protective effects.

The significant increase in the frequency of micronculeated cells (12.51 ± 0.48), apoptotic cells (23.43 ± 1.86) and reduction in P/N ratio (0.69 ± 0.04) compared with control indicated the potential geno- and cytotoxic effects of MMC in bone marrow. Pretreatment with HEIP resulted in the significant recovery of the toxic effects induced by MMC. HEIP at 400 mg/kg b. wt. was found to be the optimum dose imparting the maximum protective effects. The in vitro antioxidant and lipid peroxidation inhibitory assays suggest that the extract possesses substantial free radical scavenging activities.

In conclusion, HEIP possesses substantial geno- and cyto-protective properties against MMC, which could be mediated through efficient free radical scavenging and inhibitory effect on lipid peroxidation.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Honey: Health Benefits, Uses and Risks

Medical News Today, 11/16/2015

Honey is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. Bees first convert the nectar into honey by a process of regurgitation and evaporation, then store it as a primary food source in wax honeycombs inside the beehive. Honey can then be harvested from the hives for human consumption.

Honey is graded by color, with the clear, golden amber honey often at a higher retail price than darker varieties. Honey flavor will vary based on the types of flower from which the nectar was harvested.

Both raw and pasteurized forms of honey are available. Raw honey is removed from the hive and bottled directly, and as such will contain trace amounts of yeast, wax and pollen. Consuming local raw honey is believed to help with seasonal allergies due to repeated exposure to the pollen in the area. Pasteurized honey has been heated and processed to remove impurities.

This MNT Knowledge Center feature is part of a collection of articles on the health benefits of popular foods. It provides a nutritional breakdown of honey and an in-depth look at its possible health benefits, how to incorporate more honey into your diet and any potential health risks of consuming honey.

Contents of this article:

1.Nutritional breakdown of honey
2.Possible health benefits of consuming honey
3.How to incorporate more honey into your diet
4.Potential health risks of consuming honey

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Propolis May Help Treat Asthma

Evaluation of propolis, honey, and royal jelly in amelioration of peripheral blood leukocytes and lung inflammation in mouse conalbumin-induced asthma model

Saudi J Biol Sci. 2015 Nov;22(6):780-788

Bee products have been used since ancient times to treat many diseases, including respiratory ailments. The present study aimed to examine the modulatory effect of honey, royal jelly, and propolis extract on peripheral blood leukocytes and lung inflammation in a mouse conalbumin-induced asthma model.

The mice in group I were not sensitised or treated; they were kept as controls. The mice in group II were sensitised and challenged with conalbumin. Twenty-four hours after the first challenge with antigen, the mice in group III received 0.5 mg/kg of dexamethasone intraperitoneally per day for 18 consecutive days and kept as positive controls. The mice in groups IV, V, and VI received 650, 1000, and 30 mg/kg of honey, royal jelly, and propolis (aqueous and ethanolic extract), respectively, once per day for 18 consecutive days. Blood was collected from all of the mice for white blood cell differentiation, and the lungs were removed for histopathological studies.

The groups treated with propolis extract exhibited considerable ameliorative effects against asthma, which might be explained by the flavonoids and phenolics found in propolis, which might have antioxidative effects. Otherwise, the sensitised and honey- or royal jelly-treated groups exhibited an increased incidence of asthma cascade events due to increased inflammatory cells. These results might be due to the immunostimulatory and vasodilatory effects of royal jelly and honey, which are antagonistic to bronchial asthma cases. Histopathological examination revealed that the sensitised treated propolis extract groups had significant decreases in inflammatory scores compared with other treatments and the sensitised untreated group. These results confirmed the previous data of peripheral blood cells.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Honey Effective in Managing and Preventing Radiation-Induced Stomatitis

Honey and Radiation-Induced Stomatitis in Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2015 Oct 22;17(10):e19256


Stomatitis is a common oral complication which affects 100% of patients undergoing head and neck radiotherapy. Acute stomatitis might cause failure and delay radiotherapy. Attention to mouth hygiene, particularly using mouthwash, has a fundamental importance for these patients.


The current study came to addresses the effects of pure natural honey on radiation-induced stomatitis in patients with a variety of head and neck cancers.


The present single-blinded nonrandomized controlled trial was conducted on 105 patients undergoing radiotherapy due to head and neck cancer at the radiation unit of Shafa hospital in Kerman, Iran, from October 2012 to March 2012. The research groups were selected by writing the names of the protocols (the mouthwashes of chamomile, honey and the common caring protocol at ward which uses water) on three cubes. The first extracted cube was related to the chamomile mouthwash (Matrica), the second to the honey mouthwash and the last cube to the water mouthwash. The first experimental group (n = 35) gurgled a solution containing 20 mL diluted honey, the second group gurgled a solution containing German chamomile, and the 35 patients in the control group were advised to gurgle 20 mL water (the ward routine).


The results showed that severe stomatitis in groups of honey, chamomile and control was 0, 5.7%, and 17.6%, respectively. On the 14th day, it was 0, 0, and 17.6%, respectively. There were significant differences between the three groups regarding the severity of stomatitis in the 14th day (P < 0.001).


The application of natural honey is effective in managing and preventing radiation-induced stomatitis in patients with head and neck cancers.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Honey and Garlic Reduces Sperm Deterioration


Cryo Letters. 2015 Jul-Aug;36(4):243-251.

BACKGROUND: Sugars are the energetic source for sperm to maintain the metabolic process, and the antibiotics slow down sperm degradation.


To study the effects of rosemary honey as energy source and cryoprotectant in combination with garlic as a natural antibiotic on the quality of ram spermatozoa upon cooling.


The ejaculates from three rams were evaluated at different times during cooling to determine its post-dilution quality.


Glycerol and dimethylformamide in conjunction with honey and garlic significantly improve the survival of spermatozoa.


The addition of honey and garlic reduces sperm deterioration when stored at 4 degree C.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Bee Venom May Help Treat Parkinson’s Disease

Bee Venom Alleviates Motor Deficits and Modulates the Transfer of Cortical Information through the Basal Ganglia in Rat Models of Parkinson’s Disease

PLOS ONE, 11/16/2015

Recent evidence points to a neuroprotective action of bee venom on nigral dopamine neurons in animal models of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Here we examined whether bee venom also displays a symptomatic action by acting on the pathological functioning of the basal ganglia in rat PD models. Bee venom effects were assessed by combining motor behavior analyses and in vivo electrophysiological recordings in the substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr, basal ganglia output structure) in pharmacological (neuroleptic treatment) and lesional (unilateral intranigral 6-hydroxydopamine injection) PD models.

In the hemi-parkinsonian 6-hydroxydopamine lesion model, subchronic bee venom treatment significantly alleviates contralateral forelimb akinesia and apomorphine-induced rotations. Moreover, a single injection of bee venom reverses haloperidol-induced catalepsy, a pharmacological model reminiscent of parkinsonian akinetic deficit.

This effect is mimicked by apamin, a blocker of small conductance Ca2+-activated K+ (SK) channels, and blocked by CyPPA, a positive modulator of these channels, suggesting the involvement of SK channels in the bee venom antiparkinsonian action. In vivo electrophysiological recordings in the substantia nigra pars reticulata (basal ganglia output structure) showed no significant effect of BV on the mean neuronal discharge frequency or pathological bursting activity. In contrast, analyses of the neuronal responses evoked by motor cortex stimulation show that bee venom reverses the 6-OHDA- and neuroleptic-induced biases in the influence exerted by the direct inhibitory and indirect excitatory striatonigral circuits.

These data provide the first evidence for a beneficial action of bee venom on the pathological functioning of the cortico-basal ganglia circuits underlying motor PD symptoms with potential relevance to the symptomatic treatment of this disease.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Bee Venom May Help Treat Atherosclerosis, Skin Disease

The Protective Effect of Bee Venom on Fibrosis Causing Inflammatory Diseases 

Toxins 2015, 7(11), 4758-4772

Bee venom therapy is a treatment modality that may be thousands of years old and involves the application of live bee stings to the patient’s skin or, in more recent years, the injection of bee venom into the skin with a hypodermic needle. Studies have proven the effectiveness of bee venom in treating pathological conditions such as arthritis, pain and cancerous tumors.

However, there has not been sufficient review to fully elucidate the cellular mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory effects of bee venom and its components.

In this respect, the present study reviews current understanding of the mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory properties of bee venom and its components in the treatment of liver fibrosis, atherosclerosis and skin disease.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bee Products May Help Manage Autoimmune Diseases, Cancer, Alzheimer’s, HPV, Lyme Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and Arthritis

Hacking Your Health With Bees
From raw honey to royal jelly and venom, new evidence suggests bees and their byproducts can help boost your immune system.

The Daily Beast, 11/14/2015

Apitherapy is the art of using bee products—everything from honey to venom—to have more energy and to control your biology. Modern science is now discovering the power of bee products, but we’re hardly the first people to use bees as a source of natural medicine. In fact, apitherapy may be one of the oldest biohacks around; its origins trace back to ancient Greece, Egypt, and China.

Studies show that bee products may help manage autoimmune diseases, cancer, Alzheimer’s, HPV, Lyme Disease, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis—bacteria in bee stomachs could even act as alternatives to antibiotics...

Monday, November 16, 2015

Propolis May Help Treat Naval Cavity Diseases

Propolis as lipid bioactive nano-carrier for topical nasal drug delivery

Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces. 2015 Oct 31;136:908-917

Propolis shows therapeutic properties ascribed to the presence of some flavonoids, phenolic acids, and their esters; it is a natural multifunctional material, solid at room temperature, and composed mainly of resin and waxes.

We therefore used propolis as a lipid material to prepare solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs); SLNs are proposed bioactive medications for topical intranasal therapy. Suitable formulation parameters were studied and the SLNs obtained by the high shear homogenization method were characterized; a selected formulation was viscosized to increase the residence time. Dimensional, morphological, and solid-state characterizations of the formulated SLNs were performed. In vitro and ex vivo permeation tests of diclofenac sodium, the model drug, and polyphenols were carried out. The propolis amount and surfactant concentration represent the key parameters that affect nanoparticle properties in terms of size, drug and polyphenol content, and physical stability. Size dispersions of about 600nm and 0.4 PI were obtained, which do not change by increasing the viscosity. Drug is encapsulated in SLNs, as demonstrated by FTIR and DSC analyses. 

In vitro and ex vivo studies prove that drug and polyphenols do not cross the membranes; therefore, propolis-based SLNs could be used as delivery systems of diclofenac and flavonoids for the local treatment of nasal cavity diseases. Due to propolis composition, the proposed formulation could be used as a bioactive medication in which the carrier can exert a complementary effect with the loaded drug.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Bee Venom Could Help Treat Colon Cancer

Anti-cancer effect of bee venom on colon cancer cell growth by activation of death receptors and inhibition of nuclear factor kappa B

Oncotarget. 2015 Oct 30

Bee venom (BV) has been used as a traditional medicine to treat arthritis, rheumatism, back pain, cancerous tumors, and skin diseases. However, the effects of BV on the colon cancer and their action mechanisms have not been reported yet.

We used cell viability assay and soft agar colony formation assay for testing cell viability, electro mobility shift assay for detecting DNA binding activity of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and Western blotting assay for detection of apoptosis regulatory proteins.

We found that BV inhibited growth of colon cancer cells through induction of apoptosis. We also found that the expression of death receptor (DR) 4, DR5, p53, p21, Bax, cleaved caspase-3, cleaved caspase-8, and cleaved caspase-9 was increased by BV treatment in a dose dependent manner (0-5 μg/ml). Consistent with cancer cell growth inhibition, the DNA binding activity of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) was also inhibited by BV treatment.

Besides, we found that BV blocked NF-κB activation by directly binding to NF-κB p50 subunit. Moreover, combination treatment with BV and p50 siRNA or NF-κB inhibitor augmented BV-induced cell growth inhibition. However, p50 mutant plasmid (C62S) transfection partially abolished BV-induced cell growth inhibiton. In addition, BV significantly suppressed tumor growth in vivo.

Therefore, these results suggested that BV could inhibit colon cancer cell growth, and these anti-proliferative effects may be related to the induction of apoptosis by activation of DR4 and DR5 and inhibition of NF-κB.