Sunday, November 30, 2008

Apitherapy in Egypt and Arabian Countries

By Ahmed G. Hegazi, National Research Center, Giza, Egypt
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Egypt has great experience in apitherapy, dating back to the use of honey and propolis to mummify corpses.

The Holy Bible, in the Old and New Testaments, points to the bees and their products more than 40 times in urging the eating of honey, giving honey as gifts to inhabitants of countries far away and as a good food, either alone or with other food materials, in the human diet. The Holy Bible (Habakkuk 43) also mentions honey as a gift and describes its use by Solomon.

The Holy Koran has a long chapter (Sura 16, Al-Nahl) named “The Bees.” That chapter states: "And thy Lord taught the Bee to build its cells in hills on trees and in (men's) habitations; Then to eat of all the produce (of the earth) and find with skill the spacious paths of its Lord: there issues from within their bodies a drink of varying colors wherein is healing for men: verily in this is a Sign for those who give thought.” (Verses 68-69)

In the Holy Hadith (traditions), the prophet Mohammed said he preferred honey as a food. He once took honey as a gift from the King of Egypt. Also he recommended that people not kill bees because they have a great role in the agriculture, medicine and nutrition.

Recently, apitherapy has great attention in Egypt and Arabian countries. Apitherapy opens a good area of research to overcome many diseases and avoid the side effects of drugs. Bee hive products are also used to treat auto-immune system disorders, prostate problems, chronic fatigue syndrome, cardiovascular diseases, and cancers.

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