Friday, February 29, 2008

40% of Saudi Households Use Honey as Alternative Medicine

Prevalence and Pattern of Alternative Medicine Use: The Results of a Household Survey
Annals of Saudi Medicine, 2008 January-February;28(1):4-10

Background and Objectives: Alternative medicine (AM) encompasses all forms of therapies that fall outside the mainstream of medical practice. Its popularity is on the increase. Because previous surveys were limited and not generalizable, we estimated the prevalence, pattern and factors associated with use of AM in the community.

Subjects and Methods: A multistage cluster cross-sectional household survey was conducted among Saudi residents of the Riyadh region. Data were collected in 2003 by trained interviewers from primary health care centers using a specially designed questionnaire.

Results: Of 1408 individuals participating in the study, 39% were men. The mean (+/-SD) age for the study population was 35.5 (+/-13.9) years. Sixty-eight percent of the respondents had used AM during the last 12 months. The Holy Quran as a therapy was the most frequently used AM (50.3%), followed by honey (40.1%), black seed (39.2%) and myrrh (35.4%). The health belief model was found to be the most important determinant of AM use. Factors independently associated with AM use included perceived failure of medical treatment, the perceived success of AM, a preference for natural materials, and long appointment intervals to see physicians.

Conclusions and Recommendations: There is a high prevalence of AM use in the Riyadh region and the most important determinant of AM use was the perceived failure of medical treatment. The study results call for intensive health education campaigns in the media addressing wrong beliefs regarding AM and modern medicine. The popularity of AM in this community should alert decision makers to look at the difficult accessibility to the health system.

Honey Recommended for Variety of Ailments

Honey Mixture Improves Skin Conditions and Health
By Pradeep Chauhan, American Chronicle, 2/28/2008

Honey Hair Conditioning Treatment: This great formula combines the benefits of honey and olive oil for lustrous, silky, healthy hair and scalp. Simply combine 1/2 cup honey and 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup olive oil (depending on the dryness of your hair and scalp). Saturate hair and scalp with this conditioner, then put on a shower cap and allow the conditioner to remain for 30 minutes before you shampoo and rinse as usual.

Anxiety and Nervous Tension: Honey is said to calm a nervous, high strung person. It can also help you sleep at night. For insomnia, take 1 Tablespoon of honey at dinner. If that doesn't work, try mixing 3 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar to 1 cup of honey in a jar. Take 2 teaspoons before bed. If you don't fall asleep within the hour, take 2 teaspoons more. An old ayuverdic remedy has men taking the same dosage (2 Tablespoons of honey) before bed to treat impotence.

Flu Bath: Combine a half-cup of Epson salts with two tablespoons of coconut oil. Add a quarter cup of honey, combine well, and then add fifteen to twenty drops of essential eucalyptus oil. Add to very warm bath, soak in it for at least half an hour…

Bee Pollen Benefits and Side Effects

The Vitamin Supplement Reference

Bee pollen benefits exceed Bee pollen side effects. Bee pollen benefits have been known since ancient times. Bee Pollen capsules are one of the oldest dietary supplement…

Bee pollen contains great amounts of B vitamins and small amounts of enzymes, amino-acids and minerals.

Bee Polen Composition...

• 55% carbohydrates
• 35% protein
• 3% vitamins(carotenoids,all B vitamins,folic acid,choline,inositol, vitamin C,D,E,K ,rutin.) minerals(calcium,phosphorus,potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine, magnesium, iron,manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, silicon, molybdenum, boron, titanium)and antioxidants such as flavonoids, beta carotene,vitamin C and E,lycopene and Selenium.
• 2% fatty acid
• 5% other substances

Thursday, February 28, 2008

UK: Traces of Chloramphenicol Found in Royal Jelly Nutritional Supplements

Survey on Royal Jelly Supplements
Food Standards Agency (UK), 2/27/2008

In a survey published today on behalf of the Veterinary Residues Committee (VRC), the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) reports that traces of chloramphenicol, a veterinary medicine banned for use in food producing animals, were found in 18 samples of high concentration royal jelly nutritional supplements.

However, the risks from the levels found in the affected samples would have been extremely small.

The survey, carried out by the VMD between September and November 2007 and focusing on products containing high concentrations of royal jelly, tested 71 samples of royal jelly nutritional supplements sold as capsules, tablets and fresh royal jelly. Residues of chloramphenicol were found in 18 samples in concentrations ranged between 0.33μg/kg and 21μg/kg. Royal jelly is made by bees for the nourishment of the queen bee...

The survey was recommended by the VRC following a series of rapid alert notifications from the European Commission regarding findings of residues of chloramphenicol in royal jelly in other Member States…

Article Outlines Health Benefits of Bee Products

Healing From the Hive
By Kim Castleton, Green Living Online, 2/26/2008

Honey, royal jelly, pollen, propolis, and venom. Bee products are abuzz with curative powers and nutrients -- just one more reason to save these furry insects.

Honey - Produced by bees from the nectar of blossoms and plants, honey is a good supplier of energy containing riboflavin, thiamine, and ascorbic acid.

Delicious and nutritious, it’s also helps with calcium retention, prevents anaemia and is beneficial in kidney and liver disorders, colds, poor circulation and complexion problems…

Royal Jelly - Royal Jelly is a highly nutritious whitish food with the consistency of mayonnaise, produced by the worker bees to feed the queen bee. It is rich in vitamins A, C, E and the B-complex vitamins including thiamine, pyridoxine, niacin, riboflavin, biotin, pantothenic acid, inositol and folic acid…

Pollen - Bee pollen is a power packed food, collected by bees from the male element of a flower. It's abundant in amino acids and contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin E and folic acid…

Propolis - Propolis is a resinous material, gathered by bees from the buds of trees. It is used to seal up any cracks or holes in the hive. Propolis contains approximately 55 percent resins and balms, 30 percent wax, 10 percent etheric oils and 5 percent pollen. It has a high vitamin content, and trace amounts of iron, copper, manganese, zinc and antibiotics...

Venom - Bee venom, which contains two powerful anti-inflammatory agents, melittin and adolapin, is beneficial in many forms of arthritis…

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Honey a ‘Broad Spectrum Antimicrobial Agent’

Using Honey to Inhibit Wound Pathogens
Nursing Times; 104: 3, 46–49, January 23, 2008

This article reviews the laboratory and clinical evidence that relates to the antimicrobial properties of honey. Observations show it is a broad spectrum antimicrobial agent with efficacy against bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses. It is also capable of eliminating malodours from wounds, eradicating antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria from wounds and acting as an effective prophylactic agent at the exit sites of medical devices.

Honey Relieves Children's Coughs

A Taste of Honey
Marketing Health Services, 2008 Spring

Mom was right: Forget the cough suppressants. Buckwheat honey -- found in most grocery stores -- relieves children's coughs and helps them sleep better than dextromethorphan, the drug in most over-the-counter cough suppressants, according to the results of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and released Dec. 3. The study's results are timely, considering that parents increasingly are looking for new ways to relieve their sick children, although doctors still warn that honey should not be given to children before their first birthday.

The study's researchers claim that honey is both a cheap and effective treatment, a viable alternative to a trip to the pharmacy for over-the-counter cough and cold medicine. A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended last autumn that children younger than age 6 should not be given over-the-counter cough and cold medicines…

Bee Stock Collection Comes to UC Davis

UC Davis (USA), 2/26/2008

A noted collection of about 750,000 live honeybees, developed 18 years ago by internationally known honeybee geneticist Robert E. Page Jr. will soon return to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at UC Davis.

All 50 hives of the strain, a specially selected high- and low-pollen-hoarding genetic stock spanning 32 generations, will relocate to Davis and "will pave the way for future genetic research here," announced Walter Leal, professor and chair of the Department of Entomology.

"This stock is the most studied, most valued honeybee research stock ever," said Page, who was formerly with UC Davis and is now at Arizona State University. To date, studies by some 30 scientists have generated more than 50 published papers, focusing on behavioral traits, learning behaviors, sensory response and insulin signaling paths. Much of the research occurred when Page and bee geneticist M. Kim Fondrk were based at the Laidlaw facility from 1989 to 2004…

Killer Bees Adopt Traits of More Docile Bees They Replaced

AFP, 2/26/2008

CHICAGO (AFP) — Killer bees introduced to South America in 1956 have adopted some of the traits of the more docile honey bees they replaced, a study released Monday found.

These more aggressive "Africanized" bees mated with the honey bees introduced by European settlers in the 17th century and now dominate hives from Brazil all the way up to the south western United States.

The most successful of the bees are hybrids which carry some of the traits of the original settlers, according to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A study of the genetic variations among bees determined that many of these traits were adopted through natural selection which allowed the bees to thrive in the new environment…

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bee Venom Therapy Stimulates Release of Cortisol

Joint Pain And Arthritis: Do Alternative Therapies Provide Real Relief?
Fitness and Weightloss Blog, 2/25/2008

Mainstream medicine tends to dismiss alternative remedies for arthritis in favour of drug therapy and established treatments. This article discusses some of the alternative therapies available. Do they work or not?...

Bee Venom Therapy. Also known as Apitherapy, BVT concerns the application of honeybee through live bee stings. It is thought that the healing potency of this method relies on the stimulation of the release of cortisol from the adrenal glands.

Cortisol is a natural human hormone that has anti-inflammatory properties and in addition jump-starts the immune system to produce a healing response. It also spurs the production of endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller…

Artificial ‘Honey’ Hits Market

Diabetic Market Opens Up Worldwide for FDA-Approved All-Natural Sweetener Marketed by SuperVision

LOS ANGELES, CA, Feb 25, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- SuperVision Entertainment Inc. (PINKSHEETS: SVET) is pleased to announce that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recently approved an artificial sweetener made from all-natural crops such as wheat, rice, corn, potatoes, barley etc. It is a radical departure from such artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame, Splenda and others that are basically chemical cocktails of one form or another.

This amazing new product is produced by creating an enzymatic degradation of all the natural crops which is then processed and purified. The end result is an all-natural sweetener that looks exactly like honey, tastes exactly like honey, and has the same consistency as honey. In fact, it's putting bees out of business…

Monday, February 25, 2008

Royal Jelly Used in New Japanese Energy Drink

Imbibe Monster Hunter Energy
Kotaku, 2/25/2008

Drink up! This March, Capcom's got the Monster Hunter Portable 2nd energy drinks. Dubbed "Monster Hunter Drink" (clever!), the beverage will be manufactured by Hino Pharmaceutical. Ingredients include royal jelly, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2, Caffeine and Niacin…

Sunken Galleon Holds Treasure of Beeswax

An Unexpected Treasure
But the Gold Beach find is not gold; it's part of a galleon's beeswax cargo, rich only in history
By Paul Fattig, Mail Tribune (USA), 2/25/2008

GOLD BEACH — It was the luminescent glow that caught Loretta LeGuee's attention.

"The sun was shining through it — it kind of looked like a huge egg," said the Gold Beach resident who has been combing the local beach each morning for years.

The oval-shaped amber object resting on the storm-tossed log early that December morning was no egg.

Experts believe it's a chunk of beeswax from a Spanish trading vessel that sank off the coast of what is now Oregon more than 300 years ago…

Beeswax was a hot trade item back when the two Spanish vessels sank, Williams explained. It was much preferred for candles over foul-smelling tallow (rendered animal fat).

"The Catholic church required the use of beeswax," he said. "There were no native honeybees in the New World. The churches in Mexico had to get wax from someplace and the large Asian honeybees produced a lot of beeswax."…

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Propolis Counteracted Alterations Found in Stressed Mice

Green Brazilian Propolis Action on Macrophages and Lymphoid Organs of Chronically Stressed Mice
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 5, Number 1, March 2008

Stress is a generic term that summarizes how psychosocial and environmental factors influence physical and mental well-being. The interaction between stress and immunity has been widely investigated, involving the neuroendocrine system and several organs. Assays using natural products in stress models deserve further investigation.

Propolis immunomodulatory action has been mentioned and it has been the subject of scientific investigation in our laboratory. The aim of this study was to evaluate if and how propolis activated macrophages in BALB/c mice submitted to immobilization stress, as well as the histopathological analysis of the thymus, bone marrow, spleen and adrenal glands.

Stressed mice showed a higher hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) generation by peritoneal macrophages, and propolis treatment potentiated H2O2 generation and inhibited nitric oxide (NO) production by these cells. Histopathological analysis showed no alterations in the thymus, bone marrow and adrenal glands, but increased germinal centers in the spleen. Propolis treatment counteracted the alterations found in the spleen of stressed mice.

New research is being carried out in order to elucidate propolis immunomodulatory action during stress.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Video: Honey Gets New Life in Medical Field

By Kerri-Lee Halkett, Fox 29 (USA), 2/21/2008

An ancient remedy gets a new life in the medical field. Medicinal honey is doing wonders for some wound and burn victims.

video

Friday, February 22, 2008

UK Nursing Journal Outlines Healing Properties of Honey

Modern Wound Therapies
Journal of Community Nursing, February 2008, Volume 22, Issue 02

Maureen Benbow gives an overview of just some of the vast range of modern wound therapies available to community nurses

The modern wound care nurse is overwhelmed with a range of products, gadgets, devices and therapies that claim to improve the management of wounds. From topical negative therapy to live maggots, protease modulating therapies to electrical stimulation, the merits of which are often poorly understood, misused and, in some cases, lack evidence of efficacy. This article will attempt to demystify a few of these concepts and suggest the ways that they can be best utilised for the benefit of the patient…

Honey

The antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, deodorising and debriding effects of honey are very well documented (Molan, 1999; Willix et al, 1992; Cooper et al, 1999; Cooper & Molan, 1999; Cooper et al, 2000; Karayil et al, 1998). It is believed that the antibacterial properties of honey include the release of hydrogen peroxide at safe levels plus an additional phytochemical antibacterial component (Molan, 2001). Honey is also able to prevent the development of biofilm formation thus reducing infection (Irish, Carter & Blair, 2006 as cited by Cutting, 2007). Honey is able to remove Enterococcus species Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and fungi from infected wounds, reduce pain and odour, stimulate the immune system and the rapid production of granulation tissue to set the wound on the road to healing (Efem, 1988; Armon, 1980; Cavanagh et al, 1970; Molan, 2002). Molan (2001) suggests that can be effective against antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria. Its use therefore is supported in the treatment of infected wounds and prophylactically in the treatment of wounds in patients who are susceptible to MRSA and other bacterial resistant bacteria (Molan, 2001). Adverse local effects are rare apart from a stinging sensation experienced by a small number of patients however, Molan (2007) reports that patients find honey soothing, pain relieving and non-irritating.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Honey Recommended for Wound Healing, Ulcers, Allergies

Honey and its Benefits
By Glenn Ellis, EURweb, 2/21/2008

*Though it is technically not much different than table sugar, there seems to be healing properties hidden in Honey.

Honey is composed of sugars like glucose and fructose and minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, iron and phosphate. It contains vitamins B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3 all of which change according to the qualities of the nectar and pollen. Copper, iodine, and zinc also exist in it in small quantities. Several kinds of hormones are also present in it. Approximately one half of the human diet is derived directly or indirectly from crops pollinated by bees.

Doctors have been using honey in healing for centuries. There are three ingredients in honey that make it ideal as a healing compound. Many types of honey are found to be high in hydrogen peroxide, which you probably use at home to disinfect scrapes and cuts. In addition to this disinfecting power, the high sugar content in honey is great for absorbing moisture inside wounds. This makes it difficult for bacteria to survive. The ingredient is propolis, a substance found in the nectar of some honey, which can actually kill bacteria…

Not only has it been found to stop infection outside your body, but certain types of honey have been found to stop infections inside your body as well. A study conducted at the Honey Research Unit discovered that a certain type of honey, indigenous to New Zealand, has been found to kill the bacteria that form ulcers in the stomach…

If you have allergies, honey can be beneficial. If you eat honey that is local to your area, it may help prevent your seasonal allergies. Bees use the pollen from local plants and eventually it ends up in your honey.

Honey may also be good for your skin. It has the ability to attract water. It is also safe for sensitive skin. You can use it as a moisturizing mask for your skin as well as your hair. To use it as a conditioner, mix the honey with olive oil. Be sure to wash your hair thoroughly before you go outside...

Honey Recommended for Childrens’ Cough

A Spoonful of Honey May be All the Medicine Required
Donna Gray, Calgary Herald (Canada), 2/21/2008

It's the height of the season for the common cold. Parents of young children scramble to find a quick fix to take away the aches, sniffles and lack of sleep for both their kids and themselves.

Late last year, drug companies pulled liquid cold medicines for babies and toddlers, citing overdosing dangers by parents. At the same time, the United States Food and Drug Administration suggested that parents refrain from using the liquids for kids under six, partly due to reported deaths and the overall ineffectiveness of the elixirs.

This created a practical and philosophical dilemma for parents who rely on the formulas…

Natural remedies, such as herbal formulas for children are not as popular at the retail drug store level, but according to Theordora Lo's, a naturopathic doctor with the Centre for Preventive Medicine in Northwest Calgary, parents have been keeping her busy prescribing alternatives for their kids' colds.

"There's been a lot of research on the benefits of honey," she says. "Just one teaspoon of pasteurized honey for children over one year, right at bedtime, provided the greatest relief from nighttime coughs. It's all helps them sleep better, reduces cough frequency and severity."…

New Skincare Products Use Beeswax, Royal Jelly

Looking to Asia
By Patsy Kam, The Star (Malaysia), 2/21/2008

The latest spice to capture the imagination of skincare scientists is turmeric, an ingredient that’s more often associated with curries and traditional medicine rather than beauty. Highly prized for its energising, balancing and purifying properties, turmeric is now being investigated as a potent antioxidant. As part of Origins’ mission to promote beauty and wellness, Dr Andrew Weil has included turmeric in his new Conditioning Lip Balm. Touted to restore softness and smoothness to parched lips, the product contains essentials oils along with organic cocoa butter, jojoba, beeswax and murumuru to soften and hydrate lips, as well as mango seed butter and rice bran oil for antioxidant protection. Available at all Origins counters.

Touch of an angel

IF YOU don’t have flawless skin, the next best thing would be to use a foundation that hides the flaws. The new AngelFit liquid foundation by Maybelline uses an easy-to-blend formula that allows better control of coverage so that layering can be done without clogging pores. Ingredients like chamomile extract, vitamin E and royal jelly have been included for anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and moisturising properties. Pores and wrinkles are reduced and imperfections are cleverly masked, resulting in a luminous, radiant translucent semi-matte finish. Available at all department stores and leading pharmacies…

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Audio: Honey Wound Dressing Helps Prevent Foot Amputation

The Buzz About Medicinal Honey
American Public Media, 2/19/2008

Listen to the Audio.

A special kind of honey derived from the Manuka plant is showing up in doctor's offices as a wound remedy. Caitlan Carroll reports how some patients have seen dramatic results from the bee by-product.

Kai Ryssdal: Ice cream maker Haagen Dazs announced today that it's giving $150,000 dollars to Penn State and $100,000 to the University of California Davis for bee research...

Caitlan Carroll: The ancient Greeks and Egyptians waxed lyrical about the healing properties of honey. Religious scriptures tout it as a "product of the Gods."

Doctors used honey during World War II to treat soldiers' wounds. Antibiotics eventually displaced honey as a remedy, but now the sticky stuff's making a comeback.

Ursulla Jenkins: A lot of people go, "Oh my god, you used honey to cure your foot?" I hear that all the time.

Ursulla Jenkins shattered a bone in her foot in late 2006. Her doctor removed the bone fragments, but the wound wouldn't heal. It stayed open for months. Jenkins and her doctor Randy Nordyke even discussed amputation.

Randy Nordyke: It was white, non-healing, draining... looked like a dry lake bed.

Nordyke decided to try out a type of honey made in New Zealand. It's derived from what the Maori people call Manuka or tea tree plant.

The honey worked wonders on Jenkins...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Honey Can Soothe a Burn

By Anahad O’Connor, The New York Times, 2/19/2008

Home remedies for soothing mild burns run the gamut, from aloe vera gel to butter. Most that have been around for ages are clearly bad ideas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that applying butter or various popular ointments, for example, can increase the risk of infection. But at least one remedy, honey, has held up well.

In studies of quick and easy treatments to soothe mild burns, scientists have found that honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that may promote healing. One study in 2006, examining results of more than a dozen previous studies, found that small, nonserious burns healed faster when treated with gauze and a dash of honey, on average, than those treated with antibiotic creams and other dressings…

The Bottom Line - Many home remedies for burns are unproved, but honey seems to soothe small burns.

Honey Helps Calm Coughs, Heal Wounds

Sweet! Honey has Many Real Benefits
By Dr. Murray Feingold, The Daily News Transcript (USA), 2/19/2008

…For years, your grandmother has recommended putting honey in your tea as a treatment for a cough or sore throat. Now, a scientific study has shown that granny was right.

A cough can be very disturbing. To make matters worse, recent studies have shown that most over-the-counter cough medications are ineffective.

The recent study compared the effectiveness of three different treatments used to suppress coughing in children: honey; an over-the-counter anti-cough ingredient, dextromethorphan; and a placebo.

The results showed a significant decrease in the frequency of coughing in the group of children who were given honey compared to those who received dextromethorphan or a placebo...

Another reported use of honey involved the treatment of wounds and burns. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the use of honey-impregnated dressings to treat minor burns and cuts.

It has been theorized that applying honey to an open wound cuts off the air supply and exposure to outside contaminants, including bacteria. This decreases the risk of the wound becoming infected.

Also, an enzyme present in honey reacts with the fluid present in damaged tissues to form hydrogen peroxide, which acts as a disinfectant…

Monday, February 18, 2008

Honey Should be ‘First Choice’ for Wound Dressings

Fighting Super Bugs with Honey
Committee for the Promotion of Honey and Health, Inc
Newsletter, February 2008, Volume 1. Issue 1. Page 3

In her presentation entitled “The Grossly Underutilized Anti-microbial”, Dr. Shona Blair from the University of Sydney, Australia, gave to honey the therapeutic challenge presented by “problematic pathogens” including several antibiotic resistant micro-organisms; 60 species of anaerobes; fungi (Candida and Tinea); and biofilms (microorganisms that secrete a slimy protective coating that makes them resistant to antibiotics).

Dr. Blair cited its low water activity, low pH, hydrogen peroxide generating capacity and other “floral factors” as the reasons for the antimicrobial activity of honey. Multiple varietals of honey were tested by Dr. Blair and her associates. Though there was wide variation among varietals as to their effectiveness as an antimicrobial, within the honey used in this study, effective mean concentrations (MIC) of honey varied from 2 to 16% against the problematic pathogens studied. Sugar solutions used as controls required mean concentrations of > 20 to 45% to achieve the same in vitro effects.

In her concluding remarks, Dr. Blair stated that honey should be used as a “first choice”, not as a “last resort” for dressings.

Honey is effective at low concentrations against a broad spectrum of bacteria, fungi, biofilm producing, and resistant organisms but the honey varietal is critical as antimicrobial properties can vary as much as 100 times from one varietal to the next. Honey provides excellent prophylaxis, stimulates healing (re-epithelialization) and possesses ideal dressing properties. Honey is cost effective and most important of all “Honey has no side effects!”

[(Newsletter) Editor’s Note: After the Symposium, another report on the anti-infective properties of Manuka Honey was provided by Professor Thomas Henle, head of the Institute of Food Chemistry at the Technical University of Dresden. Dr. Henle, writing in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, refers to the results of a Dresden study which “unambiguously demonstrates for the first time that methylglyoxal is directly responsible for the antibacterial activity of Manuka Honey.”

Researchers at the university analyzed 40 samples of honey from various sources around the world, including six New Zealand manuka honeys. They found methylglyoxal levels in Manuka honeys were up to 1000-fold higher than non-manuka products.

However, another study published in Diabetes 2006 gives this caution: intracellular methylglyoxal “leads to an inhibition of insulin signaling.” Thus “methylglyoxal may not only induce the debilitating complications of diabetes but may also contribute to the pathophysiology of diabetes in general.” It is imperative that differentiation be made among honey varietals when suggesting health benefits.]

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Paul: MGO Manuka Honey Level is Consumer Friendly

[Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Manuka Health New Zealand Limited Chief Executive Kerry Paul in response to an earlier statement by Professor Peter Molan, headlined “MGO Level Not Good Indicator of Honey’s Antibacterial Activity,” published on Apitherapy News. Note also that the term "MGO" is trademarked.]

The ground-breaking research from Professor Henle’s research group published in Journal of Molecular Nutrition and Food Research established for the first time methylglyoxal was responsible for the unique anti-bacterial activity of manuka honey. A later publication by the University of Waikato confirmed the Dresden discovery.

The significance of the University of Dresden research is consumers can now be informed about what is in the manuka honey they are consuming and given information about how it relates to anti-bacterial activity. The issue is about being honest with consumers and being transparent with the information provided.

MGO Manuka Honey is About Honesty and Clarity

Testing for methylglyoxal content is a simple measurement of the chemical content in the honey so consumers can be sure the amount of the methylglyoxal content they are purchasing. University of Dresden research shows a minimum of 100mg/kg methylglyoxal is needed to inhibit Staphylococcus aureus and other harmful bacteria. By showing the different methylglyoxal content on the label consumers can choose with reliability the methylglyoxal content they wish to purchase.

Manuka Health has launched a new certification system to explain this to consumers called MGO manuka honey. Simply, MGO 400 manuka honey means there is 400mg of methylglyoxal per kilogram of manuka honey which is easy for consumers to relate to. The higher the methylglyoxal content the higher the level of anti-bacterial activity.

Current systems have problems for consumers in getting reliable and meaningful information. These are the percentage rating systems used to describe anti-bacterial activity in relation to a common anti-septic using the agar diffusion assay. Most sellers of manuka honey and consumers cannot understand what the percentages mean.

Consumers Cannot Rely on Label Claims

The agar diffusion assay used to measure the anti-bacterial activity of honey is open to error and that is why medical researchers use the Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) assay to present their research. The diffusion assay is based on the anti-bacterial activity of phenol the common antiseptic and the ratings for honey are based on the amount of phenol used in a solution to measure the activity. This works at its best between 10% and 18% for honey but is still subject to error. Outside this range the amount of potential error increases significantly. This is demonstrated in the Carbohydrate Research paper where the Comvita UMF30 (originally tested by a commercial laboratory) has been re-tested by university students at UMF27 (see Table 1 in the paper). Consumers cannot rely on the label stating accurately the anti-bacterial activity because the test method is not reliable.

It is a commonly accepted view by all those involved in using the agar diffusion assay for honey testing that the system needs significant improvement. For many years there has been widespread dissatisfaction with the reliability of results particularly over 18% solution of phenol.

Phenol Standards Meaningless for Consumers

Using a comparative rating scale where the anti-bacterial activity of honey is linked to an equivalent solution of phenol is not an easy concept for consumers to comprehend. The main reason is consumers cannot relate to what does a 10% solution of phenol mean in terms of anti-bacterial activity and how other percentages of phenol relate to one other.

With MGO manuka honey consumers have for the first time a certification system able to provide them reliable information about what they are consuming.

Kerry Paul
Chief Executive
Manuka Health New Zealand Limited
kerry@manukahealth.co.nz
Cell +64-274504333
Ph +647 8706555
http://www.manukahealth.co.nz/

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Propolis Extract Reduces Proliferation of Parasites

In Vitro Antileishmanial Activity of Adana Propolis Samples on Leishmania Tropica: a Preliminary Study
Parasitology Research, 2008 Feb 10

Propolis (bee glue) is a natural resinous hive product, collected from various plant sources. It has attracted much attention as a useful substance applied in medicine due to its pharmacological activities.

It was aimed to investigate the in vitro effects of an ethanolic extract of Adana propolis samples on the growth of Leishmania tropica

Our results demonstrate that ethanolic extracts of Adana propolis samples reduce the proliferation of L. tropica parasites significantly.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Propolis an Effective, Natural Sunscreen

Photoprotective Activity of Propolis
Natural Product Research, Volume 22, Issue 3 February 2008, pages 264-268

The purpose of this study was to determine the photoprotective properties of propolis.

The sun protection factor (SPF) of ethanol extract of propolis was evaluated by an in vitro method, using homosalate as control. This determination is based on the physical determination of the reduction of the energy in the UV range, through a film of product which has previously been spread on an adequate substrate. About 15 mg of O/W emulsion containing propolis at various concentrations were applied on roughened Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) plates and the transmission measurements were carried out using a spectrophotometer equipped with integrating sphere.

The results may justify their use as a natural sunscreen agent.

New Skincare Line Uses Medicinal Honey

Comvita Creates Skincare Buzz
Scoop Independent News, 2/15/2008

Comvita has used its Manuka honey expertise to develop huni(r), a new, natural skincare range, which was launched nationally in Auckland yesterday.

The UMF(r) (Unique Manuka Factor) 20+ Manuka honey used in the huni skincare range was supplied by Comvita beekeepers in the North Island.

Comvita general manager skincare Leigh Kite says the aim is to offer women a natural skincare range that utilises the strong natural benefits of UMF(r) Manuka honey to minimise the first visible signs of aging.

UMF(r) is a scientific measure of the special properties found only in active Manuka honey. This type of honey was chosen for its exceptional moisturising, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties…

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Honey Heals Canadian Horse’s Wounds

Honey Helps Heal Poet’s Wounds
By Eoin Callan, The Independent (Canada), 2/14/2008

…The transformation of the 18-acre hobby farm into an ark-like sanctuary has forced Ms. England to learn quickly about how to treat all manner of ailments.

But the most revelatory discovery was the healing power of the honey she had in her pantry.

The sticky nectar was suggested as an ointment in a losing battle to heal an open wound on the right rear leg of Poet, a chestnut gelding who lost a fight with a fence...

When it was suggested to her that she try unpasteurized honey, Ms. England was willing to give it a try as she had an ample supply on her shelves thanks to her neighbours the Skobas on Old Wooler Road who harvest it from their hives…

“The improvement was amazing. It has healed really well. The cut has closed up,” she says.

“We haven’t had to deal with proud flesh and that is because of the honey and we haven’t had to wrap it any longer so it is getting air and healing better,” she adds.

Ms. England estimates it would have taken “triple the time” for the wound to heal without the honey.

The improvement also impressed the vet Amy Doornekamp, from Finucane Equine, who visits the rescue farm regularly.

“I didn’t know much about it. I spoke to other vets and we kind of all shrugged our shoulders,” she says.

“But I was treating another horse that sustained a very similar injury within a week or two. When I came by to look at Poet there was a huge difference,” says Ms. Doornekamp.

“The owners of the other horse are now using honey and it is healing well,” she says...

Ms. England says that when spreading honey from a jar on a horse’s wound: “The important thing is that it has to be unpasteurized. When it is pasteurized everything is killed. It is no longer functioning the way it should.”…

Video: Palmolive Propolis Shower Gel


U.S. Spa Uses Propolis Lotion Wrap

Mountain Indulgences
Lauren Glendenning, The Vail Trail (USA), 2/13/2008

High Altitude Rescue, 50 minutes, $130

Counteract the effects of the high altitude with this hydrating and deeply relaxing body treatment at the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera. Propolis moisturizing lotion — created by honeybees and rich in antioxidants and omega fatty acids — is smoothed onto the skin. The body is wrapped to enhance the absorption. To finish, warm coconut milk is gently massaged into the skin, leaving it moisturized and smooth…

Comvita in Manuka Carbon Credit Deal

Stuff.com, 2/15/2008

Honey products company Comvita has entered an agreement with the aim of gaining income from carbon credits and manuka honey supply from reverting poor farmland to manuka bush.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

'Bee Lady' Uses Stings to Treat MS

Bee Sting Therapy: Healing from the Hive
Discovery Health

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disabling illness that affects well over one million adults worldwide.
For many sufferers, MS means a lifetime of taking medications that offer little relief for a body that progressively gets worse. Such was the case for Pat Wagner of Waldorf, Md., until her mother suggested that she get stung — by a bee. Pat is now known as the "Bee Lady" for her practice of using bee stings to treat the debilitating symptoms of MS. For Pat, it's been a miracle, one that she's been happily sharing with people from all over the world — by stinging them…

Q: How does bee venom therapy work?

A: Bee Venom therapy (BVT) uses bee venom to relieve the symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis. A bee is held to a person's skin and allowed to sting, releasing its "venom" into the recipient. The principal active component of bee venom is melittin, a powerful anti-inflammatory substance, said to be 100 times more potent than hydrocortisone.

Melittin also helps to activate the body's adrenal glands, which causes one's own natural healing response. Another component, adolapin, is known for its painkilling properties. These compounds seem to greatly improve vision, coordination, mobility, and sensitivity to touch, among other things, in MS patients. They also decrease pain, can add to a feeling of overall well-being, and even boost energy levels...

Background Facts: Bee Sting Therapy and MS

Discovery Health

For centuries, honey, bee pollen, and bee venom have been used to treat a number of ailments that vary between chronic pain to skin conditions. Apitherapy, or the medical use of honeybee products that range from royal jelly to bee venom, was used by the ancient Egyptians as a homeopathic remedy for arthritis. Today, bee venom therapy, or bee sting therapy, has captured the attention of medical science as a potential homeopathic remedy for multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms.

Bee venom therapy (BVT), or apitherapy, uses the stings of live bees to relieve symptoms of MS such as pain, loss of coordination, and muscle weakness. Stinging is not limited to any specific area of the body, as stings in different places seem to produce different results. Apitherapy researchers suggest that certain compounds in bee venom, namely melittin and adolapin, help reduce inflammation and pain, and that the combination of all the "ingredients" in bee venom somehow helps the body to release natural healing compounds in its own defense.

Given the fact that no major studies on BVT have been done so far, it is estimated that only about 50 U.S. physicians use it to treat MS or other diseases. And the evidence that BVT helps MS patients, although encouraging, remains anecdotal. Despite this, of the more than 250,000 cases of multiple sclerosis nationwide, thousands of patients are said to use bee venom as an alternative approach to the interferon, corticosteroids, and other drugs typically used…

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Rising Price of Manuka Honey Hits New Zealand Apitherapy Firm

Comvita Predicts Losses of Around $1.8 Million
The National Business Review (New Zealand), 2/12/2008

Honey products company Comvita said it expected rising costs to push it into a disappointing 15-month loss of up to $1.8 million, after it posted a $700,000 net profit last year.

Significant increases in raw honey costs late in the season, and a strong New Zealand dollar, were hurting business, the company said…

Manuka honey prices had risen 40 percent, adding more than $1m to costs since September, due to a poor season the previous year and strong demand, particularly in the United Kingdom...

Comvita's Hong Kong distribution business, bought in August 2007 was performing above expectations, although its Medihoney business in Australia and the UK were still posting losses.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Video: Propolis Diffusers Purify the Air

PROPOLIS -- Diffuseurs PROPOLAIR pour purifier l'AIR ambient
Youtube.com

PROPOLAIR diffusers spread volatile fractions of propolis. Scientific studies show that the use of these devices helps to disinfect the air and protect the respiratory tract from viruses, bacteria and dust. It has been shown that their use is effective against urban pollution.

New Method for Detection of Antibiotic Residues in Honey

Multiclass Determination and Confirmation of Antibiotic Residues in Honey Using LC-MS/MS
J. Agric. Food Chem, February 8, 2008

Abstract: A multiclass method has been developed for the determination and confirmation in honey of tetracyclines (chlortetracycline, doxycycline, oxytetracycline, and tetracycline), fluoroquinolones (ciprofloxacin, danofloxacin, difloxacin, enrofloxacin, and sarafloxacin), macrolides (tylosin), lincosamides (lincomycin), aminoglycosides (streptomycin), sulfonamides (sulfathiazole), phenicols (chloramphenicol), and fumagillin residues using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS).

…The method has been validated at the low part per billion levels for most of the drugs with accuracies between 65 and 104% and coefficients of variation less than 17%. The evaluation of matrix effects caused by honey of different floral origin is presented.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

U.S. Comb Honey Shown to Have Healing Properties

By Arlen Sillerud, The Forum (USA), 2/10/2008

A follow-up of the Jan. 14 article on “healing” honey published in The Forum:

In June 2008, I will have been a hobby beekeeper for 49 years with a maximum number of 48 hives.

I am disappointed with the inference that you have to go to Canada or buy special honey from Australia or New Zealand in order to experience the healing effects of honey.

Many people have volunteered their testimony to me that comb honey produced in the United States has healed bleeding stomach ulcers, burns, infected wounds, sore throats and ulcerated sores that would not heal with other medications…

Literature Review of Honey and Health Benefits: Patent Summary

Susan Lutz, PhD; Shirzad Chunara, MHSc RD; Rae Kennedy, BSc
Alberta Beekeepers (ABA), August 2007

[Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of articles containing excerpts from the Canadian report ”Literature Review of Honey and Health Benefits” published in August of last year.]

…A total of 46 patents were found in relation to honey and health. The patents were from a wide variety of countries across the world, including Canada. The majority of the products were ointments and creams used for wound healing, followed by wound dressing products with the incorporation of honey. Other patents were for products that used honey for traditional medicine, as healing gels, food products and other products such as repellents and extracts.

To obtain a Canadian patent, one must apply to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. Currently, there are seven Canadian patents for honey and wound healing products; one ointment/cream, one wound healing gel, three wound dressings and one fortified honey food stuff and medicament product.

In June 2007, the manufacturer and full line supplier of advanced wound care products Derma Science obtained clearance from Health Canada to market and sell a line called API-MED Antimicrobial Dressings with Active Manuka Honey. This advancement represents the first honey-based product to be cleared for medical use in North America . A patent for this product was not found. Further investigation is required to determine whether this product has been classified as a natural health product with an NPN or a drug and therapeutics product with a DIN…

Copies of the full report are available by contacting:

Alberta Beekeepers
#102, 11434 – 168th Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5M 3T9
Phone: (780) 489-6949
Fax: (780) 467-8640
Email: Gertie.Adair@AlbertaBeekeepers.org

Saturday, February 09, 2008

New Method for Propolis Quality Control Developed

Determination of Twelve Active Compounds in Propolis Using Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography
Chinese Journal of Chromatography, 2007 Nov;25(6):857-60

In this study, a fast, selective and sensitive ultra-performance liquid chromatographic method (UPLC) with photodiode array detection (DAD) was developed to determine 12 active compounds, such as flavonoids, ferulic acid, caffeic acid phenethyl ester, etc. in propolis...

This method can be used as a novel method for quality control of propolis. The results are validated through testing 106 propolis samples from various production areas.

Contact: snonxin@yahoo.com.cn

Friday, February 08, 2008

Antibacterial Activity of Stingless Bee Honey Rivals that of Manuka

Antibacterial Activity of Honey from Stingless Honeybees
Polish Journal of Microbiology, 2007, Vol. 56, No 4, 281-285

…In the present study, we clearly showed that honey from stingless honeybees possesses strong total and non-peroxide antibacterial activities using the same method for measuring the UMF number, suggesting that the antibacterial activity of stingless honeybees is powerful, even when compared to those of manuka honey

Stingless honeybees keep honey in storage pots built of cerumen (Crane, 1992; Amano et al., 2000). Cerumen is made of wax secreted from the glands on the abdomens of workers, combined with propolis, which is derived from resins collected from plants. Therefore, the honey is influenced by the infiltration of the propolis content…

Propolis possesses antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties (Marcucci, 1995; Burdock, 1998; Bankova et al., 2000). The resin content of the plants affects the antibacterial activity of the propolis (Marcucci, 1995; Burdock, 1998; Bankova et al., 2000).

In summary, differences in the antimicrobial activity of honeys from Apinae honeybees and stingless honeybees would be due to propolis….

Propolis Cream Used to Treat Fire Ant Bites

Despite Importance of Insect for Crops, Most Beekeepers Today are Hobbyists
By Peggy Ussery, Dothan Eagle, 2/7/2008

…Roslyn Horton has been a beekeeper for five years. From Horton Honey Farm in Dale County, she has developed products using propolis, or bee glue — a resin created by bees to construct and seal hives. It’s a mixture of tree resin and bee secretions and is recognized for its antibacterial benefits.

Horton created Fire Ant First Aid cream, which she has sold for two years, and is working on a Beemu — a mix of propolis and emu oil to treat rashes, bug bites and cracked skin. The fire ant cream was an accidental creation. Horton was actually trying to develop a natural remedy for her father’s psoriasis when her husband came in with up to 40 fire ant bites. Her propolis concoction was all she had handy, so she put it on her husband’s bites. The bites healed without even one pustule…

Honeybee Weapon in War on Cancer

By Brandon Keim, Wired.com, 2/7/2008

Thirty-seven years after Richard Nixon declared war on cancer, we're losing. Billions of research dollars have produced largely incremental improvements in diagnosis and treatment. Cancer kills more Americans than any other disease.

Enter the honeybees.

The honeybees? No, researchers haven't found a beehive-based cure (though major royal jelly, the wondrous protein concoction that turns lowly workers into queens, may have anti-cancer properties.) But bee colonies experience their own type of cancer, and maybe human researchers can learn from their victories…

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Patient: Honey Wound Treatment ‘Just Like a Miracle’

Honey of a Cure: Woman's Wound First to be Healed By New Treatment
By Brett Dalton, Lee’s Summit Journal (USA), 2/5/2008

When Louise Overman fell and broke her leg in March 2007, her main health concern was making sure her bones healed properly. But when they did and the cast came off, Overman discovered another condition that sounded an alarm.

Under her cast and near her ankle, Overman's skin had become discolored and a "baseball-sized scab" had formed, she said. Overman, a resident at John Knox Village in Lee's Summit, said her doctors told her the wound was caused when the broken bones tore and aggravated her skin tissue…

Having unsuccessfully tried various treatments, the medical staff at St. Mary's asked Overman if she'd be willing to let them administer a new type of treatment - one which they hadn't tried on too many patients. Overman, just wanting the wound to be gone, happily obliged…

In late November 2007, Overman began receiving the Medihoney treatment, a wound dressing that St. Mary's recently began trying on a few patients, said Debbie Cobb, a registered nurse at St. Mary's who helped with Overman's procedure. According to its Web site, Medihoney combines an active mauka honey from New Zealand with jellybush honey from Australia. Together, they have proven to be ideal for the management of chronic and acute wounds and burns, according to Medihoney's Web site.

Cobb said St. Mary's had recently heard of the Medihoney treatment when another member of the medical staff attended a seminar that included information about the new treatment. Cobb said St. Mary's had been trialing the treatment on five patients and decided to give it a shot on Overman's condition.

It worked like a charm. On Friday, Feb. 1, Overman received word that her wound had healed and she no longer needed to make her weekly visits to the wound center. As an added bonus, Overman also was told she was the first patient at St. Mary's to have a wound completely heal by using the Medihoney treatment.

"It was just like a miracle," Overman said. "(The wound) just kept getting so much smaller all of a sudden. It really did work."…

Apitherapy Popular in Russia

Visit the All-Russia Honey Festival
By James Marson, The Moscow Times, 2/7/2008

The Manezh's Central Exhibition Center will host the 19th All-Russia Honey Fair from Feb. 12 to 27.

The event brings together the produce of more than 400 of the best beekeepers from 61 Russian regions. Traditional types of honey, such as flower honey, buckwheat honey and meadow honey, will be available to taste and buy, alongside more exotic varieties such as rapeseed honey and sainfoin honey.

There will be more than just honey on sale: other products include propolis -- which has various medicinal uses, royal jelly -- a dietary supplement, and beeswax -- used in candles and cosmetics. Books on beekeeping and the medicinal uses of honey will also be available…

Honey and other beekeeping products have been used in Russia for centuries because of their apparent healing qualities…

Bee Venom Peptide Keeps Neurons Alive

Scientists Stop Brain Cells Dying

By Anelle Miles, The Courier Mail (Australia), 2/7/2008

…Dr Coulson said a peptide found in bee venom called tertiapin had worked to keep neurons alive in the laboratory and in chicken embryos. But years of research is ahead before scientists can apply their discovery to humans…

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Bee Venom Component Inhibits Spread of Tumor Cells

Melittin Prevents MHCC97H Cell Metastasis Through Inhibition of the Rac1-Dependent Pathway
Hepatology, 31 Jan 2008

Abstract: Melittin, a water-soluble toxic peptide derived from bee venom of Apis mellifera was reported to have inhibitory effects on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, its role in anti-metastasis and the underlying mechanism remains elusive.

By utilizing both HCC cell lines and an animal model based assay system, we found that Rac1, which has been shown to be involved in cancer cell metastasis, is highly expressed in aggressive HCC cell lines and its activity correlated with cell motility and cytoskeleton polymerization. In addition, Rac1-dependent activity and metastatic potential of aggressive HCC cells are remarkably high in both cellular and nude mouse models.

We provide evidence here that melittin inhibits the viability and motility of HCC cells in vitro, which correlates with its suppression of Rac1-dependent activity, cell motility and microfilament depolymerization.

Furthermore, melittin suppresses both HCC metastasis and Rac1-dependent activity in nude mouse models. The specificity of the effect of melittin on Rac1 was confirmed in HCC cells both in vitro and in vivo.

Conclusions: Melittin inhibits tumor cell metastasis by reducing cell motility and migration via the suppression of Rac1-dependent pathway, suggesting that melittin is a potential therapeutic agent for HCC.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Medical Honey-Producing Trees to be Planted, Studied in Australia

Medical Honey Trial in Dam Plan
The Gympie Times (Australia), 2/5/2008

Whether the Traveston Crossing Dam goes ahead or not, part of 2000 hectares of land acquired by the State Government to offset carbon emissions will be used for a trial plantation of medical honey-producing trees.

Medihoney, a world leader in the medical application of honey, has reached an agreement with Queensland Water Infrastructure to source the land for the trial and will begin planting Leptospermum — commonly known as Teatree — within the next six months.

The trial will enable Medihoney to conduct research and gain a greater understanding of the 79 different types of species of Leptospermum and their aptitude for local conditions.

Medihoney director of Science and Strategic Development Anthony Moloney said the purpose of the trial was to develop trees that yield a greater quantity of nectar containing enhanced levels of anti-bacteria.

“The honey has specialised anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that have medical application in wound care, skin care and oral therapeutics,” Mr Moloney said.

“We need to learn more about this plant and the special anti-bacterial properties they produce because the trees do not consistently produce the required properties.” …

Monday, February 04, 2008

Early-Bird Registration Deadline Approaches for German Apitherapy Conference

The 6th German Congress, Expo and Intensive Courses and Workshops on Bee Products, Apitherapy and Apipuncture with International participation

Time: March 27-April 1, 2008
Place: Holiday Inn Hotel, Passau, Germany

Register by February 15 to receive an “early-bird” discount.

Antibacterial Honey Recommended in Ireland

Manuka Honey, RRP €8 for 250g Jar of 5+
By Jackie Fitzgerald, The Irish Independent, 2/4/2008

Delicious and good for you, whatever next? Manuka honey is an extra special honey, made by bees that collect pollen from the flowers of the native Manuka bush (Leptospermum Scorparian) in New Zealand.

But what makes it so special? Apparently active Manuka honey demonstrates a high level of the anti-bacterial substance, hydrogen peroxide, which is beneficial for maintaining everyday health…

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Bee Venom Therapy Used to Treat Multiple Sclerosis

Bees Provide More Than Honey
By Leslie Cebula, WTAP News (USA), 2/2/2008

…"I have multiple sclerosis, and I've got over 400,000 bee stings in my body, and I've been able to walk better now than I was before I started the bee stings," said Floyd Alexander, Apitherapist.

Alexander of Warren, Ohio practices Bee Venom Therapy and taught a session on the treatment Saturday.

"We place a bee sting on you and the calcium is destroyed by the venom therefore mobility comes back and allows you to move much freely than you did before," he said.

Andrea Garnes has a hive at her home that she says is the one thing that's helped her the most since she was diagnosed with M.S. 29 years ago.

"It helped me a tremendous lot and I wouldn't be where I am now if i didn't have it," Garnes said…

Bee Venom Therapy Effective for Pain Management

Bee Venom Acupuncture for Musculoskeletal Pain: A Systematic Review
The Journal of Pain, Published online 28 January 2008

Abstract: Bee venom (BV) acupuncture (BVA) involves injecting diluted BV into acupoints and is used for arthritis, pain, and rheumatoid diseases. The objective of this systematic review was to evaluate the evidence for the effectiveness of BVA in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain…

A total of 626 possibly relevant articles were identified, of which 11 RCTs met our inclusion criteria. Four RCTs that tested the effects of BVA plus classic acupuncture compared with saline injection plus classic acupuncture were included in the main meta-analysis. Pain was significantly lower with BVA plus classic acupuncture than with saline injection plus classic acupuncture (weighted mean difference: 100-mm visual analog scale, 14.0 mm, 95% CI = 9.5–18.6, P < .001, n = 112; heterogeneity: τ2 = 0, χ2 = 1.92, P = .59, I2 = 0%). Our results provide suggestive evidence for the effectiveness of BVA in treating musculoskeletal pain. However, the total number of RCTs included in the analysis and the total sample size were too small to draw definitive conclusions. Future RCTs should assess larger patient samples for longer treatment periods and include appropriate controls.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Neuroprotective Compound Found in Bee Products

Presence of Kynurenic Acid in Food and Honeybee Products
Amino Acids, 2008 Jan 30

Kynurenic acid (KYNA) is an endogenous antagonist of ionotropic glutamate receptors and the alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, showing anticonvulsant and neuroprotective activity. In this study, the presence of KYNA in food and honeybee products was investigated.

KYNA was found in all 37 tested samples of food and honeybee products. The highest concentration of KYNA was obtained from honeybee products' samples, propolis (9.6 nmol/g), honey (1.0-4.8 nmol/g) and bee pollen (3.4 nmol/g)…

Friday, February 01, 2008

Bee Venom Therapy Popular in Pakistan

Bee-Sting Expert Treats Patients
The Post (Pakistan), 1/29/2008

FAISALABAD: Ednan Shahid Foundation organised a free camp in the city and a famous bee-sting expert treated hundreds of people Sunday.

Muhammad Akram is famous for his effective treatment of various diseases, including hepatitis and arthritis, with bee-stings.

Many who got cured, including children, men and women, prayed for late Ednan Shahid and Chief Editor Khabarian Group of Newspapers Zia Shahid. Speaking on the occasion, Muhammad Akram said the old people often needed to get 3 to 4 stings but the youth and children were cured by a single bee-sting…

New Burt's Bees Ads Promote Beeswax, Criticize Petrolatum

Burt's Puts Bee in Bonnet of Skin-Care Marketers
First National Effort by Clorox Brand Bashes Ingredients in Beauty Products
By Jack Neff

[Editor’s Note: Ad image may not be appropiate for younger readers.]

BATAVIA, Ohio (AdAge.com) -- In its first major national ad campaign under new owner Clorox, countercultural brand Burt's Bees criticizes industrial-strength ingredients long found in conventional beauty brands…

Among the first of six ads from agency Pool, New York, to appear in issues of magazines such as People, Oprah, Allure, Real Simple and Natural Health starting Feb. 5, is one that in classic package-goods mode compares the beeswax in Burt's to the petrolatum found in other products.

Beeswax is a "naturally replenishing moisturizer made by bees," while petrolatum, Burt's says, is a "non-renewable hydrocarbon made from crude oil" that leaves a "greasy film that could contain contaminants."…

Improving Honey Bee Health

Agricultural Research, February 2008

Spanish

The world’s food supply depends on pollination by bees. So anything that causes a significant loss of honey bees would severely limit the foods available to us.

For example, in California alone, the almond crop requires the service of 1.2 million bee colonies—about half of all U.S. honey bee colonies. Overall, pollination is responsible for about $15 billion in added crop value—particularly for nuts, berries, fruits, and vegetables.

Now it appears that bees nationwide have been stricken with a fast-spreading, deadly syndrome called “colony collapse disorder.” Some beekeepers have lost one-half to two-thirds of their colonies. In response, scientists at ARS bee laboratories across the country are uniting to search for answers to the question, What’s causing the disappearance of honey bees?

“This is obviously something that we’re all concerned about,” says Jeffery S. Pettis, research leader at ARS’s Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland. Pettis has been named a coordinator of the newly established 5-year Areawide Program To Improve Honey Bee Health, Survivorship, and Pollination Availability…