Apitherapy Now in Madurai
By Zubeda Hamid, The New Indian Express, 11/14/2009
MADURAI: The next time someone you know complains of joint pain, hot water bottles and medication need not be the only solution.
Bee venom therapy or apitherapy has just made its entry in the city and a few stings from a bee, it is believed, helps relieve pain in the joints.
Apitherapy, which is the use of beehive products including honey, pollen, royal jelly and bee venom, has been practiced for centuries in several countries.
Bee venom has been used to treat arthritis, joint pain, multiple sclerosis and other rheumatic conditions. The venom is usually put in doses at the site of pain or acupuncture sites in the body. While in some cases live bees are used, there are also creams, ointments and injectable forms of the venom used by practitioners.
Akbar Omar, the man behind the therapy in the city, has been a bee aficionado since his young days. “There has been a lot of research and documentation about the beneficial effects of bee venom for a number of ills. In fact, there is a practitioner in Mumbai who claims it helps cure up to 500 ailments,’’ he said.
Omar, who has undergone training at the Central Bee Research Institute, Pune, is launching the service free of cost, under the auspices of the Rotary Club of Madurai Meenakshi.
Therapy will soon start, once the verifications of the procedure and all formalities are completed, said V M Jose, president of the Rotary Club, adding that it was going to be a year-long community service project.
Omar who cultivated bee hives for several years and has access to bees as and when he needs them, sees no problem in acquiring them depending on the demand.
“For the therapy, I will first test the patient to make sure he is not allergic to the venom. Around two percent of people in general are allergic so this has to be ruled out. After that, I will use live bees to sting in the affected area. Treatment varies from case to case and it may take a number of sessions for beneficial effects. Right now, I want to create some awareness about the existence of such a therapy,’’ he said…