North Bay Nipissing News, 8/16/2012
COLUMN – Apitherapy is an alternative form of medicine involving honeybees. Various by-products are utilized including honey, pollen, propolis, bee’s wax, royal jelly, apilarnil as well as the actual venom from bee stings.
Ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Chinese believed that these preparations would cure or relieve many physical ailments. Hippocrates and Confucius were said to be familiar the healing properties of these extracts.
Interest in the natural healing power of bee venom and bee products in general seems to be enjoying a comeback as modern practitioners turn to these remedies to alleviate a range of symptoms from skin conditions, scar tissue, depression, chronic pain, inflammation and arthritis to autoimmune diseases and even cancer.
Many people may already be familiar with at least some of the bee concoctions mentioned and purchase them as a natural alternative to standard synthesized drugs or products. However, the use of bee venom as a remedy is not widely known.
Only honey bees are used in bee venom therapy. Their tiny stingers deliver approximately 0.3 ml of toxin. There are numerous active ingredients with pharmaceutical properties in this potent cocktail, including an anti-inflammatory agent called ‘mellitin’ that is 100 times stronger than the cortisone used in conventional medicine.
Another anti-inflammatory known as ‘adolapin’ is said to be an effective pain-blocking medication. Formic acid – also found in ant venom and the stinging nettle plant – is considered a curative for arthritis. Approximately 40 biologically active chemical components have been detected and these act together as a natural boost to our immune system.
Stings are applied much like acupuncture needles, targeting the various pressure points in the body or injured areas. Those who choose to try this form of therapy may opt to have the venom delivered by a needle injection rather than directly via a bee sting. The administered venom triggers an immune response from the body…