No Pain No Gain in Kerala’s Bee Venom Therapy
Indian Express, 8/30/2014
A bee sting is definitely not something pleasant, but one will be surprised to see people queuing up to get stung at the ‘Bee Venom Therapy Centre’ in Kalpetta, the district headquarters of Wayanad, in northern Kerala, between 10 am and 12 noon every Tuesday.
K M Sankarankutty, the head of the Bee Research and Training Institute, under the Kerala Khadi Grama Vyavasaya Board, supervises the proceedings. When you meet him, he will hand you a copy of a pamphlet titled, ‘The Miracle and Wonders of Treatment from Bee Venom’. “Certain compounds in bee venom, namely melittin and adolapin, help reduce inflammation and pain, especially in arthritis patients. Apis cerana indica is the bee species used,” says Sankarankutty.
He takes a bee out of a wooden box and places it on the knee of a patient suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Thereafter, he gives the insect a small pinch, so that it gets agitated and injects venom into the patient through the needle-like portion of the sting apparatus.
The venom is used to cure rheumatoid arthritis, nerve pain, multiple sclerosis, swollen tendons, as well as fibromyositis and enthesitis. The treatment is being offered as per the guidelines provided by the American Apitherapy Society. However, those who cannot avail of bee therapy are pregnant women and patients with hypertension, kidney and heart ailments, as well as mental disorders…