Friday, October 30, 2015
Substance from Australian bees could be used to relieve arthritis and heal wounds faster
A substance produced by Australian stingless bees could change the way wounds are treated, according to new research at a Queensland university.
University of the Sunshine Coast biomedical science PhD student Karina Hamilton has been studying a cerumen (wax-like secretion from the auditory canal) produced by the bees for three years.
She has made a breakthrough in her research with the discovery of four chemical compounds which could help with arthritis, inflammation and skin wounds.
She investigated 180 different chemical compounds within the cerumen — also called propolis — and found four compounds in particular possessed the wound-healing, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant characteristics.
What the bees produce is a product of plant resin they collect and combine with salivary secretions and beeswax.
The bees use it to line hives.
While similar research has been undertaken in Europe, Ms Hamilton said it was the first time Australian stingless bees had been studied for medicinal purposes.
"There was one compound in particular that had very interesting effects on cells that might be implicated in wound healing," Ms Hamilton said.
"It [the compound] had a number of promising effects on the proliferation of certain cell types that are related to dermal wound healing."
What that means is the extract could accelerate the healing time of human flesh wounds.
It could also help relieve arthritis symptoms and inflammation...