Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Charles Mraz Credited for Interest in Bee Venom Therapy

The Sting that Soothes
By Rick Holland, MetroWest Daily News (USA), 11/21/2006

FRANKLIN -- He’s lost an exact count, but Howard Crawford has been stung "at least 1,000 times" in a beekeeping career that spans four decades.

But more than 100 of those stings have been intentional, self-administered and celebrated for the eventual relief from pain they provided.

Crawford, the owner of Akin-Back Farm on Rte. 140, became a believer in the medicinal power of honeybee venom -- known as bee venom therapy or BVT -- more than 20 years ago, when he stung himself to cure his balky right knee…

Crawford’s introduction to BVT happened more than two decades ago, when he saw the late Charles Mraz demonstrate his technique at Davco Farms in Southborough.

The father of BVT in the United States, Mraz was a Vermont beekeeper who quietly created a legion of followers to his methods, a particularly impressive feat, because so many of his disciples -- Crawford among them -- started out as skeptics…

Precisely how the bee venom works on everything from chronic arthritis to multiple sclerosis is not fully understood. Some research has concluded bee venom contains an enzyme that helps lubricate joints.

But Crawford acknowledged BVT does not work for everyone, and Mraz’s son Bill has said his father was content with a 60 percent rate of success in those he treated…

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