Sunday, December 31, 2006

Bee Venom May be Useful in Treating Neurodegenerative Diseases

Effect of Honey Bee Venom on Microglial Cells Nitric Oxide and Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha Production Stimulated by LPS
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2006 Nov 15

Abnormal activation of microglial cells has been implicated in various neurodegenerative diseases. Results showed that venom (KBV) produced and purified in Korea regulated lipopolysaccharides (LPS)-induced nitric oxide (NO) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) in the murine microglia, BV-2 cell line…

These results suggest that KBV has anti-inflammatory properties that inhibit iNOS and TNF-alpha expression. KBV could be useful in inhibiting the production of inflammatory cytokine and NO production in neurodegenerative diseases. Further studies on the pharmacological aspects of the individual components of KBV are recommended.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

New Anti-Fungal Product Uses Manuka Honey Introduces Anti-Fungal Solution with Manuka Honey for Fungal Nail Infections

(PRLEAP.COM) LONG ISLAND, NY - December 27, 2006

Honeymark has announced the introduction of an Anti-Fungal Solution that can be used for remedying skin and nail fungus conditions. Fungal infections are caused by microscopic organisms that can live on the dead tissues of the hair, nails, and outer skin layers. Fungus can exist in the nail bed beneath the nail and can be very difficult to eradicate…

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Apitherapy is the ‘Original Medicine’

Ways to Bee Healthy
By Laura Thomas, The San Francisco Chronicle (USA), 12/27/2006

Katia Vincent, who was a little skeptical at first, opened Beekind in Sebastopol two years ago, along with her husband, and now offers classes, beekeeping supplies, candles and other items derived from enterprising bees.

Products from raw honey to bee venom to the resin called propolis, to beeswax, pollen and bee jelly, are believed to be extremely useful in staying healthy.

"It's the original medicine," said Priscilla Coe of Sonoma, a frequent customer who practices apitherapy, the use of bee products for healing…

A popular item is the lotion bar made of beeswax and scented with essential oils (shown at right; $6 to $10, with lavender honey in jar). "You just roll it down your arm and you'll just go, 'Ooh,' " she said…

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Propolis Components Have Cytotoxic Effect on Cancer Cells

Apoptosis of Human Melanoma Cells Induced by the Novel Compounds Propolin A and Propolin B from Taiwenese Propolis
Cancer Letters, Volume 245, Issues 1-2 , 8 January 2007, Pages 218-231

Abstract: We recently demonstrated that two new prenylflavanones, propolin A and propolin B, isolated and characterized from Taiwanese propolis, induced cytotoxicity effect in human melanoma A2058 cells and shows a strong capability to scavenge free radicals. In this study, propolin A effectively induced a cytotoxic effect on five different cancer cell lines. Similar results were obtained for propolin B…

All these results indicated that propolin A and propolin B may trigger apoptosis of A2058 cells through mitochondria-dependent pathways and also shown that propolin A and propolin B were strong antioxidants.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Is More ‘Active’ Manuka Honey Worth the Money?

By Jane Clarke, Daily Mail (UK), 12/26/2006

Jane Clarke's books are read by millions and she acted as adviser to Jamie Oliver on his School Dinners programme. As well as being an advocate of healthy eating, she passionately believes that many of our illnesses can be treated through our diet. In Good Health every Tuesday, she answers your questions…

Q: I have been taking manuka honey for some time and notice there are several different types. I'd like to know what the active enzymes are, and what they do in those that state +5 or +10 activity, as opposed to the ordinary honey. They are quite a lot more expensive. Are they worth the extra money? Gillian Hynd, by e-mail.

A: Manuka honey is made by bees from the pollen of the manuka bush, which grows wild in New Zealand. I'm a big fan, and although it has a slightly medicinal flavour, I like it on buttered bread, or with yoghurt. It's best not to heat the honey, as this reduces its medicinal effectiveness.

Manuka honey is famous for its antibacterial properties, so it's great for preventing or recovering from a range of illnesses including the common cold.

In clinical trials it has been found to reduce inflammation and scarring. It's been used successfully to treat digestive problems, from diarrhoea and indigestion to stomach ulcers and gastroenteritis.

The honey's healing properties appear to be due to the presence of the enzyme glucose oxidase, which produces hydrogen peroxide -- an antiseptic -- and its high sugar concentration, which inhibits bacterial growth.

Manuka honey, unlike others, has been given its own classification, the unique manuka factor (UMF). Strengths range from UMF 5, believed to be equivalent to a 5 per cent solution of a standard antiseptic, to UMF 20, equivalent to a 20 per cent solution.

Different strengths are recommended for treating different conditions and, as you say, the price for the different strengths varies. I do think it's worth paying the extra for the uniqueness of manuka honey.

Manuka honeys below UMF 10 are recommended for maintaining general health and good digestion -- and this is the strength I take when I'm feeling run down. I tend to recommend UMF 10 to UMF 15 for indigestion, heartburn and diarrhoea, and I reserve UMF 20 for treating gastroenteritis and stomach ulcers.

One thing to be aware of, though, is that some patients taking the honey for a stomach problem such as indigestion or an ulcer find they initially feel a little uncomfortable gut-wise, but this improves with time…

Monday, December 25, 2006

Vietnamese Newspaper Publishes Article on Apitherapy

Sweet Medicines
Saigon Times Weekly (Vietnam), 12/23/2006

Honey, royal jelly, apitoxin, bee glue and pollen are all forms of medicine

Honey: Is a very precious substance that has been used for a long time in both Oriental and Western medicine. A vase, more than 3,000 years old and containing bee honey, has been found in a pyramid in Egypt; the honey is still delicious after such a long time.

Clinical studies show that the health of tuberculosis patients who drink 100-150 grams of honey daily improves continuously. Bee honey can relieve pain and ulcers. It can kill Helicobacter pylori, the bacterium that causes stomach inflammation and ulcers. It can also kill other bacteria that cause dysentery and typhoid fever. You can apply bee honey directly to treat boils, mouth and tongue inflammation, external wounds and ulcers.

Bee honey is a good tranquilizer that can help relieve headaches. It is also a cough and sore throat reliever. However, drinking more than 150g of bee honey in a single day may cause diarrhea.

Royal jelly: Is a special food for larvae that will develop into queen bees, so it is very nutritious. Clinical studies show that royal jelly is good for eye injuries. It is processed into pills for asthenia patients, old people, malnourished children and postnatal women. A normal dose is 60-90mg for adults and 15mg for children.

Apitoxin: Is prepared into gel for external use to treat muscular, body, nervous and spinal pain.

Bee glue: Is produced by worker bees to build beehives. Bee glue is proven to be a strong antibiotic, which is used to treat mouth, gum and ear inflammations. It is used to treat certain external diseases as it can stop itches. It is also used as an aerosol to treat respiratory inflammations. Bee glue stimulates tissue reproduction, thus boosting wound healing.

Pollen: Is brought to beehives by worker bees. It is used as a tonic to strengthen the immune system and treat malnutrition.

(This article, by Prof. Doan Thi Nhu, is adapted and translated from the Vietnamese original in Suc Khoe & Doi Song magazine issue No. 409, November 2006)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Brazilian Green Propolis Video Documentary

Watch the Video

Beeswax Candles Produce Negative Ions 'Which Cleans the Air’

Candle-Making Nuns Know Their Beeswax
By Diane Wright, Seattle Times (USA), 12/21/2006

On a chilly December afternoon, a vat of molten beeswax heated inside a water-jacketed tank, smelling slightly of honey, while candles stood on trays ready to be packed in boxes.

In the next room, there was a stock of work from more than 60 vendors: candles, raw and creamed honey, holiday plates, lanterns, Christmas ornaments, Egyptian alabaster jars, carved wooden toys from Russia and tapes and CDs of carols.

Orthodox Christian nuns from The Convent of the Meeting of the Lord make a living here at Quiet Light Candles near Stanwood…

Their foray into commerce came in a roundabout way, when a lavender farm asked if they would want to manufacture lavender-scented paraffin candles.

It almost killed them — breathing toxins from the paraffin, a petroleum product, combined with the anesthetizing agents in the lavender was like breathing diesel exhaust, one doctor told them.

They quickly halted production — but they had all that equipment.

What to do?

They turned to bees.

"We only make beeswax candles," said Mother Evdokia, "and the reason being is that beeswax is a natural product. And it's made by the bees, and 60 pounds of honey are produced for one pound of beeswax. It's just the 'jar' in which the bees stored the honey. In olden times, it was reserved for royalty, and you could pay your church dues in beeswax."…

"The neat thing about beeswax, which we didn't know before we actually started all this, is that beeswax produces negative ions when it burns, which cleans the air," said Mother Evdokia.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Bee Pollen Retains Allergenic Potential

Bee Pollen Sensitivity in Airborne Pollen Allergic Individuals
Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 2006 Nov;97(5):703-6

Background: Physicians who practice alternative medicine often prescribe bee pollen as a food supplement and a treatment for various ailments.

Objectives: To determine the qualitative and quantitative composition of bee pollen and to investigate the cutaneous reactivity of atopic patients to bee pollen extracts…

Conclusions: Bee pollen contains a large amount of pollen, which belongs to various allergenic families of plants. Bee pollen retains its allergenic potential as demonstrated by strong cutaneous responses to bee pollen extracts observed in atopic patients in contrast to nonatopic subjects. Regarding pollen allergic individuals, further studies are needed to evaluate the safety of ingesting large amounts of bee pollen.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Chinese Royal Jelly Returned Due to Contamination

Chinese Royal Jelly Returned by Foreign Importers
SinoCast China Business Daily News, 12/20/2006

BEIJING, December 20, SinoCast -- Two Chinese royal jelly exporters recently suffered from merchandise returns because of being tested to contain over than standard amount of chloramphenicol, by Japan and Norway's customs respectively, according to China Chamber of Commerce of Medicines & Health Products Importers & Exporters (CMMHP).

The case proves again foreign countries' rigorous requirements on antibiotic residue standards in imported royal jelly products, said a director with CMMHP…

However, on the other hand, it is not easy to solve the problem of the medicine residue in bee products in a short time, said a person with China's bee products association, because the country has numerous beekeepers, and using antibiotic has been a common way to ensure bees' health during bee keeping, if putting aside other factors like environmental pollution.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Propolis Effect Related to Time, Gender

In Vivo Study of Propolis Supplementation Effects on Antioxidative Status and Red Blood Cells
Journal of Ethnopharmacoly, 2006 Nov 17

In vivo study has been conducted on 47 healthy women and men in order to investigate whether daily intake of powdered propolis extract during 30 days has any influence on the following blood parameters: activity of superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and catalase, concentration of plasma malondialdehyde, total cholesterol, low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, uric acid, ferritin and transferrin, together with routine red blood cell parameters. The effect of daily propolis intake seems to be time and gender related…

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Honey Prevents Inflammation, Accelerates Urethral Healing

Intraurethral Honey Application for Urethral Injury: An Experimental Study
International Urology and Nephrology, 2006 Dec 14

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of honey applied intraurethrally after urethral injury on histopathological healing…

Conclusions: Intraurethral honey, applied after urethral injury, prevents inflammation, accelerates urethral healing and provides perfect healing.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Study: Propolis Decreases Heart Mitochondrial Respiration Rate

Findings in Cardiology Reported from Lithuania and France
Cardiovascular Week, 12/18/2006

Researchers in Lithuania report, "The effect of propolis water solution (PWS) on the respiration of rat heart mitochondria with NAD-linked (pyruvate + malate), FAD-linked (succinate) substrates and fatty acids (palmitoyl-L-carnitine) was investigated in this study."

"PWS at the lowest concentration of 4 mcg mL-1 of phenolic compounds (PC) had no effect on mitochondrial respiration with all investigated substrates," wrote D. Majiene and colleagues at Kaunas University of Medicine…

"The PWS-caused decrease in the mitochondrial respiration rate with pyruvate + malate and fatty acids could be due to diminished activities of respiratory chain complexes and/or ADP/ATP translocator," the authors concluded.

Majiene and colleagues published their study in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology (Influence of propolis water solution on heart mitochondrial function. J Pharm Pharmacol, 2006;58(5):709-713).

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Apitherapy Conference March 24-27 in Germany

The 5th German Apitherapy and Apipuncture Congress, Expo and Workshop with International Participation, Passau, Germany, March 24-27, 2007

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Canadians Warned About Possible Chloramphenicol Contamination of Ukrainian Honey

Imported Honey Bearing a Label in Ukrainian Only May Contain Chloramphenicol
Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 12/14/2006

OTTAWA, December 14, 2006 - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning people not to consume the honey products described below because they may be contaminated with chloramphenicol…

These honey products are from Ukraine and have been distributed in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta. The importer is voluntarily recalling the affected products from the marketplace.

The presence of chloramphenicol in honey poses a risk (although small) of a serious blood disorder known as aplastic anaemia. Chloramphenicol is an antibiotic drug which is not permitted for use in Canada in food producing animals, including bees. There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products…

Friday, December 15, 2006

Bee Venom Therapy May Help Treat Arthritis

Study Data from Sungkyunkwan University Provide New Insights into Arthritis
Drug Week, 12/15/2006

According to recent research published in the journal Toxicology In Vitro, "The effect of bee venom acupuncture (BVA) (api-toxin) on the development of type II collagen (CII)-induced arthritis (CIA) in rats has been studied. We have compared the levels of activity of a comprehensive range of cytoplasmic, lysosomal and matrix protease types, together with the levels of free radical-induced protein damage (determined as protein carbonyl derivative) in synovial fluid from CIA-treated, BVA-treated and normal rats."

"Many protease types showed significantly increased activity in CIA compared with normal rats. BVA (5 and 10 microl/100g) significantly reduced these enzyme activities by some 80% each, but levels of plasma proteases activity (including those enzyme types putatively involved in the immune response, such as dipeptidyl aminopeptidase IV and proline endopeptidase) in CIA, BVA (5 microl/100g)-treated and normal plasma samples were not significantly different. The level of free radical induced damage to synovial fluid proteins was approximately three-fold higher in CIA compared with normal rats.

However, BVA (5 microl/100g) significantly decreased the level of reactive oxygen free radical species (ROS) induced oxidative damage to synovial fluid proteins. It was concluded that activation of proteolytic enzymes and free radicals are likely to be of equal potential importance as protein damaging agents in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and the development of novel therapeutic strategies for the latter disorder should include both protease inhibitory and free radical scavenging elements…

The researchers concluded: "BVA is considered to be an effective RA modulator, inhibiting protease activities and removing ROS."

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Honey May Relieve Postoperative Pain

Numune Education and Research Hospital Details Research in Post Operative Pain
Drug Week, 12/15/2006

A new study, "Can postoperative pains following tonsillectomy be relieved by honey? A prospective, randomized, placebo controlled preliminary study," is now available. In this recent article published in the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, scientists in Ankara, Turkey conducted a study "To compare the effectiveness of acetaminophen versus acetaminophen-plus-honey following pediatric tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. Prospective, randomized, and placebo controlled clinical trial."

"Tertiary care facility in Ankara, Turkey. Sixty consecutive tonsillectomy patients randomized to two groups. The acetaminophen group was treated with antibiotics (amoxicillin-clavulonic acid), acetaminophen and placebo, acetaminophen-plus-honey group was treated with antibiotics (amoxicillin-clavulonic acid), acetaminophen, and honey…

The difference between acetaminophen and acetaminophen-plus-honey groups was statistically significant both in terms of VAS and number of painkillers taken within the first 2 postoperative days (p <0.001)…

“Oral administration of honey following pediatric tonsillectomy may relieve postoperative pain and may decrease the need for analgesics," wrote S. Ozlugedik and colleagues, Numune Education and Research Hospital.

The researchers concluded: "Prospective, randomized, and double-blind studies should further be conducted in order to confirm the data obtained in this study and develop a standard protocol to achieve maximum clinical efficiency."

Ozlugedik and colleagues published their study in International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology (Can postoperative pains following tonsillectomy be relieved by honey? A prospective, randomized, placebo controlled preliminary study. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 2006;70(11):1929-34).

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Humble Honeybee May Hold a Key to Health

By Kelly Bothum, The News Journal (USA) 12/12/2006

Stuart Swinger starts most mornings the same way -- with a glass of water mixed with lemon and raw honey. He says it cleanses his system and energizes him. Sometimes he follows up with a teaspoon of fresh bee pollen he keeps in the refrigerator. Bolstered by these natural ingredients, he's ready for the day…

The use of bee-related products for health and medicinal purposes is called apitherapy. Although there is little scientific data to back the claims, many people swear by them.

Products made from bees or taken from their hives have long been touted as having healing and anti-inflammatory properties. Scholars have found ancient texts, including works by Greek poet Hesiod and playwright Aristophanes, about cultivating beehives. Hippocrates, considered the father of Western medicine, reportedly used bee venom for pain.

More recently, bee products have garnered notice as people search out natural ways to boost energy, improve memory and even increase fertility. The products include propolis, a glue-like substance that coats the inside of the beehive and has been suggested to have antiseptic qualities; raw honey, noted for its ability to fight off germs and bacteria; and bee-collected pollen, praised for being a nutritional powerhouse and energy source…

Swinger stocks bee products including propolis, royal jelly, beeswax candles and raw honey. Some, such as fresh bee pollen and royal jelly, are kept refrigerated. He said customers look for propolis to improve their immune systems, fight off a sore throat or cold, or even quash their acne. Others want royal jelly because of its purported anti-aging and fertility properties. Still others find bee pollen improves their allergies…

Dr. Michael Gurevich, who describes himself as a holistically minded psychiatrist, has treated about 50 patients with injections of small amounts of bee venom. The patients, who suffered chronic back and knee pain, reported a reduction in the amount of pain they were experiencing…

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Arthritis Sufferers Turn To Bee Stings

By Zoe Fraley, The Bellingham Herald (USA), 12/10/2006

Bellingham - Sons show their mothers love in many ways: some with phone calls or flowers or help around the house. Israel Hidalgo stings his mother with bees.

His mother, Analilia Hidalgo, 54, began treatment for rheumatoid arthritis more than six years ago, and with it came an avalanche of health problems, and the medication she received caused more pain than the disease it was treating…

After about two years of traditional treatments and seemingly endless complications, Hidalgo happened upon a Discovery Channel special that would give his mother new life: it featured a segment on bee sting therapy. He researched the treatment on the Internet and ordered a book by the woman featured on the special. "That triggered my curiosity," he says.

Bee sting therapy, or apitherapy, is the process of using bee venom, either from live bees or an injectable synthetic form, to treat a variety of ailments. Though little scientific data is available about the therapy, it has been used as an alternative treatment for diseases such as multiple sclerosis, cancer and arthritis…

For Analilia Hidalgo, however, four years of bee stings have absolutely been worth it, no matter what doctors or friends think.

"Some people, when they hear about my treatment, they are scared," she says. "For me, they are my friends and they are my medicine. I love my bees."

Monday, December 11, 2006

Propolis an Effective Immune Stimulator

Chinese Herbal Ingredients are Effective Immune Stimulators for Chickens Infected with the Newcastle Disease Virus
Poultry Science, 2006 Dec;85(12):2169-75

This study was conducted to determine the efficacy of 4 Chinese herbal ingredients (CHI) as immune stimulators for an active vaccine in chickens using both in vitro and in vivo assays. The CHI used were Astragalus polysaccharide (APS), Isatis root polysaccharide (IRPS), Propolis polysaccharide, and Epimedium flavone at various concentrations…

For all CHI, a beneficial effect on the Ab production was observed on d 21 after the initiation of the vaccination. On the basis of the in vivo doses used, Propolis polysaccharide and Epimedium flavone were more potent than APS and IRPS in promoting the humoral immune response in the young birds (P < 0.05). Collectively, these findings suggest that appropriate doses of CHI can be used as novel, effective immune stimulators for chickens.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Royal Jelly has Protective Effect Against Mycotoxins

Efficacy of Royal Jelly Against Fumonisin-Induced Oxidative Stress in Rats
Toxicology Letters, Volume 164, Supplement 1 , 20 September 2006, Pages S229-S230
Abstracts of the EUROTOX 2006/6 CTDC Congress - 43rd Congress of the European Societies of Toxicology & 6th Congress of Toxicology in Developing Countries

It was found that royal jelly had a protective effect against fumonisin toxicity and that this effect was dose dependent.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Study: Honey Helps Reduce Perception of Pain

Antinociceptive Activity of Natural Honey in Thermal-Nociception Models in Mice
Phytotherapy Research, 7 Dec 2006

Abstract: Several honey samples of Pakistani origin have been analysed for their effect on nociception. Among the tested samples, Acacia honey showed most effective dose-dependent antinociceptive activity which was significantly different from the untreated group in tail-flick and paw-withdrawal tests (p < 0.01 and p < 0.003), respectively… The absence of antinociceptive activity in simulated honey (which contained fructose, glucose, maltose and sucrose representing the major constituents of honey) indicated that the active principle(s) might be present in minor constituents of honey.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Propolis Anti-Oxidant Properties Mapped By Geographical Origin

Application of Principal Components Analysis to 1H-NMR Data Obtained from Propolis Samples of Different Geographical Origin
Phytochemical Analysis, 17: 323–331 (2006)

Abstract: Propolis is a widely used natural remedy and a range of biological activities have been attributed to it. The chemical composition of propolis is highly variable and its quality is often controlled on the basis of one or two marker compounds. In order to progress towards a method for the quality control of this complex material, HPLC and 1H-NMR approaches as methods of quality control have been compared. HPLC analyses of 43 samples of propolis were carried out and six marker compounds were quantified in each sample...

It was found that the chemical composition of propolis mapped well according to the geographical origins of the samples studied when the first three principal components were used to display them. In addition, each sample was assessed for anti-oxidant activity, and the results were then overlaid onto the sample groupings according to 1H-NMR data. It was observed that anti-oxidant properties also mapped quite well according to geographical origin.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Popularity of Medicinal Honey Offers Economic Benefits in New Zealand

Honey Researcher Says Increasing Competition for Manuka Honey
Radio New Zealand, 12/7/2006

[Photo courtesy of Airborne Honey Ltd.]

New Zealand's leading honey researcher says increasing pressure on manuka honey supplies could mean marginal and erosion-prone farmland is converted to plantations.

The comment follows an announcement from natural healthcare company Comvita that it has entered into an agreement with the commercial arm of Waikato University for several new manuka honey patents.

The company says it has also secured exclusive intellectual property rights for future product development for processing, extracting and applying manuka honey's active compound in the wound care and skin care fields…

Peter Molan, director of the honey research unit at Waikato University, says there is a growing international market for manuka honey's active compound - and that is increasing competition among beekeepers to gain access to stands of the native tree.

Professor Molan says there is a lot of interest in farming manuka - and a growing number of landowners are realising the economic benefits of trees they would previously have cleared as a weed.

He says that could also have positive spinoffs for erosion-prone hill country farms…

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

New Zealand Apitherapy Firm Buys Manuka Honey Patents

Comvita in Honey Deal with Waikato University
New Zealand Herald, 12/6/2006

Health products company Comvita has reached a deal worth up to $4 million with Waikato University for patents and intellectual property rights associated with manuka honey.

Comvita said today it had entered an agreement with WaikatoLink, the commercial arm of the University of Waikato, for new patents connected with the antibacterial and other properties of manuka honey.

The company had also secured exclusive intellectual property rights for future product development related to the processing, extraction and application of manuka honey's active compound for use in the wound care and skin care fields.

Comvita chief executive Brett Hewlett said the technology would allow precise control over the delivery of the therapeutic components in manuka honey, significantly building on the existing proprietary patents Comvita had in the wound care category.

Comvita's current patents covered the application of manuka honey in technically advanced wound dressings.

"These new patents are related to the extraction and isolation of the actual active component, as well as additional wound gel patents," Mr Hewlett said…

New Eczema Creme Uses Manuka Honey

Honeymark Products Launches New Natural Eczema Creme with Manuka Honey
Honeymark International, 12/4/2006

Honeymark International announced the release of their new product, Eczema Creme, containing Active Manuka Honey. Eczema is a very common inflammatory disease of the skin. Statistics indicate that Eczema affects about 20% of the general population. Eczema causes the skin to become red, dry, scaly and itchy. There is scientific evidence that Manuka Honey is effective in eliminating inflammation, itching and bacteria causing infection. Manuka Honey has been considered a remedy for many health conditions since ancient times. Manuka Honey is unique to New Zealand and contains non-peroxide antibacterial agents which can inhibit the growth of certain bacteria that cause slow healing wounds such as eczema and burns.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Yemeni Honey ‘Particularly Effective at Healing Wounds’

Honey Treats Most Diseases in Yemen
By Fares Anam, Yemen Observer, 12/5/2006

Ulcers in his stomach used to cause Abdul-Hakim Abdo, 35, of Taiz terrible pain. He tried all kinds of drugs, but none of them seemed to help, But then he tried drinking honey, and he felt “so relaxed, and the pain was gone,” said Abdo. Abdo is far from the first to discover the medicinal properties of honey. Scores of medical studies have found that honey can help heal ulcers in the stomach and on the skin. It has also been found to ease diarrhea, insomnia, sunburn, and sore throats.

Singers have long used honey to soothe their vocal chords. Dieters use it instead of sugar because it satisfies their sweet tooth and keeps them full longer. Even the Quran lauds the salubrious effects of honey. “And thy Lord taught the bee to build its cells in hills, on trees, and in (men’s) habitations; There issues from within their bodies a drink of varying colors, wherein is healing for men,” says the passage, written 1,400 years ago…

Honey holds particular promise for Yemen, which boasts some of the world’s best honey. Abdullah Yareem, a researcher in Yemeni honey and herbs, said that Yemen’s geographic diversity and wealth of plants make Yemeni honey particularly effective at healing wounds. Yet not enough scientific research has been done on the potentials of Yemeni honey, which could offer multitudinous benefits.

But anecdotal evidence suggests that Yemeni honey has unique healing properties, particularly for wounds that have resisted treatment, said Yareem. “We find the patients both in Yemen and outside Yemen describe Yemeni honey as a beneficial remedy. It can cure skin disease that defeat modern medicine.”…

Monday, December 04, 2006

UK Nursing Magazine Outlines Evidence for Use of Honey in Wound Care

Honey Dressings in Wound Care
Nursing Times (UK), 2006 May 30-Jun 5;102(22):40-2

Irene Anderson outlines the evidence that is available to support the use of honey in wound care and provides practical points for clinical practice

Bees collect sugar solutions from plants and concentrate the solutions by allowing water to evaporate. The bees also add enzymes, one of which converts sucrose into glucose and fructose and another which converts some glucose into gluconic acid, so making the pH of honey too acidic for microbes to grow in it. This reaction also produces hydrogen peroxide (Molan, 2005). The type of honey from Leptospermum plant species (such as manuka) is known to have a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity (Molan and Betts, 2004). A range of presentations of honey is available with a CE mark; some are available on the Drug Tariff. Indications and contraindications for using honey are listed in Boxes 1 and 2...

Antimicrobial effect

Honey is known to have a broad-spectrum antibacterial and antifungal effect. There are a number of reasons for this:

- Its osmotic effect: The high concentration of sugars draws water away from the organisms, so dehydrating them and causing cell death;

- Its acidity: this inhibits the growth of organisms;

- The action of hydrogen peroxide: this inhibits bacterial growth;

- The action of phytochemicals (plant chemicals), known as non-peroxide antibacterial factors (Cooper, 2005).

The antimicrobial effects of honey can vary. According to Molan and Betts (2004), honeys with median levels of hydrogen peroxide and manuka honey with median phytochemical levels are equally effective against bacteria, although it would appear that manuka has a greater effect on enterococci species.

Although hydrogen peroxide is present in honey, it is activated only when the honey is diluted. The level of hydrogen peroxide in honey is less than that in solutions used in the past as a wound cleansing solution. These solutions were found to have an adverse effect on healthy tissues and have been replaced by more effective and safer materials...

Anti-inflammatory effect

Honey is known to have anti-inflammatory properties and case studies have demonstrated its usefulness on non-healing wounds (Dunford, 2005; 2000). A laboratory study on the effect of honey on cells implicated in prolonged inflammation demonstrated that the honey was able to modulate the activity of monocytes to release growth factors and anti-inflammatory agents (Tonks et al, 2003), although how this is achieved is not yet understood.


Molan (2005) reports that pain associated with using honey may possibly be due to the acidity and/or the organic chemicals in it. In some instances, the pain or discomfort has been transitory (Dunford and Hanano, 2004). Interestingly, Molan (2005) reports that the incidence of pain may be particularly evident when wounds are inflamed, which should be borne in mind when considering the evidence for using honey in infected and acutely inflamed wounds. There are reports that honey has relieved wound pain, especially in a comparative study with saline-soaked gauze, and in comparison with a hydrocolloid (Misirlioglu et al, 2003).


There are a limited number of randomised controlled trials involving the use of honey in wound care. Subrahmanyam compared honey with polyurethane film (1993), boiled potato skins (1996), and silver sulfadiazine (1998). It is not clear from the studies how wound healing was measured objectively, and there are few details in them about the control of wound types, size, and wound bed presentation. In one study, for instance, the use of honey was compared to using a polyurethane film dressing in the management of partial-thickness burns (Subrahmanyam, 1993). The healing time for those in the honey group was faster than for those who had the film dressing, but the film dressing appears to have been left on for up to eight days and it was changed only if leaking occurred. This is not in accordance with product instructions and does not take into account the higher exudate levels experienced in the early stages of acute burns (the treatment was begun within six hours of wounding)...


The above examples on the use of honey in wound care indicate that there is a growing collection of case study evidence on its usefulness (Van der Weyden, 2005; Dunford 2005, 2000; Kingsley, 2001), although some case studies demonstrate a more limited usefulness for specific treatment objectives (Kingsley, 2001).

Laboratory studies have demonstrated the mode of action of honey, especially in relation to the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects of its hydrogen- and non-hydrogen peroxide components (Moore et al, 2001). What is missing is robust evidence of the use of honey compared to modern wound care products that also exert antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects.


Box 1: Indications for Using Honey in Wound Care

* Acute and chronic wounds
* Non-healing wounds
* Wounds colonised with MRSA (local protocols must be adhered to where appropriate)
* Infected wounds (as long as appropriate management of the infection is also in place)
* Wounds that need debridement (see contraindications)
* Wounds that are moderately wet
* Painful wounds (see contraindications)
* Malodorous wounds
* Red, excoriated skin

Box 2: Contraindications for Using Honey in Wound Care

* Honey that is not indicated for use in wounds
* People sensitive to bee stings
* Dry, necrotic wounds (honey may cause further drying)
* Acute pain and inflammation (pain may increase for some people, therefore be prepared to reassess the patient and to select a different dressing)
* When the dressing cannot be changed within the specified time


Table 1: Examples of Treatment Outcomes of Honey Use and the Assessment Required for Their Measurement

Positive anti-inflammatory effect
As it is known that honey has an anti-inflammatory effect, has there been a reduction in redness and swelling? Are there signs of positive changes in the condition of the wound?

Positive anti-microbial effect
Has the infection resolved? (Appropriate action should have been taken to treat clinical infection in addition to applying the honey dressing.) Have there been fewer episodes of clinical infection for this patient since the treatment was started?

Reduction in pain
Has the pain increased or reduced? Has any pain been a transient experience that the patient is willing to cope with or have the honey dressings been discontinued?...


Using Honey Dressings: The Practical Considerations
Nursing Times, VOL 96, NO 36, 07 Dec 2000

Dressing the wound
The literature contains little on the methods used to dress wounds with honey, and where details are provided it is apparent that techniques vary widely. The following advice is based on clinical experience gained at the Honey Research Unit and that of associates working in the field.

Amount of honey
The amount of honey needed to treat a wound depends on the amount of exudate, because the beneficial effects are reduced or lost if small amounts of honey are diluted by large amounts of exudate. The deeper the infection, the more honey will be needed to achieve an effective level of antibacterial activity diffusing deep into the wound tissues. Typically, 20ml of honey (25-30g) should be used on a 10cm-square dressing.

Frequency of dressing changes
This depends on how rapidly the honey is diluted by exudate. Dressings are usually changed once a day, but with heavily exuding or infected wounds they may initially need to be changed up to three times a day...

Dressing application
Honey is runny and sticky, which can make it a difficult medium to handle, but this can be overcome by soaking it into an absorbent wound-contact material, such as gauze and cotton tissue. Wound-contact materials that have been preimpregnated with honey are the most convenient way to apply it to surface wounds. Preimpregnated pads, which use honey with a standardised level of antibacterial activity that has been sterilised by gamma irradiation, are available commercially in New Zealand...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Application of Manuka Honey Improved MRSA-Contaminated Ulcers

Topical Manuka Honey for MRSA Contaminated Skin Ulcers
Palliative Medicine, Vol. 20, No. 5, 557 (2006)

(Photo courtesy of Airborne Honey Ltd.)

This paper reports on three hospice patients for whom topical manuka honey (MH), applied daily, improved ulcers contaminated with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

A 59-year-old male with prostate cancer and multiple sclerosis bought a new wheelchair without a proper fitting session. He developed a painful ulcer on his right buttock, measuring 10x5 cm. It contained hard dead tissue, contaminated with MRSA and anaerobes.

Proprietary MH dressings failed to induce healing. MH was applied directly to the ulcer, with visible improvement after four days. At 10 days, it desloughed to reveal a granulating cavity 12 cm deep. This was packed daily with gauze soaked in MH. Wound swabs were negative for MRSA and other pathogens 15 days after starting topical MH, and a full MRSA screen was negative. With continued MH application, the ulcer healed to a depth of 4 cm. This was discontinued in the community shortly after hospice discharge. The healing subsequently deteriorated and the ulcer became colonized by Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The patient became progressively debilitated and died five months later.

A 65-year-old male became paraplegic despite spinal decompressions, spinal stabilization, strontium therapy, palliative chemotherapy and palliative radiotherapy for cord compression from a prostate cancer. He took lifelong amoxicillin for chronic osteomyelitis and developed a sacral ulcer, contaminated with MRSA and covered by a thick crust of dead tissue. The diameter grew to 6 cm despite the use of proprietary MH dressings. The crust shed within 48 hours of applying MH, revealing healthy granulation tissue. A repeat swab 10 days later was MRSA-negative. The ulcer continued healing until his death from carcinomatosis 18 days later.

An 86-year-old male with peripheral vascular disease and peripheral neuropathy suffered years of painful MRSA-contaminated leg ulcers. The malodorous exudates rapidly drenched his dressings and clothing, socially isolating him. The malodour disappeared within 48 hours of topical MH application, and exudates reduced by two-thirds. Swabs remained MRSA-positive at seven and 17 days. Pain diminished but ulcer sizes did not. A full-body MRSA screen was positive at all sites. He declined MRSA eradication therapy, but had sustained symptomatic benefit from topical MH until he died in his sleep 43 days after starting topical MH therapy.

Strong sugar solutions can heal cavity wounds, but Staphylococci are more resistant to their bactericidal properties than other bacteria. Honey is bactericidal at much lower sugar concentrations, largely due to low levels of hydrogen peroxide produced by glucose oxidase. Catalase removes this and strips most honeys of their anti-bacterial properties. MH is one of the exceptions, perhaps due to trace levels of flavanoids and non-aromatic organic acids derived from manuka flowers.

Pollinating insects are microbial vectors. The primary evolutionary purpose of nectar might have been the protection of plant reproductive organs rather than the attraction of insects. Bees enhance these anti-microbial properties in honey by adding glucose oxidase.

In contrast to man-made antibiotics, honey has confounded bacterial resistance for millions of years. Perhaps we should consider its wider use in medicine.

John Chambers,
Macmillan Consultant and Medical Director,
Katharine House Hospice,
East End, Adderbury,
Oxon, OX17 3NL, UK

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Propolis Component May Prevent Colon Cancer

Administration of Artepillin C May Prevent Colon Cancer
Medical Patent Week, 12/10/2006

According to a study from Japan, "Potential chemopreventive agents exist in foods.

Artepillin C in Brazilian propolis was investigated for its effects on colon carcinogenesis."

"We had found that artepillin C was a bioavailable antioxidant, which could be incorporated into intestinal Caco-2 and hepatic HepG2 cells without any conjugation and inhibited the oxidation of intracellular DNA. Artepillin C was then added to human colon cancer WiDr cells. It dose-dependently inhibited cell growth, inducing G(0)/G(1) arrest…

The researchers concluded, "Artepillin C appears to prevent colon cancer through the induction of cell-cycle arrest by stimulating the expression of Cip1/p21 and to be a useful chemopreventing factor in colon carcinogenesis."

Shimizu and colleagues published the results of their research in Molecular Carcinogenesis (Artepillin C in Brazilian propolis induces G(0)/G(1) arrest via stimulation of Cip1/p21 expression in human colon cancer cells. Mol Carcinog, 2005;44(4):293-299).

Friday, December 01, 2006

Honey May Help Treat Dry Eye Diseases

Effect of Antibacterial Honey on the Ocular Flora in Tear Deficiency and Meibomian Gland Disease
Cornea, 2006 Oct;25(9):1012-1019

PURPOSE: To assess for differences in the ocular flora of patients with dry eye caused by tear deficiency and/or meibomian gland disease and to assess the effect of antibacterial honey on the ocular flora in these forms of dry eye…

RESULTS: The total colony-forming units (CFUs) isolated from each of the dry eye subgroups before antibacterial honey use was significantly greater than the total CFU isolated from the non-dry eye group. Antibacterial honey use significantly reduced total CFUs for the eyelids and the conjunctiva of dry eye subjects from baseline at month 1 (eyelids: P = 0.0177, conjunctiva: P = 0.0022) and month 3 (eyelids: P < 0.0001, conjunctiva: P < 0.0001). At month 3, there were reductions in total CFUs for all dry eye subgroups such that the CFUs were not significantly different from those of the non-dry eye group.

CONCLUSION: From these results, there is sufficient preliminary data to warrant further study of the effects of antibacterial honey in chronic ocular surface diseases.

New Zealand Apitherapy Firm Wins Export Award

Comvita Just The Bees' Knees
By Graham Skellern, Bay of Plenty Times (New Zealand), 12/1/2006

NATURAL healthcare company Comvita has won a New Zealand export award for the third time in four years.

The Paengaroa-based business that manufactures and retails natural health products was last night named the agritechnology, life sciences and biotechnology exporter of the year at a gala dinner in Auckland…

The company's bee-based products were targeted at the premium end of the market and designed to meet the diverse requirements of Asian and Western customers.

Comvita has also introduced a new manuka honey-based product and for the first time in the last financial year its export earnings exceeded New Zealand sales…