Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Propolis and the Immune System: A Review

Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 113, Issue 1, 15 August 2007, Pages 1-14

Abstract: Propolis has been used empirically for centuries and it was always mentioned as an immunomodulatory agent. In recent years, in vitro and in vivo assays provided new information concerning its mechanisms of action, thus a review dealing with propolis and the immune system became imperative.

This review compiles data from our laboratory as well as from other researchers, focusing on its chemical composition and botanical sources, the seasonal effect on its composition and biological properties, its immunomodulatory and antitumor properties, considering its effects on antibody production and on different cells of the immune system, involving the innate and adaptive immune response.

In vitro and in vivo assays demonstrated the modulatory action of propolis on murine peritoneal macrophages, increasing their microbicidal activity. Its stimulant action on the lytic activity of natural killer cells against tumor cells, and on antibody production was demonstrated. Propolis inhibitory effects on lymphoproliferation may be associated to its anti-inflammatory property.

In immunological assays, the best results were observed when propolis was administered over a short-term to animals. Propolis antitumor property and its anticarcinogenic and antimutagenic potential are discussed.

Since humans have used propolis for different purposes and propolis-containing products have been marketed, the knowledge of its properties with scientific basis is not only of academic interest but also of those who use propolis as well. This review opens a new perspective on the investigation of propolis biological properties, mainly with respect to the immune system.

New Biologically Active Compounds Found in Brazilian ‘Red’ Propolis

Chemical Composition and Biological Activity of a New Type of Brazilian Propolis: Red Propolis
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2007 Jun 23

Propolis has been used as a medicinal agent to treat infections and promote wound healing for centuries. The aim of the present study was to test the antimicrobial, antioxidant, and cytotoxic activities of a new type of Brazilian propolis, popularly called red propolis, as well as to analyze its chemical composition…

Our results showed that the red propolis has biologically active compounds that had never been reported in other types of Brazilian propolis.

See: Brazilian Red Propolis—Chemical Composition and Botanical Origin

Monday, July 30, 2007

Bees’ Production of Antimicrobial Compounds Linked to Sociality

Antimicrobial Defences Increase with Sociality in Bees
Biology Letters, Issue Volume 3, Number 4 / August 22, 2007, Pages 422-424

Abstract: Evidence for the antiquity and importance of microbial pathogens as selective agents is found in the proliferation of antimicrobial defences throughout the animal kingdom.

Social insects, typified by crowding and often by low genetic variation, have high probabilities of disease transmission and eusocial Hymenoptera may be particularly vulnerable because of haplodiploidy. Mechanisms they employ to reduce the risk of disease include antimicrobial secretions which are particularly important primary barriers to infection.

However, until now, whether or not there is selection for stronger antimicrobial secretions when the risk of disease increases because of sociality has not been tested. Here, we present evidence that the production of progressively stronger antimicrobial compounds was critical to the evolution of sociality in bees.

We found that increases in group size and genetic relatedness were strongly correlated with increasing antimicrobial strength. The antimicrobials of even the most primitive semi-social species were an order of magnitude stronger that those of solitary species, suggesting a point of no return, beyond which disease control was essential. Our results suggest that selection by microbial pathogens was critical to the evolution of sociality and required the production of strong, front-line antimicrobial defences.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Leukaemia Patient Says Medicinal Honey Relieved Symptoms

The New Buzz on Life Mel Honey
The Daily Mail (UK), 7/28/2007

76 year old Dr. Heime Geffen made a remarkable recovery from leukaemia, after taking 'Life Mel honey', made by bees that feast on specific medicinal herbs and other immune-boosting natural substances

The day before I telephoned Dr Heime Geffen in Canada last month, he had played nine holes of golf, taken out the rubbish and played bridge.

That's not extraordinary for many men of 76, but it was a huge event for him because in October 2006, Dr Geffen was diagnosed with acute myelocytic leukaemia after radiation therapy for another form of cancer.

His doctors had abandoned chemotherapy in February this year, because his blood counts were so low.

"I had deteriorated physically to the point where I was virtually bedridden.

"I couldn't eat, I had sores in my mouth and I felt dreadful," he says.

How this turnaround happened has mystified everyone. It's just possible, although unlikely, that it could be a spontaneous remission or a delayed reaction to chemotherapy.

The other consideration is that, from April, this former family doctor has been taking twice-daily teaspoonfuls of Life Mel honey, made by bees that feast on specific medicinal herbs and other immune-boosting natural substances. His son-in-law heard about it from an oncologist in Israel (where the honey is manufactured), who had read a promising medical report and suggested it would be worth trying.

Within a week of starting the honey regime, Dr Geffen began feeling stronger and his blood counts started to improve.

By mid-May, they were virtually normal; he was out of bed and taking short daily walks…

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Chinese Workers Brought Bee Venom Therapy to Rural US

Bradenton Herald (USA), 7/28/2007

I'm a nurse in a rural hospital. Some of the mountain folk I care for tell me that a bee sting every two years or so will significantly decrease arthritis inflammation and pain. They attribute this remedy to the Chinese who came to this area a hundred years ago to work on the railroads and in the logging industry.

"Apitherapy," or bee-venom therapy, for arthritis goes way back in time. There are reports that it was used in ancient Egypt and China. Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.) is purported to have written about bee stings for painful joints.

Doctors in this country used bee-venom therapy to treat arthritis during the first part of the 20th century. Hospital pharmacies even stocked venom for injections. After World War II, this approach fell out of favor because it was considered unscientific.

Proponents claim that honeybee stings can alleviate the pain of tendonitis, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and postherpetic neuralgia. This nerve pain lingers after a shingles attack and can be excruciating. The American Apitherapy Society can provide more information (http://www.apitherapy.org/).

Friday, July 27, 2007

Bee Pollen May Promote Early Development of Digestive System

Trophic Effect of Bee Pollen on Small Intestine in Broiler Chickens
Journal of Medicinal Food, 2007, 10(2): 276-280

In this study, the effects of bee pollen on the development of digestive organs were evaluated in broiler chickens. A total of 144 1-day-old AA broiler chickens were randomly and equally divided into two groups, assigned as the control group and the pollen group, respectively. The control group was fed with a basic diet, while the pollen group was fed with a basic diet supplemented with 1.5% bee pollen over a period of 6 weeks…

The results demonstrated that compared to the control group, the small intestine villi from the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum were longer and thicker in the pollen group…

Furthermore, the small intestinal glands were developed at a higher density in the pollen group, and the depth of the glands was significantly increased by bee pollen in the first 2 weeks.

These findings suggest that bee pollen could promote the early development of the digestive system and therefore is a potentially beneficial food supplement for certain conditions, such as short bowel syndrome.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Study: ‘Honey is Effective Against a Broad Range of Microorganisms’

WOUNDS Journal to Publish Study on Effective Antimicrobial Application of Manuka Honey-Based Product
Business Wire, 7/25/2007

PRINCETON, N.J., Jul 25, 2007 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Derma Sciences (DSCI) , a manufacturer and marketer of advanced wound care products, today announced that the September 2007 issue of the journal WOUNDS: A Compendium of Clinical Research and Practice (WOUNDS) will feature an article on the use of a manuka honey-based product as a topical antimicrobial for chronic and acute wounds and burns.

The article, "Medihoney(TM) Antibacterial Honey--in-vitro Activity Against Clinical Isolates of MRSA, VRE, and Other Multiresistant Gram-negative Organisms Including Pseudomonas aeruginosa" was written by Narelle May George, Supervising Scientist Queensland Health Pathology Service, Royal Brisbane Hospitals Campus, Herston, Queensland, Australia, and Keith F. Cutting, Tissue Viability Specialist, Harefield Hospital, Middlesex, Principal Lecturer - Tissue Viability, Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College, Chalfont St. Giles, UK.

The in-vitro study focuses on the antimicrobial effectiveness of a leading global brand of honey-based wound dressing, Medihoney(TM) (Medihoney Pty Ltd, Richlands, Australia). The product contains a blend of honeys, including Leptospermum honeys Manuka (from New Zealand) and its sister species Jelly Bush, from Australia. These Leptospermum honeys have been shown to provide strong, broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity even in the presence of catalase--an enzyme present in wound fluid. Medihoney is owned by Comvita, Derma Sciences' partner in honey-based dressings, and is available in Europe, Australia, and South East Asia.

The abstract for the WOUNDS article by George NM and Cutting KF to be published in September is as follows:

"The clinical use of honey has received increasing interest in recent years, in particular as a topical antibacterial dressing. Results so far are extremely encouraging, demonstrating that honey is effective against a broad range of microorganisms including multiresistant strains. The in-vitro study reported here complements the work of others and focuses on the impact that a standardized honey can have on multiresistant bacteria that are regularly found in wounds and are responsible for increased morbidity."…

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Propolis Component May Stimulate Glucose Metabolism

CAPE (caffeic acid phenethyl ester) Stimulates Glucose Uptake Through AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase) Activation in Skeletal Muscle Cells
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, July 24, 2007

Abstract: Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), a flavonoid-like compound, is one of the major components of honeybee propolis.

In the present study, we investigated the metabolic effects of CAPE in skeletal muscle cells and found that CAPE stimulated glucose uptake in differentiated L6 rat myoblast cells and also activated AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase)…

In summary, our results suggest that CAPE may have beneficial roles in glucose metabolism via stimulation of the AMPK pathway.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

American Reporter Tries Bee Venom Therapy

People in Pain Get the Point of the Sting
By Dariush Shafa, The Herald-Leader USA), 7/23/2007

…I don't even feel the stinger as it punches through my skin. Then there is a needlepoint of fire, and it spreads. My whole knee feels like it's under a barrage of searing hot pins.

I've just been stung by a bee. Willingly…

Two minutes after the sting, the pain peaks and then begins to diminish.

By that night, all pain has ceased and the aches are gone.

It's exactly the end result Carlson said would happen. Not only does she use this therapy on others, who suffer diseases from multiple sclerosis to simple arthritis, but also on herself, after she became infected with Lyme Disease from a tick bite. She estimates that she's been stung more than 25,000 times on purpose…

Video: New Treatment For People Allergic To Bee Stings

Derma Sciences Receives FDA Clearance for Its Active Manuka Honey Product

API-MED(TM) to be the first honey-based product available in the US, joining Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand
Business Wire, 7/23/2007

PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Derma Sciences, Inc. (OTCBB: DSCI - News) Derma Sciences, a manufacturer and marketer of advanced wound care products, today announced that it has received clearance from the FDA to market and sell its API-MED(TM) Active Manuka Honey Absorbent Dressing . This represents the first FDA clearance of a honey-based product for the management of wounds and burns. Honey-based products have been available throughout Europe where they compete against silver-based dressings, and have in only two years captured approximately 10% of that market…

Monday, July 23, 2007

US Approves Manuka Honey Wound Dressings

Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), 7/23/2007

Waikato-based Comvita Ltd says its patented "advanced wound care dressing" has become the first using manuka honey for wounds and burns to receive marketing clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA approval heralded an important milestone for Comvita's wound care business, said the company's chief executive Brett Hewlett.

The global advanced wound-care market is worth more than $US4 billion ($NZ5.07 billion), of which the US makes up $US2.3 billion.

"An ageing population and increase in diabetes will continue to be strong drivers for this fast growing category," he said.

Some biologically active honey gathered from manuka contains the compound methylglyoxal, which helps it to battle bacteria causing stomach ulcers, and to promote wound healing…

Derma Sciences recently won clearance to sell Comvita's anti-microbial dressings with manuka honey in Canada. Similar dressings are already approved as anti-microbials in Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Bee Pollen Extract May Help Treat Prostate Cancer

A Steroid Fraction of Chloroform Extract from Bee Pollen of Brassica Campestris Induces Apoptosis in Human Prostate Cancer PC-3 Cells
Phytotherapy Research, 18 Jul 2007

Abstract: Bee pollen of Brassica campestris L. is widely used in China as a natural food supplement and an herbal medicine in strengthening the body's resistance against diseases including cancer. The present study was carried out to investigate the effect of a steroid fraction of chloroform extract from bee pollen of Brassica campestris L. on human cancer cell viability.

Our studies show that among nine cancer cell lines of different origin (PC-3, LNCaP, MCF-7, Hela, BEL-7402, BCG-823, KB, A549 and HO8910), this steroid fraction displayed the strongest cytotoxicity in human prostate cancer PC-3 cells…

It is suggested that the steroid fraction could induce cytotoxicity in prostate cancer PC-3 cells by triggering apoptosis. The studies indicate that the steroid fraction of chloroform extract from bee pollen of Brassica campestris L. may be a promising candidate for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer.

Philippine ‘Green Honey’ Adulterated

Green Honey Analyzed
R. Valencia and S. Bismark, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 7/21/2007

Sometime ago, a friend gave us a bottle of green honey. She was excited about it and was raving about its great effects. Is this product genuine?, we asked.

The story given by its distributors is that a special bee locally called turong gathers chlorophyll from green algae and combines this with nectar to produce green honey.

Recently, we received a letter from Dr. C.R. Cervancia, head of the National Center for Excellence for Bee Research and Development, who explained the true nature of the product. Her main points:

1. The turong is not a bee but a wasp. Cervancia tells us, Unlike bees, which have a receptacle for honey in their bodies, wasps are unable to collect and transfer it to their nests for storage. Since theyre not known to consume algae, their production of green honey is even more unlikely. Strike one.

2. Some people claim that green honey is found in the forests of Palawan. Thus, investigators from UPLB went off searching for it in its natural environment. Cervancia discloses: Investigations confirmed that it can’t be found in nature! Strike two.

3. How did the honey become green? Chemical analysis indicates that green honey is adulterated with blue and yellow pigments. Strike three.

Indonesian Hotels Offers Honey to Guests

Hotel Ibis Offers Honey
Jakarta Post (Indonesia), 7/22/2007

As part of its commitment always to serve nutritious and natural food for its guests, La Table restaurants run by the Hotel Ibis network offer honey to guests.

Various types of honey can be enjoyed at breakfast at Hotel Ibis in Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Surabaya (East Java) and Pekanbaru (Riau)…

Guests may enjoy honey together with jam to accompany their bread or substitute sugar for a cup of coffee or tea in the morning.

The honey has been made available through cooperation between Hotel Ibis and farmers in Cileubeut, Bogor, West Java.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

International Apitherapy Symposium December 7-9 in Romania

On December 7-9, 2007, the Romanian Apitherapy Society will host its first International Apitherapy Symposium.

Those wishing to attend the symposium or to present research papers may contact Dr. Stefan Stangaciu at drstangaciu@apitherapy.com or drstangaciu@gmail.com, or Cristina Aosan at draosan@gmail.com.

The symposium will also include the First Annual General Meeting of the Romanian Apitherapy Society.

Information about the location of the symposium, nearby hotels and the program will be offered in the near future.

Honey Bees Left Off New US “Pollination” Stamps

...Post Offices will be abuzz with the release of the Pollination stamps. The 20-stamp booklet consists of four stamps arranged in two alternate and interlocking blocks of four. The intricate design of these four beautiful stamps emphasizes the ecological relationship between pollinators and plants and suggests the biodiversity necessary to ensure the viability of that relationship.

Depicted on the Pollination stamps are four wildflowers and four pollinators. The common and scientific names of the featured flowers are purple nightshade, also known as chaparral nightshade (Solanum xanti); hummingbird trumpet (Epilobium canum); saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) and prairie ironweed, also known as common ironweed (Vernonia fasciculata). The common and scientific names of the featured animal pollinators are Morrison’s bumblebee (Bombus morrisoni); calliope hummingbird (Stellula calliope); lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae) and Southern dogface butterfly (Colias cesonia)...

Friday, July 20, 2007

New Medicinal Honey Product Launched in UK

A news medicinal honey product, called “Life Mel Honey,” has been launched in the United Kingdom.

According to the product website: “Life Mel Honey is produced by bees fed on a special food mixture which enables them to make a unique form of honey with all the beneficial properties of the therapeutic herbs and natural ingredients. . .Life Mel Honey uses nectar derived from therapeutic herbs including Siberian Ginseng, Echinacea and Uncaria Tomentosa, combined with a selection of natural ingredients including iron, protein and vitamins.”

A recent hospital study indicated that Life Mel Honey can, in some patients, have a positive effect in increasing counts for red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets in the blood, and thus may be beneficial for people with reduced immunity. (Medical Oncology, Vol 23, No 4, 2006)

The technique for producing Life Mel Honey seems to be based on the “express” method of honey production developed in Russia by N. Yoirish.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Video: US Television Station Looks at Health Benefits of Honey

The Health Benefits of Honey Generate Lots of "Buzz"
By Shannon Myers, WAGT-TV (US), 7/17/2007

…The health benefits of honey have generated a lot of "buzz" lately. It's being used to treat everything from skin conditions to digestive disorders, and now even more…

Spring and fall generate different varieties of honey. But either way, there's more buzz about health benefits.

"The darker the honey, the more antioxidants effect that it has," said MCG family practice doctor Janis Coffin.

Coffin says the anti-oxidants from honey have been used for burn patients in other countries. It's also shown to help with stomach ulcers and chronic diarrhea…

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Expert Says Medicinal Honey Making a Comeback

Sweet, Natural Cure
Honey tastes great on toast and as a drink. Now, there’s a new application for it – as a remedy for wound care.
By Majorie Chiew, The Star (Malaysia), 7/18/2007

Not all honey is the same. Manuka honey from New Zealand, it is claimed, is potent enough to heal nasty wounds and even kill some strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Now that antibiotics have somewhat lost their effectiveness, people are rediscovering the use of honey for wounds, said Peter Molan, 63, professor of Biological Sciences and director of the Honey Research Unit of the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand.

The use of honey, the oldest remedy for treating wounds, dates back more than 4,000 years. The ancient Egyptians used honey in a grease-honey-lint dressing to put on infected wounds, said Prof Molan, a biochemist. “This traditional cure was displaced in the 1940s with the discovery of antibiotics.”…

Prof Molan was in Kuala Lumpur recently to speak at the 3rd International Congress of the Asia Pacific Society of Infection Control Conference.

At the press conference, Prof Molan, a honey researcher, said honey has antibacterial properties. In his research paper, he explained: “The antibacterial activity of honey rapidly clears infection and protects wounds from becoming infected. Thus, it provides a moist healing environment without the risk of bacterial growth occurring.”

He claimed that Manuka honey can be effectively used to heal simple wounds, chronic ulcers, burns, MRSA infections and other serious wounds…

“Staphylococci can be a problem in people with tubes that go into their skin when they are on dialysis for kidney failure, while people can die from Pseudomonas infection that gets into burns (wounds),” he said…

Two years ago, scientific researchers and clinical practitioners came up with an ideal wound dressing, incorporating calcium alginate fibres with Active Manuka Honey. This apinate dressing (widely used in Australia and New Zealand) offers anti-bacterial barrier protection and encourages wound tissue re-growth…

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Royal Jelly Components May Help Regulate Immune System

Fatty Acids Isolated from Royal Jelly Modulate Dendritic Cell-Mediated Immune Response In Vitro
International Immunopharmacology, Volume 7, Issue 9, September 2007, Pages 1211-1220

Abstract: Royal jelly (RJ), especially its protein components, has been shown to possess immunomodulatory activity. However, almost nothing is known about the influence of RJ fatty acids on the immune system. In this work we studied the effect of 10-hydroxy-2-decanoic acid (10-HDA) and 3,10-dihydroxy-decanoic acid (3,10-DDA), isolated from RJ, on the immune response using a model of rat dendritic cell (DC)–T-cell cocultures.

Both fatty acids, at higher concentrations, inhibited the proliferation of allogeneic T cells. The effect of 10-HDA was stronger and was followed by a decrease in interleukin-2 (IL-2) production and down-regulation of IL-2 receptor expression. Spleen DC, cultivated with 10 μg/ml of fatty acids down-regulated the expression of CD86 and the production of IL-12, but up-regulated the production of IL-10…

The immunosuppressive activity of 3,10-DDA was also confirmed in vivo, using a model of Keyhole lymphet hemocyanine immunization of rats. In conclusion, our results showed the immunomodulatory activity of RJ fatty acids and suggest that DC are a significant target of their action.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Indian Villagers Use Honey to Maintain Health

Honey, Honey Everywhere - But No Water to Drink
Calcutta News.Net, 7/15/2007

Don't be surprised if you are greeted with a glass of honey instead of water in this Orissa village.

Banjipali village, located in the foothills of the Gandhamardhan hill range, nearly 330 km from state capital Bhubaneswar in Bolangir district, suffers from an acute shortage of water. And the villagers seem to have found an alternative in honey!

'The abundant availability of honey has replaced even sugar and jaggery. It has substituted sugar in the lali chaha (red tea) that we drink or serve to visitors and in the making of pancakes during festivities,' Parikshit Bariha, a villager told a visiting IANS correspondent…

Villagers believe consumption of honey keeps diseases at bay. Although the Khaprakhol Community Health Centre is located some 15 km away from the village, people hardly visit it.

'A cup of honey has the potential to cure fever and that is what we have been following for long,' said villager Durlaba Bariha…

Video: Why Use Bee Pollen for Cooking?

Another thing you might want to try in the morning that I want to tell you about because I love and most people don't know about it is bee pollen, bee pollen is very high source of protein it gives you a lot of energy…

View the Video.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bee Venom Therapy Popular in Egypt

A Sting is the Thing
Sunday Mirror (UK), 7/15/2007

Bee stings could be the future for alternative medicine.

Pioneering doctor Haj Mohamed el-Minyawi says they can be used to treat a host of ailments.

He keeps bee hives so he can carry out the bee sting therapy on patients in Egypt's capital, Cairo - by targeting treatment to problem areas.

A man he is treating by stinging his head hopes it could soon cure a problem with his ear.

Minyawi believes that the bee stings have special properties, that when used on different parts of the body can cure ailments like kidney problems, appendicitis and even cancer. Minyami has opened his home to public and treats people from all over Cairo. REUTERS/Nasser Nuri (EGYPT)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Honey Component May Have Beneficial Effect on Metabolic Parameters

New Findings Reported from Yamagata University Describe Advances in Experimental Medicine Prevention
Disease Prevention Week, 7/17/2007

Investigators publish new data in the report "A palatinose-based balanced formula improves glucose tolerance, serum free fatty acid levels and body fat composition.” Palatinose is a disaccharide present in honey, which has the characteristics of delayed digestion and absorption. We developed a palatinose-based balanced formula (PBF) and reported its beneficial effects on metabolic syndrome-related parameters in rats," researchers in Japan report…

The researchers concluded: "PBF consumption has beneficial effects on metabolic syndrome-related parameters in humans."

Oizumi and colleagues published their study in The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine (A palatinose-based balanced formula improves glucose tolerance, serum free fatty acid levels and body fat composition.) The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine, 2007;212(2):91-9.

For additional information, contact T. Oizumi, Hematology, Dept. of Neurology, Metabolism, Endocrinology and Diabetology, Yamagata University School of Medicine, Japan.

Publisher contact information for the The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicineis: Tohoku University Medical Press, School of Medicine, Sendai, 980-77, Japan.

Friday, July 13, 2007

New Parameter Introduced to Measure Antioxidative Efficiency of Propolis

Evaluation of Antioxidative Activity of Croatian Propolis Samples Using DPPH· and ABTS·+ Stable Free Radical Assays
Molecules, Issue 5 (May 2007) pages 932-1201

Abstract: Propolis is one of the richest sources of plant phenolics (flavonoids and phenolic acids), which are widely recognized as rather strong antioxidants. The aim of our work was to use colored stable free radical (DPPH· and ABTS·+) spectrophotometric and thin-layer chromatographic (TLC) assays to study the antioxidative behavior of the phenolics (caffeic acid, galangin and pinocembrin) most commonly present in Croatian propolis samples obtained from different Croatian regions.

We propose a mathematical model providing a more sophisticated interpretation of the obtained results and a new parameter named antioxidative efficiency (AOE) is introduced…

Explained numerically, AOE represents the absolute value of the first derivative of an absorbance curve in the point A0/e (where A0 is the absorbance measured at t = 0 and e is the natural logarithm base).

The advantage of this newly introduced parameter is that it provides an easy and accurate mutual comparison between the rates of antioxidative efficiency of different propolis samples…

Propolis Extract Suppressed Neurofibromatosis Tumors in Mice

Bee Product Stalls Tumours
The Dominion Post (New Zealand), 7/14/2007

A Waikato bee-product extract is being used in human cancer treatment trials after being found to stall tumours in mice.

Results of tests involving Manuka Health's propolis liquid Bio30 were announced yesterday at a medical conference in the United States, with German researchers claiming it is 40 per cent more effective on a particular tumour than the first natural anti- cancer treatment known. Dr Hiroshi Maruta, head of the research team at University Hospital Eppendorf, said Bio30 suppressed neurofibromatosis tumours in mice by more than 90 per cent over 100-day tests.

The first known natural anti-cancer treatment, a Chinese pepper extract, was only 50 per cent effective, the tests showed. Neurofibromatosis variant NF1 affects one in 3000 people.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Strong Antioxidants Found in Brazilian Bee Pollen

Antioxidant Hydroxycinnamic Acid Derivatives Isolated from Brazilian Bee Pollen
Natural Product Research, Volume 21, Issue 8 July 2007, pages 726-732

One novel and three known hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives having antioxidant activities were isolated from a Brazilian bee pollen. They were identified as kaempferol 3-O-[2-O-p-coumaroyl]-alpha-L-arabinopyranoside, N(1), N(5), N(10)-tri-p-coumaroyl spermidine, N(1), N(5), N(10), N(14)-tetra-p-coumaroyl spermine, and monocaffeoyl-tri-p-coumaroyl spermine, respectively…

Among the isolated compounds, monocaffeoyl-tri-p-coumaroyl spermine showed the strongest free radical-scavenging activity, which was almost identical to that of alpha-tocopherol. On the other hand, the antioxidant effect of tri-p-coumaroyl spermidine on autooxidation of linoleic acid was strongest and nearly equal to that of alpha-tocopherol.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Study Looks at Impact of Spray-Drying on Propolis Extract

Spray-Dried Propolis Extract, II: Prenylated Components of Green Propolis
Pharmazie, Volume: 62, Issue: 7, July 2007, Page(s): 488-492

Abstract: The effect of spray drying conditions on the chemical composition of Brazilian green propolis extract was investigated using a factorial design and high performance liquid chromatography.

The raw and dried extract contents of caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid, drupanin, isosakuranetin, artepillin C, baccharin and 2,2-dimethyl-6-carboxyethenyl-2H-1-benzopyran were quantified using veratraldehyde (3,4-dimethoxybenzaldehyde) as internal standard.

The baccharin content in spray-dried propolis was affected by the drying temperature with a 5% significance level, while the coumaric acid and drupanin contents were dependent on drying temperature at a 15% significance level.

The other chemical markers, caffeic acid, isosakuranetin, artepillin C and 2,2-dimethyl-6-carboxyethenyl-2H-1-benzopyran, showed to be independent of drying conditions. However, all the chemical markers showed some loss on drying, which varied from 30 to 50%.

The results showed that prenylated compounds are sensitive to drying, but their losses may be considerably reduced under low temperatures, around 40 °C. The antioxidant activity of the spray dried propolis was determined by the diphenylpicrylhydrazyl (DPPH) method and showed a quadratic dependency on the temperature; extract feed rate and the interaction between them.

However, spray dried propolis extracts presented antioxidant activities similar to the original propolis tincturae.

Beeswax Candles Offer Clean Alternative to Petroleum-Based Products

Clean Candles
Penn Live, 7/11/2007

Have you ever considered the chemicals you might be releasing into the air when you burn a candle?

Most candles are made with paraffin-based wax. This is derived from petroleum and may be made from foreign or domestic oil. Do you notice black smoke when they burn or soot on items around where you burn your candles after you have burned them for a long time? This is from the petroleum and is a sign of the toxins and possible carcinogens you are filling your air with.

Care2.com reports that the EPA found the following checmicals in a random group of thirty candles: Acetone, Benzene, Trichlorofluoromethane, Carbon disulfide, 2- Butanone, 1, 1, 1-Trichloroethane, Carbon tetrachloride, Trichloroethene, Tetrachloroethene, Toluene, Chlorobenzene, Ethylbenzene, Styrene, Xylene, Phenol, Cresol, Cyclopentene and Lead. Besides, petroleum isn't a renewable resource. Starting to not smell so nice, huh?

Most scented candles are made from synthetic fragrances. Since the chemicals that make up these fragrances aren't required to be listed, the consumer is left with little ability to judge what exactly they are inhaling.
So choose soy, beeswax or palm oil candles as an alternative to the petroleum-derived kind. All of these candles are clean burning, which means you won't see the toxic soot you see with the paraffin kind…

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Mexican Propolis Shows Strong Antibacterial Activity

Antibacterial and Free-Radical Scavenging Activities of Sonoran Propolis
Journal of Applied Microbiology, June 19, 2007

Aims: To evaluate the antibacterial and free-radical scavenging (FRS) activities of propolis collected from three different areas of Sonoran Desert in northwestern Mexico [Pueblo de Alamos (PAP), Ures (UP) and Caborca (CP)].

Methods and Results: The antibacterial and FRS activities of Sonoran propolis were determined by the broth microdilution method and the DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydracyl) assay, respectively. Propolis samples had antibacterial activity against only Gram-positive bacteria…

Conclusions: Sonoran propolis UP and CAPE had strong antibacterial activity against S. aureus. In addition, propolis CP showed potent FRS activity comparable with those of vitamin C and BHT.

Significance and Impact of the study: The strong antibacterial and antioxidant properties of Sonoran propolis and some of its constituents support further studies on the clinical applications of this natural bee product against S. aureus and several oxidative damage-related diseases.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Apitherapy Conference in Japan, September 18-20, 2007

2nd Nippon Apitherapy Society Symposium and Workshop with International Participation

Narita View Hotel, September 18-20, 2007

For more details, contact Dr. Hirofumi Naito.
E-Mail: apijp@mx3.nns.ne.jp and sting@mx3.nns.ne.jp

New Propolis Formulation Shows Improved Antimicrobial Properties

In Vitro Antimicrobial Activity of a Novel Propolis Formulation (Actichelated Propolis)
Journal of Applied Microbiology, June 21, 2007

Aims: This study compared in vitro activities of Actichelated® propolis (a multicomposite material obtained with mechano-chemichal activation) and of a hydroalcoholic extract of propolis.

Methods and Results: Minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC), determined by means of microdilution broth method, against five strains of Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, Haemophilus influenzae, Enterococcus spp., Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, showed a greater potency of Actichelated® propolis (MIC range: 0·016–4 mg flavonoids ml1) in respect to the hydroalcoholic extract (MIC range: 0·08–21·4 mg flavonoids ml1). Concentrations of Actichelated® propolis active against adenovirus, influenza virus, parainfluenza virus and herpes virus type 1 were at least 10 times lower than those of the hydroalcoholic extract. Preincubation of Strep. pyogenes and H. influenzae with subinhibitory concentrations of Actichelated® propolis (1/4 and 1/8 × MIC) significantly reduced the number of bacteria that adhered to human buccal cells.

Conclusions: Actichelated® propolis has proven to possess antibacterial and antiviral activity higher than a hydroalcoholic extract, being also able to interfere on bacterial adhesion to human oral cells.

Significance and Impact of the Study: This new formulation of propolis showing better antimicrobial and physical characteristics could improve the application of propolis in respiratory tract infections.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Urban Apitherapist Keeps Bees in New York

Hives Among Us
Nothing will stop urban beekeeping fanatics from making their own organic honey -- not traffic, not smog, not even the law.
By Lenora Todaro, Salon.com, 7/8/2007

…Norman Bantz, a Yonkers apitherapist, keeps his hives conspicuously between his door and driveway, the din of the Bronx River Parkway just yards away. The hives buzz with spring fever. At the other end of his unmanicured yard lay empty hive boxes lined with wax moth carcasses.

Now in his 80s, Bantz believes that honeybee stings help treat multiple sclerosis and arthritis; he (and many other beekeepers) claim that eating raw, unpasteurized local honey banishes seasonal allergies. He began beekeeping decades ago to help one of his sons, whose allergies were so bad that he couldn't go outside to play baseball. He and his wife, married 62 years now, sting each other weekly, and he says, "I never have been in a hospital except to visit friends."…

Saturday, July 07, 2007

German Beekeepers Report on Use of Apitherapy

Apitherapy: Usage and Experience in German Beekeepers
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 6/30/2007

Abstract: This study aimed to investigate the practice of apitherapy - using bee products such as honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly and bee venom to prevent or treat illness and promote healing - among German beekeepers and to evaluate their experiences with these therapies…

Altogether 1059 completed questionnaires were received. The beekeepers reported the most effective and favorable therapeutic effects with honey, followed by propolis, pollen and royal jelly…

Beekeepers were asked for which condition they would employ propolis and pollen. They reported that they used propolis most frequently to treat colds, wounds and burns, sore throats, gum disorders and also as a general prophylactic, while pollen was most commonly used as a general prophylactic and, less frequently, in treating prostate diseases. No adverse experiences were reported.

The potential benefit of bee products is supported by the positive experiences of a large group of beekeepers who use some of these products to treat a wide range of conditions. The indications and treatments given here may be important in selecting bee products and designing future trials.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Discovery of Manuka Honey Anti-Bacterial Compound Delights NZ Beekeepers

Beekeepers Buzzing Over Healing Honey
By Dave Williams and Fairfax, The Marlborough Express (New Zealand), 7/6/2007

Marlborough's beekeepers say they are delighted at the news that manuka honey is being investigated for its potential to aid in the fight against cancer.

A New Zealand honey health science company and a German university have joined forces to set industry standards for the use of manuka honey products for healing wounds, overcoming stomach and skin problems and combating cancer.

The move comes in the wake of the discovery by researchers at the Technical University of Dresden of the compound methylglyoxal (MGO), responsible for manuka honey's anti-bacterial activity.

Arthur Day said it was "great news" which had the potential to have an immense effect on the honey production industry.

Mr Day was one of about 280 beekeepers attending this week's National Beekeepers Association (NBA) annual conference in Dunedin…

And Will Trollope said active manuka was extremely effective in helping cuts and abrasions heal, but the claim it could help fight cancer was a relatively new one.

"If it is proven that it can make a difference against cancer it could be absolutely huge," he said.

However, if the compound had been isolated there was a chance it could be synthesised, which would be less than beneficial for beekeepers.

A research team led by Professor Thomas Henle, head of the university's institute of food chemistry, tested more than 80 honeys from around the world and found MGO levels as high as 700mg/kg in some New Zealand manuka honeys, more than 70 times higher than ordinary honey…

Thursday, July 05, 2007

NZ Medicinal Honey Expert to Speak in Malaysia

Medicinal Uses of Honey: Myth or Miracle?

Speaker: Prof Dr Peter Molan, Director, Honey Research Unit, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Waikato, New Zealand

Date: Wednesday, 11 July, 2007, 8-9.30 a.m.

Venue: Gaharu Lecture Hall, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (next to the medical library)

Chairperson: Prof Dr Kamaruddin Mohd Yusof, Head of Honey Research Group, Department of Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Contact: honeyrc_um@yahoo.com

Lecture Abstract: Using Honey on Wounds and Burns

Honey has been used to treat wounds for thousands of years, being displaced from use only by the advent of antibiotics. Now that the antibiotic era is coming to an end, honey is being “rediscovered”. But those using it without awareness of ancient wisdom (using the right honey, and keeping it in place) may consider it a myth as they may not get good results, whereas those using it appropriately will get results that seem to be miraculous because honey will give healing where modern pharmaceutical products are failing.

Honey varies up to 100-fold in potency of antibacterial activity. This activity is usually primarily due to enzymically produced hydrogen peroxide, but honey from manuka (and some other Leptospermum) trees has a non-peroxide activity that is more effective in a wound dressing. The antibacterial activity of honey is important for preventing hospital-acquired infections and for allowing the optimum moist healing conditions of honey dressings, which form a non-adherent liquid layer on the wound bed, to be obtained without risk of bacterial growth. The autolytic debridement obtained with honey dressings is very rapid, which combined with the antibacterial activity removes the bacterial burden which can prevent a wound healing, or cause it to deteriorate, by stimulating an inflammatory response. Inflammation gives rise to proteolytic activity which digests the wound bed matrix and growth factors, both of which are essential for tissue repair. Honey also has a potent direct anti-inflammatory activity, which is especially beneficial in cases where inflammation is not due to infection. Honey also hastens healing by stimulating the growth of cells involved in tissue repair and stimulating the production of matrix components. It also provides topical nutrification of these cells and of phagocytes.

To get these many beneficial effects it is essential to keep honey in contact with the wound bed. Secondary dressings can be used to do this on non-exudative wounds. But where there is exudate, honey-impregnated absorbent dressings are needed, with frequent changes of these where there is copious exudate flushing the honey out of the dressing. Honey-impregnated alginate fibre dressings, which convert to a soft gel, are better, but have limited exudate-absorbing capacity. A new form of gelled honey dressing, which is like a hydrocolloid, has a very large capacity for absorbing exudate whilst keeping the honey in contact with the wound bed.

There is increasing awareness of inflammation being a major factor in many conditions such as varicose ulcers, pressure sores, non-healing wounds, gastritis, radiation burns and deteriorating thermal burns. It is also the cause of the scarring that results from wounds and burns, and of other forms of fibrosis. The inflammation sometimes is the result of bacterial colonization, sometimes of other factors such as reperfusion injury, and sometimes a combination of both. The potent antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of honey provide an excellent therapy for these conditions, and others in ophthalmology, dermatology and otorhinolaryngology, with no harmful side-effects, and no issues of bacterial resistance like there are with antibiotics.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Honey Recommended for Use in Skin Grafts

A Different and Safe Method of Split Thickness Skin Graft Fixation: Medical Honey Application
Burns, 2007 Jun 28

Honey has been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times. Its antibacterial effects have been established during the past few decades. Still, modern medical practitioners hesitate to apply honey for local treatment of wounds. This may be because of the expected messiness of such local application. Hence, if honey is to be used for medicinal purposes, it has to meet certain criteria.

The authors evaluated its use for the split thickness skin graft fixation because of its adhesive and other beneficial effects in 11 patients. No complications such as graft loss, infection, and graft rejection were seen. Based on these results, the authors advised honey as a new agent for split thickness skin graft fixation.

In recent years there has been a renewed interest in honey wound management. There are a range of regulated wound care products that contain honey available on the Drug Tariff.

This article addresses key issues associated with the use of honey, outlining how it may be best used, in which methods of split thickness skin graft fixations it may be used, and what clinical outcomes may be anticipated. For this reason, 11 patients who underwent different diagnosis were included in this study.

In all the patients same medical honey was used for the fixation of the skin graft. No graft loss was seen during both the first dressing and the last view of the grafted areas. As a result, it has been shown that honey is also a very effective agent for split thickness skin graft fixations. Because it is a natural agent, it can be easily used in all skin graft operation for the fixation of the split thickness skin grafts.

Corresponding Author: Ilteris Murat Emsen, Tel.: 90 442 233 4085; fax: 90 442 232 1091

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Chinese Pollen Producer Accused of Adulteration

Leading Chinese Honey Maker Accused of Mixing Poppy Content in Products
Xinhua Economic News Service, 7/3/2007

A consumer in Beijing has sued a leading Chinese honey maker, saying the latter has mixed poppy flower content in its bee pollen and other nutritional products.

The Xicheng District People's Court in downtown Beijing has accepted the lawsuit and the consumer's demand for 20,000 yuan (2,565 U.S. dollars) in compensation. The court said it is yet to decide when to hold a hearing .

The consumer, surnamed Shan, said he began to take doses of the "Special Bee Pollen" produced by Wang's Bee Garden, a privately-owned company based in Nanchang, capital of east China's Jiangxi Province, at the end of last year.

Shan said he had read several Internet postings recently saying the company's "Special Bee Pollen" contained poppy flower content. "The main ingredient as stated on the product description is just 'special pollen', and I demand the manufacturer to clarify what it is. "

A few weeks ago, a Beijing retiree wrote in his blog that he had suffered stomachaches and vomiting after eating the same product. "I had thought it was an allergy, until a friend from the beekeeping industry told me the product was 'special' because it consisted illegal ingredients," his posting read.

The posting was spread quickly among Chinese Internet users over the past weeks.

A spokeswoman with Wang's Bee Garden denied these claims. "It's impossible," she said. "Everybody knows poppy and all poppy products are banned on the market."

Though the plant is grown in certain regions for pharmaceutical purposes, she said the cost would have been too high for her company if the accusations were true. "Our bee pollen is sold for 46 yuan per package. Had it contained poppy contents, we'd have been broke down long before."

Yet suspicions over the company's products have gone beyond the confines of the Chinese capital.

A woman in Chengdu, who felt sick and sleepy after taking the same bee pollen, is also ready to sue the company.

The Chengdu Commercial Daily reported that the woman's friend in Beijing had sent the product to the national research center for stimulants and athletic nutrition, where researchers found morphine and codein through lab tests.

It said most supermarkets in Chengdu have taken the suspected bee pollen off their shelves…

NZ Apitherapy Firm Says Export Testing, Quality Control Hit Profits

Comvita Forecasts Interim Loss of $12 Million
New Zealand Press Association, 7/2/2007

Wellington, July 2 NZPA - Bee products company Comvita warned it would post a half-year loss of about $1.2 million as sales failed to meet forecast and costs rose in export markets.

A high New Zealand dollar and tighter regulations offshore meant the first six months had been softer than expected. Revenue was up 5 percent on a year earlier and export sales were 8 percent higher, but below budget.

Comvita posted an interim net profit of $602,000 in 2006.

"Stringent new regulatory regimes introduced in some export markets have meant the company has had to undertake additional testing, manufacturing and quality control procedures at some considerable cost to Comvita,'' chief executive Brett Hewlett said…

Monday, July 02, 2007

Researchers Identify Compound Responsible for Manuka Honey’s Anti-Bacterial Activity

"Mystery" Healing Chemical in NZ Manuka Honey Found
NZPA, 7/2/2007

German scientists have identified the mystery chemical in New Zealand's manuka honey which is responsible for killing bacteria better than many antibiotics.

Food chemistry researchers at the Technical University of Dresden say the "unique manuka factor (UMF)" is the compound methylglyoxal.

Now a Te Awamutu company, Manuka Health, has formed a partnership with the university to measure levels of the compound in NZ manuka honey and to certify the products of rival honey processors.

At present, honey companies simply make claims about their content of the UMF identified by Waikato University biochemist Professor Peter Molan

Anti-bacterial properties of ordinary honey -- due to hydrogen peroxide and glucose oxidase -- have been used by traditional healers for centuries, but Prof Molan spent two decades researching the mystery compound found at high levels in some manuka honeys.

He referred to it as a "phytochemical agent" but struggled to isolate it in a pure enough form to work out its chemical structure.

But he did find the phytochemical could penetrate skin, fat and muscle overnight, work despite heat and acidity, and could withstand being smothered by a wound dressing.

Prof Molan's work enabled manuka honey producers to register a trademark, UMF, and rate their honeys according to an antibacterial potency rating: with higher ratings most suited to combatting ulcers, wounds and infections…

NZ Honey Science Company and German University to Set Manuka Honey Standards

Scoop Independent News, 7/2/2007

Auckland, Monday, 2 July 2007. — A New Zealand honey health science company and a German university have joined forces in a bid to set industry standards for the use of manuka honey products to heal wounds, overcome stomach and skin problems, and potentially in the fight against cancer.

The move comes in the wake of the discovery by the university’s researchers of the compound responsible for manuka honey’s anti- bacterial activity.

Te Awamutu-based Manuka Health New Zealand Ltd and the Technical University of Dresden have formed a partnership to establish a process to certify levels of the compound in manuka honey.

Announcing the partnership today, Manuka Health chief executive Kerry Paul said the university’s Institute of Food Chemistry was the first to identify the compound methylglyoxal (MGO) and prove its high levels in some New Zealand manuka honeys.

Mr Paul said the discovery that honey’s anti-bacterial ability was directly related to MGO levels, was highly significant for the industry…

A research team led by Professor Thomas Henle, head of the Institute of Food Chemistry at Dresden, tested more than 80 honeys from around the world and found MGO levels as high as 700 mg/kg in some New Zealand manuka honeys, more than 70 times higher than ordinary honey. Previous research had shown the highest concentrations in any food or drink were about 100 mg/kg in cocoa and coffee.

Mr Paul said during their research, Professor Henle’s team had developed assays for measuring MGO in honey.

Mr Paul said medical researchers had found MGO had the potential to act specifically against malignant cells in the body and has a significant curative effect on a wide range of cancers in animals…

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Video: Homemade Honey Facial Cleanser Recipe

Relaxing & Healing Facial Masks

…So the first thing I am going to show is a real easy, natural gentle honey cleanser that you can make at home. So you will start off with, I have already pre-measured, this is half a cup of honey, goes right into a bowel like that and then approximately half a cup of glycerine, little less than half a cup. This is all very nourishing and cleansing and softening, then approximately one tablespoon, I use pure Castile soap; they say it is next to godliness, so it must be, one tablespoon right here, put that in there, mix it all up, and then you should have here probably about 10-15 applications, mix it very well and last thing you want to do is add your favorite essential oil, I am going to add orange, because that is my favorite. ..

View the Video