Wednesday, October 31, 2007

New Zealand Apitherapy Firm Launches 'Huni' Skincare Line

The New Zealand apitherapy firm Comvita will launch its new Huni™ skincare line today at the company’s flagship store in Paengaroa, Bay of Plenty.

Comvita says: “Our delicious new skincare range harnesses the strong natural performance of UMF®20+ Manuka honey, an ingredient known for its moisturising, soothing and antioxidant properties.”

The Huni product line consists of: Every Day Cleanser, Any Time Toning Mist, Every Day Moisturiser, Every Night Moisturiser, Every Day Whitening, Night & Day Serum, Body Lotion & three Every Day Soaps; Manuka honey & Kowhai, Manuka honey & Propolis, and Manuka honey & Royal Jelly.

Honey Can Protect Wounds from ‘Superbugs’ MRSA and VRE

Medical World Buzzing Over Sweet Solution for Bugs
Scoop Independent News (New Zealand), 10/29/2007

A local home-grown US FDA approved product can protect wounds from superbugs such as MRSA and VRE.

Recent studies indicate that Manuka honey may succeed where advanced drugs have failed.

Two studies have shown Comvita’s Medihoney® to be a powerful tool in clearing wounds infected with multi-drug resistant bacteria including VRE and MRSA.

“The findings of the present study add to the body of evidence and clearly show that honey has a valuable therapeutic role to play in wound care, often where modern approaches have failed,” said researchers Narelle George and Keith Cutting…

How honey heals

* Has naturally occurring antibacterial properties – from hydrogen peroxide
* Acidity pH 3.8 – 4.3 to help correct the pH of chronic wounds
* Low water content helps clean wounds by drawing fluid away from the wound bed
* Creates moist healing conditions
* Helps reduce odour of chronic wounds
* Helps reduce pain sometimes associated with dressing changes
* Does not foster bacterial resistance or have toxic effects with long-term use
* Medical grade honeys are filtered, gamma irradiated and produced under strict conditions.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Buzz on Bee Venom Therapy for Arthritis

By Janet Martin, Ezine Articles, 10/24/2007

A bee sting can be painful and dangerous, especially if you're allergic to bee venom. But some doctors claim the latter can help people with arthritis who don't respond well to traditional medications.

That's the buzz from Dr. Christopher Kim, medical director of the Monmouth Pain Institute in Red Bank, New Jersey, who has used bee venom therapy or apitherapy on 3,000 patients. Writing in the German medical journal "Rheumatologie," Kim said that apitherapy is safe, effective, and free of serious side effects.

Kim's endorsement of bee venom therapy follows a two-year- study he conducted on 108 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis who were not helped by conventional painkillers. He first gave the subjects twice weekly injections of been venom and gradually increased the shots. After 12 injections, most of the patients showed marked improvement.

Kim is not the only doctor using this controversial technique. Over 50 American physicians report good results using bee venom to treat not only pain but arthritic conditions, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, asthma, hearing loss, and even premenstrual syndrome…

At the eighth annual Asian Apicultural Association conference at the University of West Australia, Nepalese entomologist Ratna Thapa said he had a 50 - 60 percent success rate in treating arthritis with bee venom, and a 90 percent success rate when this substance was used to treat lower back and shoulder pain. But the idea is not new.

"Bee venom therapy has been around for thousands of years. Reference to the treatment can be found in ancient Egypt and Greek medical writings. Also known as apitherapy, the technique is more widely used in Eastern Europe, Asia and South America. Treatments supposedly started after beekeepers, who were stung many times, noticed their arthritis pains were relieved. Some practitioners still use live bee stings to deliver the venom," according to Charles Downey of WebMD.

What's the secret behind the success of bee venom? Cohen says it contains mellitin, an anti-inflammatory agent that is a hundred times stronger than cortisone, and adolapin which also fights inflammation and pain. Practitioners believe these ingredients work together and help the body release natural healing compounds that improve blood circulation and reduce swelling…

Monday, October 29, 2007

Beeswax Candles Recommended to Help ‘Asthma-Proof’ Homes

Ten Tips to Help Asthma-Proof Your Home
Child Health News, 10/29/2007

The onset of winter cold and flu season combined with colder, short days unfortunately all contribute to increased asthma symptoms for many children.

People remain inside this time of year plus indoor air quality becomes poor, while colds move through families, schools and communities. As homes are tightly sealed with closed windows, air is trapped with less ventilation causing irritants that trigger asthma to be more concentrated. Tobacco smoke, molds, smoke from festive holiday fireplaces and wood stoves used for heat all contribute to poor air quality, negatively impacting asthma sufferers. Children are increasingly diagnosed with asthma in the United States, and they can be especially affected by air quality in their environment.

Ten tips to help "asthma-proof" your home…

Tip 3: Use only clean-burning candles. Plain, unscented natural beeswax candles have a gentle, sweet scent without added perfumes and dyes...

Honey Recommended to Treat Nasal Staph Infection

Medicinal Honey Fights Bacteria
Dr. Andrew Weil, Vancouver Sun (Canada), 10/29/2007

Q: I have had a staph infection in my nose for a long time. I've tried several antibiotics and topical ointments that haven't helped. What can I do?

A: The bacterium Staphylococcus aureus is often found on the skin and in the noses of healthy people. It has been estimated that, at any given time, 25 to 30 per cent of the population has staph bacteria in the nose, but only some of those infected have symptoms. These bacteria can cause anything from minor skin infections (pimples) and boils to such potentially life-threatening diseases as pneumonia, meningitis and toxic shock syndrome.

Some 500,000 hospital patients in the United States develop staph infections every year. Disturbingly, these infections seem to be increasingly resistant to the penicillin-related antibiotics used to treat them. The worst infections result from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, and options for treating them are dwindling.

Standard treatment for staph infections of the nose is regular application of an antibiotic ointment (over-the-counter or prescription), but some of these infections can be stubborn, taking up to a year to subside. If this approach hasn't helped, you might try using medicinal honey instead. Researchers at the University of Waikato in New Zealand have found that honey's antibacterial activity can even stop the growth of MRSA bacteria. They've also shown that honey has no adverse effects on healthy tissue and can be safely inserted into cavities and sinuses to clear infection. Don't try this with ordinary supermarket honey. Two medicinal honeys available commercially include manuka honey from New Zealand and Medihoney from Australia…

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Honey is a Natural and Effective Skincare Treatment

By Olessa Pindak, Natural Health, Pg. 33(3) Vol. 37 No. 10, 11/1/2007

The honey you use to sweeten your tea or spread on your morning toast can also be used to soften and hydrate your skin. It turns out the qualities that make it such a powerful nutritional source (honey is full of amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, and has more protein per ounce than some meat) make it good for the skin, too, says Fran E. Cook-Bolden, M.D., clinical assistant professor in the department of dermatology at Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons.

A natural moisturizer, honey also has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, which act to protect the hive from bacteria. Plus, honey is used in skincare just as it's found in nature: "It's not pressed, steamed, or extracted," observes Celeste Lutrario, director of research and development at Burt's Bees…

Because of its high sugar content, honey is a humectant, meaning it pulls moisture from the air into the skin, helping to keep it hydrated and plump…

"Honey's low pH makes it acidic, which provides a mild antibacterial effect," says Cook-Bolden. The cleansing properties that have madehoney a traditional treatment for cuts and scrapes also make it a great skin cleanser…

"Honey's antioxidant properties fight free radicals from the sun and pollution that can age skin," says Cook-Bolden. "It's also a greattreatment for sun-damaged skin."…

"High levels of antioxidants in honey neutralize the effects of damaging free radicals," says Lutrario. Antioxidants help to encourage healthy cell turnover, revealing newer, fresher skin…

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Propolis Component Kills Cancer Cells

Constituents of Brazilian Red Propolis and Their Preferential Cytotoxic Activity Against Human Pancreatic PANC-1 Cancer Cell Line in Nutrient-Deprived Condition
Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, Article in Press

Abstract: Human pancreatic cancer cells such as PANC-1 are known to exhibit marked tolerance to nutrition starvation that enables them to survive for prolonged period of time even under extremely nutrient-deprived conditions. Thus, elimination of this tolerance to nutrition starvation is regarded as a novel approach in anticancer drug development.

In this study, the MeOH soluble extract of Brazilian red propolis was found to kill 100% PANC-1 cells preferentially in the nutrient-deprived condition at the concentration of 10 μg/mL.

Further phytochemical investigation led to the isolation of 43 compounds including three new compounds, (6aS,11aS)-6a-ethoxymedicarpan (1), 2-(2′,4′-dihydroxyphenyl)-3-methyl-6-methoxybenzofuran (2), and 2,6-dihydroxy-2-[(4-hydroxyphenyl)methyl]-3-benzofuranone (3).

Among them, (6aR,11aR)-3,8-dihydroxy-9-methoxypterocarpan (21, DMPC) displayed the most potent 100% preferential cytotoxicity (PC100) at the concentration of 12.5 μM.

Further study on the mode of cell death induced by DMPC against PANC-1 cells indicated that killing process was not accompanied by DNA fragmentation, rather through a nonapoptotic pathway accompanied by necrotic-type morphological changes.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Apitherapy Symposium in Romania Dec. 7-9

First International Symposium of the Romanian Apitherapy Society
December 7-9, 2007, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

The Symposium will be held December 7 to 9, 2007, in collaboration with the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Cluj-Napoca.

Presentations will include:

* Actions of Royal Jelly on the Nervous System - Shoei Furukawa (Department of Biofunctional Analysis, Gifu Pharmaceutical University, Japan)

* Effect of Estrogen and Estrogen-Like Substances on Cultured Neural Stem Cells - Yoshiko Furukawa (Department of Pharmaceutical Pharmacology, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Matsuyama University, Japan)

* Applications of BVT by Micro-Api-Puncture and Practical Demonstration About How to Use BVT Tools for Micro-Api-Puncture - Hirofumi Naito (Vice-president of the Nippon Apitherapy Society, Japan)

* Advantages of Fresh Pollen Versus Dry Pollen and the Best Way to Harvest a Pure Propolis from Hives that Can be Used for Medical Purposes - Patrice Percie Du Sert (France)

* Abdominal Palpation, Emotions and Apitherapy - Oral Presentation and Practical Demonstration - Claudette Raynal (France)

Registration Fee: 30 EUR

The fee includes access to the conference and Api-Expo and a visit to the Laboratory of Bees Products Quality Control of the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Cluj-Napoca

Booth Fee at Api-Expo: 100 EUR

For more information, e-mail: and

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Croatian Propolis has Stronger Antimicrobial, Antioxidant Activity than Brazilian Propolis

Antimicrobial and Antioxidant Activity of Propolis from Croatia and Brazil: a Comparative Study
Planta Medica, 2007; 73

The source of the plant material from which honeybees collect propolis has the influence on its chemical profile, and consequently on biological activity.

The aim of present study was to compare antimicrobial and antioxidant activity of ethanolic extracts of propolis collected from hives in Croatia (continental part) as typical poplar-type, and in Brazil (Minas Gerais region) as typical green or alecrim-type of propolis…

Higher content of flavanones was found in Croatian propolis (38.6%) than in Brazilian propolis (11.4%). The content of flavones/flavonols was also higher in the Croatian propolis sample (1.6% vs. 0.9%, respectively).

More potent antimicrobial activity exhibited Croatian propolis with MIC values below 10.38mg/mL against Escherichia coli ATCC 10535, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 27853, and yeast Candida albicans ATCC 10231, while Brazilian propolis had MIC values against the same microbes between 10.38 and 20.75mg/mL.

The antioxidant potential was significant using Croatian propolis sample against DPPH radicals. Comparison of rate of scavenging capacity between propolis extracts showed no radicals after 30min using Croatian propolis while Brazilian propolis after 60min left 10% of radicals.

In conclusion, origin of propolis has influence on the chemical composition of propolis as well as on its antimicrobial and antioxidant activity.

According to the presented study, Croatian propolis rich in flavonoid aglycones exerts stronger antimicrobial and antioxidant activity than Brazilian propolis which is rich in other types of polyphenols such as prenylated phenylpropanoids.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

1st World Propolis Science Forum

October 25-26, 2007
National Science Museum, Daejeon, South Korea

Honey: Its Effects on Anxiety and Memory in Adult Rats

Presentation by Lynne Chepulis and Nicola Starkey, University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand


* Cognitive ability is one of the main functions known to decline with age - oxidative damage
* Hyperglycemia involved in brain damage
* Link between glucose intolerance and diabetes with cognitive impairment
* Low glycemic foods may help to prevent this


* Has a low glycemic index
* Many honey’s have high antioxidant contents
* Antioxidants offset oxidative damage in the brain
* Previously honey has been shown to significantly decrease weight gain, improve HDL cholesterol and blood sugar levels
* In people, honey consumption increases serum antioxidant content


* To investigate whether long term feeding of honey can offset age related cognitive decline in rats
* Formed part of a larger study which examined other biochemical and physiological measures


* Forty three Sprague Dawley rats (aged 2 months) were fed diets containing either 8% sucrose, 10% honey (honey is 20% water) or a sugar free diet for 12 months
* Diets prepared to approximate the composition of a typical NZ diet (15% protein, 35% fat, 45% carbohydrate)
* Weight assessed every 2 weeks, food intake every two months
* Behaviour assessed every 3 months on the EPM and Y maze

Key Findings:

* Honey fed rats were less anxious at all time points but anxiety decreased in all rats over time
* Activity levels were similar across all groups, decreasing between 6 and 12 months
* Spatial recognition improved in honey fed rats
* Honey rats had lower blood sugar and cholesterol
* Two benefits – antioxidant effects and low GI index

Further Questions:

* How much honey needs to be eaten to see these effects?
* Are effects due to low GI or antioxidant properties?
* More studies needed to clarify the effects on learning
* Dairy companies may begin using honey as a sweetener in yoghurts, etc.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

US Apitherapy Products Firm Earns ‘Good Manufacturing Practices’ Certification

Beehive Botanicals Earns GMP Certification

Beehive Botanicals of Hayward, Wis., recently achieved Good Manufacturing Practices certification by the NSF under new standards established specifically for dietary supplements. (Each Beehive Botanicals product includes bee-collected pollen, royal jelly, propolis, or honey.)

The Good Manufacturing Practices Program (GMP) for dietary supplements was published in June 2007. The final draft of the publication took four years to complete.

“In anticipation of industry-wide changes, we’ve worked diligently over the past several years to achieve federal GMP certification. The benefit to our customers who rely on us for manufacturing their products is twofold. First, we are prepared to advise them on their responsibilities for meeting the new regulations. Next, because we’re GMP certified, each batch manufactured here will meet federal specifications for identity, purity, dosage strength and composition,” explained Linda Graham, CEO and president of Beehive Botanicals.

Third party audits ensure that standard operating procedures for every aspect of dietary supplement manufacturing meet the new standards.

Because Graham and her staff have worked all along with customers on quality enhancements toward GMP certification, the Hayward manufacturer is ahead of the game. Manufacturers that never operated under GMP programs, as well as those using former GMP program measures, must quickly invest time and money to be compliant.

Find more at online at

* Dedicated to Purity, Integrity and Quality since 1972
* The largest dealer of bee propolis in North America
* A member of the International Bee Research Association (IBRA)
* A member of the American Apitherapy Association
* A member of the American Herbal Products Association
* A member of the TruLabel Program

Contact: Sally Gagan, Operation Manager, (715) 634-4274

Honey Recommended for Post-Operative Care, Healing

By Codie Leonsch Hartwig, Associated Content, 10/22/2007

The newly rediscovered healing properties of honey have been talked about a lot as of late, and now honey is in the news again thanks to a research review of the topic and its post-operative application recommendation appearing in Blackwell's International Journal of Clinical Practice (IJICP)…

First FDA-Cleared Honey-Based Treatment

Honey Makes Sweet Comeback in Treating Advanced Wounds
Business Wire, 10/22/2007

PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--An ancient remedy has been rediscovered for its therapeutic properties and has become a really sweet addition to treating serious wounds.

MEDIHONEY™ Wound & Burn Dressings are being distributed this month to physicians, hospitals and acute rehabilitation clinics. The product marks the first FDA clearance of a honey-based product for managing wounds and burns…

Use of MEDIHONEY™ involves applying it on bandages and wounds. The dressings can be used in all phases of the wound healing process, and are indicated for the management of:

· Diabetic foot ulcers
· Leg ulcers (venous stasis ulcers, arterial ulcers and leg ulcers of mixed etiology)
· Pressure ulcers/sores (partial and full thickness)
· First and second degree partial thickness burns
· Donor sites, and traumatic and surgical wounds...

Monday, October 22, 2007

New Book Outlines Health Benefits of Honey

Life Is Sweet With Honey
By Samantha Booth, Scottish Daily Record, 10/22/2007

HONEY has been enjoyed by humans for more than 20,000 years, which isn't surprising given its health benefits, sweet flavour and a myriad of uses…

Many even believed it to be the elixir of life, as new book Honey: A Handbook For Home, Health and Happiness, by Clova McQueen, shows us…

Honey consists of about 38 per cent fructose, 31 per cent glucose and one per cent sucrose, nine per cent other sugars, 17 per cent water and trace minerals.

It has a Glycaemic Index of 55 and has a calorie level 40 per cent lower than sugar but it is 25 per cent sweeter.

Honey is also cholesterol free.

While the four main natural by-products of honey production are pollen, royal jelly, beeswax and propolis…

Honey contains minerals, enzymes and antibiotics and it can be an effective treatment against colds and sore throats.

People swear by drinking a glass of honey and water several times a day. Honey and lemon juice is seen an effective remedy for sore throats as well as adding a teaspoon of honey to your tea or coffee.

Raw honey can also help hayfever, asthma sufferers and to alleviate up to 90 per cent of allergies although it is best to take honey from your local area and hay fever sufferers should start taking a teaspoon three times a day a few weeks before symptoms normally start.

One tablespoon of honey dissolved in a glass of warm water can also help headaches and migraines.

Honey is a natural laxative and helps to clean out the system which means it is also good for treating stomach aches as well as dehydration and diarrhoea…

A recommended tonic is one teaspoon of honey and the juice of half a lemon added to a glass of water to be taken first thing in the morning.

Honey has even been thought to help cure baldness. All anyone with a thinning pate has to do is rub their bald spot with raw onions and then they apply apple honey.

The golden syrup has also been thought to help insomnia, stress, acne, halitosis, boils, fatigue and high blood pressure…

There is even some evidence that suggests taking honey regularly helps prevent cancer and heart disease.

Honey also has antiseptic qualities that help to prevent the spread of bacteria, and has long been used as a means of fighting infection…

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Stop Flesh-Eating Superbugs With Honey

By Brandon Keim, Wired Science, 10/19/2007

Drugs might not work against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus -- better known as MRSA, one of the flesh-eating superbugs -- but honey could.

This week's CDC report on the superbug's alarming spread has caused alarm, and understandably so: 90,000 people could be infected this year, and it could kill more Americans than HIV/AIDS. It's scary stuff, with the bug spreading from hospitals to communities and in some cases evolving a total immunity from antibiotics. It's a good time, then to revisit this story I wrote a while back on honey -- an ancient remedy that's being revived for MRSA, burns, and wounds…

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Royal Jelly Helps Decrease Total Cholesterol

Royal Jelly Supplementation Improves Lipoprotein Metabolism in Humans
J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo),2 007 Aug;53(4):345-8

Royal jelly (RJ) has several physiological effects and is widely used in commercial medical products and health foods.

We examined the effects of RJ supplementation on serum lipoprotein metabolism in humans.

Fifteen volunteers were divided into an RJ intake group (n=7) and a control group (n=8). The RJ group took 6 g per day for 4 wk. Their serum total cholesterol (TC) and serum low-density lipoprotein (LDL) decreased significantly compared with those of the control group (p<0.05)…

Moreover, the relationship between the serum cholesterol and lipoprotein levels was investigated. Among the lipoprotein fractions, small very-low-density lipoprotein was decreased (p<0.05) after RJ intake.

Our results suggest that dietary RJ decreases TC and LDL by lowering small VLDL levels.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Honey, the Ancient Healer, Makes Comeback

United Press International, 10/18/2007

BANGOR, Wales, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- As antibiotic resistance spurs new interest in old remedies, a researcher in Wales suggests seriously considering honey as a healer.

The study, a review published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice, reports honey effectively sterilizes infected wounds and speeds up healing and has been used to reduce amputation rates among diabetes patients.

"Honey is one of the oldest foods in existence and was an ancient remedy for wound healing," lead author Dr. Fasal Rauf Khan of North West Wales National Health Service Trust in Bangor, Wales, said in a statement. "It was found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun and was still edible as it never spoils. Researchers started to document the wound healing properties of honey in the early 20th century, but the introduction of antibiotics in 1940 temporarily halted its use."

Honey has a number of properties that make it effective against bacterial growth, including its high sugar content, low moisture content, gluconic acid, which creates an acidic environment and hydrogen peroxide, Khan explains. It has also been shown to reduce inflammation and swelling and seems particularly suited for healing wounds left by laparoscopic surgery to remove cancer…

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bee Venom Has Anti-Arthritis, Pain-Relieving, Anti-Cancer Effects

Therapeutic Application of Anti-Arthritis, Pain-Releasing, and Anti-Cancer Effects of Bee Venom and Its Constituent Compounds
Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Volume 115, Issue 2, August 2007, Pages 246-270

Abstract: Bee venom (BV) therapy (BVT), the therapeutic application of BV, has been used in traditional medicine to treat diseases, such as arthritis, rheumatism, pain, cancerous tumors, and skin diseases.

BV contains a variety of peptides, including melittin, apamin, adolapin, the mast-cell-degranulating (MCD) peptide, enzymes (i.e., phospholipase [PL] A2), biologically active amines (i.e., histamine and epinephrine), and nonpeptide components which have a variety of pharmaceutical properties. BV has been reported to have anti-arthritis effects in several arthritis models.

Melittin, a major peptide component of BV, has anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritis properties, and its inhibitory activity on nuclear factor kappaB (NF-κB) may be essential for the effects of BV. The anti-nociceptive effects of BV have also been demonstrated in thermal, visceral, and inflammatory pain models.

Apcupoint stimulation (apipuncture) therapy into subcutaneous region may be important in the BV-induced anti-nociceptive effects. Multiple mechanisms, such as activation of the central and spinal opiod receptor, and α2-adrenergic activity, as well as activation of the descending serotonergic pathway have been suggested. The inhibition of c-Fos expression in the spinal cord by BV apipuncture in several nociceptive models is also reported to be a possible mechanism.

BV also has anti-cancer activity. The cell cytotoxic effects through the activation of PLA2 by melittin have been suggested to be the critical mechanism for the anti-cancer activity of BV. The conjugation of cell lytic peptide (melittin) with hormone receptors and gene therapy carrying melittin can be useful as a novel targeted therapy for some types of cancer, such as prostate and breast cancer.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

First Honey-Based Wound Care Product Available in US

Derma Sciences Announces Launch Of MEDIHONEY Wound Care Dressings
Business Wire, 10/17/2007

PRINCETON N.J., Oct 17, 2007 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Derma Sciences, a manufacturer and marketer of advanced wound care products, today announced that it has launched and shipped its first sales of Active Leptospermum-(Manuka) honey based MEDIHONEY(TM), the first honey-based wound care product available in the US. Derma Sciences received FDA clearance for MEDIHONEY(TM) in July 2007...

Propolis, Mupirocin Combination Reduced MRSA Cell Count

Antibacterial Activity of Propolis Against MRSA and Synergism with Topical Mupirocin
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2007, 13(7): 713-718.

Objectives: The aim of the present study was to investigate the activity of the propolis and its combinations with mupirocin against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in nasal carriage.

Methods: This study was carried out between June and August 2005. To infect nares of the rabbits, MRSA (ATCC 33591) strain was used. Minimum inhibitory concentration was determined according to National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards…

Results: The colony numbers of bacteria in group 1 were determined to be significantly lower than in group 2 (p = 0.0001), group 3 (p = 0.0001), and group 4 (p = 0.0001). The mean bacterial cell counts of groups 1–4 were 360.2 ± 52.4 cfu/mL, 4120.6 ± 860.4 cfu/mL, 5980.8 ± 1240.6 cfu/mL, and 11500.0 ± 2568.4 cfu/mL, respectively. Mupirocin + propolis administration (group 1) resulted in a significant reduction in the polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMNL) count in the mucous membranes of rabbits compared with the other treatment groups (p

Conclusions: Propolis addition to mupirocin regimen was found to result in more profound reduction in bacterial cell count and inflammatory response compared with the rest of the treatment modalities.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Apitherapy in Iran

By Behnam Kaviani-Vahid, Pharm.D., Journal of the American Apitherapy Society, Volume 14, Number 3, September 2007

Excerpts: …Scientific research on apitherapy in Iran resulted from the efforts of a great mystic man Mr. Azizollah Mohaghegh Modarres Najafi, from Mashhad, the capital of Iran’s North East province. Using the bodies of recently died bees, he prepared an ointment for use in treating patients with joint disorders ranging from simple trauma to arthritis. And on his recommendation, bee venom was used on rheumatic patients at Imam Reza Hospital, at the Mashhad University of Medical Sciences. Professor Mehdi Balali-Mood played a major role in managing the team and persuading health officials to accept the project and provide beehives for the medical team.

However, the project was criticized by academic staffs, who declared bee venom therapy to be unscientific. They also claimed that if the technique had been effective, Pharmaceutical companies would have used it to develop medicines before the Iranian researchers did, and there would have been at least one U.S. Food and Drug Administration–approved medication to present to the pharmaceutical markets. Moreover, apitherapists were viewed by most academics as unethical for treating patients with live bee stings. Despite these criticisms and problems, bee venom therapy, using live honeybees, began in 1989 in the department of rheumatology at Imam Reza Hospital under the supervision of Dr. Mohammad Reza Hataf.

After receiving good results from two arthritic patients (one with Rieter syndrome and the other with RA), we launched a pilot study to collect bee venom by means of a new invented electrical shock device and then formulation of two different medications from the venom. One ointment and freeze dried Vials in 4 different dosages from Bee venom which was supposed to be consumed for use by a small number of volunteers with autoimmune diseases. The results of treating two patients were presented at a 1990 regional congress in Ahwaz, the capital of Iran’s South West province, but were rejected by the congressional officials. In 1992 the same results were reported to an international congress on Natural Toxins in Singapore and were accepted for presentation at the opening ceremony.

Since 1992 the use of beehive products, especially bee venom, has been formally presented at congresses, university seminars, and beekeepers’ meetings. As research teams continue to study bee venom therapy, disorders ranging from simple trauma to malignant tumors, and especially MS and arthritis, are being considered for investigation.

It is now common to see pollen, propolis, and royal jelly at exhibitions and in shops selling honey and traditional plant medicines. With the safety of bee products ensured by health officials, the bee industry has grown significantly, particularly the field of packaging. As the industry develops further, new standards will gradually be introduced.

Also under way is a step-by-step effort to convince Iran’s health ministers of the effectiveness of honeybee products, particularly bee venom. In addition, three workshops have been held for medical doctors regarding Bee Venom Therapy. Although as recently as 20 years ago none of Iran’s medical doctors or professors were willing to use even honey to treat their patients, well-known orthopedic physicians are now using organic raw honey in the operating room and as a way of healing wounds and fungi-infected nails.

A recent area of research on honeybee products is the effectiveness of propolis as a virus growth inhibitor in the production of vaccines…

Monday, October 15, 2007

Beebread in Apitherapy

By Priscilla Coe, Journal of the American Apitherapy Society, Volume 14, Number 3, September 2007

Beebread is an extremely nourishing tonic made of pollen and honey that roughly simulates the beebread made by honeybees in the hive. Its high lactic acid content supports healthy digestion, which is a foundation of good health. The lactic acid also can be converted to glucose in the body, glucose being the main source of energy used throughout the body.

The production of beebread in the hive is not fully understood. Approximately one-quarter of the mature bees in a hive collect only pollen, one-quarter forage only for nectar, and roughly half forage for both pollen and nectar. Therefore, it is estimated that half of the pollen brought back to the hive has been mixed with nectar. The remainder of the pollen brought back to the hive has been mixed with some of the honey that the bees took with them as an energy source on their flights to obtain the pollen. The bees tightly pack these pellets—each containing millions of pollen grains—along with saliva, into the worker cells until they are three-fourths full. Having previously cleaned and lined these cells with a thin layer of propolis, the bees then seal the beebread “silo” with a thin layer of propolis to prevent the development of bacteria and fungi.

To make beebread for apitherapy purposes, the typical ratio is one to one, honey to pollen, though some people prefer additional honey for a more liquid consistency. This is mixed in a sterile glass container and then left for a few weeks to ferment. It is ideal to use fresh, not dried, pollen: as pollen dries, its vitality and nutrients are adversely affected. Fresh pollen has a moisture content of 10­-20%, while dried pollen’s is 4-­6%.

Dr. Stashenko notes that when the pollen is moistened with honey, the pollen’s lactic bacteria, with the aid of the pollen’s high protein content, quickly produce large amounts of lactic acid. The pH level of fresh pollen is approximately 7.2; in one-week-old beebread it drops to 3.5-4.2. He further notes that preparing beebread is more efficient without oxygen, and therefore recommends that the jar be covered tightly and that the contents not be stirred after the initial blending. After the several-week fermentation period, beebread should be stored in the refrigerator. Theoretically, it can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for as long as five years, though over time the amount of protein, sugar, and other acids will decline. Therefore, it is best to make beebread in small quantities and consume it within a few months.

Source: Vetaley Stashenko, PhD, ND, naturopathic doctor, apiculturist and apitherapist

Honey Wound Dressing Line Launched in US

Comvita Launches Range in US
New Zealand Press Association, 10/15/2007

Honey products company Comvita has launched its Medihoney wound dressing range of products in the United States.

Comvita said the brand was launched by its US partner , Derma Sciences at a skin and wound care symposium in Nashville…

Research on Manuka honey were also presented at the symposium, showing improved healing and infection control rates, including reductions in MRSA, and positive results for diabetic ulcers…

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Combined Use of Propolis, Metronidazole Helps Treat Giardiasis

Effect of Propolis Versus Metronidazole and Their Combined Use in Treatment of Acute Experimental Giardiasis
Journal of the Egyptian Society of Parasitology, 2007 Aug;37(2 Suppl):691-710

Propolis, a honey bee product, gained popularity in alternative medicine. Its prophylactic and therapeutic effects were experimentally evaluated.

One hundred and fifty immunocompetent mice were orally infected by 5 x 10(5) axenically cultivated Giardia lamblia trophozoites

In treatment it gave a highly significant decrease in trophozoite count than that obtained by MTZ 6 days after infection but the efficacy was almost equal after 12 days. The mice treated with propolis alone showed a reversed CD4+: CD8+ T-lymphocyte ratio, such strong immune enhancing effect resulted in an undesirable increase in inflammatory response at intestinal level.

The combined therapy showed a stronger efficacy in reducing the parasite count than that gained by each drug alone. Their combined use caused an immunological balance as shown by the T-lymphocyte profile that saved the intestinal homeostasis and histological architecture.

Honey May Combat Effects of Aging

Honey Study Gets Sweet Results
South Florida Sun-Sentinel (USA), 10/14/2007

Perhaps Winnie the Pooh knows something we don't. Honey could soon be marketed as a way to combat the effects of aging.

Lynne Chepulis and Nicola Starkey of the University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand, raised rats on diets containing 10 percent honey, 8 percent sucrose or no sugar at all for 12 months. The rats were 2 months old at the start of the trial, and were assessed every three months using tests designed to measure anxiety and spatial memory.

Honey-fed rats spent almost twice as much time in the open sections of an assessment maze than sucrose-fed rats, suggesting they were less anxious. They were also were more likely to enter novel sections of a Y-shaped maze, suggesting they knew where they had been previously and had better spatial memory…

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Honey Heals Wounds Infected with MRSA

Effect of Medical Honey on Wounds Colonised or Infected with MRSA
Journal of Wound Care, Vol 16, No 08, Page 325 , September 2007

This retrospective case series reports on seven consecutive patients with MRSA infected/colonised wounds treated with Medihoney. The patients had been infected/colonised during the previous five years, and had then received antibacterial medical honey.

Antiseptics were used on the first day of treatment only. Patient acceptance of the honey dressing was good. MRSA was eradicated in all wounds without the further use of topical antiseptics or systemic antibiotics. All wounds eventually healed.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Honey Nebulization is Effective Treatment for Asthma Attacks in Infants, Children

Bee Honey Nebulization as a Non Traditional Treatment of Acute Bronchial Asthma in Infants and Children
Mamdouh Abdul Maksoud Mohamed Abdul Rhman, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University Abbasia, Cairo, Egypt

[Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a series of abstracts from the 1st International Conference on the Medicinal Uses of Honey (From Hive to Therapy) held by Universiti Sains Malaysia in August of 2006. The abstracts have been published by the Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences (Vol.14 No.1, January 2007).]

BACKGROUND: Bee honey has been an outstanding household remedy used for the treatment of cough and wheezing associated with bronchitis. The therapeutic use of honey in the form of inhalation dates from very early days. This method is particularly effective in the treatment of diseases of the upper respiratory tract.

OBJECTIVE: The present work attempted to study the effects of bee honey in the form of nebulization in infants and children with acute asthma.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: After obtaining consent from their parents, 300 infants and children with mild to moderate acute attacks of asthma were included in this study. The mean age of studied patients was 2.49 ± 3.02 years with male to female ratio of 1.2 to 1. All studied patients received Bee Honey Nebulization (BHN) for 30 minutes. Neither corticosteroids nor bronchodilators were given. The response was judged 60 minutes after BHN by changes in respiratory rate (RR), heart rate (HR), O2 saturation at room air (SPO2), dyspnoea, use of accessory respiratory muscles and chest wheezes.

RESULTS: There was a significant increase of SPO2 and decrease of RR and HR 60 minutes after BHN. The dyspnoea improved in 94% of patients. The chest wheezes disappeared in 35% and decreased significantly in 31% of patients. Six (6) patients were admitted because of persistence of symptoms.

During and after BHN increased frequency of productive cough occurred in 78.7% and it was severe and exhausting in 2%. The expectoration of sputum was followed by improvement in nearly all patients. Apart from severe exhausting cough, no side effects occurred during and after BHN.

CONCLUSION: BHN is an effective and safe treatment for mild and moderate acute attacks of asthma in infants and children.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Iran Considers Production of Bee Venom, Royal Jelly

Iran Can Produce Venom and Royal Gel of Bee
By Fatemeh Mehrdadian, Iranian Agriculture News Agency, 10/10/2007

Iran can produce Venom and Royal Gel of Bee as well as increasing the per capita production of Honey.

(IANA) – “Although Iran can produce Bee Venom, which is being sold over 400 Dollars per Gram, as well as the Royal Gel, country’s industry of bee growing is falling down,” said Ali Nazemi, Executive of the Union of Honeybee growers of the province Isfahan.

“The average production amount of Honey is over 100 Kilos per Hive in industrial countries while this number in Iran is even 10 Kilos,” said Nazemi.

“If the deputy of Livestock Affairs of the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad proceeds for equipping the research institutes of genetic modification of Honeybee, there will be opportunities for making raw materials for medical drugs as well as raising the production amount of Honey,” he asserted.

“This union needs basic agreement of the Ministry of Agriculture in order to start its researches but there have been no replies yet,” he continued, stating that he has submitted the project “Creating Venom and Production of Royal Gel to the Ministry of Agriculture” to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Study Shows Beeswax Contaminated by Acaricide Treatments

Pesticide Residues in Beeswax Samples Collected from Honey Bee Colonies (Apis mellifera L.) in France
Pest Management Science, Volume 63, Issue 11 , Pages 1100 – 1106 (November 2007)

Abstract: In 2002 a field survey was initiated in French apiaries in order to monitor the health of honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera L.). Studied apiaries were evenly distributed across five sites located in continental France. Beeswax samples were collected once a year over 2 years from a total of 125 honey bee colonies. Multiresidue analyses were performed on these samples in order to identify residues of 16 insecticides and acaricides and two fungicides.

Residues of 14 of the searched-for compounds were found in samples. Tau-fluvalinate, coumaphos and endosulfan residues were the most frequently occurring residues (61.9, 52.2 and 23.4% of samples respectively). Coumaphos was found in the highest average quantities (792.6 µg kg-1). Residues of cypermethrin, lindane and deltamethrin were found in 21.9, 4.3 and 2.4% of samples respectively.

Statistical tests showed no difference between years of sampling, with the exception of the frequency of pyrethroid residues. Beeswax contamination was the result of both in-hive acaricide treatments and, to a much lesser extent, environmental pollution.

Honey, Royal Jelly - Simple and Effective Therapy for Infertility

Combined Intravaginal Bee Honey and Royal Jelly Versus Intrauterine Insemination for Asthenozoospermia
Abdelmonaem J, Abdelhafiz TA, Mahmoud A, Rasheed S, Hashem, Khalaf MA
Assiut Clinic Dpt. Obstetrics and Gynecology, SV University Dpt. Dermatology and Venerology, Assiut University Hospital Dpt. Laboratory Medicine, Assiut University Hospital, Egypt

[Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a series of abstracts from the 1st International Conference on the Medicinal Uses of Honey (From Hive to Therapy) held by Universiti Sains Malaysia in August of 2006. The abstracts have been published by the Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences (Vol.14 No.1, January 2007).]

BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE: Artificial insemination by husband (h-IUI) is a simple treatment method for infertility reasoned by asthenozoospermia.

However, the pregnancy rates are poor. Artificial insemination donor (AID) is absolutely unacceptable in our society. The purpose of this work was to evaluate another simple method for “sperm enhancement” that entailed the midcyclic intravaginal use of bee honey and royal jelly by the wives, as compared to h-IUI.

MATERIAL & METHODS: Ninety-nine women with periods of infertility of more than three years, and in whom the sole reason for the infertility was asthenozoospermia, were studied. They were randomly assigned to use either pericoital intravaginal bee honey and royal jelly on cycle days 8 to 21 (group I), or h-IUI (group II) for three cycles. 5 ml crude Egyptian New Valley honey and half gram royal jelly were applied, using a special piston-like applicator. Application was either pre- or post-coital according to the personal preference. After a washout period of 2 months, women who did not conceive, were crossed over to the
alternate protocol for another 3 cycles.

RESULTS: Five-hundred fifty three cycles were completed, 283 for group I, and 270 for group II. The pregnancy rates per cycle were 8.1 % for group I (23 pregnancies), and 2.6 % (7 pregnancies) for group II; a statistically significant difference

CONCLUSION: Combined pericoital intravaginal use of bee honey and royal jelly is a more effective, simpler, and less expensive therapy for infertility due to asthenozoospermia than h-IUI.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Add Honey to Diet for Good Health

Adding a little honey to the diet does more than just satisfy a sweet tooth. Honey can boost levels of healthy antioxidants. For centuries, honey has been known to have various beneficial effects. It has compounds called phenolics that have antioxidant properties, a private TV channel reported.

These substances quench free radicals, which are unstable by-products of normal metabolism that cause damage to arteries and to DNA that can lead to cancer and other diseases…

Researchers from California conducted a study with 25 healthy adults showing how honey can boost antioxidant levels. For 29 days, the participants were made to add 4 tablespoons of honey to their daily diet.

The researchers tested two types of honey with different amounts of antioxidants with two groups. Blood samples were taken at the beginning and end of the study and it was found that the total level of phenolics increased in both the groups of the participants. The researchers recommended adding 2 to 4 tablespoons a day to their diet for boosting antioxidants and the body's defence system…

Honey Useful, Cost Effective Treatment for Radiation Mucositis

Role of Honey in the Management of Radiation Mucositis
Biswa Mohan Biswal Mbbs (Utkal), MD (AIIMS), DNB (India) ; Assoc. Prof. Clinical Oncology & Head Department of Nuclear Medicine, Radiotherapy Oncology, School of Medical Sciences, USM Health Campus, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia

[Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of abstracts from the 1st International Conference on the Medicinal Uses of Honey (From Hive to Therapy) held by Universiti Sains Malaysia in August of 2006. The abstracts have been published by the Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences (Vol.14 No.1, January 2007).]

Radiation therapy is an important modality of management for head and neck cancers. While irradiating the tumors inside head and neck anatomy, a significant extent of the oral and pharyngeal mucosa get therapeutic doses leading to mucositis. Mucositis is a condition characterized by damage to the epithelium of the oropharyngeal cavity and gastrointestinal tract from radiation or chemotherapy.

One of the reasons that epithelial cells are more susceptible to cytotoxic effects of radiation and chemotherapy is because of their relatively high rate of turn over of cells compared to other organs. Radiotherapy or chemotherapy further deplete stem cells of the basal epithelium resulting in a reduction of epithelial cells, release cytokines which increase local vascularity and cause inflammation.

Mucositis can lead to secondary infection, ulceration, and pain leading to malnutrition. Severe mucositis can result in hospitalization and delay in scheduling treatment, compromising therapeutic efficacy. In many instances, patients used to discontinue effective radiotherapy treatment.

Though radiation induced mucositis is a very common side effect of radiotherapy, there is no established guidelines of management. Treatments like antibiotic lozenges, topical sucralfate, aspirin mucilage, local laser treatment, GM-CSF, keratin growth factors have been applied with varying response rate in research set up.

Honey results primarily from the transformation and concentration of nectars from flowers by two processes: interaction with the upper digestive tract secretion of the honeybee and concentration by the water loss (>80%) in beehives. It is a golden yellow viscus fluid containing sugar and many useful compounds. Earlier basic laboratory and animal studies has shown to be epithelial regenerative, anti-bacterial and nutritional properties. Earlier literature evidences reported usefulness of honey in the management of burn and post surgical wound.

In a randomized comparative study conducted at University Science Malaysia for the first time showed a significant reduction of severe (RTOG grade III-IV) radiation induced mocositis among head and neck cancer patient’s undergone fractionated radiotherapy.

In addition to prevention of severe mucositis, we observed positive gain in the body weight. Currently we are conducting a multicenter double blind randomized trial on the application of pure natural honey in the management of mucositis induced by concurrent chemoradiotherapy in nasopharyngeal cancers.

Honey being a natural agent available worldwide may found to be a useful and cost effective treatment in radiation mucositis.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Swiss 2-Day Apitherapy Course in German

Switzerland, November 5-6, 2007
Instructor: Dr. Stefan Stangaciu

Honey Effective in Preventing Ichthyosis Skin Infections

Therapeutic Effect of Dimocarpus Longan Lour Honey on Ichthyosis Patients
SIU-WAN IP, Professor Department of Nutrition and Biotechnology, China Medical University Taichung City, 40402, Taiwan

[Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of abstracts from the 1st International Conference on the Medicinal Uses of Honey (From Hive to Therapy) held by Universiti Sains Malaysia in August of 2006. The abstracts have been published by the Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences (Vol.14 No.1, January 2007).]

Background: Ichthyosis is a group of skin disorders of keratinisation in which the skin is extremely dry and scany. Ichthyosis often invades joints and may cause human joints deformities because of severe skin infections. The objective of this study is to investigate the therapeutic effect of Dimocarpus Longan Lour. Honey on Ichthyosis patients.

Patients & Methods: Four Ichthyosis patients were selected in this study. Dimocarpus Longan Lour Honey 30ml was applied to the skin lesions every 12 hours. Also, Dimocarpus Longan Lour. Honey 20ml, per oral, every six hours for 16 weeks.

Main Results: After 16 weeks of local application and oral administration of Dimocarpus Longan Lour. Honey, patients found that their skin lesions of Ichthyosis were greatly improved.

Conclusions: Topical application and oral administration of Dimocarpus Longan Lour. Honey can provide a first line defense against wide spectrum of pathogens in Ichthyosis patients. The results of this study indicate Dimocarpus Longan Lour. Honey is an effective antimicrobial agent in preventing skin infections in Ichthyosis patients.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Royal Jelly Contains Complex Steroidal Composition

Compositions of Royal Jelly II. Organic Acid Glycosides and Sterols of the Royal Jelly of Honeybees (Apis mellifera)
Chem. Pharm. Bull.,55(10) 1528—1531 (10/1/2007)

Royal jelly is a secretion from the hypopharyngeal and mandibular glands of worker bees, and it is the exclusive food of the queen bee for the entire span of both her larval and adult lives.

With regard to the constituents of this material, it contains remarkably high amounts of organic acids in the total lipid fraction.1) Many organic acids mainly consisting of 8 to 11 carbon atoms such as 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic2,3) and 10-hydroxydecanoic acids have been isolated.

Among them, a minor component, 9-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid,4) is known to be a queen honeybee pheromone with swarm-stabilizing activity,5) and it is also regarded as a precursor of the so-called queen substance, 9-keto-2-decenoic acid, which controls the caste of honeybee colonies.6) Recently,
we have isolated mono- or diesters of 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid in which the hydroxyl group was esterified by another organic acid residue from the total lipid fraction of the royal jelly of the honeybees (Apis mellifera).7)

In view of these findings, it seems that other unknown compounds including pheromones or their precursors exist in royal jelly.

The present study was undertaken to examine the constituents of royal jelly in the hope of discovering the biologically active compounds that control the hierarchy of honeybee colonies. By application of the recycling HPLC technique for the isolation of minor constituents from a complex mixture, two glycosides (1, 2) together with 16 compounds (3—18) were obtained in the pure state. The former two were
fatty acid monoglucosides and the latter were sterols mainlycomposed of 28 or 29 carbons.

This paper deals with the isolation and structural elucidation of these compounds…

In conclusion, two organic acid glucosides (1, 2) and 16 sterols (3—18) were isolated in pure form. Both of the formers are the first glycosides isolated from royal jelly, although 1 has already been synthesized by Takimoto and Motoyoshi.18) It is noteworthy that the main organic acids, 10-hydroxy-2E-decenoic and 10-hydroxydecanoic acids, also exist as glucosides in royal jelly.

Concerning sterols, only eight compounds have been identified so far.19) This study showed that royal jelly contains a very complex steroidal composition. A major sterol is 24-methylenecholesterol (7), followed by sitosterol (12) and isofucosterol (8). These compounds comprised as much as 80% of the total sterol fraction.

Except for desmosterol, all other sterols consist of 28 or 29 carbons. At present, it remains unclear whether all sterols obtained originate from pollen. To the best of our knowledge, compounds 3—6 are the first isofucosterol derivatives isolated from natural products. Further investigation will be made with the objective of finding more of the compounds that control the caste of honeybee colonies.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Study: Antibiotics Showed Less Antibacterial Activity Than Honey

In Vitro Anti-Staphylococcal Activity of Honey and Two Standard Antibiotics (Cloxacillin and Ampicillin)
Annals of Burns and Fire Disasters - vol. XX - n. 1 - March 2007

Summary: Fifty bacterial isolates comprising Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus albus from six pathological sources were exposed to honey and its fractional dilutions as also as to two standard antibiotics - cloxacillin (5 mg/ml) and ampicillin (10 mg/ml) - in an agar-cup diffusion sensitivity test.

The undiluted honey showed antibacterial activity against almost 100% of the bacterial isolates while its 1:2 to 1:10 fractional dilutions also had antibacterial property against the isolates in decreasing order of activity.

Cloxacillin recorded higher antibacterial activity than ampicillin but both exerted less antibacterial activity than honey. The therapeutic application of honey, following clinical trials, should be of relevance in treating bacterial infections and, in particular, those due to the two Staphylococcus species tested.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Honey Recommended as Alternative to Cough Medicine for Children

Five Alternatives to Treat Kids' Colds Without Suspect Medicines
By Sarah Baicker, Medill News Service, 10/4/2007

WASHINGTON -- In light of the Food and Drug Administration's recent recommendation that young children not take cold or cough medicines, parents across the country have started to look for alternatives.

When a child is sick, parents are likely to feel helpless and frustrated when they cannot do anything to remedy a sore throat or painful cough. There are, however, still ways to help children who are ill with colds.

Even though a cold cannot be cured by anything other than time, pediatricians believe some simple, nondrug treatments can help. After all, a parent who is confident and not anxious will better help a sick kid than a parent who feels powerless, doctors say…

3. Honey and corn syrup

For children older than one year, a quarter-teaspoon of honey can be great for calming a sore throat. "In a study I saw," said Nussbaum, "the honey worked just as well as most cough medicines." Seely recommended corn syrup, which works like honey to coat the throat and help control a nonproductive, dry cough.

Room-temperature is fine for both, but warming can only help because the warmth will feel soothing on a dry throat. But, the doctors warned, it is important not to give honey to infants because of a risk of botulism…

Honey Used to Diabetic Foot Wounds in Malaysia

Honey and Diabetic Foot: Malaysian Experience
Dr. Mohd Iskandar Mohd Amin, M. Med Ortho (USM), Department of Orthopedics, School of Medical Sciences, Health Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia

[Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of abstracts from the 1st International Conference on the Medicinal Uses of Honey (From Hive to Therapy) held by Universiti Sains Malaysia in August of 2006. The abstracts have been published by the Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences (Vol.14 No.1, January 2007).]

Intrigue with the wonders of the nature’s own resourceful product “Honey” and facing the ever challenging and complex management of “Diabetic Foot”, we in HUSM embark in using honey in treating diabetic foot wound for more than 10 years.

Being in Kelantan where diabetic foot incidence is relatively high, the rate of amputation is increasing, modern medicine effectiveness is questionable and expensive and patient are more inclined towards traditional form of treatment.

We since early 1990’s started using various methods of dressing material including papaya and honey. Honey seems to be more promising and to have scientific evidence of the effectiveness of the usage of honey in diabetic foot wound management. We did a controlled clinical trial comparing two types of dressing materials for diabetic foot ulcers using honey and povidone-iodine…

Even though there is no significant difference in healing rate and achieving sterile wound for patient using honey and povidone as dressing material but there is added advantage of using honey as to reduction in pain during dressing change, faster reduction of oedema, less odor, cheaper and more acceptable to the patient.
Now, honey is part of our regimen in treating Wagner’s II diabetic wound and honey is provided by our hospital pharmacy for inpatient treatment. We are exploring and expanding the usage of honey as dressing material and possibility is infinite.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Study: Honey Has Greater Inhibitory Effect than Antibiotics on Some Bacteria

Antimicrobial Effect of Bee Honey in Comparison to Antibiotics on Organisms Isolated from Infected Burns
Annals of Burns and Fire Disasters - vol. XX - n. 2 - June 2007

Summary: Despite recent advances in antimicrobial chemotherapy and burn wound management, infection continues to be an important problem in burns. Honey is the most famous rediscovered remedy that is used to treat infected wounds and promote healing.

The present study aims to evaluate the antimicrobial effect of bee honey on organisms isolated from infected burns in comparison to the antibiotics used in treatment of burn infection, and to evaluate the effects produced when bee honey is added to antibiotic discs…

The mean inhibition zones (in mm) produced by honey (18.2 ± 2.5 mm) when applied to isolated gram-negative bacteria were significantly higher than amoxicillin/clavulinic acid, sulbactam/ampicillin, and ceftriaxone (p1 = 0.005 for each).

When honey was added to the antibiotic discs there was highly significant increased sensitivity of isolated gram-negative bacteria compared with each of the antibiotic discs alone and with honey alone.

The susceptibility of isolated staphylococci revealed the synergistic effect of added honey to the antibiotic discs tested. The antimicrobial effect of honey (18.7 ± 2.2 mm) was significantly higher than antibiotics - ciprofloxacin, sulbactam/ampicillin, ceftriaxone, and vancomycin (p1 0.05 for each).

After the addition of honey to the tested antibiotic discs there were highly significant increased inhibition zones of antibiotic mixed with honey compared with antibiotic alone - ciprofloxacin, vancomycin, and methicillin (p3 0.001 for each). Also, the increase was significant compared with antibiotics alone - imipenem, amoxicillin/clavulinic acid, and ceftriaxone (p3 0.05).

In conclusion, honey had more inhibitory effect (85.7%) on isolated gram-negative bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterobacter spp., Klebsiella) than commonly used antibiotics, while it had an inhibitory effect on all methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (100%) compared with antibiotics used.

A synergistic effect of honey was observed when it was added to antibiotics for gram-negative bacteria and also for coagulase-positive staphylococci.

Topical Application of Honey for Burn Wound Treatment - An Overview

Subrahmanyam M., Department of Surgery, Bharati Vidyapeeth University Medical College and Hospital, Sangli, Maharashtra, India
Annals of Burns and Fire Disasters

Summary: The use of honey in the treatment of burn wounds is discussed and an attempt is made to assess honey’s current status as a burn wound dressing. Various kinds of honey are considered, as also the history of its use for this purpose since ancient times. The scientific reasons for honey’s appropriateness in burns treatment are reviewed and an account is provided of the main benefits of such treatment.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Honey and Wound Care

Pharmacy Today - Show Me the Honey
By Ellen Campbell–Grizzle, Jamaica Gleaner, 10/3/2007

Honey is an ancient remedy that is attracting new attention. Science has turned up evidence to support some of its traditional uses.

Now, we know that honey contains, among other constituents, glucose oxidase. This substance breaks down into gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide, when exposed to oxygen and water. This accounts for its excellent antiseptic properties. After careful cleaning practitioners apply honey to wounds to promote healing, prevent infection and reduce swelling and pain. The viscosity of honey provides a protective barrier to prevent wounds becoming infected….

There are now well documented claims that honey:

· Creates a moist healing environment that allows skin cells to regrow across a healing wound flush with the surface of the wound, preventing deformity of the skin. (If a dry scab forms on a wound, the skin cells can only grow across the wound deeper down where it is moist.)

· Causes scabs and dead cells to lift off the surface of the wound, leaving a clean healthy wound bed in which regrowth of tissue can occur.

· Stimulates the regrowth of tissue involved in the healing process.

· Does not stick to the underlying wound tissues, so there is no tearing away of newly formed tissue, and no pain, when dressings are changed.

· Has an anti-inflammatory action that reduces the swelling around a wound. This improves circulation and thus hastens the healing process. It also reduces pain.

· The high sugar content of honey draws lymph out of a wound, which lifts dirt out of the wound bed.

· Is acidic and retards bacterial growth.

· Prevents the odour that is commonly associated with serious wounds and skin ulcers by rapidly clearing bacterial infection. In this environment, lactic acid is produced instead of the smelly byproducts of the degradation of protein.

· There is no impairment of the healing process through adverse effects on wound tissues…

Practical Application of Honey Dressing

M Subrahmanyam, Professor and Head of Department of Surgery at Bharathi Bidyapeeth Deemed University Medical College and Hospital, Sangli, India

[Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of abstracts from the 1st International Conference on the Medicinal Uses of Honey (From Hive to Therapy) held by Universiti Sains Malaysia in August of 2006. The abstracts have been published by the Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences (Vol.14 No.1, January 2007).]

The medicinal properties of honey have been known over the years. The Indian medicine ‘Ayurveda’ describes honey as the nectar of life and recommends its use in the treatment of various ailments. Honey has been used as an adjuvant for acceleration of wound healing in ulcers, infected wounds, bedsores, Fournier’s gangrene and burns.

In burns honey has been found to heal the burn wounds faster and quicker with less scarring by scientific studies. In minor burns, it is recommended to pour tap water immediately on the burns, as this reduces the temperature. Afterwards, honey can be applied on burns. Depending on the area, 15-30 ml of honey can be applied directly on to the burn wound or soaked in gauze before application.

Occlusive or absorbent secondary dressings are applied to prevent honey from oozing out and the frequency of dressing changes depends on how rapidly the honey gets diluted by the exudates, which declines, as treatment progresses. In deep cavities gauze can be soaked and packing is done of the cavity. The dressing can be protected from ants by rapping it with a plastic cover.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Honey and Medicine: Past, Present and Future

P C Molan, Professor of Biological Sciences and Director of the Honey Research Unit University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand

[Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of abstracts from the 1st International Conference on the Medicinal Uses of Honey (From Hive to Therapy) held by Universiti Sains Malaysia in August of 2006. The abstracts have been published by the Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences (Vol.14 No.1, January 2007).]

Honey is one of the oldest medicines known, its recorded use going back more than 4 millennia. It was used to treat wounds and ulcers, sunburn, and infections of the eyes, throat and gut. These uses have continued into present-day folk medicine and are increasingly becoming part of modern professional medicine.

Good results have been reported in modern medical literature on the use of honey in ophthalmology and gastroenterology. The use of honey as a wound dressing has always been part of professional medicine, but it was displaced from common usage by the advent of antibiotics.

Now that antibiotic resistance in bacteria is becoming a major world-wide problem there is a rapidly increasing move towards using honey to clear infection in wounds, with no adverse effects on wound tissues.

Additional to using honey’s antibacterial activity, advantage is being taken of its other medically beneficial bioactivities: a rapid debriding action, a stimulatory effect on growth of tissues for wound repair, an anti-oxidant activity and an anti-inflammatory action, which minimises scarring.

There is a large amount of evidence for its effectiveness that has been published in recent times-reports of animal model and clinical studies, case reports and randomised controlled trials showing that honey is more effective than modern pharmaceutical products in managing wounds.

In cases where the long-forgotten ancient wisdom of using the best types of honey in formulations to keep it in place on a wound has been heeded, results obtained have been exceptionally good. Various wound-dressing materials manufactured from honey are now on the market in various countries as registered medical devices.

At the research level, honey is currently showing potential to also be useful for minimising damage to skin and mucosal surfaces from radiotherapy, treating gingivitis, treating viral infections, and combating cancerous tumours.

It is predicted that in the future it will be widely used prophylactically to prevent infection of patients with “superbugs” in hospitals, and will come into use as standard treatment for: leprosy; for all surgical wounds to prevent infection, prevent scarring, and speed healing; for burns, to prevent infection and prevent further damage to tissues caused by inflammation resulting from the thermal damage; to minimise burning from radiotherapy for cancer; to minimise effects on the gut of chemotherapy for cancer; and will be fully accepted by the medical profession as a legitimate modern medicine.

Standards for Quality Honey for Medicinal Uses

P C Molan, Professor of Biological Sciences and Director of the Honey Research Unit University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand

Although honey produced for use as a food is commonly used medicinally, there are risks associated with this when it is used on open wounds and in ophthalmology. If honey is to become accepted as a modern medicine then these risks need to be avoided where possible, so standards need to be put in place for the production of honey for medicinal use.

The risks are: infection resulting from microbial content; reaction to pyrogens from microbial content; allergic reaction to bee proteins or pollen in honey; formation of granulomas from non-biodegradable particles in honey; and to toxic substances in honey.

Gamma-irradiation of honey will remove the risk of infection, but may not be fully effective if the microbial content is too high. Nor will it remove the risk to a reaction to bacterial endotoxins, which may be substantial if the microbial content is high.

The bacterial content of honey can be kept low by maintaining high health in the hive and by clean handling of honey. Allergic reaction to bee proteins in honey cannot be avoided, but allergy to honey is commonly due to a reaction to pollen in the honey.

With appropriate machinery, it is possible to filter out pollen from honey, but high temperatures should be avoided in processing as damage to bioactive components may result. High quality filtration will also remove foreign matter from honey.

The avoidance of toxins in honey depends on the beekeeper: floral sources yielding toxic honey should be avoided when honey is destined for medicinal use, as should sources likely to be polluted with pesticides; measures should be taken to ensure that chemicals and antibiotics used in beekeeping cannot get into medicinal honey.

Another important standard that needs to be put in place for the provision honey for medicinal use is for assurance that the honey has sufficient bioactivity to be therapeutically effective. The antibacterial potency of honey can vary as much as 100-fold.

At present there are honey products on sale with quality-assured levels of antibacterial activity, and established assay protocols to measure this. Research is under way to establish assay protocols for other activities such as antioxidant activity, anti-inflammatory activity and stimulatory activity on growth of repair tissues.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Development of Honey Hydrogel Dressing for Enhanced Wound Healing

Radiation Physics and Chemistry, Volume 76, Issues 11-12, November-December 2007, Pages 1767-1770

Abstract: Radiation at 25 and 50 kGy showed no effect on the acidic pH of the local honey, Gelam, and its antimicrobial property against Staphylococcus aureus but significantly reduced the viscosity. Honey stored up to 2 years at room temperature retained all the properties studied.

Radiation sterilized Gelam honey significantly stimulated the rate of burn wound healing in Sprague-Dawley rats as demonstrated by the increased rate of wound contraction and gross appearance.

Gelam honey attenuates wound inflammation; and re-epithelialization was well advanced compared to the treatment using silver sulphadiazine (SSD) cream.

To enhance further the use of honey in wound treatment and for easy handling, Gelam honey was incorporated into our hydrogel dressing formulation, which was then cross-linked and sterilized using electron beam at 25 kGy. Hydrogel with 6% of honey was selected based on the physical appearance.