Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Propolis Extract Activity Comparable to Anti-Cancer Drugs

Cytotoxic Constituents from Brazilian Red Propolis and Their Structure–Activity Relationship
Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, Article in Press

Abstract: Several classes of flavonoids [flavanoids (1–10), flavonol (11), isoflavones (12–18), isoflavanones (19–22), isoflavans (23–26), chalcones (27–30), auronol (31), pterocarpans (32–37), 2-arylbenzofuran (38), and neoflavonoid (39)] and lignans (40–42) isolated from the MeOH extract of Brazilian red propolis were investigated for their cytotoxic activity against a panel of six different cancer cell lines including murine colon 26-L5 carcinoma, murine B16-BL6 melanoma, murine Lewis lung carcinoma, human lung A549 adenocarcinoma, human cervix HeLa adenocarcinoma, and human HT-1080 fibrosarcoma cell lines.

Based on the observed results, structure–activity relationships were discussed. Among the tested compounds, 7-hydroxy-6-methoxyflavanone (3) exhibited the most potent activity against B16-BL6 (IC50, 6.66 μM), LLC (IC50, 9.29 μM), A549 (IC50, 8.63 μM), and HT-1080 (IC50, 7.94 μM) cancer cell lines, and mucronulatol (26) against LLC (IC50, 8.38 μM) and A549 (IC50, 9.9 μM) cancer cell lines.

These activity data were comparable to those of the clinically used anticancer drugs, 5-fluorouracil and doxorubicin, against the tested cell lines, suggesting that 3 and 26 are the good candidates for future anticancer drug development.

Brazilian Propolis Shows Analgesic, Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Cancer Effects

The Brazilian Red Propolis of Group 13 and Its Biological, Physical and Physiological Activities

[Editor's Note: The following presentations were offered at the 6th German Apitherapy and Apipuncture Congress held in Passau from March 27th to April 1st.]

Cleber Silveira MORAES, Dr. Andreas DAUGSCH, Prof. Dr. Yong Kun PARK, State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), College of Food Engineering, Department of Food Science, Laboratory of Food Biochemistry, Campinas-SP., CEP: 13081-970, Brazil. E-mail:

Propolis is a resinous mixture of substances collected by honey bees (Apis mellifera) from various plant sources. Numerous biological properties have been found in propolis including anti-microbial, cytotoxic, anti-herpes, antitumor, anti-HIV and suppressive effects towards dioxin toxicity.

Brazilian propolis is classified into 13 distinct groups according to their chemical composition, which is directly related to the plants used to collect resins and exudates.
In this study, propolis of group 13 was chosen, as it is the most commercialized in the northeast of Brazil and shows high biological activity. Its botanical origin is Dalbergia ecastophyllum and can be found in the northeast of Brazil inside the mangrove swamps. The botanical origin was verified by observation and different chromatographic methods / histological exams.
Propolis of group 13 is rich in flavonoids as liquiritigenin, isoliquiritigenin, daidzein, dalbergin, formononetin, biochanin A and other phenolic compounds with highly interesting physiological properties. The propolis group 13 shows good results against some microorganisms as Streptococcus mutans, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium perfringens, Salmonella typhimurium, Escherichia coli and Streptococcus mutans.
Propolis group 13 already showed activity against prostate cancer and breast cancer. Red propolis had shown analgesic effects in vivo, in concentrations of 25-40 mg dry extract/kg body mass. It has also shown high free radical scavenging and hepato-protective activity.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Video: Organic Honey Recommended for Healing

Organic Bee Farm Delivers Fresh Honey

FOX 6's Nicole Koglin talks with Doug Schulz of Wisconsin Natural Acres about the health benefits of honey.

Propolis Component Protects Against Oxidative Damage to Cells

Potential Cytoprotection: Antioxidant Defence by Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Against Free Radical-Induced Damage of Lipids, DNA, and Proteins
Can. J. Physiol. Pharmacol., 86(5): 279–287 (2008)

Abstract: Oxidative stress is considered to be a major cause of cellular injuries in a variety of chronic health problems, such as carcinogenesis and neurodegenerative disorders.

Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), derived from the propolis of honeybee hives, possesses a variety of biological and pharmacological properties including antioxidant and anticancer activity.

In the present study, we focused on the diverse antioxidative functionalities of CAPE and its related polyphenolic acid esters on cellular macromolecules in vitro…

Our results showed that CAPE and its related polyphenolic acid esters elicited remarkable inhibitory effects on erythrocyte membrane lipid peroxidation, cellular DNA strand breakage, and protein fragmentation.

The results suggest that CAPE is a potent exogenous cytoprotective and antigenotoxic agent against cell oxidative damage that could be used as a template for designing novel drugs to combat diseases induced by oxidative stress components, such as various types of cancer.

Résumé: Le stress oxydatif est considéré comme une cause majeure de lésions cellulaires dans de nombreux problèmes de santé chroniques, tels que la carcinogénèse et les maladies neurodégénératives. L’ester phénéthylique d'acide caféique (CAPE), dérivé du propolis des ruches d’abeilles domestiques, possède diverses propriétés biologiques et pharmacologiques, notamment antioxydantes et anticancéreuses…

Monday, April 28, 2008

Honey Effective Against Drug-Resistant Bacteria, Skin Infections

Medical-Grade Honey Kills Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria In Vitro and Eradicates Skin Colonization
Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2008;46:000–000

Background: Antibiotic resistance among microbes urgently necessitates the development of novel antimicrobial agents. Since ancient times, honey has been used successfully for treatment of infected wounds, because of its antibacterial activity. However, large variations in the in vitro antibacterial activity of various honeys have been reported and hamper its acceptance in modern medicine.

Methods: We assessed the in vitro bactericidal activity of Revamil (Bfactory), a medical-grade honey produced under controlled conditions, and assessed its efficacy for reduction of forearm skin colonization in healthy volunteers in a within-subject–controlled trial.

Results: With Bacillus subtilis as a test strain, we demonstrated that the variation in bactericidal activity of 11 batches of medical-grade honey was <2-fold. Antibiotic-susceptible and -resistant isolates of Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Enterococcus faecium, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterobacter cloacae, and Klebsiella oxytoca were killed within 24 h by 10%–40% (vol/vol) honey. After 2 days of application of honey, the extent of forearm skin colonization in healthy volunteers was reduced 100-fold, and the numbers of positive skin cultures were reduced by 76%.

Conclusions: Revamil is a promising topical antimicrobial agent for prevention or treatment of infections, including those caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria.

Toxins Confirmed in New Zealand Honey that Sickened 22

Food Safety Eye Regulation of Tutin Poisons in Honey
NZPA, 4/28/2008

Food safety experts are scrambling to obtain quantities of the toxins tutin and hyenanchin -- implicated in the Easter honey poisonings -- so that they can pin down their exact toxicity and possibly set regulatory limits…

At present, regulators only require apiarists to record information on the risk of tutu toxins entering their honey and the actions they have taken to mitigate the risk. Few checks are made on the records until after an outbreak of poisoning.

Test results released today confirmed that the two tutu toxins were in comb honey from the Coromandel Peninsula eaten by 22 people who reported falling ill…

Hungarian Honey May Have Been Adulterated

Budapest Times, 4/28/2008

Hungary’s largest honey processing plant in Dunavarsány has been closed on suspicion of diluting its products following an investigation by food safety inspectors, the Customs and Finance Guard and the tax authority APEH. The swoop was part of a series of raids on honey manufacturers across Pest County.

Chief veterinary officer, Miklós Süth, speaking on Inforádió last Tuesday, explained that documentation and equipment discovered at the Aranynektar Kft factory in Dunavarsány provided strong grounds for suspicion that the company has been bulking up its produce with syrups...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Study: Bee Venom May Help Prevent Development of Arthritis

Suppressive Effects of Bee Venom on the Immune Responses in Collagen-Induced Arthritis in Rats
Phytomedicine, 2008 Apr 16

The effect of bee venom (BVA) on the development of type II collagen (CII)-induced arthritis (CIA) in rats has been studied…

Pretreatment of rats with BVA could inhibit the development of collagen arthritis even when 10-20mul/100g/day of the BVA were used for pretreatment. Interestingly, higher doses than 10mulBVA/100g mouse were much effective for arthritis incidence.

Treatment of rats with BVA prevented the development of collagen arthritis in a dose-dependent manner. Doses of BVA (15 and 20mul/100g) resulted in decreased incidence of arthritis.

In conclusion, therapeutic i.p injection with BVA improved the clinical course of the disease and the immune response to CII.

U.S. Honey Researcher Seeks Patients for Diabetic Foot Ulcer Study

Honey of a Healer
Your favorite bee product is good for more than just food
Andrew McDonnell, The Daily Page (USA), 4/25/08

…Researchers at the University of Wisconsin and elsewhere are exploring uses of honey for a number of ailments, from diabetic ulcers to the effects of radiation treatments.

"There's no money in honey." That's what skeptics told Dr. Jennifer Eddy, assistant professor at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and a physician at Eau Claire Family Medicine. "It was frustrating. They said you'll never get funding to research honey."

The case that spurred Eddy to seek funding for clinical trials of honey involved a patient with severe diabetic foot ulcers. The usual treatments had proved ineffective for the patient, and it was determined that he would have to have his foot amputated.

In this case, though, the patient refused to lose his foot. He would sooner die. And that's what Eddy thought was going to happen.

Eddy had one last idea for treating these diabetic ulcers: "When I was a med student, I studied with Guido Majno, a professor of pathology. He wrote a book called The Healing Hand: Man and Wound in the Ancient World. In the book he translated Egyptian hieroglyphs and looked at ancient medicines. According to Majno, honey was the only one that worked in the lab."

Eddy still had qualms about actually applying honey to a patient's limb. "I asked my infectious disease specialist if it was crazy to try, and she was familiar with some studies where honey had been effective on wounds," says Eddy. They decided to give it a try, and within three weeks "it worked better than anything else had."

If you have doubts as to the potential efficacy of honey as a medical treatment, do yourself a favor and check out the June 2005 issue of the Journal of Family Practice. It's well illustrated. The article, "Topical Honey for Diabetic Foot Ulcers" by Drs. Jennifer Eddy and Mark D. Gideonson, chronicles the progress of the ulcerated foot after three weeks, 6 months and 12 months of honey treatment. The pictures tell the story of a blackened lump, nearly unrecognizable as a foot, gradually regaining its flesh tone, smoothing out, and finally arriving at nearly complete health…

The treatment was so effective that Eddy recommended topical honey to subsequent patients for whom standard treatments for diabetic ulcers had failed. Of a dozen or so patients who tried the treatment, all improved…

Eddy remains enthusiastic about honey's potential, especially in a world where people lose a leg to diabetes once every 30 seconds. She's received funding from the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Wisconsin Partnership Program to conduct the first double-blind study of the effects of honey on diabetic ulcers. One group of patients will receive a honey treatment and another will receive a placebo.

Eddy's honey study is still accepting participants. To be eligible, patients must be older than 18, have diabetes and a sore below their knee, and not be taking prednisone. Call 715-855-5683…

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Indian Beekeepers to be Trained in Royal Jelly Production

Domestic Makeover: No Need to Import Royal Jelly Anymore
Anuradha Mascarenhas, Express India, 4/25/2008

Soon, you would be able to sample from the very fountain of youth as there will be no longer a need to import royal jelly — the stuff that queen bees produce and which has found aficionados among celebrities the world over. Arguably for the first time in the country, 2.5 lakh beekeepers will be trained in making this premium product that has had even Margaret Thatcher openly endorsing it as the secret behind her boundless energy and youthfulness.

Beekeepers will be given training on how to make this ‘queenly’ food as Pune-based Central Bee Research and Training Institute (CBRTI) has perfected the art of developing royal jelly. Researchers at the CBRTI — Khadi and Village Industries Commission, Government of India — have now devised a system that involves the management of bee colonies, grafting of larvae and storage of royal jelly.

Royal jelly that turns the queen bee into a long living super fertile animal is known for its therapeutic uses - as an anti-ageing agent, hormonal stimulant and energy enhancer and costs Rs 8000 a kg in the international market. Imported from countries like China, Taiwan and Korea this product is sold in the form of capsules and is found in various beauty products…

Bee Product Packages Should Include Allergy Warnings

Surveillance of Suspected Adverse Reactions to Natural Health Products: The Case of Propolis
Drug Safety, Volume 31, Number 5, 2008 , pp. 419-423(5)

Abstract: Natural health products are promoted to the public as equally or more effective and less toxic than conventional drugs. However, some `natural' medicines are known to have adverse effects.

From April 2002 to August 2007, 18 suspected adverse reactions associated with propolis-containing products were reported to the national surveillance system of natural health products, coordinated by the Italian National Health Institute. Sixteen reports concerned allergic reactions (with dermatological or respiratory symptoms), while two concerned the digestive tract. Some of the reactions were serious: six patients were admitted to hospital or visited an emergency department and in two of these a life-threatening event was reported. In seven patients (four of whom were children), an allergic predisposition was indicated.

Propolis, a resinous substance collected by honeybees from the buds of living plants, has been used for several purposes (dermatitis, laryngitis, oral ulcers) because of its wide range of suggested activities (antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and chemopreventive actions). However, propolis is also a potent sensitizer and should not be used in patients with an allergic predisposition, in particular an allergy to pollen.

In Italy, products containing bee derivatives (bee pollen, royal jelly or propolis) are available to the public as food supplements. No label warning of possible adverse reactions is found on the packaging, although it is well known that atopic and asthmatic individuals may be at an increased risk of allergic reactions after using these products. The public and healthcare practitioners should be aware of the risk of allergic reactions to products derived from bees and a warning should be added to the packaging of these products.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Malaysian Researchers Study Medicinal Benefits of Bee Venom

Anti-Inflammatory Effect of Malaysian Bee Venom

[Editor's Note: The following presentations were offered at the 6th German Apitherapy and Apipuncture Congress held in Passau from March 27th to April 1st.]

Mohd Nuruddin Abd Manap, Onn Haji Hashim, Yong Zulina Zubairi, Kamaruddin Mohd Yusoff
Department of Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Centre for Foundation Studies, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Abstract: Bee venom has been traditionally used to treat chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis in oriental medicine. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that Malaysian bee venom (MBV) can serve as a potent anti-inflammatory agent in a localized inflammatory state. The experiments were designed to evaluate the effect of MBV pretreatment on 1% carrageenan (CR)-induced acute paw edema. In addition, rat paw swelling was induced by 0.15 ml (CR) into subplantar area of the right hind paw. The paw volume was measured prior to CR administration and after five hours by using plethysmometer and quantitatively analyzed. In this preliminary study, pretreatment with MBV (0.8 mg/kg) 30 min prior to CR injection was found to suppress the paw edema evoked by CR as opposed to rats treated with normal saline. These results indicate that MBV pretreatment has anti-inflammatory effects. These data also suggest that MBV administration may be useful in the treatment of the edema associated with chronic inflammatory diseases. Further work is also needed to characterize the active component and to elucidate its exact mechanism of action in the anti-inflammatory effect.

Discovery of Malaysian Bee Venom Bioactive Components: A Proteomic Approach

Mohd Nuruddin Abd Manap, Onn Haji Hashim, Emida Mohamed, Puteri Shafinaz Abdul-Rahman, Kamaruddin Mohd Yusoff
Department of Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Abstract: Recent studies have shown that the Malaysian bee venom (MBV) possess anti-inflammatory effect. However, the active substances within MBV that exert the physiological effect are still unknown. Since the major components of MBV are proteins, MBV proteome analysis is a promising start in an attempt to identify its bioactive componens which may cause the anti-inflammatory effect. Thus, the aim of the present study was to identify these bioactive components. We have separated the MBV proteins by using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and stained with Coomassie Blue. The protein maps were scanned and analysed for both qualitative and quantitative differences by using Image Master 2D Platinum imaging software. Mass spectrometry analysis was performed on ten protein spots and eight of them were successfully identified. These proteins may play important roles in the anti-inflammatory effect of MBV.

Proteomic Analysis of Differentially Expressed Proteins in Sera of Carrageenan Induced Rats Treated with Malaysian Bee Venom

Mohd Nuruddin Abd Manap, Onn Haji Hashim, Emida Mohamed, Puteri Shafinaz Abdul-Rahman, Kamaruddin Mohd Yusoff
Department of Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Abstract: Proteomic analysis offers the sensitivity and reliability in attempts to understand the mechanism of the anti-inflammatory action of the Malaysian bee venom (MBV) in a complex cellular system. Our main objective was to identify serum proteins that are differentially expressed in CR induced rats treated with MBV compared to rats untreated with MBV. Sera of normal rats as opposed to those treated with CR in the absence and presence of MBV were analyzed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. The samples were separated by isoelectric focusing using IPG strips of pH 3-10 and were further separated on 12.5% homogenous gel. Protein spots were then visualized by silver staining and differentially expressed proteins were identified by visual comparison with protein profile of a reference map which was developed by Gianazza et al., (2002). Our preliminary result demonstrated detection of approximately ten serum proteins that were differentially expressed in rats treated with MBV.

U.S. Honey Wound Dressings Set for Distribution Boost

Derma Sciences Announces Agreement With MedAssets for MEDIHONEY(TM) Wound & Burn Dressings

PRINCETON, N.J., April 23, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Derma Sciences, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: DSCI), a provider of advanced wound care products, announced today that it has signed a new multi-year supply agreement with one of the nation's largest group purchasing organizations, MedAssets Supply Chain Systems, a MedAssets company (Nasdaq: MDAS).

The 3-year agreement, with an effective date of June 1, 2008, will help to introduce MEDIHONEY(TM) Wound & Burn Dressing with Active Leptospermum Honey to the organization's growing customer base, and will provide these customers with a group discounted rate…

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Propolis Protects Cells From Radiation Damage

Radioprotective Effects of Propolis and Quercetin in Gamma-Irradiated Mice Evaluated by the Alkaline Comet Assay
Phytomedicine, 2008 Apr 16 [Epub ahead of print]

The radioprotective effects of ethanolic extract of propolis (EEP) and quercetin on the white blood cells of the whole-body irradiated CBA mice were investigated. Irradiation was performed using a gamma-ray source ((60)Co), and absorbed dose was 9Gy...

For each experimental group leukocyte count was determined and the primary DNA damage in leukocytes was assessed using the alkaline comet assay. The higher efficiency of EEP and quercetin was observed when given preventively.

The results suggest that propolis and quercetin given to mice before irradiation protect their white blood cells from lethal effects of irradiation and diminish primary DNA damage as confirmed by the alkaline comet assay.

Positive results obtained on gamma-irradiated mice given EEP and quercetin, complementary with our earlier observations on survival of irradiated mice, indicate that these compounds could be considered effective non-toxic radioprotectors.

The exact mechanisms of radioprotection by these compounds and their effects on DNA repair processes are still to be elucidated.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bee Venom Therapy Used to Treat Infertility

Bee-Sting Therapy, an Alternative
Slamet Susanto, The Jakarta Post (Indonesia), 4/23/2008

If you've had trouble conceiving for some time, you might want to try apitherapy, otherwise known as bee-sting therapy, in Moyudan, Sleman regency in Yogyakarta.

It is believed apitherapy can make nerves in the body act normally, thanks to substances found in bee stings.

Wawan and Maria, who have been married for five years and were having trouble conceiving, have faith in the alternative therapy.

The couple from Prambanan in Klaten regency, Central Java, were still unable to conceive after going through many procedures and treatments with specialists.

"We saw some specialists and the results were always negative. We were so frustrated," said Maria.

After undergoing bee-sting therapy on 20 different occasions, she became pregnant and the couple now has a one-year-old child…

As a medical treatment, the use of bee stings has been recognized by the World Health Organization. At the second World Acupuncture Therapy Conference on Bee Stings in Nanjing, China, in 1993, the WHO recognized apitherapy as a legitimate alternative treatment. It is now used in many countries, such as China, Korea, Romania, Bulgaria and Russia…

The benefit of bees has been explained in the Koran. It says the material from a bee's stomach can be medicinal to humans and honey can be used to treat physical diseases…

As a devout Muslim, Hendro wanted to prove the truth of the Koran's An Nahl verses 68-69, which explain how the bee can benefit human health...

Honey Bees are Effective Bioindicators

Honeybees are Effective Bioindicators of Environmental Pollution as they are Known to Exhibit the Chemical Impairment of Environment
By Dr N Nagaraja, Deccan Herald (India), 4/22/2008

… The level of environmental pollution can be determined by physical, chemical and bioindication methods. Recently, more attention has been given to living organisms as indicators of environmental health.

A bioindicator is an anthropogenically-induced response in biochemical or physiological parameters that have been linked to biological effects of an organism, population or community. Honeybees are active biological indicators, as they are known to exhibit the chemical impairment of environment.

Several ecological, ethological and morphological characteristics have made the honeybee a reliable ecological detector. They sample most of the environmental sectors like vegetation, water, soil and air. They supply a suitable amount of biological material to be easily sampled and analysed throughout the year. A forager bee flies about the surrounding area of about 4 to 5 km from the hive, especially picking up airborne particles with its body hair, while collecting pollen and nectar from flowers. It is because of this large-scale surface area that honeybees and their products have been proposed as suitable bioindicators of environmental pollution…

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Video: The Healing Power of Honey

CBS 2-TV, 4/14/2008

Honey is effective in treating MRSA-infected wounds.

Popularity of Royal Jelly May Increase Allergy Incidents

Case of Anaphylaxis Caused by Ingestion of Royal Jelly
The Journal of Dermatology, Volume 35 Issue 4 Page 222-224, April 2008

ABSTRACT: Anaphylaxis is a severe form of allergic disease. Royal jelly is widely consumed in Japan, but a few cases of anaphylaxis caused by royal jelly have been reported. We encountered a 26-year-old Japanese woman who developed anaphylaxis after drinking a beverage of crude royal jelly including honey.

She had a history of bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, atopic dermatitis and food allergy (abalone)…

A positive diagnosis of anaphylaxis due to royal jelly was made based on the positive prick test, systemic clinical symptoms and the negative prick tests in healthy volunteers. Moreover, the patient had no symptoms when taking lemon and orange, which were present as essences in the crude royal jelly beverage, and also had no response to honey after anaphylaxis.

Increased consumption of royal jelly in health food supplements may increase the incidence of royal jelly-related allergic reactions. Therefore, royal jelly should be considered as a causative allergen in food-induced anaphylaxis.

UMF, MGO Honey Labeling Debate Heats Up in New Zealand

Honey Products Health Benefits Under Dispute
By Kathy Graham, Waikato Times (New Zealand), 4/22/2008

A Waikato producer of manuka honey-based products is in a dispute over their claimed health benefits.

Industry group Active Manuka Honey Association (AMHA) is demanding that Manuka Health NZ Ltd, from Te Awamutu, pull its honey products from the shelves because, it says, the company can't prove the products contain UMF (unique manuka factor).

But the Te Awamutu company is refusing and says it is a dispute over whose research to believe.

Manuka Health NZ Ltd funded German research which showed a natural compound, methylglyoxal, is responsible for manuka honey's unique antibacterial properties. The company says the research has identified a compound which can be easily checked with an objective scientific test. Laboratory studies have shown that UMF manuka honey is effective against a wide range of very resistant bacteria including the major wound-infecting bacteria and the stomach ulcer causing bacteria helicobacter pylori.

Honey companies which label their products UMF, which is the registered name and trademark of AMHA, base their claims on the UMF "phytochemical agent" identified by Waikato University biochemist Professor Peter Molan…

Dr Molan, who is co-director of the Honey Research Unit at Waikato University, expressed concern about the claims being made by Manuka Health NZ.

"They only give you a chemical analysis of how much MGO (methylglyoxal) is in the honey. It does not tell you the antibacterial activity."...

For background on this issue, see:

Paul: MGO Manuka Honey Level is Consumer Friendly
Molan: MGO Level Not Good Indicator of Honey’s Antibacterial Activity

Monday, April 21, 2008

Cancer Patients Testify to Benefits of Medicinal Honey

Chemotherapy Patients are Speaking Up about an Amazing New Product

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) April 19, 2008 -- Chemotherapy patients are speaking up about an amazing product that is making a world of difference for them. Now sold in the USA, chemotherapy patients everywhere are benefiting from this product and sharing with the rest of the world.

LifeMel Honey has been tested with great results in a clinical study published in Medical Oncology, but getting the word out is not always so easy. However, in this case clients are also willing to give testimonials to help other chemotherapy patients; giving them advice about a product that made them feel better and live a better life…

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Honey’s Antioxidant Activity Correlates with Concentration of Phenolics, Color

Antioxidant and Radical-Scavenging Activities of Slovak Honeys – An Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Study
Food Chemistry, Volume 110, Issue 2, 15 September 2008, Pages 512-521

Abstract: The antioxidant properties of 15 honey samples from different floral sources and various Slovak regions were investigated by means of electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. Cation radical of ABTS (2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonate) diammonium salt), DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) and hydroxyl radicals generated by the photochemical decomposition of hydrogen peroxide were used as oxidants.

The antioxidant activities found with ABTS+, expressed as trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC), ranged from 0.15 to 1.14 mmol kg−1, and those determined with DPPH, from 0.04 to 0.32 mmol kg−1.

TEAC values correlated well with results found by elimination of DPPH, and both values revealed a linear relationship with the concentration of phenolics obtained with the Folin–Ciocalteu phenol test (expressed as gallic acid equivalents, GAE).

The colour coordinates (CIE L*a*b*), as well as reflectance spectra determined for original honeys using a white background, demonstrated that the colour difference (ΔE*) and coordinate b* interrelate with TEAC values…

Bees Move Into Florida’s Empty Homes

Floridian One to Call When Bees Move In
By John Leland, The New York Times, 4/20/2008

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — In a county with one of the nation’s highest foreclosure rates, empty houses have attracted a new type of nonpaying tenant: bees.

Tens of thousands of honeybees, building nests in garages, rafters, even furniture left behind.

When a swarm came to the foreclosed ranch house at 3738 Santa Barbara Place in Cape Coral, town officials called B. Keith Councell, a fourth generation beekeeper and licensed bee remover.

On a recent evening, Mr. Councell stood at the light blue house’s open garage door as hundreds of honeybees buzzed over his head and past his ears, disappearing into a hole behind the water meter. The house has been without a human occupant since December.

Then he did what he does at most foreclosed homes: nothing.

“If it’s in the yard I just take care of it,” Mr. Councell said. “But if it’s in the structure, usually I can’t get permission to go in. And it’s a problem, because somebody’s going to get stung. It creates a risk for everybody around.”

Foreclosed houses around the country have been colonized by squatters, collegiate revelers, methamphetamine cooks, stray dogs, rats and other uninvited guests. Mr. Councell, 35, only has eyes for bees.

Last year, he said, he answered calls about bees in more than 100 vacant houses, and the volume was higher this year…

Honey Recommended for Childrens’ Cough

Kid Cough's Sweet Remedy
By Pauline Holt, Sunday Sun (UK), 4/20/2008

Bleary-eyed parents woken yet again by a toddler's troublesome cough may be cursing - and confused by - the decision to limit availability of over-the-counter syrups and mixtures.

But the move is welcomed by some doctors and specialists who doubt the effectiveness of cough mixtures . . . and one side effect may be a return by parents to traditional, old-fashioned home remedies such as honey and lemon…

Holistic practitioner Doctor John Briffa said: "There has been an unwelcome tendency over the years for people to seek a medical solution for every ailment no matter how minor. This is often unnecessary and we are discovering that this was not always wise."

What can you do?

Dr Paul Stillman says: "Parents can give paracetamol and ibuprofen to help reduce temperature if a child is uncomfortably hot. This can be helpful, and once a child feels cooler and better it will probably drink more, which is important. Vapour rubs and simple cough mixtures such asglycerol, honey or lemon may so othe children under two.

"Pure honey should not be given to children under one, but medicines containing it are safe as they contain a processed version…

See: Honey a Better Option for Childhood Cough than Over the Counter Medications

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Video: Whatever Happened to…the Killer Bees?

View the Video

About 15 years ago, there were frightening warnings about Africanized Bees that might chase you down and sting you to death. But today, you don't hear too much about them. Paul Magers reports.

2nd International Conference on Medicinal Uses of Honey

When: November 10-12
Where: Lahore, Pakistan

The second international conference on Medicinal uses of Honey brings together public health professionals to encourage the exchange of scientific and public health information on widespread application of honey in challenging human diseases of present time. Recent research indicates that the therapeutic potential of honey is grossly underutilized and it is time for researcher to lift the blind off this Nature gift and give it its due recognition. The program will include plenary and panel sessions with invited world renowned speakers as well as oral and poster presentations on honey.

Following Topics will be discussed by internationally renowned speakers:

· Honey; The Natural Healer, The best medicine
· Past , Present and Future of Honey in modern medical Science
· Can Honey reduce Insulin Resistance, Obesity and Diabetes Mellitus
· Honey Dressings in Burn Patients
· Use of Honey in Diabetic Foot
· Antioxidant Properties of Honey
· Comparison of different floral Honeys with regard to MIC values against common pathogens
· Bees and Bee’s Products
· Bee Flora and its Biodiversity
· Use of Honey and Transfer Factors in Cancer and Degenerative Diseases
· Honey use as Cough Suppressant
· Honey use for Restorative Sleep
· Honey use for Cognitive performance and memory
· Honey; hope for cancer patients
· Honey as probiotics and prebiotics
· History of Honey as medicine
· Role of Honey in wound management
· Honey and recalcitrant wounds
· Are we losing fight against multi-drug-resistant microbes?
· Systemic infections and honey
· Honey as adjuvant to chemotherapy
· Honey, obesity and Diabetes
· Treating gastrointestinal disorder with Honey
· Degenerative diseases and honey
· Anxiety, sleep and honey
· Antioxidant properties of honey

Contact: Ghulam Qadir Fayyaz
Secretary Organising Committee
Associate Professor Plastic surgery
Services Institute of Medical Sciences/
Services Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan
Mobile: 0092+321+4430561
Fax: 0092+42+5164932

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New Zealand Apitherapy Firm Takes Legal Action Against 'UMF' Association

Manuka Health Takes Legal Action
Press Release: Manuka Health NZ, 4/17/2008

Manuka Health New Zealand Ltd refutes claims and takes legal action against Active Manuka Honey Association

Manuka Health New Zealand Ltd today initiated strong legal action to block what it claimed was a “unilateral and unsubstantiated move” by the Active Manuka Honey Association to terminate its membership.

Manuka Health chairman Dr Ray Thomson said the company had instructed its lawyers to challenge the termination and AMHA’s allegations.

“In recent days our lawyers have repeatedly asked AMHA to substantiate their claims,” he said. “They have declined to provide details.”

“We take this matter extremely seriously and will not allow our reputation to be harmed in this way. We strongly refute AMHA’s claims.”

Dr Thomson said Manuka Health would seek an interim injunction to prevent the membership termination and would force AMHA to provide details of its allegations…

Friday, April 18, 2008

Canadian Apitherapy Conference Dec. 11-13 in Niagara Falls

A three-day apitherapy conference and course will be held December 11-13, 2008, in Niagara Falls, Canada. The conference will be held in conjunction with the annual meetings of the Ontario Beekeepers' Association, the Canadian Honey Council and the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturalists.

For more information, e-mail:

Video: Local Honey Recommended for Allergies

A Teaspoon of Honey a Day Keeps the Doctor Away?
Remedy Could Help Allergies
By Jonathan Carlson, News Channel 7 (USA), 4/15/2008

We've got a sweet remedy for the sniffling you've been doing this spring.

What if we told you, opening a jar of honey could greatly reduce allergy symptoms.

Doctors we spoke to say its true. But its got to be local honey, and from a local stand.

Dr. George Bass tells us, you take a teaspoon a day and watch it work. He has seen an increase in patients using the honey method.

Here is how it works, "The bees pollinate the local flowers. When they bring that back and make the honey, the comb, its got these different pollen and allergens in it."

You then build up a defense with the hone, so when you come in contact with the blooming outside world, you may breath easier...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Medicinal Honey Expert Wades Into Debate Over ‘UMF’ Labeling

Re: The Article on Yahoo News Which was Reported on Apitherapy News “Legal Debate Takes Over Honey Research

[Editor’s Note: Responses from those holding opposing views are welcome. Send to:]

There is a factually incorrect statement in the information regarding Manuka Health:

In the statement “A Te Awamutu company, Manuka Health NZ Ltd, has funded German research which showed a natural compound, methylglyoxal, is responsible for manuka honey's unique antibacterial properties.” The statement about the company funding the research is incorrect. The discovery of the possibility that methylglyoxal was responsible for antibacterial activity in manuka honey was a serendipitous one made when assaying many different honeys for their content of methylglyoxal and finding that manuka honey had high levels. This was work done for (a) PhD thesis at the University of Dresden, before Manuka Health was set up as a company.

The statement “The discovery of a compound which can be easily checked with an objective scientific test has raised questions about the necessity for continued rating of medical honeys according to their "unique manuka factor" is misleading. The level of methylglyoxal in manuka honey will not tell you the actual antibacterial activity of the honey. This is because there is synergy with non-antibacterial components of the honey that gives activity around twice as high as that due to the methylglyoxal alone. The resultant activity is far from proportional to the level of methylglyoxal in the honey, such that consumers may be getting honey with less than half of the activity they would be expecting from the MGO rating.

The talk about competing brands draws attention away from this simple basic scientific information. UMF is not a brand. I devised it and gifted it to the honey industry in the public interest as a way of showing the true antibacterial activity that is not due to hydrogen peroxide like in other types of honey.

I have spent a very large amount of my time educating the public about the UMF rating being a way of ensuring that they are purchasing the true unique antibacterial activity that is in manuka honey and that they are getting the true level of activity they are led to believe they are buying, not being misled. The large amount of money that has been spent by producers and marketers of manuka honey has not been spent on “building the brand” but has actually been spent on trade-marking and taking action against companies to who are misusing the term ‘UMF’ to mislead consumers.

AMHA came into existence via an Industry Group that the New Zealand government set up and asked me to advise, the purpose of which was to give protection from the honest producers of the genuine active manuka honey from sellers of honey who were cashing in on the fame of manuka honey but selling to the consumer honey that did not have the activity that the consumer was expecting it to have. Many newcomers to the business of selling manuka honey, being attracted in to where money is to be made, are not aware of the history.

The UMF rating has nothing to do with the content of the “unique manuka factor” - it serves simply to show the actual antibacterial activity of the honey, which the MGO rating does not.

Whatever commercial competition goes on is not of my concern, and I do not get involved in it. But I have been active in trying to let consumers know where they are being misled. I have also been active in trying to prevent scientifically unsubstantiated claim being made about manuka honey (such as statements implying that it may be used to treat cancer), because this decreases the credibility of manuka honey as a therapeutic product for the topical treatment of infections. It is for this reason that AMHA has made it a condition of the use of the term ‘UMF’ on the labels of manuka honey that companies licensed to use it do not make unsubstantiated claims. I have also given AMHA advice on the standards to be set so that the consumer is best protected, and have urged them to audit licensed users to ensure that they are complying with protecting the consumer.

I have no commercial involvement at all in the selling of manuka honey.. My advice has been given at no charge, as it has been done in the public interest. I receive no research funding from AMHA, and have historically received only the costs (my time was not charged) of carrying out a small project to improve the accuracy of the testing method (which was work that was not publishable and thus was of no benefit to me.


Dr. P.C. Molan
Professor in Biological Sciences
Director, Honey Research Unit
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Waikato
Private Bag 3105
Hamilton 3240
New Zealand
Telephone +64 7 838 4325
Fax +64 7 838 4324

Visit our pages on honey at http//

Thyme Honey Skin Care Products Introduced in Russia

Cosmetics in Russia, 4/16/2008

Edinaya Europa-Holding presented new products for dry and normal skin: cream and mask with honey of thyme pollen which moisturizing effect lasts for 24 hours.

Honey is a natural moisturizing ingredient that helps the skin dehydration, nourishment and makes the dry skin fresh and elastic…

The products belong to Greek cosmetic brand Korres and available in the chain Ile de Beaute…

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dispute Over Labeling of ‘Active’ Manuka Honey Heats Up

Legal Debate Takes Over Honey Research
NZPA (New Zealand) 4/16/2008

Years of research and investment by apiarists into branding "active" manuka honey have been knee-capped by a huge row in the industry over whether to persist with the "UMF" label for the medical honeys.

The argument may pose a risk to sales of UMF (unique manuka factor) honey products locally and offshore which are worth more than $100 million.

A Te Awamutu company, Manuka Health NZ Ltd, has funded German research which showed a natural compound, methylglyoxal, is responsible for manuka honey's unique antibacterial properties.

The discovery of a compound which can be easily checked with an objective scientific test has raised questions about the necessity for continued rating of medical honeys according to their "unique manuka factor".

But apiarists and exporters have spent millions of dollars building their branding around the UMF rating system, which was created when NZ researchers were unable to pin down exactly how "active" honey was inhibiting infection and promoting wound healing. The UMF scheme compares manuka honey antibacterial properties with different concentrations of a standard laboratory disinfectant.

Today, Active Manuka Honey Association (AMHA) -- which watchdogs the UMF rating system and its associated brand -- publicly axed the membership of Manuka Health, claiming it packed and sold UMF honey that was not true to label.

The association's brand manager, John Rawcliffe, said the company had been asked to take product using the brand off shop shelves…

But today Manuka Health said it rejected the allegations and that it would take legal action against the AMHA's bid to terminate its membership.

"We strongly refute AMHA's claims," said Manuka Health chairman Ray Thomson. His company would seek an interim injunction…

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New Zealand ‘Toxic Honey’ Scare Causes Drop in Sales

Honey Out of Favour After Scare
By Natalie Akoorie, The Dominion Post - Waikato Times, 4/15/2008

A Hamilton honey producer has suffered a significant drop in income following last month's toxic honey scare, something he believes could have been avoided.

Chris Cable, of Rainbow Honey, wants the public to know experienced beekeepers such as he and wife Jenny who have been producing honey for 29 years know the risks involved and how to avoid them.

More than 23 people were struck down after eating honey contaminated by bees feeding off native tutu bushes in the Coromandel, 22 cases of which had been traced to Whangamata's Projen Apiary, run by hobbyist Kevin Prout…

New Indonesian Honey Harvesting Operation Saves Trees

The Sweetest Way to Save Forests
By Theresia Sufa, The Jakarta Post (Indonesia), 4/15/2008

A new honey harvesting operation is proving to be a good business model with an added sweetener: it could help preserve the country's forests.

"We aim to promote sustainable honey harvesting, preserve the forest as the bee's habitat, maintaining indigenous cultures and improve the quality of the honey," said Indonesian Forest Honey Network (JMHI) executive Valentinus Hari.

He was speaking during the Honey Festival in Bogor Botanical Garden on Saturday, on the sidelines of a product launch in collaboration with the Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP) Exchange Program and another Bogor-based environmental watchdog, Telapak.

The Dorsata brand honey is produced by the indigenous people of the preserved forest Sentarum Lake National Park in West Kalimantan.

Surianto, a member of Apis Dorsata honey farmers group in Sentarum, said they harvested honey in the forest from October and March, while relying on freshwater fishing to make a living for the rest of the year.

Previously the tribe had cut trees down to harvest the honey.

"Local environmental group Riak Bumi taught us how to take honey without destroying the ecosystem ... We rely too much on the forest for our livelihood, so we are keeping it safe," Surianto said…

Monday, April 14, 2008

Propolis ‘Fingerprint' Helps Determine Geographical Origin

Geographical Traceability of Propolis by High-Performance Liquid-Chromatography Fingerprints
Food Chemistry, Volume 108, Issue 2, 15 May 2008, Pages 749-759

Abstract: A rapid fingerprint method was developed for investigating and inferring geographical origin of Chinese propolis by using high performance liquid chromatography–ultraviolet detection (HPLC–UV)…

Our results revealed that the presence or absence of specific peaks and similarity evaluation in simulative mean chromatograms among different regions could efficiently identify and distinguish Chinese propolis from different geographical origins.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Invitation to Join New Apitherapy Discussion Forum

The list currently has more than 500 members living in at least 50 different countries.

To join the list, send an e-mail to Dr. Stefan Stangaciu at:

Also ask Dr. Stangaciu about other Apitherapy lists that are available for those who speak Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, German or Romania.

Faster, Simpler Method for Quality Control of Royal Jelly

Refractometric Determination of Water Content in Royal Jelly
Apidologie 39 (2008) 225-232

Abstract - A correlation was found between the measured refraction index of royal jelly and its water content as determined by vacuum oven drying…

A simple linear relationship (R2 = 0.96) between refraction index and water content was found proving the fitness of a refractometric measure for quality control purposes. The relationship provides estimates of water content that are similar to those resulting from the Wedmore equation (R2 = 0.9999) used to estimate water content in honey.

The refractometric evaluation of the water content provides sufficient reliability for the routine quality control of royal jelly and is faster and simpler than currently used methods.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Study Looks at Anti-Cancer Effect of Propolis Component

Evidence that the Anticarcinogenic Effect of Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester in the Resistant Hepatocyte Model Involves Modifications of Cytochrome P450
Toxicological Sciences, April 7, 2008

Abstract: Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), a natural component of propolis, shows anti-carcinogenic properties in the modified resistant hepatocyte model when administered before initiation or promotion of hepatocarcinogenesis process; however, information about the mechanism underlying this chemoprotection is limited.

The aim of this work was to characterize the effect of CAPE on cytochrome P450 (CYP), which is involved in diethylnitrosamine (DEN) metabolism during the initiation stage of chemical hepatocarcinogenesis…

Our results suggest that CAPE modifies the enzymatic activity of cytochrome P450 isoforms involved in the activation of DEN, such as CYP1A1/2, 2B1/2. These findings describe an alternative mechanism for understanding the ability of CAPE to protect against chemical hepatocarcinogenesis.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Flavonoid Profile Could Be Basis for Differentiating Honeys

Flavonoid Pattern of Sage (Salvia officinalis L.) Unifloral Honey
Food Chemistry, Volume 110, Issue 1, 1 September 2008, Pages 187-192

Abstract: The aim of the present paper was to determine the flavonoids in monofloral sage (Salvia officinalis L.) honey which is characteristic and specific for the area of Croatian coast and islands.

For that purpose 38 sage honey samples from two production seasons were analysed. After specific pollen content determination, and analyses of selected physicochemical parameters which confirmed that samples are in compliance with national and international regulations and can be regarded as unifloral sage honeys, flavonoid fraction was isolated and analysed using RP-HPLC/DAD method.

The HPLC analysis showed that all examined sage honey samples contain quercetin (3,3′,4′,5,7-pentahydroxyflavone), luteolin (3′,4′,5,7-tetrahydroxyflavone), kaempferol (3,4′,5,7-tetrahydroxyflavone), apigenin (4′,5,7-trihydroxyflavone), chrysin (5,7-dihydroxyflavone) and galangin (3,5,7-trihydroxyflavone), as well as p-coumaric (trans-4-hydroxycinnamic acid) and caffeic acid (3,4-dihydroxycinnamic acid).

Total amount of identified flavonoids varied from 109.4 μg/100 g of honey to 589.9 μg/100 g of honey, with the average of 288.5 μg/100 g of honey.

All analysed honey samples showed common and specific flavonoid profile which could be the basis for differentiating sage from other monofloral honeys.

Honey Recommended for a Variety of Ailments

Honey - a Magic Remedy
By Stella Paul, India Syndicate, 4/10/2008

Does your work require sitting for hours before the computer -something that causes eye irritation? Are you suffering from acidity? Or, have you caught a bad cold or a bout of asthma? Well, there is a single remedy to all the ailments – honey…

Yes, whether it’s your grandmother, or the neighbourhood doctor, everybody will agree to this fact that honey not only helps protect the eyes, but also help improve your eyesight. While there are plenty of home remedies from honey, we bring you a few here:

Perry Kharpuri is a researcher based in Shillong, a place well-known for it's large-scale honey production. Perry's advice is, "mix two teaspoons of honey with carrot juice and consume regularly", to improve your eye sight and cure problems such as watering of eyes.

In cold, cough and congested chest, two teaspoons of honey with equal quantity of ginger juice should be consumed frequently. This is one of the oldest and most popular remedies that millions of Indians already follow. The other such popular remedy is to take one spoon of fresh honey mixed with the juice of half a lemon in a glass of lukewarm water in order to get cured of constipation, hyperacidity and obesity.

Now, Swapan Debnath, a homeopath says that honey can help control your BP as well. According to him, two teaspoons of honey should be mixed with one teaspoon of garlic juice and taken on a regular basis.

Maheep Kohli owns a bee farm in Moga, Punjab and she has a few honey-based remedies up her sleep as well. One of them is a mixture of honey, ginger juice and black pepper powder, mixed in equal quantities. When consumed thrice daily helps to relieve symptoms of asthma…

Thursday, April 10, 2008

2nd Romanian Apitherapy Congress, Nov. 21-25, 2008

When: November 21-25, 2008
Where: Iasi, Romania

Honey May be Used as Scolicidal Agent

Effects of Honey as a Scolicidal Agent on the Hepatobiliary System
World J Gastroenterol, 2008 Apr 7;14(13):2085-8

AIM: To examine the effects of 10% diluted honey, which has been shown to be scolicidal, on the liver and biliary system and determine whether it could be used as a scolicidal agent in the presence of biliary-cystic communication.

METHODS: Thirty Wistar-Albino rats were divided into two groups. Honey with 10% dilution in the study group and 0.9% saline (NaCl) in the control group were injected into the common bile ducts of rats through a 3-mm duodenotomy. The animals were sacrificed 6 mo after the procedure. Histopathological, biochemical, and radiological examinations were performed for evaluation of side effects.

RESULTS: At the end of the sixth month, liver function tests were found to be normal in both groups. The tissue samples of liver and ductus choledochus of the honey group showed no histomorphologic difference from the control group. No stricture on the biliary tree was detected on the retrograde cholangiograms.

CONCLUSION: According to these results, we concluded that 10% diluted honey could be used as scolicidal agent safely in the presence of biliary-cystic communication.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Study: Honey Boosts Wound Healing Through Reduction in pH

New Study Shows the Use of MEDIHONEY(TM) Wound & Burn Dressing is Associated with Reduction in Wound Size
PR Newswire, 4/8/2008

PRINCETON, N.J., April 8, 2008 -- Derma Sciences Inc (OTC Bulletin Board: DSCI), a provider of advanced wound care products, announced today that the most recent study involving MEDIHONEY(TM) Wound & Burn Dressing shows that use of the dressings are associated with a reduction in wound size, possibly driven in part by a significant reduction in overall wound pH.

The 20-patient study will be published in the May edition of the International Wound Journal. The article -- "The impact of Manuka honey dressings on the surface pH of chronic wounds" -- was written by Georgina T. Gethin, Seamus Cowman and Ronan Conroy, all of the Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin, Ireland. The May edition of the International Wound Journal is a special edition of this globally-recognized peer-reviewed journal, and will be distributed to the attendees of the upcoming World Union of Wound Healing Societies conference, to be held in Toronto this June 4-8.

According to the abstract for the article, the authors evaluated the progression of 20 non-healing ulcers of various etiologies following application of the dressings over a period of two weeks. The dressings were provided by Derma Sciences' global commercialization partner, Comvita New Zealand, Inc. The authors cite their rationale for researching pH modulation in chronic wounds as follows:

"Chronic non-healing wounds have an elevated alkaline environment. The acidic pH of Manuka honey makes it a potential treatment for lowering wound pH, but the duration of the effect is unknown. Lowering wound pH can potentially reduce protease activity, increase fibroblast activity and increase oxygen release, consequently aiding wound healing."

After two weeks of treatment with the dressings, the authors concluded that, for this group of previously non-healing ulcers, "the use of Manuka honey dressings was associated with a statistically significant decrease in wound pH and a reduction in wound size." Significant wound progression during a two-week period is noted as a strong predictor of good wound healing outcomes…

Eating Local Honey Could Help Seasonal Allergies

FitSugar, 4/8/2008

Honey is all the buzz. Not only does it taste like Summer, but it has some amazing qualities that help your body. It's antimicrobial because of its high sugar content, so it's great for treating cuts and burns to prevent scarring. You can keep a jar in your medicine cabinet for years — it's slightly acidic, so it never goes bad.

I've also heard that honey can be used to treat seasonal allergy symptoms. In order to understand why, you need to know a bit about how honey is made…

The reason honey may help with seasonal allergies is because honey contains a bit of pollen from plants. So if you eat the sweet treat that is made by bees in the area where you live, the honey will often act as an immune booster, reducing your allergy symptoms to local flowering plants. It's a good idea to take two to three spoonfuls each day for several months prior to pollen season…

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Honey in Diet ‘Cuts Anxiety’

By Emily Cook, The Mirror (UK), 4/7/2008

Honey could help counter the effects of ageing and decrease anxiety, according to a study.

Scientists found a diet sweetened with honey improved memory and reduced stress.

They conducted their tests on rats who were fed either a diet of 10 per cent honey, or eight per cent sucrose or no sugar. The experiment was over a year.

The rats, which were two months old at the start of the trial, were assessed every three months.

The study claims honeyfed rats displayed better spatial memory. They also spent twice as much time in the open section of an assessment maze than the sucrose-fed rats, suggesting they were less anxious.

Dr Nicola Starkey at the University of Waikato in New Zealand, said: "Diets sweetened with honey may be beneficial in decreasing anxiety and improving memory during ageing."...

Foraging Bees Use Return Flight to Begin Honey Production

Honeybees Get to Work in Flight, Study Says
By Henry Fountain, The New York Times, 4/8/2008

Honey making is much like maple sugaring. The flower nectar collected by honeybees is similar to maple sap — a diluted sugar solution that becomes concentrated through the evaporation of most of the water.

With bees, most of the evaporation occurs in the hive. But a study from South Africa shows that in certain cases concentrating the nectar begins as early as the flight home from the flower…

Monday, April 07, 2008

Bacterium Isolated From Honey Shows High Antifungal Activity

Purification and Structural Characterization of Bacillomycin F Produced by a Bacterial Honey Isolate Active Against Byssochlamys Fulva H25
Journal of Applied Microbiology, Online Early Articles

Aims: Isolate and characterize antifungal peptides exhibiting activity against Byssochlamys fulva H25, a spoilage mould associated with juices and beverages.

Methods and Results: A bacterium (H215) isolated from honey showed high antifungal activity against B. fulva H25. The antifungal producer strain was identified as Bacillus subtilis using 16S rDNA sequencing. The antifungal peptide was purified by 20% ammonium sulfate precipitation of the bacterial culture supernatant, followed by Octyl-Sepharose CL-4B and reverse phase-high performance liquid chromatography. The five active fractions were lyophilized and subjected to mass, tandem mass spectrometry and amino acid analysis to deduce their corresponding molecular masses and structural characteristics. The five peaks were determined to be identical to bacillomycin F, varying in the length of the fatty acid chain moiety from C14 to C16.

Conclusions: The broad-spectrum antifungal activity produced by a bacterium from honey was determined to be due to the production of bacillomycin F.

Significance and Impact of the Study: The antifungal compound produced by a bacterial strain isolated from honey was determined to be stable over a broad pH range and was stable to heat treatments up to 100°C. This is the first report of honey microflora producing bacillomycin F or any antifungal compound.

Seattle Apitherapy Conference Outlines Medicinal Uses of Bee Products

Proponents See a World of Healing in Bee Stings
By Bob Condor, Seattle Post-Intelligencer (USA), 4/6/2008

No matter what you might first think about apitherapy, the use of honeybee products for medicinal products, there is one distinct "element of reality," said Dr. Theo Cherbuliez.

"With few exceptions, every bee sting hurts, period," said Cherbuliez, who is an East Coast psychiatrist and one of the country's leading apitherapists during the past 20 years.

Cherbuliez was in Seattle this weekend for the 2008 Charles Mraz Apitherapy Course and Conference, which was sponsored by the American Apitherapy Society ( He presented a Friday talk on the healing qualities of bee venom while other practitioners covered the other medicinal bee products, honey, propolis, royal jelly and pollen. Among others, the weekend rolled out sessions on pain relief, multiple sclerosis treatment, allergic reactions, apitherapy for animals, legal issues of using bees for health treatments and, ouch, micro-stinging…

Sunday, April 06, 2008

New Apitherapy Ointment Helps Treat Diabetic Foot Infections

Safety and Efficacy of a New Honey Ointment on Diabetic Foot Ulcers: A Prospective Pilot Study
Journal of Wound Care, Vol. 17, Iss. 3, 28 Feb 2008, pp 108-110

Objective: To study the effectiveness and safety of PEDYPHAR ointment (a new ointment prepared from natural royal jelly and panthenol in an ointment base) in the treatment of patients with limb-threatening diabetic foot infections.

Method: Sixty patients presenting with limb-threatening diabetic foot infection were categorised into three groups, based on the severity of the lesions. Group 1: full-thickness skin ulcer (Wagner grades 1 and 2); group 2: deep tissue infection and suspected osteomyelitis (grade 3); group 3: gangrenous lesions (grades 4 and 5). They were treated with PEDYPHAR ointment after irrigation and cleansing with normal saline, and surgical debridement if required. The lesions were covered with dressings and patients were followed up for six months or until full healing occurred. No other specific treatment was given apart from insulin treatment to control the diabetes. The primary endpoint was the clinical response at weeks 3, 9 and 24 from the start of treatment.

Results: Ninety-six per cent of the patients in groups 1 and 2 responded well, with a complete cure, defined as ‘complete closure of the ulcer without signs of underlying bone infection’ by the end of week 9 and for the duration of the six-month follow-up period. All of the ulcers in group 1 healed, as did 92% of those in group 2. All patients in group 3 healed following surgical excision, debridement of necrotic tissue and conservative treatment with PEDYPHAR ointment.

Conclusion: We can conclude from our pilot study that PEDYPHAR ointment may be a promising, safe conservative local treatment. However, further double-blind randomised controlled studies are needed to confirm this.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Antioxidant Capacity of Bee Pollen Associated with Type, Not Concentration of Polyphenols and Flavonoids

A Comparison of Methods Used to Define the Antioxidant Capacity of Bee Pollen and Beebread from Romania
43rd Croatian & 3rd International Symposium on Agriculture, February 18 – 21, 2008

Abstract: The total content of phenolic compounds and flavonoids were measured in bee pollen and beebread extracts, as well as their antioxidant activity. The content of total polyphenols was quantified according to the Folin-Ciocalteau spectrophotometric method…

A great variability regarding the correspondence between the antioxidant activity and the content of total polyphenols and flavonoids of bee pollens with different botanical origin was found. Antioxidant activities were different for each species and were not clearly associated to their antioxidant content…

The results of this preliminary study, conducted on bee pollen from different plant sources and beebread from Romania, demonstrated that the polyphenolic and flavonoid composition, rather that the concentration, could be the determinant factor. Our results suggested that the antioxidant capacity of samples might be associated with their specific compounds...

Video: The Significance of Bees, Pollen, and Bee Products

David and Katrina Rainoshek discuss the significance of bees, pollen, and bee products.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Buckwheat Honey Antioxidant Activity May Help Wound Healing

An In Vitro Examination of the Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Buckwheat Honey
Journal of Wound Care, Vol. 17, Iss. 4, 27 Mar 2008, pp 172 - 178

Objective: Hydroxyl radical and hypochlorite anion formed at the wound site from superoxide anion produced by activated polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) are considered important factors in impaired wound healing. Superoxide anion may also react with nitric oxide produced by macrophages to form peroxynitrite, a third strong oxidant that damages surrounding tissue. In order to select honey for use in wound-healing products, different samples were compared for their capacity to reduce levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in vitro…

Results: Although most honey samples were shown to be active, significant differences were observed, with the highly active honey exceeding the activities of samples with minor effects by factors of 4 to 30. Most pronounced activities were found for American buckwheat honey from the state of New York. Phenolic constituents of buckwheat honey were shown to have antioxidant activity.

Conclusion: As buckwheat honey was most effective in reducing ROS levels, it was selected for use in wound-healing products. The major antioxidant properties in buckwheat honey derive from its phenolic constituents, which are present in relatively large amounts. Its phenolic compounds may also exert antibacterial activity…

Korean FDA Warns of ‘Honey Intoxication’

Public Not to Eat Nepalese Wild Honey
KBS Global, 4/4/2008

The Korea Food and Drug Admnistration has warned the public not to eat wild honey imported from Nepal, citing its possible role in a recent death.

It has slapped a ban on import and distribution of a Nepalese variety gathered by wild bees and found in mountain cliffs and rocky crevices.

The banned variety contains the toxic substance grayanotoxin, which can cause the so-called "honey intoxication." Symptoms include low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, impaired vision and loss of consciousness…

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Healing with Bees and Honey

Dr Diane Robertson, Jamaica Gleaner, 4/2/208

The foods made by bees in the form of honey, pollen and propolis have played an important role in sustaining animals and mankind. These foods have provided complete nourishment to maintain life on the planet.

As diligent workers, the bees gather nectar and provide mankind with about one third of our food supply by pollinating our crops. Science has discovered that bee pollen - the male cells of flowering plants - contains a concentrate of nearly all the known nutrients and is a potent healer to regenerate and rejuvenate the body.

Plant pollen is carried, by the bees, to their hives to be stored as food. The existence of the bee colony or community is something to behold, and one can't help but be fascinated by their mobilisation with mankind. In fact, from primitive times, bees would migrate with people, wherever they settled to grow crops, and build their hives.

Since antiquity honey has been used medicinally for healing and as a disinfectant. Several tablespoonfuls of the pollen, taken daily, is used for internal cleansing.

South American Indians used honey and pollen as a dressing to open wounds, and watched the healing takes place. ( Not for diabetic ulcers).

It is also believed to help, heal respiratory problems such as bronchial ailments.

Many opera singers add honey and pollen to a glass of warm milk.

It has been taken as a natural sleep tonic; four tablespoonfuls honey combined with three teaspoonfuls of apple cider and two teaspoonfuls of pollen mixed in a cup of freshly boiled water.

Honey has been known as an oriental youth elixir for the elderly; combine two tablespoonfuls of honey, two teaspoons of pollen, half-teaspoon of chopped ginseng and a bit of dried orange peel.

It had been discovered in the USSR, many years ago, that the scraps of the pollen in the hive provides the longevity of its residents; they lived to over 100 years old…

Honey May Protect Against Cardiac Disorders

Cardioactive and Vasoactive Effects of Natural Wild Honey Against Cardiac Malperformance Induced by Hyperadrenergic Activity
Journal of Medicinal Food, March 1, 2008, 11(1): 91-98

Abstract: Induction of hyperadrenergic activity was experimentally achieved in urethane-anesthetized rats using epinephrine (adrenaline). Acute administration of epinephrine (100 g/kg) for 2 hours induced several cardiac disorders and vasomotor dysfunction. Pretreatment with natural wild honey (5 g/kg) for 1 hour prior to the injection with epinephrine (100 g/kg) protected the anesthetized normal rats from the incidence of epinephrine-induced cardiac disorders and vasomotor dysfunction.

Moreover, posttreatment with natural wild honey (5 g/kg) following the injection with epinephrine (100 g/kg) for 1 hour showed several ameliorative outcomes to the electrocardiographic parameters and vasomotor dysfunction of anesthetized stressed rats...

It would appear from the results of the present study that natural wild honey may exert its cardioprotective and therapeutic effects against epinephrine-induced cardiac disorders and vasomotor dysfunction directly, via its very pronounced total AOC and its great wealth of both enzymatic and nonenzymatic antioxidants involved in cardiovascular defense mechanisms...

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Healing Properties of Bee Products Highlighted in Skin Care Line

Beekeeping Hobby Grows Into Line of Honey, Soaps, Salves
By Joann Klimkiewicz, The Hartford Courant (USA), 3/20/2008

She couldn't have known it, but when Marina Marchese named her commercial illustration business Red Bee almost a decade ago, she was basically asking for a life of honey bees and hives…

A series of coincidences led to Marchese's line of Red Bee products -- natural soaps and salves made in her kitchen using the soothing honey she cultivates in her backyard…

As she researched the environmental contributions of bees and the healing properties of honey and pollen, she started playing with recipes in her kitchen. Soaps, salves, lip balms and candles -- she was stunned at how simple they were to make, yet how well they worked on her skin. None contain alcohol, paraffin wax or animal products.

"I thought, why not go all the way?" she says. "Just create this world of one-stop shopping -- an emporium of honey products."…

Starch Helps Increase Antibacterial Activity of Honey

Synergistic Effect of Starch on the Antibacterial Activity of Honey
Journal of Medicinal Food, March 1, 2008, 11(1): 195-198

Abstract: The role of amylase present in honey in enhancing its antibacterial activity was evaluated in the presence and absence of starch…

It is speculated that the amylase present in honey hydrolyzed the starch chains to randomly produce dextrin and maltose and that this increased the osmotic effect of the media, which consequently increased the antibacterial activity.