Monday, March 30, 2009

History of Apitherapy Dates Back to Ancient World

The Birds and the Bees - Part 2: 'Bees'
By Dan Brett, OnMedica, 3/30/2009

…The history of apitherapy dates back to the ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Chinese - Hippocrates mentioned the use of bee venom for treating arthritis and other joint problems. Honey, propolis, royal jelly and bee venom are some of the bee products used in apitherapy for their medicinal properties. Honey is purported to be good for the digestive system - having a warming effect on the body, relieving constipation. Honey may also have anti-bacterial properties and can be used for dressing wounds and burns to help keep them sterile and promote healing. It doesn’t stop there – being said to promote ‘brisk mental efficiency’, heal fractured bones, anaemia and even cure the common cold! We then move on to ‘royal jelly’, which is produced in the salivary glands of worker bees. The queen bees are fed royal jelly throughout their larval period and worker bees are fed it for the first three days of the larval period. Royal jelly is also sold as having anti bacterial properties. It is supposed to be highly beneficial in lowering cholesterol, curing infertility, asthma, lack of appetite and continuous fatigue. It is also used as a product in anti-wrinkle and age-defying cosmetics.

"Propolis" is also known as bee glue. Worker bees collect propolis – a sticky tree resin, add their saliva and enzymes to it and then use it to coat the inside of the hive. It acts as an antiseptic layer of the honeycomb cells. It is often used as a part of tinctures, creams, cosmetics and tablets for its antiseptic and anaesthetic properties. It is also said to have anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Beeswax is secreted by the worker bees from glands on the underside of the body. It is a highly priced ingredient in cosmetics, hand and face creams, ointments, lipsticks and lip salves. Finally, bee venom is the factor that causes the stinging sensation when a bee stings. Bee venom therapy is administered by injection or an actual bee sting. The venom contains powerful anti-inflammatory substances and can be used for conditions like bursitis, rheumatoid, multiple sclerosis and osteoarthritis. Now the sting in this tale…

No comments: