Friday, July 31, 2009

Video: Local Honey Recommended for Allergies

Interest in Beekeeping Grows
By Cary Aspinwall, Tulsa World, 7/30/2009

Study: LDL Cholesterol Increased with Sugar, Not Honey

Effect of Honey on Serum Cholesterol and Lipid Values
J Med Food, 2009 Jun;12(3):624-8

Small studies have suggested that honey benefits patients with high cholesterol concentrations. The present study aimed to confirm this finding in a larger group of subjects.

Sixty volunteers with high cholesterol, stratified according to gender and hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitor (statin) treatment (yes/no), were randomized to receive 75 g of honey solution or a honey-comparable sugar solution once daily over a period of 14 days...

Neither solution influenced significantly cholesterol or triglyceride values in the total group; in women, however, the LDL cholesterol value increased in the sugar solution subgroup but not in the women taking honey. Although ingesting honey did not reduce LDL cholesterol values in general, women may benefit from substituting honey for sugar in their diet.

Reducing the BMI lowers the LDL cholesterol value, and psychological interventions also seem important and merit further investigation.

Bees Face Another Killer: Selenium

Toxin Could Affect Multibillion-Dollar Agricultural Industry
By Michael Reilly, Discovery News, 7/29/2009

Selenium, a potent toxin, is showing up in alarming concentrations in the pollen and nectar of two plants common in California's Central Valley, according to a new study.

If the element is finding its way into bee populations, it could affect the region's multi-billion dollar agricultural industry, as well as the nation's food supply.

The rocks, soil and groundwater of California's San Joaquin Valley contain some of the highest natural levels of selenium found anywhere — in some places up to 14 parts per million…

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Increased Public Interest in Health Benefits of Bee Products

Bees in Their Bottom Line
By Sarah Perry, Fort Worth Weekly, 7/29/2009

…Much of the rising demand stems for increased public interest in the possible health effects of honey and other bee products. The Hibernation Diet, written by bee guru Mike McInness, suggests that two nightly spoonfuls of honey before bed can help people lose weight. Propolis, a tarry substance that bees produce from plants, is said to help heal wounds. But perhaps the most marketed health benefit is that locally produced honey can help people fight allergies.

If you Google "local honey allergies" about 450,000 results appear. Publications like Self magazine, Consumer Health Digest, and the Sacramento Press all report the stories of people whose allergies have disappeared after eating the natural sweetener…

Beehive Extract Coming to the Tour de France?

By Janet Raloff, Science News, 7/29/2009

Lance Armstrong take note: A new study indicates an extract of propolis, a honeybee product, holds promise for helping endurance cyclists cope more effectively with the heat stress that develops during long-distance rides. That heat can diminish an athlete’s performance by fostering fatigue and dehydration.

Propolis is a resinous material that bees fashion from plant saps and the like. They use it to not only caulk small spaces in their hive but also to insulate and reinforce the hive’s support structures. But folk medicine has found plenty of uses, too, for propolis over the years — primarily in treating everything from burns and sore throats to impaired immunity. This gummy substance may even hold promise in fighting dental caries.

A key ingredient in propolis — caffeic acid phenethyl ester, or CAPE — exhibits strong antioxidant activity. So it can quench some of those tissue-damagingfree radicals that the body produces during illness and stress.

A team of researchers headed by Yu-Jen Chen and Jasson Chiang of the Chinese Culture University’s Graduate Institute of Sport Coaching Science, in Taipei, is now probing CAPE’s potential to protect certain white blood cells. Known as mononuclear cells, these immune-system players tackle infection by inducing localized inflammation. They can also cause damage by triggering inappropriate or overzealous inflammation…

Propolis Prevents Eye Damage Caused by Alcohol Intake

Propolis Prevents the Effects of Chronic Alcohol Intake on Ocular Tissues
Ophthalmic Res, 2009 Jul 23;42(3):147-151

This study is designed to investigate the protective effects of propolis in ocular tissues against chronic alcohol exposure.

Material and Method: Wistar albino rats were used in this study. Rats were divided into 4 groups, and each group was fed a special liquid diet which contained an equal amount of calories. The control group was fed the liquid special diet without alcohol and propolis. We added propolis (150 mg/kg) to the diet of the second group. The diet of the third group contained alcohol, the concentration of which was increased progressively. The fourth group was fed a diet including propolis and alcohol…

Results: In the histological investigation of ocular tissues, alcohol caused an increase in thickness of the cornea and corneal epithelium compared to the control group. This incremental tendency was significantly reduced by propolis, and values were very close to those of the control group. Alcohol did not cause any significant alteration of rat retinal thickness.

Conclusion: This study showed that propolis is highly effective against corneal edema secondary to chronic alcohol intake.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dr. Weil Says Propolis a Safe and Useful Home Remedy

Dr. Weil: What's the Buzz on Bee Propolis?
Universal Press Syndicate, 7/29/2009

Bees make propolis, which they use to glue the materials of their hives together, by mixing beeswax and other secretions with resins from the buds of conifer and poplar trees. Those resins have natural germicidal properties. For centuries, people have used propolis on wounds and as a remedy for ailments ranging from acne to cancer, osteoporosis, itching and tuberculosis.

Today, propolis is used in the manufacture of chewing gum, cosmetics, creams, lozenges and ointments, and is being investigated as a dental sealant and tooth enamel hardener. A number of studies have tested its effectiveness in humans and animals as a treatment for burns, minor wounds, infections, inflammatory diseases, dental pain and genital herpes…

…propolis does have proven antibiotic and antiseptic properties, and may also have antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects. I consider it safe and useful as a home remedy. You can find it in various forms in health-food stores or get the raw stuff from beekeepers. I recommend it as a good topical treatment for uncomplicated wounds and, when used as a gargle or in spray form, as a remedy for sores and irritations in the mouth. I use propolis in tincture form to treat canker sores and sore throats…

Honey, Other Bee Products Boost Immunity

Immune Defense of Rats Immunized with Fennel Honey, Propolis, and Bee Venom Against Induced Staphylococcal Infection
Journal of Medicinal Food, 2009 Jun;12(3):569-75

The objective of this work was to evaluate the potency of bee product-immunized rats to overcome an induced Staphylococcus aureus infection.

Forty rats were divided to eight groups: T1, T3, and T5 received, respectively, fennel honey, ethanol, and aqueous propolis extracts orally, and T2, T4, and T6 were administered the respective materials intraperitoneally; T7 received bee venom by the bee sting technique; and T8 was the control group. All groups were challenged by a bovine clinical mastitis isolate of S. aureus...

Postmortem inspection revealed that all T8 rats showed different degrees of skeletal muscle and internal organ paleness with scattered focal pus nodules mainly on lungs and livers. All rats of the treated groups showed normal postmortem features except three rats. A dead rat in group T7 showed focal pus nodules on the lung surface only, whereas the affected two rats in groups T4 and T5 appeared normal except with some pus nodules, but much smaller than in the control, scattered on the hepatic surface and mesentery.

Histopathological studies revealed that T8 rats had typical suppurative bronchopneumonia and or severe degenerative and necrobiotic changes in hepatic tissues. Three affected rats of the treated groups showed slight bronchopneumonia or degenerative hepatic changes only. The other animals of the treated groups showed completely normal parenchymatous organs with stimulated lymphatic tissues.

It was concluded that all tested previously bee product-immunized rats could significantly challenge the induced S. aureus infection. The effects were more pronounced in rats that had received fennel honey solution.

Infant Botulism Case Caused by Honey?

Infant Botulism: Case Report and Review
Revista chilena de infectología, 2009, vol.26, n.2, pp. 162-167

Botulism is a rare disease in Chile and of the known clinical presentation, infant botulism is the most common.

We report the case of a previously healthy seven month oíd male infant with a two weeks history of rinorrea, cough, fatigue, constipation and progressive weakness after the consumption of honey. Stool cultures were positive for Clostridium botulinum group 1 type A and electromyography was compatible with the diagnosis.

The patient evolved with arterial hypertension, interpreted as secondary to autonomic dysfunction, which responded to calcium channel blockers. Muscle tone improved progressively during the following four weeks.

Infant botulism is a potentially fatal disease; diagnosis can be difficult given the broad clinical manifestations. Prevention should focus on education of parents of infants as well as medical personnel.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Video: Bees Sting 91-Year-Old Texas Man 100 Times

Elderly Dallas Man "Feels Fine" After Bee Attack
DALLAS (CBS 11 / TXA 21)

A 91 year old Dallas man is recovering at home after being attacked by more than 100 bees on Sunday…

Honey and Royal Jelly Inhibit Bacterial Lectins

Comparison of the Antibacterial Adhesion Activities of Honey and Royal Jelly in Blocking Lectins of the Soil-Borne Pathogens Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Chromobacterium violaceum, and Ralstonia solanacearum – to Those of Milk
Journal of ApiProduct & ApiMedical Science, Vol. 1 (3) pp. 82 - 89

Antibiotic resistance of pathogenic bacteria prompted the search for natural compounds that could competitively block their lectin-mediated biofilm formation and adhesion to animal cells.

Important animal sources for such compounds are avian egg whites, mammalian milks, and beehive products, which protect embryos and neonates from infections.

The present communication describes a study of the glycan composition and antibacterial adhesion potential of honey and royal jelly (RJ), using the following bacterial lectins: the galactophylic PA-IL and fucophylic PA-IIL of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the fucophylic CV-IIL of Chromobacterium violaceum, and the fucophylic RSL and mannophylic RS-IIL of Ralstonia solanocearum, plus reference plant lectins: the mannophylic Con A of Canavalia ensiformis and fucophylic UEA-I (of Ulex europaeus).

The honey and royal jelly were found to inhibit all the bacterial lectins examined and Con A, but not UEA-I. The honey effect was mainly associated with low (<10 kDa) MW components and the RJ effect - with its glycoproteins. PA-IL inhibition by the two beehive products was relatively mild, while the other bacterial lectins were generally strongly blocked by them, with varying intensities and preferential component affinities. The presented information contributes to the scopes of api-products, antibacterial adhesion and api-medicine.

Monday, July 27, 2009

African Pollen Found in Parisian Honey

Pollen Nation
By Tracy McNicoll, Newsweek, 7/24/2009

…Olivier Darné is an artist turned beekeeper from the often-troubled Seine-St-Denis district just north of Paris's beltway. He has put hives on roofs and even sidewalks throughout these quarters to collect what he calls Miel Béton—Concrete Honey. Its varieties—the butter-colored spring blend; the darker, more intense summer crop; and the delicate, almost syrupy early-fall honey—are all as different as they are delicious. But Darné isn't interested just in something sweet. He is really after "pollen-gathering anecdotes," a sort of map of the city pieced together from the feet of bees. Armed with the urban portrait his little bees have be-gun to plot out, Darné wants to create a honey taste map with beekeepers in Europe to chart the "geopolitical tectonics of honeys." "The principle is to look at how human diversity—cultural and social biodiversity—can be traced in the honey," says Darné. "The more a city is a sort of palette, a cultural kaleidoscope, the more we can find markers of the cultural kaleidoscope in the honey made there."

He has already made some startling discoveries. Testers have been surprised to find equatorial pollens from palm trees in Darné's honey pots. There's evidence of a pollen that looks to be from the family of the baobab tree, the whimsical African colossus. "There aren't any baobabs in the Greater Paris area, that's for sure," Darné says…

Study Seeks Antioxidant Standard for Croatian Propolis Extracts

From Functional Food to Medicinal Product: Systematic Approach in Analysis of Polyphenolics from Propolis and Wine
Nutrition Journal, 2009, 8:33

In the last decade interest on nutraceuticals and natural medicinal products is constantly growing. The market is full of antioxidant formulations of wide variety of sources. For the registration of nutraceutical as natural medicinal product analytical procedures have to be developed, product has to be standardized and their functionality and beneficial effects have to be demonstrated.

The goal of our studies was standardization of Croatian propolis extracts as a rich sample of flavonoids and phenolic - active components to which pharmacological (antioxidant) activity is attributed…

In vivo study of propolis prolonged used showed beneficial in male population demonstrating reduction in free-radical-induced lipid peroxidation as well as increase in activity of superoxide dismutase. Production of malonaldehyde (degradation product of peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids) reduced and activity of superoxide dismutase (first and most important line of antioxidant enzyme defense) was increased.

Antioxidant supplements are flooding the market. Asking pharmacist for a new product - extract of the plant coming from exotic country, will usually end with the answer “its antioxidant and thus good for your health”. The necessity of standardization natural antioxidant products made us write this minireview-providing basis for standardization of natural antioxidant products rich in polyphenols using simple and readily available techniques based on our research on propolis and wine.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Some Doctors Wrongly Dismiss Honey as ‘Alternative Medicine’

Honey: Studies Reveal Its Healing Properties
By Sonja Flesch-Reiss, Epoch Times, 7/24/2009

How sweet it is! It appears that researchers have struck gold—liquid gold—in their research work at Waikato Honey Research Unit, Waikato University, New Zealand, on the use of honey applied topically to wounds. Research findings confirm that honey, long used in folk medicine, can be more potent than antibiotics and free of side effects.

Peter Molan, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry, heads the Waikato Honey Research Unit. He cites the story of a patient’s wound that had persisted for 20 years. Infected with a strain of bacteria resistant to antibiotics, an English woman’s armpit continually oozed from an abscess long after it had been drained. Nothing seemed to help, and the pain prevented her from working.

In August 1999, she read about the wound-healing properties of honey. She persuaded doctors to apply honey as a poultice to the wound, and a month later the wound was completely healed. She has been able to work since then.

In other tests, scientists applied well-known varieties of honey, such as manuka from New Zealand and jelly bush from Australia. Both are available for medicinal purposes; unfortunately, hospitals rarely use them. The Sydney study confirmed that honey can effectively replace antibiotic wound creams. As one physician put it, “Honey can be considered alternative medicine.”…

Honey applied topically is also known to reduce edema. Edema increases the deterioration of purpuric skin lesions that may lead to necrosis. Honey applied in the early stages of meningococcal skin lesions may be helpful. Additionally, reports of honey’s effectiveness in the treatment of gangrene suggest it could play a beneficial role in reducing the number of amputations resulting from meningococcal septicemia.

When used on burns, honey reduces scarring…

Honey Effective Against Antibiotic Resistant MRSA, VRS

New Paper Highlights Antimicrobial Effectiveness of Medical-Grade Honey in Topical Wound Care

With MRSA and VRS seriously compromising treatment options, dressing wounds with honey provides an alternative, according to a recent paper published in the European Journal of Clinical Microbiological Infectious Diseases.

Newswise — According to a recent paper published in the European Journal of Clinical Microbiological Infectious Diseases, a certain kind of honey can be an effective agent in topical wound care, particularly where antibiotic resistance is an issue. The irony is that this most exciting new treatment has been around since the dawn of history—honey was first used as a first aid treatment four thousand years ago in Ancient Egypt.

Entitled, “The unusual antibacterial activity of medical-grade Leptospermum honey: antibacterial spectrum, resistance and transcriptome analysis,” the report describes the palliative effects of Leptospermum honey, a particular kind of honey indigenous to New Zealand and Australia. Leptospermum honey has been shown to possess unique plant derived components that make it an ideal wound dressing, including novel antimicrobial and immune-modulatory compounds. In addition, the honey has several properties that also aid in wound healing. Among these properties are the honey’s low pH levels, its ability to help remove non-vital tissue from the wound area, the stimulation of new tissue growth, and reported reduction in scarring and pain levels. What is also key is that all these benefits exist without any toxicity to healthy tissue. “There is an urgent need for new, effective agents in topical wound care,” the report begins, “and selected honeys show potential in this regard.”

The paper also describes how medical-grade honey might be a strong combatant against antibiotic resistant pathogens such as MRSA and vancomycin-resistant strains (VRS)…

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bee Pollen Used to Enhance Energy, Memory and Performance

Bee Pollen
By Jessica Smith, 24 Medica, 7/23/2009

What is Bee Pollen?

Bee pollen contains trace amounts of minerals and vitamins and is very high in protein and carbohydrates…

Why Do People Use Bee Pollen?

Bee pollen has been used to enhance energy, memory and performance, although there is no scientific evidence that it does.

Bee pollen is also taken to prevent hay fever. Some people believe that ingesting pollens will help to build resistance to them, although it is possible to have a severe allergic reaction to these pollens.

Possible Side Effects and Safety Concerns

Serious allergic reactions to bee pollen have been reported, including potentially life-threatening anaphylaxis…

Honey Used to Treat Burns, Allergies

Honey Has Many Benefits Beyond Taste
By Peggy Ussery, Dothan Eagle, 7/22/2009

For centuries, it has been used as a sweetener, a medicinal remedy and as a beauty aid. Cleopatra reportedly took regular milk and honey baths to maintain a youthful appearance, according to the National Honey Board. Honey’s antimicrobial properties made it a common wound dressing and infection fighter before the days of antibiotics. Today, some people still use honey — particularly manuka honey — to treat burns.

Some people swear by a dose of honey a day to ward off allergy attacks.

Honey has 64 calories, 17 grams of carbohydrates, zero fat and 16 grams of sugar per tablespoon. It is a carbohydrate that supplies the body and muscles with energy and contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids and acts as an antioxidant.

Honey’s benefits, flavor and coloring all goes back to the nectar bees bring back to their hive.

“The darker the honey the more twang and a little more bite there is to it,” said Phillip Carter, an urban regional extension agent with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

And it’s believed the darker the honey, the more powerful it is as an antioxidant.

Buckwheat honey — produced in Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — is dark and full-bodied…

Friday, July 24, 2009

Royal Jelly Reverses Oxidative Damage to Testes

Antioxidative Effect of Royal Jelly in Cisplatin-Induced Testes Damage
Urology, Published Online 17 July, 2009

Objectives - To investigate the antioxidative effect of royal jelly on cisplatin (CP)-induced spermiotoxicity using quantitative, biochemical, and histopathologic approaches.

Methods - CP was administered to rats at a single dose of 7 mg/kg i.p. Royal jelly was administered by gavage daily for 10 days at doses of 50 and 100 mg/kg. Traits of reproductive organs, such as sperm characteristics, testicular histologic findings, plasma testosterone levels, and testicular tissue oxidative stress status were determined.

Results - Royal jelly ameliorated the CP-induced reductions in weights of testes, epididymides, seminal vesicles, and prostate along with epididymal sperm concentration and motility. An increase in testes malondialdehyde concentrations were detected, while significant decreases in superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione-peroxidase levels were noted in CP-alone group compared with control group. The administration of royal jelly to CP-treated rats decreased the malondialdehyde level and increased superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione-peroxidase activities in the samples.

Conclusions - The CP-induced changes in histopathologic findings of testis were partially reversed by treatment with royal jelly. The results provide further insight into the mechanisms of CP-induced sperm toxicity and confirm the antioxidant potential of royal jelly.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

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Propolis Creates ‘Social Immunity’ for Honey Bees

Honeybees Sterilise Their Hives
Matt Walker, BBC News, 7/23/2009

Honeybees sterilise their hives with antimicrobial resin, scientists have discovered.

In doing so, they give the whole colony a form of "social immunity", which lessens the need for each individual bee to have a strong immune system.

Although honeybee resin is known to kill a range of pathogens, this is the first time that bees themselves have been shown to utilise its properties.

The team published details of their discovery in the journal Evolution.

When founding a new colony, they line the entire nest interior with a thin layer of resins that they mix with wax. This mixture is known as propolis.

They also use propolis to smooth surfaces in the hive, close holes or cracks in the nest, reduce the size of the entrances to keep out intruders, and to embalm intruders that they've killed in the hive that are too big to remove.

A number of studies have shown that propolis has a range of antimicrobial properties, but mostly in relation to human health. For example, numerous publications cite its effectiveness against viruses, bacteria and even cancer cells.

That is how Mike Simone, a PhD student from the University of Minnesota in St Paul, US, and his supervisor Professor Marla Spivak became interested.

Spivak and her colleagues had tested the effectiveness of honeybee propolis against the HIV-1 virus. They then progressed to see how it impacted bee pathogens, such as American foulbrood.

"This led us to wonder what other things propolis might be doing for the bees," said Simone.

In experiments funded by the US National Science Foundation, Simone's team painted the inside walls of hives with an extract of propolis collected from Brazil or Minnesota. This inside layer mimicked how propolis or resins would be distributed in a feral colony nesting in a tree cavity.

They then created colonies of honeybees and housed either in hives enriched with resin, or hives without the resin layer - to act as a control.

After one week of exposure they collected bees that had been born in each colony.

Genetic tests on these 7-day-old bees showed that those growing in the resin-rich colonies had less active immune systems.

"The resins likely inhibited bacterial growth. Therefore the bees did not have to activate their immune systems as much," said Simone…

Researcher Studies Medicinal Properties of Stingless Bee Honey

Harrisonburg Woman Researches Honey as Medicine
By Haley Harrison, WHSV-TV, 7/20/2009

A local woman's research may one day have you closing the medicine cabinet and heading to the kitchen to treat infection.

Harrisonburg High graduate and JMU student Chelsea Cockburn says honey isn't just for your toast anymore. She spent seven weeks in Ghana this summer studying the medicinal properties of honey.

Cockburn's research centered around sting-less bees found only in tropical regions. She says honey may be a great alternative to modern medicines...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New Bandages Use Healing Honey

New Generation of Bandages
By Roxanne Stein, WPTV, 7/15/2009

Wound infections happen when bacteria enter a break in the skin. Since we already have large numbers of bacteria on our skin, a wound simply gives them a place to enter and reproduce. The rapid proliferation of bacteria prevents skin from healing. Open sores, large burns and bite wounds are more prone to infection than other types of wounds like cuts, tears and punctures (Source: Physicians' Desktop Reference). When infection persists, some wounds become chronic. Treating chronic wounds cost an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion each year, according to a recent JAMA article.

Healing Honey: The Medihoney bandage is made from a seaweed-based material full of manuka honey, a potent type of honey that is helpful in killing germs and speeding up the healing process. The dressing speeds up healing because bacteria find it hard to live and replicate within the honey due to honey's ability to suck up water and its high concentration of enzymes. Manuka honey can be found in Australia and New Zealand in the hives of certain bees that collect nectar from manuka. The Medihoney bandage was created in 2007 and has been shown to be effective in healing leg ulcers, second-degree burns, diabetic foot ulcers as well as wounds from diabetes, metastasis disease and cancer…

Bee Pollen Recommended to Boost Energy

Get More Energy with Bee Pollen
By Meredith Sobel, Manhattan Healthy Food Examiner, 7/18/2009

I bet you are wondering, what is bee pollen? Well, its pretty much what it sounds like...its pollen from flowers with bee's enzymes secreted on it. Its the precursor to honey. Its this enzymatic process that makes the honey and these enzymes according to many raw foodist's that are our life force.

I know that adding bee pollen to oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt or any other soft food is just a great way to boost my energy. Whether its instead of coffee as a pick me up or a post-work out snack, adding bee pollen to your daily regimen is a great way to increase your energy.

Things to watch out for: for some, bee pollen can be an allergic food. Some of my clients have reported rashes or itching from bee pollen. Many find that the pill form is much stronger than the actual food. I recommend the food.

Also a little goes a long way. 1-2 tablespoons is all you need (sometimes just 1-2 teaspoons). Bee pollen still has calories (about 15 per teaspoon - but only 2 grams of carbs if that, in moderation - its fairly safe even for diabetics) - but not many and is a great way to naturally sweeten up your breakfast or snack...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

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Comment: Bee Venom May Have Helped Control Diabetes

My father is is 70+ years of age. He is diabetic and normally controls with medication and diet. A few years ago he was attached by killer Bee's and stung over 500 times. He survived through immediate medical attention at the local ER. The extrodinary thing that came from this is that for approx next 6 months his blood sugar level stayed normal without any medication or diet. We believe there is some relation to the Bee Venom.

David Buckley

Honey Polyphenols Inhibit Cancer Cells

Antiproliferative Effects of Honey and of Its Polyphenols: A Review
Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, Volume 2009

Honey has been used since long time both in medical and domestic needs, but only recently the antioxidant property of it came to limelight. The fact that antioxidants have several preventative effects against different diseases, such as cancer, coronary diseases, inflammatory disorders, neurological degeneration, and aging, led to search for food rich in antioxidants. Chemoprevention uses various dietary agents rich in phytochemicals which serve as antioxidants.

With increasing demand for antioxidant supply in the food, honey had gained vitality since it is rich in phenolic compounds and other antioxidants like ascorbic acid, amino acids, and proteins. Some simple and polyphenols found in honey, namely, caffeic acid (CA), caffeic acid phenyl esters (CAPE), Chrysin (CR), Galangin (GA), Quercetin (QU), Kaempferol (KP), Acacetin (AC), Pinocembrin (PC), Pinobanksin (PB), and Apigenin (AP), have evolved as promising pharmacological agents in treatment of cancer. In this review, we reviewed the antiproliferative and molecular mechanisms of honey and above-mentioned polyphenols in various cancer cell lines…

Our review has clearly demonstrated certain honey polyphenols tested in laboratorial setups showed to be a promising pharmacological agent for inhibiting cancer cell proliferation. After generating more in-depth and exhaustive information of these compounds jointly in in vitro and in vivo studies, clinical trials have to be initiated to further validate these compounds in medical applications.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Propolis May Help Relieve Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis

Effect of Brazilian Propolis on Sneezing and Nasal Rubbing in Experimental Allergic Rhinitis of Mice
Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol, 2009 Jul 17

We studied the effect of Brazilian propolis on sneezing and nasal rubbing in experimental allergic rhinitis of mice. A single administration of propolis caused no significant effect on both antigen-induced nasal rubbing and sneezing at a dose of 1000 mg/kg, but a significant inhibition was observed after repeated administration for 2 weeks at this dose.

Propolis caused no significant inhibitory effect on the production of total IgE level after repeated administration of 1000 mg/kg. The drug also caused no significant inhibition of histamine-induced nasal rubbing and sneezing at a dose of 1000 mg/kg.

On the other hand, propolis significantly inhibited histamine release from rat mast cells induced by antigen and compound 48/80 at a concentration of more than 10 mug/ml.

These results clearly demonstrated that propolis may be effective in the relief of symptoms of allergic rhinitis through inhibition of histamine release.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Honey Prescribed for Illnesses in Paraguay

A Better Life Through Bees in Paraguay
By Mary Cinadr, The Boston Globe, 7/15/2009

…"Tienes miel pura?" in Spanish or "Nde rerekopa eira pora?" in Guarani. Everyone wants the pure stuff, and because of rampant tampering, pure honey doesn’t last long on the market.

Four years ago, in the 22-house village of Pueblo-ra (Guarani for "pueblo to be"), farmers discovered beekeeping to be a lucrative practice that does not compete for other resources, increases crop production, aids in nutrition, and fetches a decent price in the market. Honey is valued for its nutritive qualities. Doctors prescribe honey for various illnesses, and it is found at all pharmacies. It is also sold among neighbors, on the street and in the mercado…

If Your Kid Has a Cough, Try Honey

Norman Lavin, LA Children's Health Examiner, 7/18/2009

Honey may sweeten your tea or embellish your desserts, but it may also be real medicine. Researchers at Penn State Medical School experimented with young children who were coughing. On the first night, a group of kids received neither cough medicine nor honey. On the following night, half of the kids received teaspoons of honey, and half received honey-flavored (not real honey) cough medicine.

The half who received real honey slept better and experienced less episodes of coughing…

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Video: New Honey Bandage Speeds Healing

A New Generation of Bandages Speeds Healing
News 8 Austin, 7/17/2009

The Medihoney bandage is made from a seaweed-based material full of manuka honey, a potent type of honey that is helpful in killing germs and speeding up the healing process. The dressing speeds up healing because bacteria find it hard to live and replicate within the honey due to honey's ability to suck up water and its high concentration of enzymes.

Manuka honey can be found in Australia and New Zealand in the hives of certain bees that collect nectar from manuka. The Medihoney bandage was created in 2007 and has been shown to be effective in healing leg ulcers, second-degree burns, diabetic foot ulcers as well as wounds from diabetes, metastasis disease and cancer.

Propolis Component Useful in Treating Asthma, Other Allergic Disorders

The Effect of Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester on the Functions of Human Monocyte-Derived Dendritic Cells
BMC Immunology, 2009, 10:39doi:10.1186/1471-2172-10-39

Propolis, an ancient herbal medicine, has been reported the beneficial effect both in asthma patients and murine model of asthma, but the mechanism was not clearly understood. In this study, the effect of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), the most extensively studied components in propolis, on the functions of human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MoDCs) was investigated.


CAPE significantly inhibited IL-12 p40, IL-12 p70, IL-10 protein expression in mature healthy human MoDCs stimulated by lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and IL-12 p40, IL-10, IP-10 stimulated by crude mite extract. CAPE significantly inhibited IL-10 and IP-10 but not IL-12 expression in allergic patients' MoDCs stimulated by crude mite extract. In contrast, the upregulation of costimulatory molecules in mature MoDCs was not suppressed by CAPE. Further, the antigen presenting ability of DCs was not inhibited by CAPE. CAPE inhibited I kappa B alpha phosphorylation and NF-kappa B activation but not mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family phosphorylation in human MoDCs.


These results indicated that CAPE inhibited cytokine and chemokine production by MoDCs which might be related to the NF-kappa B signaling pathway. This study provided a new insight into the mechanism of CAPE in immune response and the rationale for propolis in the treatment of asthma and other allergic disorders.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Is Honey Vegan?

The Age Old Question: Is Honey Vegan?
By Alyse Smith, Atlanta Vegan Examiner, 7/17/2009

The true, clear cut answer, in my book, is no. A vegan, defined by numerous websites, health books and people is considered a person who does not eat ANY thing that has any type of animal or animal by-product in it; vegans do not believe in eating anything that has caused an animal pain and suffering.

So why is honey such an age old debate? Many vegans who eat honey say things like "the bees aren't killed or harmed in any way when they extract and make the honey." This statement is the furthest from the truth. Bees have a central nervous system, just like humans and other animals, which allows them to feel pain. According to Friends of Animals' website,

"At peak honey-production time in 2003, an estimated 155 billion bees, from 2.59 million colonies, were exploited in the U.S. to produce honey for human consumption. Honey, beeswax, bee pollen, royal jelly, propolis and venom are taken from bees for human uses. In the process of acquiring these, beekeepers regularly disturb the bees’ homes by removing the honeycombs from the hive. When this is done some bees will inevitable be injured or crushed, and any bees who sting the beekeepers will also die."

When any animal dies, it experiences pain. Saying that honey is vegan is saying that milk is vegan; it's about the same wrong idea. Some websites, such as say it is up to the individual. That is true, but if you are going to be a vegan, wouldn't you want to give up everything and not just a few items?'s website answers the question by saying:

"Again, it depends on one's definition of vegan. Insects are animals, and so insect products, such as honey and silk, are not traditionally considered vegan. Many vegans, however, are not opposed to using insect products, because they do not believe insects are conscious of pain. Moreover, even if insects were conscious of pain, it's not clear that the production of honey involves any more pain for insects than the production of most vegetables, since the harvesting and transportation of all vegetables involves many 'collateral' insect deaths."…

Bee Pollen is One of Nature’s Most Powerful Superfoods

The Health Benefits of Bee Pollen, 7/16/2009

Bee pollen is one of nature’s healthiest and most powerful “superfoods.” It’s been used as a dietary supplement for thousands of years. The early Egyptian and early Chinese civilizations both used it as a physical rejuvenator and medicine. The Greek physician Hippocrates, recognized as the father of modern medicine, used pollen as a healing substance over 2,500 years ago. Today natural health practitioners often refer to bee pollen as an herbal “fountain of youth” that can be used for everything from weight loss to cancer prevention. It may be nature's most perfect food...

Bee pollen has been shown to help people:

- lose weight
- increase energy, vitality and stamina
- enhance the immune system
- relieve allergy and asthma symptoms
- improve sexual function
- correct digestion problems
- slow the aging process
- prevent cancer and other diseases

One thing is certain: people who consume high-quality bee pollen - almost always experience an increase in energy, zest, and physical endurance. This is precisely why thousands of world-class athletes supplement their diets with this natural substance.

What is Bee Pollen?

It's the dust-sized seed found on the stamen of all flower blossoms. The pollen collects on the legs of honeybees as they move from flower to flower looking for nectar. The bees secrete nectar and special enzymes into the flower pollen to create what we know as “bee pollen”. The pollen is usually collected by placing a special device at the entrance of beehives that brushes it from the hind legs of the bees into a collection vessel.

What’s in Bee Pollen?

Bee pollen contains an incredible array of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, co-enzymes, and hormones. It is especially rich in B vitamins and antioxidants, including lycopene, selenium, beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, and several flavanoids. It is composed of 55% carbohydrates, 35% protein, 3% vitamins and minerals, 2% fatty acids, and 5% other substances. Overall, it's one of the most nutritionally complete natural substances found on earth…

Thursday, July 16, 2009

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Video: Bee Venom Offers Relief for Injuries, Arthritis, MS

Video: Bee’s Venom as HealingTreatment?
Fox 9 News (Minnesota), 7/15/2009

Florida First State to Require ‘Pure’ Honey

Orlando Business Journal, 7/14/2009

Honey produced, sold or processed in Florida must be all natural.

Florida has become the first state in the nation to prohibit additives, chemicals or adulterants from being added to the sweetener…

Unprocessed Fijian Honeys Inhibit Bacteria from Diabetic Foot Ulcers

The Antimicrobial Efficacy of Fijian Honeys Against Clinical Isolates from Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Journal of ApiProduct & ApiMedical Science, Vol. 1 (3) pp. 64 - 71

A diverse range of illnesses has been treated with honey since ancient civilizations. There has been growing interest by health care professionals in wound care products based on New Zealand Manuka honey and Australian honey of similar Leptospermum spp.

In Fiji, local honeys have been used in homes to treat diabetic foot ulcers which have failed to heal by conventional therapeutic methods. This suggests that Fiji honeys may confer antimicrobial activity against the isolates from diabetic foot ulcers and this inference was tested in this study.

The antimicrobial activity of 30 natural and two processed honeys was determined using some clinical isolates from diabetic foot ulcers, namely: Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Candida albicans. The antimicrobial activity of the natural honeys, determined by an agar well diffusion assay and expressed as the concentration of phenol with equivalent activity, was found to be between 4.1 and 14.5% phenol.

The mean inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of the honeys determined by an agar incorporation technique, was found to range from 4.8% to more than 9.1% (v/v) honey (9.1% being the highest concentration tested).

In comparison, the activities of two processed honeys were between 4.5 - 8.9% phenol equivalence and did not inhibit the clinical isolates from diabetic foot ulcers at the highest concentration of honey tested (9.1%).

The results demonstrate that Fijian honeys could be utilized as herbal remedy for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. However, to assess the potential of Fijian honeys on diabetic foot ulcers, there is a need for clinical trials on these wounds.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Chestnut Honey and Propolis are Better Sources of Antioxidants

Antioxidant Activity and Phenolic Acid Constituents of Chestnut Honey and Propolis
Journal of Food Biochemistry, Published Online: 30 Jun 2009

This study describes the constituents of phenolic acids and antioxidant activities of chestnut (Castania sativa Mill.) honeys and propolis in Turkey. Antioxidant activity of the chestnut honeys and propolis were examined by three different methods, namely scavenging of free radical 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl, FRAP, and cupric reducing antioxidant power. Total phenolic contents were determined by using Folin–Ciocalteu reagent as GA equivalent. The phenolic constituents were also determined by HPLC. The antioxidant activities were compared with standard antioxidants such as catechin, BHT and Trolox. The antioxidant activities of all the samples were found high and related to the sample concentrations. The ethanolic propolis extracts showed the highest antioxidant activity. The major phenolic acids of the chestnut honeys and propolis identified by HPLC with PDA detection were coumaric acid, FA, cinnamic acid, CA and ChA.

Practical Applications

In this study, some phenolic acid components and antioxidant capacity of chestnut (Castania sativa Mill.) honey and propolis were measured. The comparative findings from antioxidant activities and phenolic acid analyses of honey and propolis samples of chestnut origin provide important criteria for considering their nutritional and nutraceutical potentials. Comparison of our results with literature data also ranks the chestnut honey and propolis as better sources of antioxidants among those from other floral origins.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Brazilian Green Propolis May Help Prevent Hypertension

Antihypertensive Effects of Flavonoids Isolated from Brazilian Green Propolis in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats
Biol Pharm Bull, 2009 Jul;32(7):1244-50

Propolis, a honeybee product, has become popular as a food and alternative medicine. Its constituents have been shown to exert pharmacological effects, such as anticancer, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory effects.

The present study was performed to investigate whether Brazilian green propolis exerts antihypertensive effects in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and which constituents are involved in its effects.

Brazilian green propolis was extracted with ethanol and subjected to LH-20 column chromatography eluted with ethanol. The ethanol-eluted fractions at 10 mg/kg were administered orally to SHR for 14 d. Significant decreases in blood pressure were observed in fractions 6 and 7. The active constituents were purified and identified to be four flavonoids: dihydrokaempferide and isosakuranetin in fraction 6 and betuletol and kaempferide in fraction 7. These flavonoids at 10 mg/kg were administered orally to SHR for 28 d, and as a result, isosakuranetin, dihydrokaempferide and betuletol produced significant decrease in blood pressure, especially marked were the effects observed in the group that received isosakuranetin. Brazilian green propolis, fractions 6 and 7, and the 4 active constituents relaxed isolated SHR aorta in a concentration-dependent manner.

Therefore, these finding suggest that the vasodilating action may be partly involved in the mechanism of antihypertensive effect. Hence, the ethanol extract of Brazilian green propolis and its main constituents may be useful for prevention of hypertension.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Gaza Bee Venom Clinic Expands Due to Medical Scarcity

Gaza's Bee Doctor Sees Old Art Revitalized Amid Ailing Health System
Ma'an News, 7/10/2009

Rateb Smour has been running a bee venom clinic in Gaza City since 2003; his was the first and remains the only clinic to use bee venom as a medical treatment, but interest is expanding as basic pain medication remains scarce in the Gaza Strip.

Smour started raising bees in 1985 with his father, who also practiced the art of bee venom treatments. The practice was for the family, then the extended family, and used primarily for treatment of back and muscle pain.

As word of the success some had with the treatment grew, the family specialty turned into a part-time business. "I never used to charge for the treatment," said Smour, but when demand rose he began charging 10 shekels (2.50 US dollars) per treatment.

"Many people believe in my treatment," Smour said during an interview with Ma'an, "And my traditional way often has better results than the treatment people receive in hospitals." The numbers of patients that come into Smour's clinic are either a testament to the success of the treatment, or to the failure of the health system. Between 50-100 patients come in every day, and Smour says the number is growing.

Smour now raises three kinds of bees, applied to ailments as diverse as ghost-pains for amputations, arthritis, chronic back pain, sinus infections, migraine treatment, thyroid problems, night blindness and for the hearing or visually impaired. In all, Smour says there are now 150 different conditions that he has successfully treated.

According to researchers in North America, bee venom stimulates the release of cortisone, and anecdotal evidence suggests it is effective in treating arthritis, rheumatic diseases and nerve pain…

Propolis Extract Has Radioprotective Effect

Radioprotective Effects of Quercetin and Ethanolic Extract of Propolis in Gamma-Irradiated Mice
Arh Hig Rada Toksikol, 2009 Jun;60(2):129-38

The aim of this study was to assess radioprotective effects of quercetin and the ethanolic extract of propolis (EEP) in CBA mice exposed to a single radiation dose 4 Gy (60Co).

The mice were treated with 100 mg kg-1 quercetin or EEP a day for three consecutive days either before (pre-treatment) or after gamma-irradiation (therapy). Leukocyte count was determined in blood drawn from the tail vein, and DNA damage in leukocytes was assessed using the alkaline comet assay. Genotoxic effects of the test compounds were also evaluated in non-irradiated mice.

The levels of radioprotection provided by both test compounds were compared with those established in mice that were given chemical radioprotector S-(2-Aminoethy1)isothiouronium bromide hydrobromide (AET).

Mice that received pre-treatment were less sensitive to irradiation. Mice given the post-irradiation therapy showed a slight but not significant increase in total leukocyte count over irradiated negative control. Quercetin showed better protective properties than EEP in both pre-treatment and therapy, and activated a higher number of leukocytes in non-irradiated mice. The alkaline comet assay suggests that both natural compounds, especially when given as pre-treatment, protect against primary leukocyte DNA damage in mice. At tested concentrations, EEP and quercetin were not genotoxic to non-irradiated mice. AET, however, caused a slight but not significant increase in DNA damage.

Although the results of this study show the radioprotective potential of the test compounds, further investigation is needed to clarify the underlying protection mechanisms.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bee Venom Encapsulation Produces Prolonged Analgesic Effect

Prolonged Analgesic Effect of PLGA-Encapsulated Bee Venom on Formalin-Induced Pain in Rats
Int J Pharm, 2009 Jul 2

To enhance the medicinal activity of bee venom (BV) acupuncture, bee venom was loaded into biodegradable poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) nanoparticles (BV-PLGA-NPs) by a water-in-oil-in-water-emulsion/solvent-evaporation technique.

Rat formalin tests were performed after subcutaneous injection of BV-PLGA-NPs to the Zusanli acupuncture point (ST36) at 0.5, 1, 2, 6, 12, 24, and 48h before plantar injection of 2% formalin.

BV-PLGA-NPs treatment showed comparable analgesic activity to typical BV acupuncture during the late phase, compared with saline-treated controls, and the analgesic effect lasted for 12h. PLGA-encapsulation was also effective in alleviating the edema induced by allergens in bee venom.

These results indicate that PLGA encapsulation provided a more prolonged effect of BV acupuncture treatment, while maintaining a comparable therapeutic effect.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Video: Arizona Senior Survives 1000+ Bee Stings

Propolis Extracts Have Anticancer Activity

Growth Inhibitory Activity of Ethanol Extracts of Chinese and Brazilian Propolis in Four Human Colon Carcinoma Cell Lines
Oncol Rep, 2009 Aug;22(2):349-54

More than 300 bio-active compounds have been identified from bee propolis in various regions of the world. The objective of this study was to examine whether the ethanol extracts of Chinese and Brazilian propolis may exert anticancer activities in four human colon carcinoma cell lines, namely CaCo2, HCT116, HT29 and SW480.

Propolis samples were extracted with ethanol, and the crude extracts were dissolved in dimethylsulfoxide and used for the experiments. In HCT116, HT29 and SW480 cell lines, the extracts of both Chinese and Brazilian propolis caused a marked dose-dependent growth inhibition, with IC50 values in the range of 4-41 µg/ml. In HCT116 cell line, Chinese propolis extract induced apoptosis in the cells after 72 h of treatment. In addition, Chinese propolis extract caused a dose-dependent increase in the cellular mRNA levels of p21CIP1 and p53 in the HCT116 cell line.

These findings indicate that the ethanol extracts of propolis contain components that may have anticancer activity. Thus, propolis and related products may provide a novel approach to the chemoprevention and treatment of human colon carcinoma.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Honey Extract Used to Treat Gingivitis, Periodontitis

Using Camelyn in Stomatology
Georgian Med News, 2009 Jun;(171):24-7 [Article in Russian]

In article are presented results of clinical study treatment of inflammatory diseases of parodentium, (gingivitis and periodontitis) with medicine Camelyn. Camelyn is local product which was (received) produced from the special sort of honey and contains biological high active products. Camelyn possesses with immunostimulation, anti- inflammatory action, activates regeneration process, has analgesic effect. 56 patients with various forms of disease, with gingivitis 25 patient, with parodontitis 31 were under clinical observation. Estimation of anti-inflammatory action of Camelyn was based on dynamics of parameters of PMA index. Index was defined before beginning of research as well at the end of observation.

Had been concluded: (in case of gingivitis and periodontitis) It is more functional to use topical-application of Camelyn. 5% ointment was used independently - separately as well in combine with other medicine. Observation has shown reduction of PMA indexes parameter in average on 1,43-time, and reduction of treatment's term on 1-2 days in comparison with control group. The received results have confirmed clinical appropriateness to use Camelyn for gingivitis, parodontitis and periodontitis in combined treatment.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Video: Neighbors Seek Permission to Remove Bothersome Bees

Neighbors Battle Against Bee Hives in Bay Park
KFMB-TV. 7/8/2009

Bees are taking over a home in a Bay Park neighborhood. So far, neighbors haven't been able to do a thing about it, and they are not happy. They called News 8 about two hives on a property on Cecelia Terrace that they say are dangerous.

Neighbors in Bay Park say the bee infestation has gotten so bad that the postal carrier refuses to deliver mail to the affect house…

Apitherapist Uses Bee Stings to Treat MS, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Stinging Pain
By Kristen Fountain, Valley News (USA), 7/6/2009

A phone call in May from a friend in pain drew Reyah Carlson back to the Upper Valley. The next day she left her home in Connecticut and has not looked back.

Carlson's friend, Mary Gilbert of Bradford, Vt., suffers from lupus, a chronic immune system disorder. For several years, the joint inflammation caused by the disease would flare up for a few days and then go away. But by the time she called Carlson, that pattern had changed for the worse.

“I was in chronic flare,” said Gilbert, 45. “You get to a place with the pain where you just can't get on top of it.”

Since receiving a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis around seven years ago, Carlson, who is 51, has been using the stings of live honeybees to treat MS, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions. Her own health has improved dramatically, and she has seen high rates of success among the roughly 2,000 people who have sought her help in places where she previously lived in California, Missouri and Indiana, she said.

“Most people say they wish they had done it earlier,” Carlson said. “It's like a last ditch effort.”

Bee venom therapy, also called apitherapy, is considered an unproven, alternative treatment in the United States, though the practice has a long history in the folk medicines of Asia and Eastern Europe and is offered in medical settings in Korea, China, Russia and Ukraine.

Analyses of honeybee venom have shown it contains the chemicals melittin and apamine, both of which are known to have anti-inflammatory properties.

“There is certainly some biological mechanism behind it,” said Robert Zurier, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He authored a 1973 study that found that arthritis did not worsen in a group rats given skin injections of bee venom, while it did in a group treated with saline. The venom appears to act by stimulating the adrenal gland to increase the body's natural production of corticosteroids, he said…

Carlson first learned about apitherapy while living and keeping bees in Vershire in the late 1980s. A local man, who was being treated for MS by the late Middlebury, Vt., beekeeper and bee venom apostle Charles Mraz, asked her to help him set up a hive on his property.

Mraz, Carlson and other practitioners also promote other honeybee products including propolis, beeswax and royal jelly, which they say have healthful properties that can help fight infections or reduce the side effects of chemotherapy, to name just a few…

Another form of apitherapy, called hoshindo, removes stingers from the bees prior to treatment and applies them manually along the body's meridian lines according to traditional acupuncture…

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

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Honey and Maggots Used to Fight MRSA

Nursing Times, 7/7/2009

Honey and maggot larvae have been used by nurses at a Somerset hospital to help clean wounds and fight infections such as MRSA.

Staff at the Royal United Hospital in Bath have taken to using medical grade Manuka honey and the sterilised larvae of the common greenbottle fly to clean wounds without relying on modern day medicines.

The honey, derived from the Manuka plant in New Zealand, has an osmotic action that actively draws fluid from the wound helping the body dissolve and remove dead tissue while reducing wound odour…

Dorothy Yeo, from Bath, has been receiving treatment for an ulcer for the last three years and recently began using honey dressings.

She said: ‘After trying the honey dressings I’m optimistic about the future, I’m able to sleep without sleeping tablets and for the first time new skin is forming over my ulcer.’

Success is Sweet for the Honey that Spreads Good Health

By Sarah Freeman, Yorkshire Post, 7/7/2009

It sounds like just another old wives' tale.

But while eating carrots might not help you see in the dark, it seems a spoonful of honey not only helps the medicine go down, but it can ease sore throats, soothe digestive problems and, perhaps most impressively of all, fight off MRSA.

The healing properties of honey were well known to the Ancient Egyptians, the Romans and the Greeks, but over the centuries natural remedies have been replaced by antibiotic drugs and lotions.

However in recent months, manuka honey and the native New Zealand bee which produces it has suddenly found itself back in vogue. Produced for the first time this year in England, a single jar costs £55, but despite the hefty price tag, demand has soared. The first batch from the Tregothnan estate in Cornwall sold out within weeks and as word spread, online orders have gone through the roof.

"It has long been common wisdom in New Zealand that manuka honey is a superior treatment for wounds and infections," says Professor Peter Molan, a biochemist at the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato. "Ten years ago, I decided to see if there was any scientific foundation in the belief and ever since I have been trying to get to the bottom of what makes it so special…

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Honey and Bee Sting Blend for Arthritis

July 06, 2009, (Sawf News) - New Zealand's Nelson Honey & Marketing is seeking EU approval to market Actiflex, a product containing honey with traces of bee venom that is claimed to ease pain in people with arthritis.

Actiflex is made by blending honey derived from the native Manuka tree with dried venom collected from the Apis mellifera honeybee using electrical milking machines that send impulses to stimulate worker bees to sting through a latex film onto a glass collector plate.

Actiflex has been in the New Zealand market for 13 years. The company has applied to UK's Food Standards Agency for an EU approval to launch its product in the market. The agency said it would be considering the application in the coming months.

Bee venom therapy for relieving arthritis pain is not a new concept. Traditionally it involved letting a bee sting a patient's arthritis affected area to reduce symptoms. The venom is believed to act as an analgesic for arthritis sufferers.

According to the product website, Bee venom is a complex mix of a variety of peptides and proteins, some of which have strong neurotoxin and immunogenic effects.

The venom's anti inflammatory effect is attributed to its major component, Melittin, which is claimed to stimulate the pituitary gland into releasing a hormone that causes the adrenal gland to produce cortisol, one of the body's major anti-inflammatory agents!

The anti-inflammatory properties of Melittin were also confirmed by a study conducted by researchers in South Korea. “The potency of Melittin in the inhibition of the inflammatory response may be of great benefit in degenerative and inflammatory diseases such as RA,” says Dr. Jin Tae Hong, M.D., Ph.D and one of the researchers from Korea.

“The extent of inhibitory effects of Melittin in most parameters determined in the present study is similar to or greater than bee venom itself, suggesting that Melittin may be a major causative component in the pharmacologic effects of bee venom.”…

Nursing Magazine Looks at Use of Honey for Wound Healing

Manuka Honey: Is There Any Truth That It Helps Wounds Heal?
By Barbara Swanson, PhD, RN, ADVANCE for LPNs, 7/2/2009

Anecdotal and preliminary evidence suggests honey - specifically topical manuka honey or antibacterial medical honey - reduces pain and chance of infection while promoting the healing of skin wounds, patient comfort and quality of life.1

A case report of three patients with venous, mixed or arterial chronic leg ulcers found Medihoney antibacterial wound gel (medical honey) reduced pain and improved healing of ulcers within 4-16 days.1

But what do we really know about manuka honey?

Mechanisms Of Action, Clinical Usage

Honey used for topical wound healing is typically produced by honeybees from the nectar of specific floral trees (Leptospermum scoparium). Manuka honey is often a blend of Australian and New Zealand honeys irradiated by gamma rays to inactivate potentially harmful bacterial spores, such as Clostridium botulinum.

The exact mode of action has not been determined, but by creating a moist, antibacterial wound environment manuka honey is thought to: 1) form a protective barrier that prevents adhesions of dressing to wounds, 2) maintain a moist healing environment which reduces scarring, 3) reduce wound odors and purulent exudate, 4) promote debriding either through autolysis or due to its enzymes and release of hydrogen peroxide and 5) support angiogenesis, granulation and epithelialization of wound healing.

One explanation is the acidic pH of honey (3.5-4.5) reduces the alkalinity of wounds, resulting in a more acidic healing environment. Manuka honey also stimulates the release of inflammatory cytokines from monocytes which, in turn, promotes tissue healing…

Dosage, Safety

Typically, manuka honey is applied liberally (15 mL-30 mL) during dressing changes, following careful cleansing of the wounds, every 12-48 hours, followed by sterile gauze or polyurethane dressings…

Manuka Honey: At A Glance


• Homeopathic and anecdotal observations suggest manuka honey promotes healing of new or acute wounds, such as cuts, lacerations, superficial burns and abrasions, but strong evidence is lacking.

• Standardized preparations, such as Medihoney and ApiNate, are suggested over ordinary honey for their antibacterial action in treating wounds.

• May reduce pain compared with another commonly used wound dressing.


• Meant for topical treatment of wounds; should not be ingested.

• Do not use ordinary honey in place of medical honey; impurities may prove harmful.

Honey Can Help Treat Acne

Sweet Healing from Honey and Brown Sugar
By Elle Febbo, LA Skin Care Examiner, 7/5/2009

Health experts from are now referencing Honey as a healing agent when it comes to our skin, and Brown sugar as a safe, natural cleansing agent for dermatological use…

Below are a few ways to make your natural sweeteners do a lot more for you that add to your calorie count.

1. When you feel or see a blemish starting to appear, dab on a fingertip of honey to the effected area, and cover with a band-aid before bed. By dawn, it should be gone.

2. Mix 1/8th cup honey, and 2 teaspoons of whole milk together in a dish. Cleanse face and neck with milk and honey mixture, then rinse and moisturize as usual.

3. Queen Bee Exfoliating Scrub (Available in most common kitchens):

Naturally exfoliating your skin with gentle exfoliant, such as brown sugar, will remove dead skin cells from the skins surface while delicately cleansing pores. Upon completion, skin will feel smooth, and tone will be more even…

Monday, July 06, 2009

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Australian ‘Wonder Honey’ Said to Beat Manuka in Antibacterial Activity

Aust Native Organic Honey Stars in Antibacterial Role
Queensland Country Life (Australia), 7/6/2009

An Australian Certified Organic (ACO) honey company has launched a medicinal grade honey derived from a native Australian plant.

The honey contains more potent levels of non-peroxide active antibacterial activity than are recorded in any other product on the market worldwide.

Research has highlighted the potential of the honey to act as a medical agent with the capacity to kill harmful bacteria.

It also reportedly strengthens immune systems and aids in the recovery of everything from strep throat to skin wounds and scars.

The ‘wonder honey’ will be marketed under the trade name Berringa Honey.

That's a subsidiary of the Australian Organic Honey Company which has produced high grade Australian Eucalypt honey for food consumption for the past 20 years.

The honey reportedly contains un-matched levels of Methylglyoxal (MG) - a compound naturally formed in honey as a result of chemical reactions by green photosynthesising plants.

MG activity in Berringa honey, made under a certified organic production system from the native genus Leptospermum Polygalifolium (a type of tea tree), has been recorded consistently at levels of + 1,600 mg/kg.

This is claimed to be well ahead of regular honey, which typically has not been found to contain levels in excess of 5 mg/kg (2)…

New Medicinal Honey Lozenge Targets Ulcers, Heartburn, Sore Throats

Pure Medical Grade 20+ Manuka Honey in a Lozenge
Scoop Independent News, 7/6/2009

Health & Herbs International, New Zealand’s specialist naturopathic products company, has launched the Radiance ManukaGuard lozenge. Every lozenge contains 100% pure manuka honey providing 20+ certified bioactive manuka factor, which is exciting medical researchers worldwide because of its special health promoting properties.

Radiance ManukaGuard lozenges contain only pure New Zealand manuka honey harvested from a remote and unpolluted area at the tip of the North Island of New Zealand, an area so rich with manuka trees, it enables the production of an exceptionally high quality manuka honey. The honey is `condensed’ into a compact, convenient lozenge using a specially developed process which maintains its biological activity…

New Zealand Company Wants to Sell 'Bee Venom' Honey in Britain

A New Zealand company wants to sell honey in Britain that contains the venom of bees
By Harry Wallop, Telegraph (UK), 7/3/2009

Nelson Honey has applied to the Food Standards Agency for permission to market the unusual product in Britain, claiming bee venom honey alleviates the symptoms of arthritis.

It has been sold in New Zealand for the last decade, with more than 13 million pots sold. The company admits there have been "extremely low" reported incidences of adverse reactions to honey with bee venom added.

The FSA has to approve the marketing of any "novel food" to check it is safe. The regulator said: "Before any new food product can be introduced on the European market it must be rigorously assessed for safety. In the UK, the assessment of novel foods is carried out by an independent committee of scientists appointed by the Food Standards Agency."

Nelson's most popular bee venom honey is called Nectar Ease, which sells for New Zealand dollars 21.95 (£8.95) for a 500g pot.

The company claims, on its website: "Bee venom has been used via Bee-Sting Therapy for centuries in all cultures. The actual healing process is still a bit of a mystery but ongoing research has identified a number of naturally occurring chemical compounds which appear to work together in the body."…

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Honey Proven to Be a Wonder Cure

By Phil Mercer, The National (UAE), 7/4/2009

SYDNEY // Australian scientists have discovered that honey is a powerful natural medicine capable of killing almost all types of bacteria, including drug-resistant superbugs that threaten the lives of hospital patients around the world.

The miracle sweet liquid is Manuka or jelly bush honey and is made only by bees collecting pollen and nectar from trees in Australia and New Zealand.

After seven years of research, a team at the University of Sydney has found that this simple product has an extraordinary ability to destroy micro-organisms that cause infections in external wounds.

“The bacteria have all been killed very quickly by honey, despite any resistance [to other drugs] that they might have,” said Dee Carter, an associate professor…

Myanmar Propolis Inhibits Pancreatic Cancer Cells

Chemical Constituents of Propolis from Myanmar and Their Preferential Cytotoxicity Against a Human Pancreatic Cancer Cell Line
J. Nat. Prod, July 2, 2009

A methanolic extract of propolis obtained in Myanmar was found to inhibit PANC-1 human pancreatic cancer cells preferentially under nutrient-deprived conditions (NDM), with a PC50 value of 9.3 μg/mL.

Bioactivity-guided fractionation of the extract led to the isolation of two new cycloartane-type triterpenes, (22Z,24E)-3-oxocycloart-22,24-dien-26-oic acid (1) and (24E)-3-oxo-27,28-dihydroxycycloart-24-en-26-oic acid (2), together with 13 cycloartanes (3−13) and four known prenylated flavanones (14−17).

Among these, compound 1 exhibited the most potent preferential cytotoxicity (PC50 4.3 μM) in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Furthermore, 1 induced apoptosis-like morphological changes of PANC-1 cells within 24 h of treatment.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Honey and Cinnamon Recommended for Acne

Honey for Health
Polly Jackson, Austin Healthy Food Examiner, 7/3/2009

Honey not only satisfies your sweet tooth in a healthy way but it is used medicinally, as well.

The early Egyptians used honey on open wounds to keep out infection and speed healing. It viscous consistency, when applied on a bandage over a wound, keeps out harmful bacteria and is as good as any anti-biotic cream.

Honey and cinnamon, mixed together into a paste, is a good cure for a pimple…

Bee Venom Therapy Better than Acupuncture for Treating Muscle Strain

Observation on Therapeutic Effect of Bee Needle Therapy on Chronic Lumbar Muscle Strain [Article in Chinese]
Zhongguo Zhen Jiu, 2009 Apr;29(4):332-4

Objective: To explore a new method for treatment of chronic lumbar muscle strain.

Methods: One hundred and fifty cases were randomly divided into 2 groups, an observation group of 78 cases and a control group of 72 cases. The observation group was treated with bee-needle therapy, with Jiaji (EX-B 2) on the loin and Shenshu (BL 23), Zhishi (BL 47), Ciliao (BL 32), Weizhong (BL 40), Ashi points selected as main; and the control group was treated with routine acupuncture at the same points as those in the observation group, in combination with fire-cupping or warm needle moxibustion. They were treated once daily, 10 sessions constituting one course. After 3 courses and a half year later, therapeutic effects were observed and followed up.

Results: In the observation group, 49 cases were cured, 27 improved, 2 ineffective, with a cured rate of 62.8%, and in the control group, the corresponding figures were 29, 40, 3 and 40.3%, with a significant difference between the two groups in the cured rate (P < 0.01).

Conclusion: The therapeutic effect of the bee-needle therapy on chronic lumbar muscle strain is better than that of the routine acupuncture, which provides a better method for treatment of chronic lumbar muscle strain.

Friday, July 03, 2009

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Video: Bee Venom Therapy Used to Treat Arthritis, Pudendal Neuralgia

Bee Therapy? Ouch!
By David Martin, FOX 35 News, 7/2/2009

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Scott Shurman and Jean Vasicek’s love is as sweet as the raw and unfiltered honey the married couple sells from their truck.

“The honey tastes great and the medicinal value comes through when you don’t take anything out of it,” says Shurman.

In fact, he says honey helps allergy victims.

“Take a tablespoonful a day,” submits Shurman. But to Jean Vasicek, there’s more to the bee’s short lifecycle than a tasty treat.

“I was very sick,” Vasicek remembers.

She was diagnosed with the ultra-rare illness, pudendal neuralgia. It causes chronic pelvic pain.

“I was probably never going to be able to walk very far again. I was going to pretty much be bed ridden the rest of my life,” says Vasicek.

That was 5 years ago. Defying doctors? You bet. Jean feels bee stings might be relieving that pain. She gets voluntarily stung once a week.

“At the base of my spine. Oh, oh so painful,” winces Vasicek.

Jean is part of growing movement of people who feel bee venom is the way to go. Her friend Beth Fox also practices what’s called “apitherapy.”…