Thursday, December 31, 2009

Local Honey, Bee Pollen Recommended for Pet Allergies

Food Allergy is Probable Cause for Lab's Big Itch
By Dr. Michael Fox, St. Louis Post Dispatch, 12/27/2009

Dear Dr. Fox — We have a chocolate Lab who is 4 years old. She appears to have allergies or dry skin because she is constantly licking her paws and bottom. Also, after she eats or goes outside, she rubs her face on the couch and floor. We have taken her to the veterinarian several times, changed her food three times, and she is on Benadryl twice a day, but nothing seems to help. She has licked her paws so much that she has bare spots all up and down her legs.

A: There are many reasons why dogs (and cats) develop this condition. For details, check the archives of this column at my website. Presuming that the veterinarian has ruled out mange, a parasitic skin infestation, your poor dog probably has a food allergy. An elimination diet, which your veterinarian can help you with, is called for.

Second, this might be a contact allergy, so spread cotton sheets — washed in scent-free, eco-friendly, phosphate-free laundry detergent — where your dog lies and sleeps. Stop using floor cleaners other than white vinegar, borax and Orange TKO organic concentrate.

Third, supplement her diet with 1 teaspoon (or 1,000 mg) of fish oil such as New Chapter or Nordic Naturals in her food, plus 1 teaspoon of local honey or bee pollen that can help dogs with non-food related allergies…

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Can Sting From Bee Cure MS?

The Scranton Times Tribune, 12/28/2009

Q: I have had multiple sclerosis since I was in my late 20s. I'm now in my early 50s and have been in remission for a while.

What can you tell me about MS and bee stings? I got stung a couple of days ago, and I started walking much better and feeling perkier. I have energy that I haven't had in years. One of my daughters told me about bee-sting therapy.

A: The medical use of honeybee products is known as apitherapy. Bees have played a role in alternative health care since the Egyptians used their byproducts to cure arthritis. Those byproducts have since been used to treat chronic pain, a number of skin conditions, burns of the skin, coughs and a great deal more.

Researchers have found that specific compounds in the venom, namely melittin and adolapin, can work toward reducing pain and inflammation through a process that allows the body to release natural healing compounds in its own defense. It is rumored that thousands of multiple sclerosis patients in the United States appear to be using bee venom as an alternative to interferon, corticosteroids and other drugs. I don't know how so many have tapped into this approach, because there are only about 50 physicians nationwide who use bee-venom therapy to relieve symptoms of MS.

There certainly is a great deal to be said about alternative approaches to almost any condition. In this instance, though, there is always the risk of potentially life-threatening allergic reactions, so any undertaking should be under the strict guidance of a qualified physician.

Your daughter is cutting edge on the information circuit. Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., has begun a preliminary one-year study funded by the Multiple Sclerosis Association to research apitherapy as a potential treatment. I don't know whether any clinical trials are under way, but you might want to follow that road to determine whether you meet their guidelines…

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Is Manuka Honey the Best Type of Honey for Wound Care?

J Hosp Infect, 2009 Nov 9

Honey has been used since ancient times as a remedy in wound care, but there remains insufficient evidence to recommend one type of honey over another type. Honey derived from the floral source Leptospermum scoparium (manuka) has been claimed to have therapeutic advantages over other honeys due to its notable antibacterial effect. It is currently used as a medical product for professional wound care in European hospitals. The main advantage of manuka honey is that the floral sources increase its antibacterial activity, even against meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

However, it has been well documented that the pronounced antibacterial activity of manuka honey directly originates from methylglyoxal, as well as other components such as hydrogen peroxide, flavinoids and aromatic acids, all of which demonstrate antimicrobial properties. Microbial resistance to honey has never been reported, which makes it a very promising topical antimicrobial agent.

In this report, we investigated the antibacterial properties of several types of Slovak honey against active manuka honey UMF 16þ and a control solution with sugar content similar to that of the natural honey...

We compared the antimicrobial activity of local Slovak honeys with ‘therapeutic’ active manuka honey at different concentrations and demonstrated that forest honey had an inhibitory activity equivalent to that of manuka honey for some, but not all, bacteria. Forest honey was even more effective against Proteus spp. and Pseudomonas aeruginosa than manuka honey.

When honey is used clinically, honey is applied directly to the wound in much higher concentrations than those in laboratory conditions.

Nowadays, recent papers have described the effects of honey on immune cells, where the antibacterial activity of honey is likely to be unrelated to the actions on such cells. In addition to the antimicrobial properties, honey may influence the activation of various cellular and extracellular matrix components and cells.3e6 Alongside 55 kDa major protein of honey (MRJP1), 5.8 kDa component of manuka honey as well as an effective component from jungle honey withMWof 261, were found to be novel potential therapeutic agents for the treatment
of wounds.

The aim of this report is to highlight the potential beneficial properties of honey during the healing process at cellular level. We believe that honey contains an effective molecule(s) with non-antimicrobial characteristics which stimulates cells involved in wound healing.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Probiotic Bacteria in Honey Bee Stomach Inhibits Pathogens

Novel Lactic Acid Bacteria Inhibiting Paenibacillus Larvae in Honey Bee Larvae
Apidologie, 41 (2010) 99-108

We evaluated the antagonistic effects of newly identified lactic acid bacteria (LAB) in the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, originating from the honey stomach, on the honey bee pathogen, Paenibacillus larvae. We used inhibition assays on agar plates and honey bee larval bioassays to investigate the effects of honey bee LAB on P. larvae growth in vitro and on AFB infection in vivo. The individual LAB phylotypes showed different inhibition properties against P. larvae growth on agar plates, whereas a combination of all eleven LAB phylotypes resulted in a total inhibition (no visible growth) of P. larvae. Adding the LAB mixture to the larval food significantly reduced the number of AFB infected larvae in exposure bioassays.

The results demonstrate that honey bee specific LAB possess beneficial properties for honey bee health. Possible benefits to honey bee health by enhancing growth of LAB or by applying LAB to honey bee colonies should be further investigated…

Our results demonstrated a strong inhibitory effect of the combined honey bee stomach LAB flora and of two Lactobacillus phylotypes (Hma11 and Biut2) on the in vitro growth of P. larvae (Tab. II). Furthermore, the results clearly demonstrate that addition of LAB to young honey bee larvae exposed to P. larvae spores decreases the proportion of larvae that succumb to AFB infection. Thus, our results strongly suggest that probiotic bacteria linked to the honey bee stomach have important implications for honey bee pathology in general and for AFB tolerance in particular.

Honey Recommended to Boost Immunity

Boosting Immunity Can Start Naturally

(Relaxnews) - With flu season in full swing - and H1N1 looming large - some medical experts are encouraging preventative medicine to keep the immune system functioning optimally to keep seasonal illnesses at bay…

Honey: A natural antibiotic with antiseptic properties, honey also contains a number of immune-boosting and infection-fighting vitamins and minerals, including B-complexes, C,D, E vitamins and propolis. Honey also coats the throat better than cough syrup, some studies claim. Locally producted honey might be better for fighting off seasonal allergies, asthma and other respiratory troubles because it can fight off irritants typical of the area…

Poverty Stricken Uganda Kids Learn Bee-Keeping Skills

Coventry Telegraph (UK), 12/28/2009

Poverty stricken children in Uganda are learning bee-keeping skills to help support themselves, thanks to a Warwickshire couple.

Dave Bonner and Cath Tompsett, of Stretton on Dunsmore, visited the Soroti region of the country with Coventry charity Global Care.

The couple are both members of the British Beekeeping Association and were able to use their expertise to train staff at a centre run by the charity, who will pass their new skills to the young people supported by Global Care.

Ten new hives have been provided which will mean extra income for poor families, better nutrients for malnourished children, and eventually, a vocational training opportunity for young people supported by Global Care.

Dave, 57, a bee inspector for Leicestershire and Rutland, said: “The idea is to give the children another skill and another source of income.

If people can get a hive with the correct baiting, which introduces a smell within it to attract the bees, then it is easy to keep them.

“Bees are plentiful in Uganda. The land is lush and green and there is lots of forage.

“A hive built locally only costs about £20 but when the average worker there is only being paid about 30p a day, which is £90 a year, then they simply can’t afford to do it…

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Honey Bee Sting and Venom Offering Active as Well as Passive Immunization Could Reduce Swine Flu Pandemic A (H1N1)

Medical Hypotheses, Article in Press

An endemic of human transmitted swine influenza H1N1 could have casualties on a scale seen in the great Spanish influenza pandemic 1918 to 1920.

This paper proposes that should such occur before effective vaccines and antiviral drugs are available, the outbreak could be significantly slowed down by honey bee sting and/or honey bee venom therapy.

Honey bee sting or venom therapy proved to be have anti-inflammatory activity via the inhibition of iNOS and TNF-α expression and also immunostimulatory activity via 5-Hydroxytryptamine (chemical constituent in honey bee sting and venom) - potentiation of T-cell activation.

Growth of research put forward the fact that immunomodulatory agents possess antiviral activity. Because the cause of human-transmitted swine origin influenza virus A H1N1 pandemic is weak a immune system and the major symptoms are pneumonia and neuralgia, honey bee sting and/or venom therapy could be the future of the influenza treatment.

This novel approach might also have utility for other serious respiratory infectious disease.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Royal Jelly Helps Alleviate Chills

Determinants of Chilliness Among Young Women and Their Application to Psychopharmacological Trials (Article in Japanese)
Nihon Shinkei Seishin Yakurigaku Zasshi, 2009 Nov;29(5-6):171-9

Chilliness is a common complaint among menopausal women. Increasing evidence indicates that young women also suffer from chilliness, resulting in decreased learning, motivation, and concentration. Neither diagnostic criteria nor drug therapies exist for chilliness, and thus, young women suffer from insomnia, fatigue, and mood disturbance.

Because chilliness is correlated with hormonal changes observed during premenstrual, postpartum, and menopausal periods, reproductive hormones are likely involved.

Recently, we elucidated methodological issues related to identifying young women with chilliness. We used a new questionnaire to determine complaint severity with regard to chills and assessed physical parameters (BMI, body fat ratio, basal metabolism, blood pressure), peripheral circulation, and recovery of skin surface temperature after mild cold-water finger immersion.

Using a discriminant analysis (hit ratio, 84.5%), we demonstrated that four parameters (blood flow, difference between underarm and surface temperature, recovery rate after mild cold exposure, and score for chilliness-related complaints) were important determinants of chilliness.

Among traditional candidate substances for alleviating chilliness, Piper longum and royal jelly showed significant effects.

Additionally, we investigated seasonal change in the experience of chilliness and found that young women suffer from chilliness during the summer. These findings have important implications for understanding chilliness in women.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Anti-Inflammatory/Anti-Angiogenic Effects of Propolis Explained

Brazilian Green Propolis Inhibits Inflammatory Angiogenesis in a Murine Sponge Model
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, Published online on December 9, 2009

Angiogenesis and inflammation are persistent features of several pathological conditions. Propolis, a sticky material that honeybees collect from living plants, has been reported to have multiple biological effects including anti-inflammatory and anti-neoplasic activities.

Here, we investigated the effects of water extract of green propolis (WEP) on angiogenesis, inflammatory cell accumulation and endogenous production of cytokines in sponge implants of mice over a 14-day period…

Our results indicate that the anti-inflammatory/anti-angiogenic effects of propolis are associated with cytokine modulation.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Video: How Bees Perform Perfect Landings

BBC, 12/24/2009

High-speed footage has revealed how a honeybee performs the perfect landing.

Researchers found that the insect switches from "flight mode" to a more stable "hover mode", where it then assesses the landing ground using its eyes, antennae and legs.

After a few thousandths of a second, the bee's hind legs make contact with the ground and then it delicately lowers itself down before coming to a stop.

The research was carried out by scientists at the Vision Centre at the University of Queensland, Australia, and Lund University, Sweden, and was published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

Major Royal Jelly Protein Examined

Molecular Characteristics and Physiological Functions of Major Royal Jelly Protein 1 Oligomer
Proteomics, 2009 Dec 16;9(24):5534-5543

Royal jelly contains numerous components, including proteins. Major royal jelly protein (MRJP) 1 is the most abundant protein among the soluble royal jelly proteins. In its physiological state, MRJP 1 exists as a monomer and/or oligomer.

This study focuses the molecular characteristics and functions of MRJP 1 oligomer…

In conclusion, MRJP 1 oligomer is a heat-resistant protein comprising MRJP 1 monomer and Apisimin, and has cell proliferation activity. These findings will contribute to further studies analyzing the effects of MRJP 1 in humans.

Filipino Entrepreneurs Encouraged to Produce Apitherapy Products

Tilapia, Honey Emerging Products in Southern Mindanao
By Manuel T. Cayon, Business Mirror, 12/24/2009

DAVAO CITY—The government and entrepreneurs here have set their eyes on the production of honey and tilapia, two of the six emerging products of choice in Southern Mindanao…

In the case of honey, the DTI said the Mindanao campus of the University of the Philippines has already indicated its willingness to assist in the research and testing of a demonstration farm within their campus in Davao City. The demo farm will be used to “come up with the appropriate module to be promoted.”

Various postings in the Internet show that honeybee production in the Philippines has been highly limited, and while separate production efforts were undertaken in the various regions, these have been unsuccessful and reduced to selling only by the roadside.

“In many Asian countries beekeeping with Apis cerana in traditional hives has been very common, yet such techniques have never been practised in the Philippines.

Honey gathering, mainly from Apis dorsata, still takes place in woodlands and local honey can be found for sale along the roadside,” an Internet post said.

The indigenous honeybee species of the Philippines include Apis dorsata, Apis cerana and Apis andreniformis, the latter present only in Palawan.

“Honey-hunting has long been practised in the tropical forest, which is increasingly threatened by human encroachment and destructive activities including charcoal burning and illegal logging.”

Modern beekeeping emerged in the 1970s with the importation of European races of the honeybee Apis mellifera—together with associated frame hive technology.

Almost all the honey sold in the supermarkets is imported from the US, although local and imported honey fetches almost the same price of $4 per kilogram.

Recently, honey production in the country has been conducive in the more than half of the 3 million hectares of coconut plantations in the Philippines. Coconut trees bear flowers and fruit year-round from where honeybees, particularly Apis cerana, tend to build their colonies in coconut plantations.

The Internet post said a beekeeper from Tagum City, Davao del Norte, said a colony of foreign honeybees can gather 8 to 10 kilos of coconut nectar in one day.

Beekeeping under coconuts can boost the coconut farmer’s earning by an average of P100,000 a hectare per year from his honey, pollen, royal jelly and wax

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Propolis Protects Against Side Effects of Anti-Cancer Drug

Protective Effects of Propolis and Related Polyphenolic/Flavonoid Compounds Against Toxicity Induced by Irinotecan
Med Oncol, 2009 Dec 16

Despite the excellent chemotherapeutic effect of irinotecan, its cytotoxicity and genotoxicity in normal cells remains a major problem in chemotherapy.

This study was carried out to find whether propolis preparations and related flavonoids (quercetin, naringin) might enhance irinotecan-induced cytotoxicity to tumor cells in mice bearing Ehrlich ascites tumors (EAT) while protecting normal blood, liver, and kidney cells...

The combination treatment resulted in substantial inhibition of the growth of EAT cells as well as treatment with quercetin or irinotecan alone, whereas other treatment by itself showed little effect. However, when mice were pre-treated with test components prior to irinotecan, the frequencies of irinotecan-induced micronuclei (MN) was decreased but in mice bearing tumor QU and EEP increased number of micronucleated cells.

Propolis preparation and related flavonoids were found to exhibit an important immunomodulatory effect and could decrease irinotecan-induced toxic and genotoxic effects to normal cells without effecting irinotecan cytotoxicity in EAT cells.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Arthritis Helped by Honey, Apple-Cider Vinegar Combo

Arthritis Responds to Remedy
The Times Tribune (USA), 12/21/2009

Q: Fifty years ago I made my living driving a car. I developed arthritic pain in my hands, which at times was almost unbearable. I was told that two tablespoons of honey and one tablespoon of apple-cider vinegar in a glass of water each day might help. Because it was inexpensive, my wife and I decided to try it. No. 1: It tasted good. No. 2: After a time, it did help.

I've been driving ever since. My wife and I work out six days a week. Her hobby is sewing, and mine is woodworking. Needless to say, our breakfast drink has never changed. I take next to no meds, so something must have helped. We are 84 years young and just celebrated our 65th wedding anniversary.

A: Congratulations. Sixty-five years of marriage is a monumental event in anyone's book, but especially in this day and age.

The honey-and-apple-cider-vinegar remedy has been purported to heal many ailments. Honey alone or mixed with tea is good for soothing sore throats and coughs. Apple-cider vinegar supposedly eliminates heartburn. To the best of my knowledge, no scientific studies have been performed, but perhaps these common, simple ingredients need to be looked into further. One or both have persisted through the years as a home or folk remedy, so perhaps there is something to it…

Regulation Urged for Liver Toxin in Honey, Pollen

Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids (PAs) in Honey and Pollen
Legal Regulation of PA Levels in Food and Animal Feed Required
Mol Nutr Food Res, Early View

Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are secondary plant constituents that comprise about 400 different structures and occur in two major forms, a tertiary form and the corresponding N-oxide. PAs containing a 1,2-double bond are pre-toxins and metabolically activated by the action of hepatic P-450 enzymes to toxic pyrroles.

Besides the acute toxic effects, the genotoxic and tumorigenicity potential of PAs was demonstrated in some eukaryotic model systems. Recently, the potential PA contamination of food and feeding stuff attracted recurrent great deals of attention. Humans are exposed to these toxins by consumption of herbal medicine, herbal teas, dietary supplements or food containing PA plant material. In numerous studies the potential threat to human health by PAs is stated. In pharmaceuticals, the use of these plants is regulated.

Considering the PA concentrations observed especially in authentic honey from PA producing plants and pollen products, the results provoke an international regulation of PAs in food.

Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in Pollen and Pollen Products
Mol Nutr Food Res, Early View

Recently, 1,2-dehydropyrrolizidine alkaloid (PA) ester alkaloids, found predominantly as their N-oxides (PANOs, pyrrolizidine N-oxides), have been reported in both honey and in pollen obtained directly from PA plants and pollen loads collected by bees, raising the possibility of health risks for consumers of these products.

We confirm these findings in regard to floral pollen, using pollen collected directly from flowers of the known PA plants Senecio jacobaea, S. vernalis, Echium vulgare and pollinia of Phalaenopsis hybrids, and we extend analyses of 1,2-unsaturated PAs and 1,2-unsaturated PANOs to include bee-pollen products currently being sold in supermarkets and on the Internet as food supplements…

In total, 55 commercially available pollen products were analyzed. Seventeen (31%) samples contained 1,2-unsaturated PAs in the range from 1.08 to 16.35 mug/g, calculated as retronecine equivalents. The 1,2-unsaturated PA content of pollen products is expressed in terms of a single sum parameter and no background information such as foraged plants, pollen analysis, etc. was needed to analyze the samples. The detection limit of overall procedure and the reliable quantitation limit were 0.003 and 0.01 mug/g, respectively.

Monday, December 21, 2009

New Zealand, U.S. Firms Reach Deal on Medihoney

Comvita Reaches Medihoney Deal
New Zealand Herald, 12/21/2009

Natural healthcare company Comvita has completed a heads of agreement for a $6 million deal with Derma Sciences covering the worldwide licensing rights for Medihoney professional woundcare and skincare products.

The agreement is subject to the completion of full documentation and a successful capital raising and listing in January on the Nasdaq by Derma, a United States-based specialty medical device company in which Comvita has a 10 per cent stake.

Comvita said that under the deal Derma would have exclusive worldwide rights to manufacture and sell the full range of Medihoney woundcare and skincare products to the professional and medical market worldwide.

Comvita would retain exclusive worldwide rights to sell the same products to the over the counter (OTC) market.

Derma would manufacture the range of Medihoney products for Comvita to sell to OTC customers, Comvita would supply medical grade manuka honey to Derma, and there was a joint research and development cooperation agreement between Derma and Comvita…

Honey Beats Traditional Therapy for Ear Burns, But Not for Deep Wounds

Comparison Between Topical Honey and Mafenide Acetate in Treatment of Auricular Burn
Am J Otolaryngol, 2009 Nov 23

The auricle is a frequently injured part of the head and neck during thermal injury leading to ear deformity. The burned ear represents one of the most difficult problems for reconstructive surgeons.

Mafenide acetate is a topical agent used routinely for these patients, but it has some disadvantages including painful application and allergic rash.

Some authors have reported the healing effect and antibacterial activity of honey. The study reported here was undertaken to compare the effect of honey and mafenide acetate on auricular burn in rabbit.

In our study, although the pathologic score of the honey group was better than that of the mafenide group both on 14 and 21 days after burning, it was not statistically significant.

In the mafenide acetate group, deep complication of burn (chondritis) was significantly lower than that of the honey group.

In conclusion, in contrast to healing and antibiotic activity reported for honey, it may have failure in preventing deep bacterial complications of wound (like chondritis). So in deep wounds, the use of honey as dressing is not recommended.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Honey Map Helps Identify Verify Source

International Testing of NZ Honey
Oritain Global Limited, 12/17/2009

Oritain’s investment in a nationwide honey map has paid off. On a recent trip to the US, Oritain officials purchased manuka honey directly from US company packaging and reselling it as a “Product of New Zealand”. The sample was brought back to NZ and tested. Oritain was able to scientifically verify that it was from NZ. Additionally, they could confirm its floral type (manuka) without the need to look at pollen count.

“It is an exciting development” said Mike Darling, NZ operations manager for Oritain “We have invested heavily in building a data reference map of NZ honey. Oritain is now at the stage where we can test honeys in the international marketplace against our data and determine if they are truly of NZ origin.” Furthermore, Oritain works with an international team of scientists, “We no longer need to bring samples back to NZ. Rather we provide approved laboratories with the testing regime. They undertake the analyses and we can compare that with our reference data”…

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bee Venom Beats Botox

Therapist Mask Bees Knees for Dannii
The Express & Star Newspaper, 12/16/2009

A beauty therapist from Staffordshire proved she really has the X Factor by helping to put a smile back on Dannii Minogue’s face.

The Australian judge, criticised for overusing Botox, has now turned to an organic alternative produced by Deborah Mitchell…

She claims the product gives an instant anti-ageing effect, as it helps to control the facial muscles. But unlike Botox, the product contains a host of natural, organic ingredients, including bee venom, Manuka honey, shea butter and essential oils…

Propolis Protects Against Sun’s Damage to Skin

Topical 'Sydney' Propolis Protects Against UV-Radiation-Induced Inflammation, Lipid Peroxidation and Immune Suppression in Mouse Skin
Int Arch Allergy Immunol, 2010;152:87-97

Background: Propolis is a honeybee product that has been used in traditional medicine for antioxidant, immune-stimulating, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. Here, the potential of the topical application of a crude ethanolic extract of Sydney propolis to protect against UV-radiation-induced impairments associated with an increased risk of photocarcinogenesis has been tested in the hairless mouse.

Methods: Solutions providing between 10 and 200 mg/kg propolis were applied to the skin following UV irradiation. The inflammation from exposure to UV (290-400 nm) was quantitated by measurement of increased skinfold thickness; lipid peroxidation was assayed by the induction of thiobarbituric acid reactive species in the skin; immune function was measured by the contact hypersensitivity (CHS) reaction and supported by the changes in epidermal cytokine expression.

Results: Propolis protected significantly and dose-dependently against both sunburn oedema and the suppression of CHS, and (at 100 mg/kg) against lipid peroxidation. The overexpression of IL-10 and the depletion of IL-12 characteristic of photoimmune suppression were markedly reduced by propolis. Further, the upregulation of IL-6 was decreased, and the associated induction of haem oxygenase was shown to play a role in propolis skin protection.

Conclusions: Sydney propolis was able to effectively reduce cutaneous inflammation, immunosuppression and lipid peroxidation induced by UV exposure. It is concluded that Sydney propolis might have strong beneficial protective effects against photodamage and skin cancer development in humans.

Friday, December 18, 2009

"Mad" Honey Sends Virility-Seeking Men to the ER

By Amy Norton, Reuters, 12/17/2009

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People hoping to boost their sex lives with the help of "mad" honey may find themselves in the emergency room instead, according to a new report.

The honey, produced from the nectar of a particular rhododendron species, has long been linked to food poisoning, with most of the documented cases seen in Turkey. In the country's Black Sea region, mad honey is used as an alternative medicine for gastrointestinal problems and, more often, as a sexual stimulant.

Reporting in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, Turkish researchers document 21 cases of mad-honey poisoning that passed through their ER over five years. Nearly all patients were middle-aged and older men -- a demographic that, according to local beekeepers, usually buys mad honey as a way to enhance sexual performance.

The problem with mad honey is its concentration of substances called grayanotoxins, some of which can cause low blood pressure, slowed heart rate, vomiting, dizziness and fainting…

Propolis an Effective Alternative Treatment for Warts

Propolis as an Alternative Treatment for Cutaneous Warts
International Journal of Dermatology, Volume 48, Number 11, November 2009 , pp. 1246-1249(4)

Warts are common problems affecting adults and children. Multiple treatment options are available, but no single therapy stands out as uniformly effective. Propolis and Echinacea are relatively safe immunomodulators with antiviral properties.

The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of Propolis and Echinacea in treating different types of warts.

In a single-blind, randomized, 3-months trial, 135 patients with different types of warts received oral Propolis, Echinacea, or placebo.

In patients with plane and common warts treated with Propolis, cure was achieved in 75% and 73% of patients, respectively. These results were significantly better than those associated with Echinacea treatment or placebo.

We conclude that Propolis is an effective and safe immunomodulating therapy for plane and common warts.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Determining Water Content of Bee Pollen, Royal Jelly, Venom and Propolis

Water Determination in Bee Products Using the Karl Fischer Titration Method
Journal of Apicultural Science, Vol.53 No.2, 2009

One of the most widely used techniques for water content determination in food is Karl Fischer (KF) titration. Compared to other methods based on loss of weight, the primary advantage of the Karl Fischer titration method is its high selectivity to water. The aim of the study was to develop and validate the Karl Fischer method for moisture determination in pollen loads, royal jelly, bee venom and propolis. The effects of sample weight and mixing/homogenization time were investigated. A study of the main validation parameters (repeatability and reproducibility) of the elaborated methods for the studied bee products was also conducted.

Optimal parameters (sample weight and minimal mixing/homogenization time) for water determination in bee products using the Karl Fischer method were established as follows: sample weight: 0.10 - 0.20 g and time of sample homogenization: 120 s for bee-collected pollen, 0.05 - 0.10 g and 120 s for bee venom, 0.02 - 0.05 g and 180s for royal jelly and 0.20g and 300s for propolis, respectively. The coefficient of variation of the results received for series determinations of water content in each studied bee product with the exception of propolis, conducted at repeatability and reproducibility conditions did not exceed 10%.

Mean values for water content of the bee products were as follow: 6.99% for bee venom, 18.34% for fresh and 6.25% for dried bee-collected pollen, 62.56% for royal jelly and 2.30% for propolis. These results will be used to establish water requirements and will be introduced into the International Honey Commission (IHC) standards.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Propolis Drops Used to Relieve Pain

Santé-Medicine, 12/16/2009

The Nature Store brand is launching a range of products containing propolis, material collected by bees from certain plants, including “Propolis drops,” drops designed to relieve pain.

These drops contain propolis and essential oils of thyme and eucalyptus. They aim to strengthen the natural defenses of the body, the statement said, and can be applied directly over the area to calm down, or diluted in a glass of water.

No Single Villain Behind Honey-Bee Colony Collapse

By Susan Milius, U.S.News & World Report, 12/16/2009

INDIANAPOLIS, IND—Jeff Pettis continues to break the hearts of mystery lovers.

Two years ago he and other entomologists went to work on what sounded like the scenario for rip-roaring fiction: widespread, unexplained disappearances of honey bee workers that left the youngsters and queen behind for no obvious reason.

His progress report to the national meeting of the Entomological Society of America, however, isn’t pointing toward a fictional crescendo. Pettis argues that there may not be a Colonel Mustard in the kitchen with the candlestick, but a web of subtly interacting factors. At his presentation December 12, he might have been an epidemiologist chiding humans about the need for life style changes: … multiple stresses … subtle interactions … importance of nutrition.

Pettis is an entomologist though, the research leader at the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Md. For at least a year, he has been talking about the interaction hypothesis.

He points out that a working honey bee leads a tough life in today’s landscape of imported parasites and long-distance road trips to agricultural fields that may have low nutritional value but considerable pesticide residues. He proposes that such stresses weaken the bees and interact with other menaces, such as viruses, which can massacre a colony.

Other research, which he didn’t review, has identified viruses that lead bees to expire when they have ventured beyond their hives. That quirk might explain the syndrome’s illusion of vanishing workers…

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Propolis Component May Help Treat Viral Infection

Inhibition of the Epstein-Barr Virus Lytic Cycle by Moronic Acid
Antiviral Res, 2009 Dec 4

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) expresses two transcription factors, Rta and Zta, during the immediate-early stage of the lytic cycle to activate the transcription of viral lytic genes.

Our immunoblotting and flow cytometry analyses find that moronic acid, commonly found in Rhus chinensis and Brazilian propolis, at 10muM inhibits the expression of Rta, Zta, and an EBV early protein, EA-D, after lytic induction with sodium butyrate.

This study also finds that moronic acids inhibits the capacity of Rta to activate a promoter that contains an Rta-response element, indicating that moronic acid interferes with the function of Rta…

This study suggests that moronic acid is a new structural lead for anti-EBV drug development.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Propolis Fed to Bulgarian Snails

Bulgarian Snails’ Breeding to be New Millionaire of Europe
FOCUS News Agency, 12/13/2009

Sofia. Revolutionary new technology for snails’ breeding, worked put in Bulgaria, caused huge international interest, said the executive director of the National Snail Breeding Cluster Simona Mollova said at a news conference, FOCUS News Agency reporter informs.
Mollova said the organization, together with the Bulgarian Academy of Science, has found milk-sour bacterium with extremely healing qualities in the Bulgarian snails. It was announced to the media about a month ago.

Bulgarian snails’ breeding will be new millionaire of Europe, the executive director of the National Snail Breeding Cluster said.

The snails are turning into a modern good at world level. They are used both for food and for cosmetics’ production. The albumen of the snails does not have fats, which makes them very healthy. Through a special eating method propolis, peppermint, keratin as well as different natural amino acids, etc are put in the meat. In cosmetics, the snails’ extract is used for the production of different products, used for rejuvenating, removing of stains, etc.

Indian PR Campaign Promotes Health Benefits of Honey

Dabur Honey PR Campaign Wins Inaugural Asia Pacific Sabre Award
Honey-sweet taste of success for Corporate VoiceWeber Shandwick

New Delhi, Delhi, December 14, 2009 /India PRwire/ -- It's the honey-sweet taste of success for Corporate VoiceWeber Shandwick India. The agency has won the inaugural Asia-Pacific SABRE (Superior Achievement in Branding and Reputation) Award for its Dabur Honey PR campaign. The campaign- "Drop sugar for a Healthy Honeylicous Life!" - was adjudged as the 'Best campaign across the Indian Sub-continent', a category which attracted close to 400 entries from across the Asia Pacific region…

About the Campaign

'Drop Sugar for a Healthy Honeylicious Life' campaign was launched in 2008 when Dabur strategized to tap the huge potential of the honey market in India to emerge as the market leader with the first-mover advantage. Corporate VoiceWeber Shandwick developed the PR campaign strategy with a focus to raising a debate on the 'sugar versus honey' issue while building awareness on the goodness of honey for a healthy life. Thus, linking goodness to the brand of Dabur Honey, and emphasising its purity…

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bee Venom Acupuncture Helps Treat Methamphetamine Addiction

Bee Venom Suppresses Methamphetamine-Induced Conditioned Place Preference in Mice
Neurological Research, Volume 32, Supplement 1, February 2010, pp. 101-106(6)

Objectives: Although acupuncture is most commonly used for its analgesic effect, it has also been used to treat various drug addictions including cocaine and morphine in humans. This study was designed to investigate the effect of bee venom injection on methamphetamine-induced addictive behaviors including conditioned place preference and hyperlocomotion in mice.

Methods: Methamphetamine (1 mg/kg) was subcutaneously treated on days 1, 3 and 5 and the acquisition of addictive behaviors was assessed on day 7. After confirming extinction of addictive behaviors on day 17, addictive behaviors reinstated by priming dose of methamphetamine (0.1 mg/kg) was evaluated on day 18. Bee venom (20 μl of 1 mg/ml in saline) was injected to the acupuncture point ST36 on days 1, 3 and 5.

Results: Repeated bee venom injections completely blocked development of methamphetamine-induced acquisition and subsequent reinstatement. Single bee venom acupuncture 30 minutes before acquisition and reinstatement test completely inhibited methamphetamine-induced acquisition and reinstatement. Repeated bee venom acupunctures from day 8 to day 12 after methamphetamine-induced acquisition partially but significantly suppressed reinstatement.

Discussion: These findings suggest that bee venom acupuncture has a preventive and therapeutic effect on methamphetamine-induced addiction.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bee Venom Acupuncture Could Help Treat Parkinson's Disease

Neuroprotective Effects of Bee Venom Pharmaceutical Acupuncture in Acute 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-Induced Mouse Model of Parkinson's Disease '
Neurological Research, Volume 32, Supplement 1, February 2010 , pp. 88-91(4)

Objectives: We explored the neuroprotective effects of bee venom acupuncture in acute 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-induced mouse model of Parkinson's disease.

Methods: Male C57BL/6 mice were divided into three groups: saline-injected control group, 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-injected group and bee venom acupuncture-pretreated plus 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-injected group. Mice were injected with 0.02 ml bee venom (1 : 2000 w/v) to GB34 (Yangneungcheon) bilaterally once every 3 days for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks' pre-treatment, the mice were injected with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (20 mg/kg, i.p.) four times in 2 hour intervals. Tyrosine hydroxylase and phospho-Jun immunoreactivities in the substantia nigra and striatum were observed 3 days after 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine injection.

Results: Bee venom acupuncture prevented the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-induced loss of tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity in the substantia nigra and striatum. Moreover, bee venom acupuncture attenuated 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-induced phospho-Jun immunoreactivity in the substantia nigra.

Discussion: We found that bee venom acupuncture effectively protected dopaminergic neurons against 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine toxicity, possibly through inhibition of Jun activation. Our results suggest that bee venom acupuncture could be a potential preventive agent for Parkinson's disease.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Bee Venom Exhibits Anti-Cancer Properties

Bee Venom Suppresses PMA-Mediated MMP-9 Gene Activation via JNK/p38 and NF-κB- Dependent Mechanisms
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript

Bee venom has been used for the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and for the relief of pain in traditional oriental medicine.

Aim of the study: The purpose of this study is to elucidate the effects of bee venom on MMP-9 expression and determine possible mechanisms by which bee venom relieves or prevents the expression of MMP-9 during invasion and metastasis of breast cancer cells. We examined the expression and activity of MMP-9 and possible signaling pathway affected in PMA-induced MCF-7 cells.

Material and methods: Bee venom was obtained from the National Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology of Korea. Matrigel invasion assay, wound healing assay, zymography assay, western blot assay, electrophoretic mobility shift assay and luciferase gene assay were used for assessment.

Results: Bee venom inhibited cell invasion and migration, and also suppressed MMP-9 activity and expression, processes related to tumor invasion and metastasis, in PMA-induced MCF-7 cells. Bee venom specifically suppressed the phosphorylation of p38/JNK and at the same time, suppressed the protein expression, DNA binding and promoter activity of NF-κB. The levels of phosphorylated ERK1/2 and c-Jun did not change. We also investigated MMP-9 inhibition by melittin, apamin and PLA2, representative single component of bee venom. We confirmed that PMA-induced MMP-9 activity was significantly decreased by melittin, but not by apamin and phospholipase A2. These data demonstrated that the expression of MMP-9 was abolished by melittin, the main component of bee venom.

Conclusion: Bee venom inhibits PMA-induced MMP-9 expression and activity by inhibition of NF-κB via p38 MAPK and JNK signaling pathways in MCF-7 cells. These results indicate that bee venom can be a potential anti-metastatic and anti-invasive agent. This useful effect may lead to future clinical research on the anticancer properties of bee venom.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Propolis May Help Treat Diseases Caused by Angiogenesis

Angiostatic Effects of Brazilian Green Propolis and Its Chemical Constituents
Mol Nutr Food Res, 2009 Dec 3

Propolis, a resinous substance collected by honeybees from various plant sources, has several pharmacological actions, such as anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory effects.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-angiogenic effects of a water extract of Brazilian green propolis (WEP) and its constituents, caffeoylquinic acid derivatives, against angiogenic processes in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in vitro.

We also examined the anti-angiogenic effects of WEP against retinal neovascularization in a murine oxygen-induced retinopathy model in vivo. WEP and its constituents significantly suppressed vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced HUVEC proliferation, migration, and tube formation in vitro.

WEP and its caffeoylquinic acid derivatives suppressed VEGF-stimulated phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase in HUVECs (versus VEGF alone). Moreover, WEP (300 mg/kg/day, subcutaneously for 5 days) significantly suppressed retinal neovascularization in the murine oxygen-induced retinopathy model.

These data indicate that (i) WEP has angiostatic effects against angiogenic processes in vitro and in an in vivo model of murine oxygen-induced retinopathy and (ii) the inhibitory effects of WEP against in vitro angiogenesis are chiefly derived from its caffeoylquinic acid derivatives.

Judging from these findings, WEP and its caffeoylquinic acid derivatives may represent candidates for preventive or therapeutic agents against diseases caused by angiogenesis.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Propolis May Help Reduce Weight Gain, Cholesterol Levels

Propolis Prevents Diet-Induced Hyperlipidemia and Mitigates Weight Gain in Diet-Induced Obesity in Mice
Biol Pharm Bull, 2009 Dec;32(12):2022-8

We examined the hypolipidemic effect of propolis in a mouse obesity model induced by a high fat-diet. C57BL/6N mice were fed a high-fat diet ad libitum and given propolis extract intragastrically at 0 mg/kg (control), 5 mg/kg or 50 mg/kg twice daily for 10 d.

Compared with mice in the control group, mice in the propolis extract-administrated groups displayed a reduction in all of the following parameters: body weight gain, weight of visceral adipose tissue, liver and serum triglycerides, cholesterol, and non-esterified fatty acids.

Real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis of the liver showed down-regulation of mRNA expression associated with fatty acid biosynthesis, including fatty acid synthase, acetyl-CoA carboxylase alpha, and sterol regulatory element binding protein in the propolis-administrated mice.

Subsequently, obese C57BL/6N mice that had been administered a high-fat diet were given propolis extract at 0 mg/kg (control), 2.5 mg/kg or 25 mg/kg for 4 weeks. The propolis extract treated mice showed a decrease in weight gain, a reduction of serum non-esterified fatty acids, and lipid accumulation in the liver.

These results suggest that propolis extract prevented and mitigated high-fat diet-induced hyperlipidemia by down-regulating the expression of genes associated with lipid metabolism.

L'Oreal Interested in Manuka Honey Formulations

Radio New Zealand, 12/9/2009

The therapeutic and medical uses of New Zealand manuka honey are being extended to include new skin care applications as well.

French cosmetic company L'Oreal is exploring these in a collaboration with the country's largest manuka honey producer, Watson & Son, and Professor Peter Molan of Waikato University.

Watson & Son chief executive Denis Watson says research has shown the honey's potential as an anti-aging treatment for skin, through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties…

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Honey Surpasses Intergel in Healing, Adhesion Prevention

Effect of Honey Versus Intergel in Intraperitoneal Adhesion Prevention and Colonic Anastomotic Healing: A Randomized Controlled Study in Rats
International Journal of Surgery, Article in Press

Introduction: Intra-abdominal adhesion formation and reformation after surgery are still an unavoidable event in spite of modern surgical techniques and are a cause of significant morbidity, resulting in infertility, pain and intestinal obstruction.

The aim of the present study is to investigate the effect of honey in adhesion prevention and colonic anastomotic healing in rats.

Methods: In the present study, 75 male Sprague-Dawley rats were used and divided into 3 groups for study: [25 rats for each], the intergel, honey and control groups. After the scheduled two- week's post-operative period, all survived rats were reopened for second-look laparotomy to detect the following parameters: a-adhesion, b- manometric study, c- histopathological study

Results: The author found that the total adhesion score, the manometric values and the histopathological study among the three studied groups showed statistically significant difference and in favor of the honey-treated rats.

Conclusion: Honey surpasses the intergel for the healing power and adhesion prevention.

Natural Antibiotic Obtained from ‘Propolis Plant’

Black Poplar, A Natural Antibiotic
Liliana Ivan, Adevarul (Romania), 12/7/2009

…Essential trace elements in poplar bud resin are the same as those of propolis: iron, zinc, copper, cobalt, molybdenum, manganese, iodine.

Therefore, poplar bud resin is called propolis plant…

Monday, December 07, 2009

Video: Amazing Medical Power of Bee Stings

How Bees Are Used To Treat Serious Illness
NewsNet5, 11/25/2009

If you drive down one quiet country road in Warren Ohio, you'll probably notice The Hive. Inside, as you would expect, you'd find bees.

But what you might not expect to see is a man intentionally stinging people with those bees.

Karen McGhee, 59, said when she tells people about her bee sting therapy, she gets the same reaction, "'Ah, you're crazy! Why do you want to do that?'"

For McGhee, the answer is simple. She said the bee venom alleviates her pain and weakness from multiple sclerosis.

"If I couldn't do the bees, I'd probably be maybe in a wheelchair, not being able to walk very well," McGhee said.

Floyd Alexander has been stinging McGhee twice a week for five years now. He said he's stung more than 2,000 people since he started offering this therapy about 15 years ago…

Antioxidant Effect of Propolis Higher than that of Bee Pollen

1,1-Diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl Radical Scavenging Activity of Bee Products and Their Constituents Determined by ESR
Biol Pharm Bull, 2009 Dec;32(12):1947-51

The aim of this work was to investigate the antioxidant property of honeybee products and their constituents using an ESR method. Antioxidative activity was evaluated as the scavenging activity of 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical. The DPPH radical scavenging activities, in descending order, were: ethanol extract of Chinese red propolis - ethanol extract of Brazilian green propolis - water extract of Brazilian green propolis - ethanol extract of bee pollen…

In this study, we also measured the antioxidant effects of bee pollen and 10HDA, a major constituent of royal jelly. Bee pollen extracts showed antioxidative effects, but 10HDA did not.

As pollen includes many kinds of flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamins, pollen may also be a useful supplement for preventing oxidation.

In conclusion, the DPPH radical scavenging activities of Brazilian green propolis and Chinese red propolis were stronger than those of other bee products (e.g., bee pollen). Their antioxidative activities may be dependent on the presence of caffeoylquinic acid derivatives,CAPE, and caffeic acid.

These results indicate that caffeoyl groups may be important constituents that give rise to the antioxidative activities of propolis.

Senator Who Takes Bee Pollen Backs Alternative Healthcare

A Broader Definition of Healthcare
Proposals before the Senate would allow treatment plans to incorporate alternative medicines, including acupuncture and dietary supplements. Insurers and some scientists object.
By Kim Geiger and Tom Hamburger, The Los Angeles Times, 12/6/2009

Reporting from Washington - Acupuncturists, dietary-supplement makers and other alternative health practitioners, some of whose treatments are considered unproven by the medical establishment, would be brought more squarely into the mainstream of American medicine under the health legislation now before the Senate.

The legislation would allow doctors to incorporate alternative health providers in some treatment plans. It also includes language that some believe could require insurance companies to expand their coverage for alternative therapies, on which Americans now spend $34 billion a year...

The leading champion of these measures is Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Health Committee, who credits bee-pollen pills with curing his seasonal allergies

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Black Cumin and Honey Recommended to Prevent Swine Flu

Distrustful of Swine Flu Vaccine, Many Go for Herbal Remedies
Nadeen Ibrahim, Arab News, 12/6/2009

MADINAH: Fears both about swine flu and the safety of the vaccine against it have sent Saudi housewives rushing back to traditional remedies in the hope of protecting their families. Sales of oranges, lemons and especially black cumin and honey have risen as a result…

According a local herbal merchant, Muhammad Al-Hussein, sales of black cumin rose remarkably over the past few months. He attributed this to popular belief that it would protect people against the H1N1 virus and other illnesses. He said clients often asked if black cumin was good for swine flu. He always answered by referring to a Hadith in which the Prophet had said it cures all diseases.

The merchant said gurgling cumin oil helped cure bronchitis. “Ground and mixed with honey, black cumin will kill bacteria and increase immunity against cold and asthma,” he said. “If it does not cure you, it will not harm you.”…

Bees Release Deadly Odor That Shortens Sibling Lifespans

By Janelle Weaver,, 12/2/2009

Here’s one way to get back at your sibling: Release a deadly odor. Honeybee researchers have discovered the first example of a pheromone that shortens the lifespan of other family members — in this case, older sisters.

“Just one little sniff can change your life,” said biologist Gro Amdam of Arizona State University, co-author of a study published Dec. 1 in The Journal of Experimental Biology. “That’s kind of cool.”

Previous research has shown that the presence of larvae in colonies reduces adult bees’ energy stores and shortens the honeybee lifespan. Scientists had also found that larvae release what is known as a “brood pheromone,” which causes adults to consume more pollen to keep up with larval food demand. But little else was known about this rare chemical concoction found only in bees.

When Amdam and colleagues fed synthetic pheromone-laced syrup to adult bees, they found something surprising: It depleted vital stores of a protein called vitellogenin from bees’ fat tissue and shortened their lives dramatically. The life expectancy of entire colonies dropped below 200 days, making it difficult for honeybees to last through winter.

“Just one whiff of the pheromone has the same effect as if the brood were present. That’s pretty mind-boggling,” said University of Arizona entomologist Diana Wheeler, who was not involved in the study.

The pheromone causes vitellogenin to move from fat tissue into the blood, where it is transported to the head glands and converted into a jelly that older sisters feed to the larvae. In effect, the adult workers give up their energy stores to rear their replacements. “It’s the group behavior that matters in the colony, not the life of single bees,” Amdam said. “In that way, you can sometimes think of bees as a mob.”

“It’s the most striking example of colony-level selection I know of,” Wheeler said…

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Honey Recommended to Fight the Flu

7 Flu Prevention Super-Foods practitioner Dr. Helen Lee, 12/1/2009

Honey: Honey acts as a natural antibiotic with antiseptic properties. There are vitamins such as B-complexes, C, D, E, minerals enzymes and propolis. The propolis in honey boosts the immune system, disables viruses and fights infections.

Furthermore, pediatric studies have shown that honey is more effective than cough syrup because it coats the throat better. Locally grown honey is best for seasonal allergies, asthma and respiratory conditions because you are treating with the irritants that are common to your area.

Take a tablespoon 4 times per day, taken straight or in tea.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Healthy Estonian Chocolate Bars Made with Pollen, Propolis, Honey

Craftsmanship Surging in Estonia
By Liina Lelmi, Baltic Times, 12/2/2009

TALLINN - Estonia is known for its innovativeness and eagerness to adopt and invent new technologies. Yet the old and the traditional has not at all been forgotten…

A new and growing trend in Estonia is to eat chocolate to stay healthy. Healing handmade chocolate bars and truffels are produced by Kolleste Kommimeistrid in the southern Estonian town Polvamaa.

There is no magic behind the recipe, but there is science.

The handmade chocolate bars contain pollen, propolis, or honey, and are copyrighted by the company as being unique, and are sold in pharmacies. It is known that propolis carries similar healing properties as do weaker antibiotics, able to kill over 100 different viruses. But antibiotics also kill the “good viruses,” while propolis removes the “bad.”…

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Video: U.S. Firm to Launch Medicinal Honey Product Line

Links Medical Opens New Headquarters, Prepares to Launch Medical-Grade Manuka Honey

(Vocus/PRWEB ) December 2, 2009 -- Links Medical Products Inc., an industry leader in healthcare products for hospitals and nursing homes, announces the opening of its new headquarters in the Irvine Spectrum. The new facility is located at 9247 Research Drive, Irvine, California 92618. In addition, Links Medical maintains another facility in the Irvine Spectrum plus an assembly and distribution operation in Indio, California. This most recent expansion reflects Links Medical's rapid growth and the need for additional space to meet anticipated heavy demand for their new ManukaMed™ Medical-Grade Manuka Honey products. Manuka Honey comes from the flower of the Manuka tree (leptospermum scoparium) native to New Zealand and has shown in numerous studies to have powerful bacteriostatic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties…

“The new state-of-the-art facility in Irvine and our Indio operation make it possible for us to greatly expand production and distribution operations to support our ManukaMed marketing efforts and to keep up with the continued growth of our existing product lines. We believe the new Medical-Grade Manuka-Honey-based wound care products will be widely accepted and help us continue our substantial growth," said Tom Buckley, CEO of Links Medical.

In addition to the ManukaMed wound care products, the company plans to launch a line of over-the-counter ManukaMed brand natural health and beauty products.

The Medical-Grade Manuka Honey supplied by Links Medical will carry the Gold Seal of the Molan Gold Standard established in 2009 by the University of Waikato in New Zealand in conjunction with the University's Professor Peter Molan, MBE, who discovered the original Manuka activity. As a highly respected honey researcher and pioneer in the study of Manuka Honey, Professor Molan has put his name to the Molan Gold Standard to give customers confidence that they are buying authenticated honey with medical and health properties.

Recent research by the University of Sydney confirms Professor Molan's own work that shows that harmful bacteria are not able to develop resistance against the bacteriostatic activity of Manuka Honey. According to the University of Waikato, the Molan Gold Standard certification establishes an international standard for the authentication of medicinal honeys…

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Charles Mraz Apitherapy Course & Conference Dec. 4-6 in New York

Join us at our annual Course and Conference, where you will learn about apitherapy, taught by expert and experienced faculty and guest speakers. Join, too, in the 20th Anniversary Celebration. Read about this event in the following material. Register early, as space is limited!

If you cannot attend the course or conference, consider joining us for the AAS 20th anniversary celebration banquet on Friday night!

Please note: As of Nov. 4, because of an increase in interest in CMACC and the dinner celebration, we have moved the event to a larger hotel, the Sheraton LaGuardia East, in Flushing NY. Program and faculty remain the same. Material below will be updated shortly. You can register with form below.

For reservations for the hotel, call 1-888-268-0717 and say you are with AAS. Free shuttle from LaGuardia is available by calling 718-460-6666 when you arrive. Call or e-mail the AAS office if you have questions.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Propolis Protects Entire Bee Hive from Bacteria

Resin Collection and Social Immunity in Honey Bees
Evolution, Volume 63 Issue 11, Pages 3016 - 3022

Diverse animals have evolved an ability to collect antimicrobial compounds from the environment as a means of reducing infection risk. Honey bees battle an extensive assemblage of pathogens with both individual and "social" defenses. We determined if the collection of resins, complex plant secretions with diverse antimicrobial properties, acts as a colony-level immune defense by honey bees.

Exposure to extracts from two sources of honey bee propolis (a mixture of resins and wax) led to a significantly lowered expression of two honey bee immune-related genes (hymenoptaecin and AmEater in Brazilian and Minnesota propolis, respectively) and to lowered bacterial loads in the Minnesota (MN) propolis treated colonies.

Differences in immune expression were also found across age groups (third-instar larvae, 1-day-old and 7-day-old adults) irrespective of resin treatment.

The finding that resins within the nest decrease investment in immune function of 7-day-old bees may have implications for colony health and productivity. This is the first direct evidence that the honey bee nest environment affects immune-gene expression.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Overview of Methods to Determine Phenols, Antioxidants in Honey

Methodological Aspects About Determination of Phenolic Compounds and In Vitro Evaluation of Antioxidant Capacity in the Honey: A Review
Current Analytical Chemistry, Volume 5, Number 4, October 2009 , pp. 293-302(10)

The antioxidant activity of honey varies greatly depending on the honey's floral source. There is little knowledge about the profiles of antioxidant substances in honey from different floral sources. The variation in these profiles might be responsible for the widely varying ability of honey to protect against oxidative reactions.

Honey is rich in polyphenol compounds, which act as natural antioxidants, and are becoming increasingly popular because of their potential role in contributing to human health. These compounds can also be used as indicators in studies about the floral and geographical origin of the honey.

Therefore, we overviewed the current analytical methods for measuring polyphenols and antioxidant capacity in honey. The analytical procedure to determine individual phenolic compounds involves their extraction from the sample, analytical separation and quantification.

The analytical separation techniques widely employed are gas chromatography, high-pressure liquid chromatography and capillary electrophoresis. The techniques to evaluate the antioxidant capacity are based on colorimetric assays such as DPPH, FRAP, TEAC (ABTS) and microplate fluorescence reader like ORAC assay.

Outbreak of Deadly Bee Mite 'Inevitable' in Australia

Ben Cubby, The Age (Australia), 11/29/09

There is a very good reason why the honey produced by Australia's bees is considered to be among the world's cleanest and most delicious.

The country is one of the last in the world to resist the insidious encroachment of the Varroa mite, a pinhead-sized insect that has devastated bee populations around the world in the past 30 years.

Australia's sea border and some original quarantine methods have kept the deadly mite at arm's length.

The nation's apiarists manage their hives without the armoury of chemical sprays that keep bees in Europe, North America and most other places alive. Honey in Australia is still the product of bees doing what they do, with a minimum of human interference.

But the latest report from the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, reflecting mainstream opinion on the topic, says an outbreak of Varroa mites here is ''almost inevitable''…

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Beneficial Effects of Honey Dressings in Wound Management

Nurs Stand, 2009 Oct 21-27;24(7):66-8, 70, 72 passim.

Honey was commonly used to treat wounds until the introduction of antibiotics. However, increasing numbers of antibiotic-resistant bacteria mean that alternative treatment options, such as honey, are receiving renewed interest. This article provides an overview of the use of honey in wound management and reviews the evidence to support its effectiveness.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Study: Diabetics May Use Honey as Sugar Substitute

The Glycemic and Peak Incremental Indices of Honey, Sucrose and Glucose in Patients with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: Effects on C-Peptide Level - A Pilot Study
Acta Diabetol. 2009 Nov 26
Abdulrhman M, El-Hefnawy M, Hussein R, El-Goud AA.
Department of Pediatrics, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt,

Our study was a case-control cross-sectional study that was conducted on 20 children and adolescents suffering from type 1 diabetes mellitus and ten healthy non-diabetic children and adolescents serving as controls. The mean age of patients was 10.95 years. Oral sugar tolerance tests using glucose, sucrose and honey and measurement of fasting and postprandial serum C-peptide levels were done for all subjects in three separate sittings. The glycemic index (GI) and the peak incremental index (PII) were then calculated for each subject.

Honey, compared to sucrose, had lower GI and PII in both patients and control groups. In the patients group, the increase in the level of C-peptide after using honey was not significant when compared with using either glucose or sucrose. However, in the control group, honey produced a significant higher C-peptide level, when compared with either glucose or sucrose.

In conclusion, honey, because of its lower GI and PII when compared with sucrose, may be used as a sugar substitute in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Friday, November 27, 2009

UK Legal Case Deals with Use of Honey as Alternative Medicine

Healer Who Refused Traditional Medicine Died After Treating Infection with Honey
A former nurse who turned to the world of alternative medicine was accused at the High Court of being responsible for the death of her ''soulmate'' partner.
Telegraph (UK), 11/27/09

A judge heard both Cherie Cameron and Russell Jenkins - a healing therapist - believed in regularly checking with their ''inner being'' on how to live their lives.

They were living and working together at Mr Jenkins's home in Lorne Road, Southsea, Hampshire.

He ran the Quiet Mind Centre, which offered complementary medicine.

But the ''inner guidance'' Russell received was against seeking conventional medical help when a minor injury became infected with gangrene, the judge was told. He died, aged 52, in April 2007. Instead he used honey and magnesium sulphate.

At London's High Court his parents, Donald and Eileen Jenkins, accused Ms Cameron of failing in the duty of care she owed to their son.

Their lawyers argued she was an experienced theatre nurse who ought to have known that death was inevitable if a patient with gangrene did not receive antibiotics…

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Honey and Honey-Product Allergies

Allergies au miel et aux produits de la ruche
Revue Française d'Allergologie, Volume 49, Supplement 1, October 2009, Pages S16-S22

Abstract: Honey products include a large number of allergens from the bodies of bees and the products they gather (pollens, nectar, propolis) and produce (honey, royal jelly). Although the IgE of serum from patients allergic to bees are capable of fixing a large number of honey proteins, the prevalence of honey allergy is low in those allergic to hymenoptera and in beekeepers. However, allergy to pollens, particularly of the Compositae family (artemisia, chamomilla, dandelion) are a risk factor for allergy to honey and royal jelly. Avoidance of these products is the only defense. However, honey and pollens, and to a lesser degree royal jelly, are often masked in food products, dietetic products, and high-energy products. One must also be careful of the unlabeled compositions from herbalists. Surveillance of incidents involving an allergy to honey, royal jelly, and propolis is indispensable.

Résumé: Les produits de la ruche comportent un grand nombre d’allergènes provenant du corps des abeilles et des produits qu’elles récoltent (pollens, nectar, propolis) et fabriquent (miel, gelée royale). Si les IgE du sérum des allergiques aux abeilles sont capables de fixer un grand nombre de protéines du miel, la prévalence de l’allergie au miel est faible chez les allergiques aux hyménoptères ou chez les apiculteurs. En revanche, l’allergie aux pollens en particulier de Composées (armoise, camomille, pissenlit) constitue un facteur de risque d’allergie au miel et à la gelée royale. L’éviction des produits en cause est la seule parade. Toutefois, le miel et les pollens, à un degré moindre la gelée royale, sont souvent masqués dans les produits alimentaires, diététiques et énergétiques. Il faut aussi se méfier des compositions d’herboristerie non étiquetées. Une surveillance des accidents allergiques au miel, à la gelée royale et à la propolis est indispensable.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Propolis Kills Cancer Cells

In vitro Cytotoxic Effect of Brazilian Green Propolis on Human Laryngeal Epidermoid Carcinoma (HEp-2) Cells
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 6, Number 4 Pp. 483-487

Propolis is a sticky dark-colored material showing a very complex chemical composition that honeybees collect from plants. It has been used in folk medicine since ancient times, due to several biological properties, such as antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immunomodulatory activities, among others. Its antitumor action in vivo and in vitro has also been reported, using propolis extracts or its isolated compounds.

The goal of this work was to evaluate propolis's cytotoxic action in vitro on human laryngeal epidermoid carcinoma (Hep-2) cells.

These cells were incubated with different concentrations of this bee product for different time periods, and morphology and the number of viable HEp-2 cells analyzed. Data showed that propolis exhibited a cytotoxic effect in vitro against HEp-2 cells, in a dose- and time-dependent way. Propolis solvent had no effects on morphology and number of viable cells, proving that the cytotoxic effects were exclusively due to propolis components.

Since humans have been using propolis for a long time, further assays will provide a better comprehension of propolis's antitumor action.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Antioxidants Found in Honey

New Antioxidant Compounds Have Been Identified in Foods Such as Olive Oil, Honey and Nuts Using Two Analytical Techniques
Medical News Today, 11/20/2009

Scientists at the University of Granada have identified and characterized for the first time different antioxidant compounds from foods such as olive oil, honey, walnuts and a medicinal herb called Teucrium polium. They have used two new techniques, capillary electrophoresis and high resolution liquid chromatography, that have enabled them to identify and quantify a great part of the phenolic compounds contained in these foods.

Functional foods such as olive oil, honey, walnuts and a medicinal herb called Teucrium polium are able to provide different health benefits, so their study and characterization is of great interest. Among the compounds that give such functional characteristics to these foods are phenolic compounds that have generated great interest due to their antioxidant capacity, which endows them with a chemopreventive effect in humans and causes them to have a great influence on the stability of oxidation present in food. Therefore, according to UGR researchers, the "identification and quantification [of these compounds] is a good means for the characterization of foods that contain them."…