Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bee Venom Therapy Recommended for Arthritis

When the Bee Stings…

...The first place we visited during our February trip, however, was the workshop of a beekeeper in the village of Neuf-Berquin, half-way between Lille and Dunkirk. Besides the actual beekeeping activity, Mr. Lucas and his wife have a small museum where you can learn everything there is to know about bees: the way they live, the different substances they produce (there is more to it than just honey) and the way these product and by-products are obtained and treated.

The reason why I’m posting about this today is because yesterday, while going through my medicine cabinet to find an ointment or gel to put on my sore knee (tendonitis!), I came across two products that I had bought at Mr. Lucas’s shop last year. The first was a bottle of Propolis syrup. Propolis is the substance that the bees use to insulate the hive. It is applied on the inside walls like some kind of plaster. The propolis is recognized for its medicinal virtues, and is frequently used in homeopathic treatment. I remember drinking some of the syrup last year when I had a sore throat and was surprised by the almost instant relieve it gave.

The other item I found was an ointment containing small quantities of bee’s venom. It has scientifically been proven that bee stings are beneficial for people who suffer from arthritis and rheumatism (as long as they are NOT allergic to them, of course). The bee’s venom relieves the pain and reduces the symptoms. It is even injected on people who suffer from multiples sclerosis.

During our visit Mrs. Lucas explained how the venom was collected. A tiny electrical cord is put across the entrance of the hive. When the bees make their way in, the cord releases a very weak electrical shock inciting the bees to sting the linen cloth that’s lying beneath it. Rest assured, this does not kill the bee! This releases a small quantity of venom that is absorbed by the fabric. When the cloth is saturated with venom, it is put in alcohol which is left to evaporate. What remains is a very poisonous white powder … the bee’s venom! It is then used to produce the injection liquid or – in very tiny quantities – added to the ointment, which also contains herbal extracts that are known for their rheumatic pain relieving qualities.

I applied some of the ointment on my sore knee, and immediately experienced a tingling feeling; as if I had been stung by a baby bee! And the pain partially ebbed away...

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