Thursday, April 30, 2015

Propolkis Protects Against Mercury Toxicity

Effect of propolis on erythrocyte rheology in experimental mercury intoxication in rats

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2015 Apr 24

In the present study, changes in erythrocyte rheology in association with mercury toxicity and the role of propolis were analyzed in rats. Forty male Wistar Albino rats that were 4-5 months old were used in the study. The control group was administered normal saline intraperitoneal (ip) injections; the mercury chloride group was administered HgCl2 (4 mg/kg, ip); the propolis group was administered propolis (200 mg/kg, by gavage); and the HgCl2+ propolis group was administered HgCl2 (4 mg/kg, ip) + propolis (200 mg/kg, by gavage) for 3 days.

The following parameters were analyzed: hematological parameters, plasma potassium (K) levels, methemoglobin, 2,3-DPG, erythrocyte deformability, and hemolysis as a percentage. The results revealed that leukocyte count significantly increased, and a significant decline occurred in the platelet count (p < 0.01). Serum K+, MetHb, 2, 3-DPG, and hemolysis percentage significantly increased in the rats exposed to mercury (p < 0.01).

However, the values of rats administered only with propolis were close to the values of the control group and the changes were avoided by the administration of propolis as protection in the rats exposed to mercury chloride.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Propolis, Aloe Mixture Helps Treat Parasites in Fish

Effect of dietary supplementation with propolis and Aloe barbadensis extracts on hematological parameters and parasitism in Nile tilapia

Rev Bras Parasitol Vet. 2015 Jan-Mar;24(1):66-71.

This study evaluated the influence of diet supplementation with propolis and Aloe barbadensis on hematological parameters and parasitism in tilapia. One hundred and eighty fish were distributed among 12 water tanks forming four treatments: fish supplemented with a 1:1 mixture of 0%, 0.5%, 1% and 2% propolis and aloe extracts. After the fish had been fed on the experimental diets for 15 and 21 days, blood samples were taken and parasites collected. The monogeneans Cichlidogyrus sclerosus, C. halli, C. thurstonae and Scutogyrus longicornis were identified in the gills. Between the sampling times, there were increases in the numbers of erythrocytes, leukocytes, thrombocytes and lymphocytes, as observed after 21 days, possibly due to the stress level over the course of the assay and/or accumulation of substances in the organism.

Supplementation with the mixture of propolis and aloe for 15 days showed the highest efficacy against the parasites. This was possibly due to the association between the two compounds. The results demonstrated that supplementation with mixtures of extracts did not produce hematological alterations and also favored a significant reduction in the number of gill parasites.

The best results were achieved after 15 days of feeding with a diet with 0.5% and 1% supplementation with the extract mixture, which increased efficiency by 83 and 85% respectively.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Propolis Component May Help Treat Obesity

Inhibitory effects of hydroxylated cinnamoyl esters on lipid absorption and accumulation

Bioorg Med Chem. 2015 Apr 9. pii: S0968-0896(15)00293-X

Obesity is a risk factor associated with several lifestyle-related diseases, for example, diabetes, high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia and cancer. Caffeic acid 2-phenylethyl ester (CAPE, 1), a naturally-occurring compound found in various plants and propolis, which exhibits anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and cytotoxic activities and inhibits 3T3-L1 differentiation to adipocytes.

As part of our efforts to moderate lifestyle-related diseases, we synthesized analogs of 1 and studied their effects on pancreatic lipase activities, lipid absorption, and 3T3-L1 differentiation. We found that catechols 1-4 show inhibitory activities against pancreatic lipase in a dose-dependent manner in vitro. Compounds 1-3 proved to be more potent inhibitors of pancreatic lipase than 5, 6, 8, and 9, which have one hydroxyl group, respectively. Compound 7 has three aromatic hydroxyl groups and restrains greater lipase inhibitory activity than the other compounds.

In addition, 7 and 3 significantly suppress a rise in blood triglyceride (TG) levels in mice given corn oil orally. Furthermore, 2 and 3 are more potent at preventing 3T3-L1 differentiation (lipid accumulation) than 1, while 7 is more potent than 3, 8, and 9 in these assays. Compounds 2, 3, and 7 inhibit lipid absorption and accumulation, with new compound 7 being the most potent.

These results indicate that 7 may have potential benefits as a health agent with anti-obesity properties.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Honeybee Venom Allergy Can Be Treated By Venom Immunotherapy

Prophylactic immunization of mice with PLA2-loaded gas-filled microbubbles is protective against Th2-mediated honeybee venom allergy

Clin Exp Allergy. 2015 Apr 21


People suffering from honeybee venom allergy can be treated by venom immunotherapy, which consists in the subcutaneous injection of increasing doses of allergen extracts over a period of 3-5 years. Such a procedure is time-consuming and the risks of severe side reactions are important. Approaches based on the use of novel adjuvants to blunt pro-allergic Th2-type immune responses represent a sound alternative.


In this study, we evaluated in a mouse model of honeybee venom allergy the protection induced by the prophylactic use of the major allergen phospholipase A2 (PLA2) associated to microbubbles (MB).


Antibody (Ab) and T cell responses, as detected by ELISA and CFSE-based proliferation assays, were first examined after prophylactic immunization of CBA/J mice with PLA2-MB, and second after sensitization with native PLA2. Mice were eventually challenged with a lethal dose of PLA2 to assess protection against anaphylaxis.


Prophylactic immunization with PLA2-MB induced PLA2-specific IgG and IgA Ab, triggered the production of IFN-γ and IL-10, and the differentiation of PLA2-specific Foxp3+ Treg. Immunized/sensitized mice displayed: (1) increased titers of potent blocking IgG1, IgG2a and IgG3 Ab, (2) both reduced allergen-specific T cell proliferation and Th2-type cytokine production and (3) elevated frequencies of specific Foxp3+ Treg and increased production of TGF-β, as compared to naïve/sensitized animals. Immunomodulation correlated with reduced signs of anaphylaxis after allergen challenge.


Our data demonstrate the ability of PLA2-MB to prophylactically protect mice against subsequent sensitization and death-inducing PLA2 challenge for up to 4 months, revealing so far unraveled immunomodulatory properties of MB. These data, combined with the safe use of MB as contrast agents for in situ imaging in humans, render them an immunotherapeutic agent of great interest for further evaluation.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

New Method for Sucrose Adulteration in Honey

Determination of Sucrose in Honey with Derivatization/Solid-Phase Microextraction and Gas-Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry

J Chromatogr Sci. 2015 Apr 23. pii: bmv044. [Epub ahead of print]

A new method for the determination of sucrose in honey with derivatization solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (D-SPME-GC/MS) was developed. The method incorporates a sample derivatization with acetic anhydride using N-methylimidazole as the catalyst and the subsequent enrichment of the analyte in a Polyacrylate-SPME fiber.

Results show that 100 µL N-methylimidazole and 800 µL acetic anhydride were sufficient to complete the acetylation for sucrose in 100 µL aqueous sample at room temperature. For SPME, an enrichment time of 30 min was sufficient. SPME was performed by immersing the fiber into the solution with additional vibration. Then, the analyte was desorbed for 5 min at 280°C in the GC/MS injection port with splitless mode. The present method exhibits good linearity at a concentration range of 0.3-8% of sucrose in honey with excellent regression (R = 0.9993). The method has been successfully applied to the control of sucrose adulteration in honey.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Microbiota Associated with Pollen and Bee Bread

Microbiota associated with pollen, bee bread, larvae and adults of solitary bee Osmia cornuta (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)

Bull Entomol Res. 2015 Apr 21:1-7. [Epub ahead of print]

Using cultivation-dependant method, we isolated 184 strains from fresh and old bee bread, pollen, larvae and adults of solitary bee Osmia cornuta. The 16S rDNA sequencing of 79 selected isolates gave the final species-specific identification of strains. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that microbiota isolated from five different sources were represented with 29 species within three different phyla, Firmicutes with 25 species, Actinobacteria with only one species and Proteobacteria with three species of Enterobacteriaceae.

Bacterial biodiversity presented with Shannon-Wiener index (H') was highest in the alimentary tract of adults and old bee bread (H' = 2.43 and H' = 2.53, respectively) and in the same time no dominance of any species was scored. On the contrary, results obtained for Simpson index (D) showed that in pollen samples the dominant species was Pantoea agglomerans (D = 0.42) while in fresh bee bread that was Staphylococcus sp. (D = 0.27). We assume that microbial diversity detected in the tested samples of solitary bee O. cornuta probably come from environment.

Friday, April 24, 2015

September Apitherapy Course in North Carolina

Our next Apitherapy Course will be held in the Spring Creek Community Center, 13075 Hwy 209, Hot Springs, NC, 28743; located in the Appalachian Mountains of Northwest North Carolina. We border on the Tennessee state line where folks walk the Appalachian Trail. We are about an hour northwest of Asheville, NC, and 2 hours Southeast of Knoxville, TN. We have no industry or pollution, so the air is fresh; something you city folks usually don’t have...

You will learn through hands-on experience how to use products from the hive to create your own formulas (including Apilarnil); why you would use them; how to sustainably harvest the products; how to add herbs and/or essential oils for more powerful healing; and see how to use micro and full bee stings. Bee and beekeeping knowledge will be added throughout the weekend as they pertain to the products.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Antibacterial Activity of Pakistani Honeys Compared to Manuka

Evaluation of the antibacterial activity of selected Pakistani honeys against multi-drug resistant Salmonella typhi

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2015 Feb 26;15(1):32


The development of resistance to conventional anti-typhoid drugs and the recent emergence of fluoroquinolone resistance have made it very difficult and expensive to treat typhoid fever. As the therapeutic strategies become even more limited, it is imperative to investigate non-conventional modalities. In this context, honey is a potential candidate for combating antimicrobial resistance because it contains a broad repertoire of antibacterial compounds which act synergistically at multiple sites, thus making it less likely that the bacteria will become resistant. The in vitro antibacterial activity of 100 unifloral honey samples against a blood culture isolate of multi-drug resistant (MDR) Salmonella typhi were investigated.


All honey samples were evaluated for both total (acidity, osmolarity, hydrogen peroxide and non-peroxide activity) and plant derived non-peroxide antibacterial activity by agar well diffusion assay at 50% and 25% dilution in sterile distilled water and 25% in catalase solution. Manuka (Unique Manuka Factor-21) honey was used for comparison. The phenol equivalence of each honey sample from 2% to 7% (w/v) phenol was obtained from regression analysis. The antibacterial potential of each honey sample was expressed as its equivalent phenol concentration. The honey samples which showed antibacterial activity equivalent to or greater than manuka honey were considered therapeutically active honeys.


Nineteen honey samples (19%) displayed higher hydrogen peroxide related antibacterial activity (16-20% phenol), which is more than that of manuka honey (21-UMF). A total of 30% of the honey samples demonstrated antibacterial activity between 11 and 15% phenol similar to that of manuka honey while 51% of the honey samples did not exhibit any zone of inhibition against MDR-S. typhi at 50% (w/v) dilution. None of the indigenous honey samples displayed non-peroxide antibacterial activity. Only manuka honey showed non-peroxide antibacterial activity at 25% dilution (w/v) in catalase solution.


The honey samples which displayed antibacterial activity equal to or greater than manuka honey may be useful in the clinical conditions where higher hydrogen peroxide related antibacterial activity is required. Manuka honey, which is known to possess non-peroxide antibacterial activity, warrants further evaluation in a suitable typhoid animal model.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Acacia Honey Accelerates Wound Closure in Corneal Abrasion Wound Healing

The effects of acacia honey on in vitro corneal abrasion wound healing model

BMC Cell Biol. 2015 Feb 18;16(1):2.


Acacia honey (AH) has been proven to improve skin wound healing, but its therapeutic effects on corneal epithelium has not been elucidated to date. This study aimed to investigate the effects of AH on cultured corneal epithelial cells (CEC) on in vitro corneal abrasion wound healing model. Six New Zealand white rabbits' CEC were isolated and cultured until passage 1. Circular wound area was created onto a confluent monolayer CEC using a corneal trephine which mimicked corneal abrasion and treated with 0.025% AH supplemented in basal medium (BM) and complete cornea medium (CCM). Wound healing was measured as the percentage of wound closure by the migration of CEC on day 0, day 3 and day 6, post wound creation. The morphological changes of CEC were assessed via phase contrast microscopy. Gene and protein expressions of cytokeratin (CK3), fibronectin and cluster of differentiation 44 (CD44) in AH treated groups and control groups were determined by real-time PCR and immunocytochemistry, respectively.


Cultured CEC exhibited similar morphology of polygonal shaped cells in all culture media. CEC cultured in AH-supplemented media showed higher percentage of wound closure compared to the controls. Gene expression of CK3 increased in AH-supplemented groups throughout the study. Fibronectin expression was increased at the initial stage while CD44 expression was increased at day 3, post wound creation. The protein expression of CEC cultured in all media was in accordance to their respective gene expressions.


Supplementation of AH in BM and CCM media accelerates CEC wound closure of the in vitro corneal abrasion model by increasing the expression of genes and proteins associated with CEC wound healing.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Ginger and Gelam Honey May Help Treat Colon Cancer

Combined ginger extract & Gelam honey modulate Ras/ERK and PI3K/AKT pathway genes in colon cancer HT29 cells

Nutr J. 2015 Apr 1;14(1):31


The interconnected Ras/ERK and PI3K/AKT pathways play a central role in colorectal tumorigenesis, and they are targets for elucidating mechanisms involved in attempts to induce colon cancer cell death. Both ginger (Zingiber officinale) and honey have been shown to exhibit anti-tumor and anti-inflammation properties against many types of cancer, including colorectal cancer. However, there are currently no reports showing the combined effect of these two dietary compounds in cancer growth inhibition. The aim of this study was to evaluate the synergistic effect of crude ginger extract and Gelam honey in combination as potential cancer chemopreventive agents against the colorectal cancer cell line HT29.


The cells were divided into 4 groups: the first group represents HT29 cells without treatment, the second and third groups were cells treated singly with either ginger or Gelam honey, respectively, and the last group represents cells treated with ginger and Gelam honey combined.


The results of MTS assay showed that the IC50 of ginger and Gelam honey alone were 5.2 mg/ml and 80 mg/ml, respectively, whereas the IC50 of the combination treatment was 3 mg/ml of ginger plus 27 mg/ml of Gelam honey with a combination index of < 1, suggesting synergism. Cell death in response to the combined ginger and Gelam honey treatment was associated with the stimulation of early apoptosis (upregulation of caspase 9 and IκB genes) accompanied by downregulation of the KRAS, ERK, AKT, Bcl-xL, NFkB (p65) genes in a synergistic manner.


In conclusion, the combination of ginger and Gelam honey may be an effective chemopreventive and therapeutic strategy for inducing the death of colon cancer cells.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Honey Bee Propolis Tincture an Alternative for Functional Rejuvenation of Tissues

Novel methods of treating ovarian infertility in older and POF women, testicular infertility, and other human functional diseases

Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2015 Feb 25;13(1):10

In vitro maturation (IVM) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) technologies are facing with growing demands of older women to conceive. Although ovarian stem cells (OSCs) of older women are capable of producing in vitro fresh oocyte-like cells (OLCs), such cells cannot respond to IVM and IVF due to the lack of granulosa cells required for their maturation. Follicular renewal is also dependent on support of circulating blood mononuclear cells. They induce intermediary stages of meiosis (metaphase I chromosomal duplication and crossover, and telophase) in emerging ovarian germ cells, as for the first time demonstrated here, induce formation of granulosa cells, and stimulate follicular growth and development.

A pretreatment of OSC culture with mononuclear cells collected from blood of a young healthy fertile woman may cause differentiation of bipotential OSCs into both developing germ and granulosa cells. A small volume blood replacement, may enable treatment of ovarian infertility in vivo. The transferred mononuclear cells may temporarily rejuvenate virtually all tissues, including improvement of the function of endocrine tissues. Formation of new follicles and their development may be sufficient for IVM and IVF. The novel proposed in vitro approaches may be used as a second possibility. Infertility of human males affects almost a half of the infertility cases worldwide. Small blood volume replacement from young healthy fertile men may also be easy approach for the improvement of sperm quality in older or other affected men. In addition, body rejuvenation by small blood volume replacement from young healthy individuals of the same sex could represent a decline of in vitro methodology in favor of in vivo treatment for human functional diseases.

Here we propose for the first time that blood mononuclear cells are essential for rejuvenation of those tissues, where immune system components participate in an appropriate division and differentiation of tissue stem cells. If needed, small blood volume replacement from distinct young healthy individual could be utilized in six month intervals for repair of young altered or aged reproductive and other tissue functions.

Systemic and local use of honey bee propolis tincture is an alternative option for functional rejuvenation of some tissues.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Guillain-Barré Syndrome Following Bee Venom Acupuncture

Intern Med. 2015;54(8):975-8

Bee venom acupuncture has been widely used in Oriental medicine with limited evidence of effectiveness. Most of the complications due to bee venom acupuncture are local or systemic allergic reactions. However, serious medical and neurological complications have also been reported. We herein describe the treatment of a 68-year-old woman who developed progressive quadriplegia 10 days after receiving multiple honeybee venom sting acupuncture treatments. The electrophysiological findings were consistent with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). The temporal relationship between the development of GBS and honeybee venom sting acupuncture is suggestive of a cause-and-effect relationship, although the precise pathophysiology and causative components in honeybee venom need to be verified.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The True Relationship Between the Level of Non-Peroxide Activity and Methylglyoxal in Manuka Honey

New Zealand Beekeeper, April 2015

Peter Molan, formerly Professor in Biological Sciences and Director of the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato (now retired)

There has been up until now a major misunderstanding of the relationship between different levels of antibacterial activity in manuka honey. It has always been assumed that, for example, a honey with a non-peroxide antibacterial activity (NPA) of 20 is twice as potent as one with a rating of NPA 10, but that is in fact not correct. The fallacy is due to it not being taken into account that the NPA rating starts at 8, not zero, a rating of 8 being the minimum level of activity that can be detected in the assay. This is the same situation as temperature measured on the Fahrenheit scale. A temperature of 100°F (38°C) is not twice as warm as 50°F (10°C), because the Fahrenheit scale starts at 32°F, not zero (see Figure 1), whereas a temperature of 100°C is exactly twice as warm as 50°C because the Centigrade scale starts at zero...

It is my opinion, formed from consideration of all the points made here, that it would be best by far for the rating of activity in manuka honey to be done by the whole industry as originally stated by MPI in their guidelines, which was that only the content of methylglyoxal be shown. This would then simply require education of consumers to have them realise that the antibacterial potency is directly proportional to the level of methylglyoxal. Although in New Zealand and Australia there may be restrictions on marketers making reference to antibacterial activity, it could be done by non-commercial educators like myself. In other countries the ANZFS Code does not apply, so there would be no restriction on such educating. Rating the content of methylglyoxal would overcome the problem of marketers using misleading rating numbers that are not actually for NPA. (The MPI guidelines will now allow numbers to mean anything the marketer defines them as meaning, which could be nothing to do with NPA.) It would also curb the freedom of marketers to mislead consumers by giving rating numbers that are actually higher than the true equivalent to NPA ratings. Additionally it would allow consumers to see the actual value of honey on sale rated “MGO 80” when they see it up against manuka honey  on sale with methylglyoxal ratings of 800 to 1,200. Furthermore, rating the methylglyoxal content of manuka honey will let consumers see that honey rated as NPA 5 (83 mg/kg methylglyoxal) has only one tenth of the activity of honey rated NPA 20 (830 mg/kg methylglyoxal).

Friday, April 17, 2015

Royal Jelly Has Potent Anti-Inflammatory Effects Compared to Aspirin

Effect of royal jelly on formalin induced-inflammation in rat hind paw

Jundishapur J Nat Pharm Prod. 2015 Feb 20;10(1)


Royal Jelly (RJ), a food item secreted by worker honeybees, is a mixture that contains protein, glucose, lipid, vitamins, and minerals; it is widely used as a commercial medical product. Previous studies have shown that RJ has a number of physiological effects, such as anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antiallergic and antioxidant activities.


In the present study, the anti-inflammatory properties of RJ were investigated in formalin-induced rat paw edema.


In this study, 30 male Wistar albino rats were divided into five equal groups (n = 6) as follows: test groups received different doses (25, 50 and 100 mg/kg, ip) of RJ and a negative control group received normal saline (5 mL/kg) and a positive control group received aspirin (300 mg/kg, i.p). Edema was induced on the right hind paw of the rat by a subplantar injection of 100 µL of formalin (2.5%) after 30 minutes. Paw edema was measured in the rats received the drugs, saline and aspirin before and after the formalin injection during 5 hours, using a plethysmometer.


The results showed that RJ has a dose-dependent anti-inflammatory effect and the highest anti-inflammatory effect was observed in the doses of 50 and 100 mg/kg.


Royal jelly has potent anti-inflammatory effects compared to aspirin and it could be used in the treatment of inflammation. However, further studies are required to determine the active components in RJ responsible for this effect and its mechanism of action.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Amino Acid Concentrations Higher in Beebread Than in Pollen

Methods for comparing nutrients in beebread made by africanized and European honey bees and the effects on hemolymph protein titers

J Vis Exp. 2015 Mar 17;(97)

Honey bees obtain nutrients from pollen they collect and store in the hive as beebread. We developed methods to control the pollen source that bees collect and convert to beebread by placing colonies in a specially constructed enclosed flight area. Methods were developed to analyze the protein and amino acid composition of the pollen and beebread. We also describe how consumption of the beebread was measured and methods used to determine adult worker bee hemolymph protein titers after feeding on beebread for 4, 7 and 11 days after emergence. Methods were applied to determine if genotype affects the conversion of pollen to beebread and the rate that bees consume and acquire protein from it. Two subspecies (European and Africanized honey bees; EHB and AHB respectively) were provided with the same pollen source. Based on the developed methods, beebread made by both subspecies had lower protein concentrations and pH values than the pollen.

In general, amino acid concentrations in beebread made by either EHB or AHB were similar and occurred at higher levels in beebread than in pollen. Both AHB and EHB consumed significantly more of the beebread made by AHB than by EHB. Though EHB and AHB consumed similar amounts of each type of beebread, hemolymph protein concentrations in AHB were higher than in EHB. Differences in protein acquisition between AHB and EHB might reflect environmental adaptations related to the geographic region where each subspecies evolved. These differences could contribute to the successful establishment of AHB populations in the New World because of the effects on brood rearing and colony growth.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Aloe Vera and Honey May Help Treat Tumors

Oral Administration of Aloe vera (L.) Burm. f. (Xanthorrhoeaceae) and Honey Improves the Host Body Composition and Modulates Proteolysis Through Reduction of Tumor Progression and Oxidative Stress in Rats

J Med Food. 2015 Apr 9. [Epub ahead of print]

Oxidative stress has a dual role in cancer; it is linked with tumorigenic events and host wasting, as well as senescence and apoptosis. Researchers have demonstrated the importance of coadjuvant therapies in cancer treatment, and Aloe vera and honey have immunomodulatory, anticancer, and antioxidant properties. The preventive and therapeutic effects of Aloe vera (L.) Burm. f. (Xanthorrhoeaceae) and honey in tumor progression and host wasting were analyzed in Walker 256 carcinoma-bearing rats. The animals were distributed into the following groups: C=control-untreated, W=tumor-untreated, WA=treated after tumor induction, A=control-treated, AW=treated before tumor induction, and AWA=treated before and after tumor induction. Proteolysis and oxidative stress were analyzed in the tumor, liver, muscle, and myocardial tissues.

The results suggest that the Aloe vera and honey treatment affect the tumor and host by different mechanisms; the treatment-modulated host wasting and cachexia, whereas it promoted oxidative stress and damage in tumor tissues, particularly in a therapeutic context (WA).

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Charles Mraz Apitherapy Course and Conference May 15-17, 2015 in New York

Charles Mraz Apitherapy Course And Conference (CMACC)

May 15-17, 2015

Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel

135-20 39th Avenue.

Flushing, NY 11354


Monday, April 13, 2015

Honey and Royal Jelly May Be Alternatives to Acyclovir in Treatment of Herpes Simplex Virus

Antiviral Activities of Honey, Royal Jelly, and Acyclovir Against HSV-1

Wounds. 2014 Feb;26(2):47-54


Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) belongs to the Herpesviridae family and genus simplex virus. This virus is usually acquired during childhood and is transmitted through direct mucocutaneous contact or droplet infection from infected secretions. The aim of the present study was to compare antiviral effects of honey, royal jelly, and acyclovir on herpes simplex virus-1 in an extra-somatic environment.


Vero cells were cultured in the Dulbecco's Modified Eagle's Medium (DMEM) along with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS) in 12-welled microplates. Various dilutions of honey, royal jelly, and acyclovir (5, 10, 50, 100, 2500, 500, and 800 μg/mL) were added to the Vero cells along with a 100-virus concentration of TCID50. The plaque assay technique was used to evaluate the antiviral activities.


The results showed that honey, royal jelly, and acyclovir have the highest inhibitory effects on HSV-1 at concentrations of 500, 250, and 100 μg/mL, respectively. In addition, honey, royal jelly, and acyclovir decreased the viral load from 70 795 to 43.3, 30, and 0 PFU/mL at a concentration of 100 μg/mL, respectively.


The results of the present study showed that honey and royal jelly, which are natural products with no reports about their deleterious effect at least in laboratory conditions, can be considered alternatives to acyclovir in the treatment of herpetic lesions. However, it should be pointed out that further studies are necessary to substantiate their efficacy because hard evidence on their effectiveness is not available at present.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Honey Effective in Management of Chronic Foot Ulcers

The Efficacy and Safety of Natural Honey on the Healing of Foot Ulcers: A Case Series

Wounds. 2015 Apr;27(4):103-114

This clinical observation investigated the efficacy, cost-effectiveness, and acceptability of natural honey on the healing of a variety of chronic foot ulcers at the primary care level.


 A total of 12 patients with foot ulcers utilizing natural honey as an effective alternative to more expensive, advanced wound products were followed. Cases were referred to Umgwailinah Primary Health Care Center, Doha, Qatar from different health centers and from Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar. There were also self-referred cases. After rinsing the site with normal saline, natural honey was applied and the wound was covered by glycerin-impregnated gauze (Adaptic Non-Adhering Dressing, Systagenix, San Antonio, TX) to prevent the absorption of honey into the cotton gauze and away from the wound site. Patients were followed on a daily basis for an average of 4 weeks.


 All ulcers healed with no contractures or scars with a mean healing time of 3 weeks. There was a 75% reduction in the dressing budget of the health center and a high level of satisfaction among both health professionals and patients. Patients' pain levels were reduced significantly after using natural honey, as evidenced by the use of the Visual Analog Scale.


 The use of natural honey in the management of chronic foot ulcers proved to be efficacious, cost-effective, and acceptable by both clinicians and patients.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Use of Leptospermum Honey Prevents Need for Surgical Debridement of Wounds

Using active leptospermum honey in the debridement process: 6 challenging cases from the inner city

Ostomy Wound Manage. 2015 Apr;61(4):63-6

The use of honey-based dressings has been documented for thousands of years. Recent studies suggest their effectiveness may be, in part, related to their ability to facilitate autolytic debridement.

Six patients who presented with multiple comorbidities and risk factors for delayed healing whose wounds required debridement were managed with active Leptospermum honey (ALH) to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of this treatment modality. The 6 patients ranged in age from 39 to 81 years.

The ALH was covered with a foam dressing; both dressings were changed approximately every 3 days. After 9 to 20 days of use, wounds were completely, or almost completely, debrided, and a 75% concomitant average increase in the amount of granulation tissue in the wound bed was observed. No adverse events were noted.

The use of ALH in this case series was effective, and no surgical debridement was needed. Research to compare the efficacy of ALH to other debridement methods is warranted.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Honey/Polyvinyl Alcohol/Chitosan Nanofibers Hold Potential as Effective Wound Dressing

High concentration honey chitosan electrospun nanofibers: Biocompatibility and antibacterial effects

Carbohydr Polym. 2015 May 20;122:135-43

Honey nanofibers represent an attractive formulation with unique medicinal and wound healing advantages...

In this work, chitosan and honey (H) were cospun with polyvinyl alcohol (P) allowing the fabrication of nanofibers with high honey concentrations up to 40% and high chitosan concentrations up to 5.5% of the total weight of the fibers using biocompatible solvents (1% acetic acid). The fabricated nanofibers were further chemically crosslinked, by exposure to glutaraldehyde vapor, and physically crosslinked by heating and freezing/thawing. The new HP-chitosan nanofibers showed pronounced antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus but weak antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli. The developed HP-chitosan nanofibers revealed no cytotoxicity effects on cultured fibroblasts.

In conclusion, biocompatible, antimicrobial crosslinked honey/polyvinyl alcohol/chitosan nanofibers were developed which hold potential as effective wound dressing.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Dark Honeys Such as Oak, Chestnut and Heather, Have High Therapeutic Potential

An investigation of Turkish honeys: Their physico-chemical properties, antioxidant capacities and phenolic profiles

Food Chem. 2015 Aug 1;180:133-41

This study investigated some physico-chemical and biochemical characteristics of different honey types belonging to Turkish flora. Sixty-two honey samples were examined on the basis of pollen analyses, including 11 unifloral honeys (chestnut, heather, chaste tree, rhododendron, common eryngo, lavender, Jerusalem tea, astragalus, clover and acacia), two different honeydew honeys (lime and oak), and 7 different multifloral honeys. Electrical conductivity, moisture, Hunter color values, HMF, proline, diastase number, and sugar analyses of the honey samples were assessed for chemical characterization. Some phenolic components were analyzed by reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) to determine honeys' phenolic profiles. Total phenolic compounds, total flavonoids, ferric reducing antioxidant capacity (FRAP) and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picryhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging activity were measured as antioxidant determinants. The study results confirm that physico-chemical and biological characteristics of honeys are closely related to their floral sources, and that dark-colored honeys such as oak, chestnut and heather, have a high therapeutic potential.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Honey dilution impact on in vitro wound healing: Normoxic and hypoxic condition

Wound Repair and Regeneration

Accepted Article (Accepted, unedited articles published online and citable. The final edited and typeset version of record will appear in future.)

Honey is known as a popular healing agent against tropical infections and wounds. However, the effects of honey dilutions on keratinocyte (HaCaT) wound healing under hypoxic condition is still not explored.

In this study, we examined whether honey dilution have wound healing potential under hypoxic stress. The anti-oxidant potential and healing efficacy of honey dilution on in vitro wound of human epidermal keratinocyte (HaCaT cells) under hypoxia (3% O2) and normoxia is explored by NBT assay. The cell survival % quantified by MTT assay to select 4 honey dilutions like 10, 1, 0.1 and 0.01 v/v % and the changes in cellular function was observed microscopically. Further, the cell proliferation, migration, cell-cell adhesion and relevant gene expression were studied by flow-cytometry, migration/scratch assay, immuno- cytochemistry and RT-PCR respectively. The expression pattern of cardinal molecular features viz. E-cadherin, cytoskeletal protein F-actin, p63 and hypoxia marker Hif 1 α were examined.

Honey dilution in 0.1% v/v combat wound healing limitations in vitro under normoxia and hypoxia (3%). Its wound healing potential was quantified by immuno-cytochemistry and real-time PCR for the associated molecular features that were responsible for cell proliferation and migration. Our data showed that honey dilution can be effective in hypoxic wound healing. Additionally, it reduced superoxide generation and supplied favorable bio-ambience for cell proliferation, migration and differentiation during hypoxic wound healing. These findings may reveal the importance of honey as an alternative and cost effective therapeutic natural product for wound healing in hypoxic condition. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Efficacy of parenteral administration of bee venom in experimental arthritis in the rat: A comparison with methotrexate

Toxicon. 2015 May;98:75-88

The use of bee venom (BV) to treat inflammation and pain in arthritis has become increasingly common. This study aimed to compare the effects of BV and methotrexate (MTX), the most used disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug, in arthritic rats. Edema, erythema, cyanosis, hyperalgesia, reduction of the body mass gain, high circulating tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and anti-type II collagen antibodies (AACII), and altered activity of basic (APB) and neutral (APN) aminopeptidases and dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPPIV) are present in arthritic rats. MTX and/or BV do not affect AACII in healthy or arthritic individuals, but restores TNF-α to normal levels in arthritic rats. BV restores body mass gain to normal levels and MTX ameliorates body mass gain. BV contains DPPIV. BV restores APN in synovial fluid (SF) and in soluble fraction (S) from synovial tissue (ST), and DPPIV in solubilized membrane-bound fraction (M) from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). MTX restores APN of SF, as well as ameliorates APB of S-PBMCs, APN of S-ST and DPPIV of M-PBMCs. The combination therapy does not overcome the effects of BV or MTX alone on the peptidase activities. Edema is ameliorated by MTX or BV alone. MTX, but not BV, is effective in reducing hyperalgesia. Data show that anti-arthritic effects of BV at non-acupoints are not negligible when compared with MTX.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Three Valuable Peptides from Bee and Wasp Venoms for Therapeutic and Biotechnological Use: Melittin, Apamin and Mastoparan

Toxins (Basel). 2015 Apr 1;7(4):1126-1150

While knowledge of the composition and mode of action of bee and wasp venoms dates back 50 years, the therapeutic value of these toxins remains relatively unexploded.

The properties of these venoms are now being studied with the aim to design and develop new therapeutic drugs. Far from evaluating the extensive number of monographs, journals and books related to bee and wasp venoms and the therapeutic effect of these toxins in numerous diseases, the following review focuses on the three most characterized peptides, namely melittin, apamin, and mastoparan.

Here, we update information related to these compounds from the perspective of applied science and discuss their potential therapeutic and biotechnological applications in biomedicine.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

East African Company Produces Beeswax, Honey, Propolis, Bee Pollen, Royal Jelly

Nzuki’s real deal in bees is sweeter than honey 

Standard Digital, 4/4/2015

Bees are not just about honey as one determined “farmer-prenuer” has set out to demonstrate in an ambitious bee keeping project adopting modern technologies.

In the neighbourhood of former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka’s expansive Yatta farm, a quiet revolution is taking place in a humble adjacent farm.

Chris Nzuki, formerly a senior agronomist with several leading organisations in Africa, is the man behind the revolution, being championed by one of the most important insects in human life — bees.

Just one kilo of royal jelly, the secretion used in nutrition of the queen bee and the larvae, goes for Sh42,000 in the market. A kilo of propolis, a resinous mixture collected from trees buds and sap flow costs Sh750, a kilo of pollen costs Sh650 and a kilo of wax Sh500. A kilo of honey goes for Sh300 and is therefore the cheapest of products derived from bee keeping.

Nzuki has decided to set his sights on all line products of bee keeping especially the least popular ones like the royal jelly and pollen.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Antibacterial Activity of Royal Jelly Protein Correlated with Honey Antibacterial Activity

Honey Glycoproteins Containing Antimicrobial Peptides, Jelleins of the Major Royal Jelly Protein 1, Are Responsible for the Cell Wall Lytic and Bactericidal Activities of Honey

PLoS One. 2015 Apr 1;10(4):e0120238

We have recently identified the bacterial cell wall as the cellular target for honey antibacterial compounds; however, the chemical nature of these compounds remained to be elucidated.

Using Concavalin A- affinity chromatography, we found that isolated glycoprotein fractions (glps), but not flow-through fractions, exhibited strong growth inhibitory and bactericidal properties. The glps possessed two distinct functionalities: (a) specific binding and agglutination of bacterial cells, but not rat erythrocytes and (b) non-specific membrane permeabilization of both bacterial cells and erythrocytes. The isolated glps induced concentration- and time-dependent changes in the cell shape of both E. coli and B. subtilis as visualized by light and SEM microscopy.

The appearance of filaments and spheroplasts correlated with growth inhibition and bactericidal effects, respectively. The time-kill kinetics showed a rapid, >5-log10 reduction of viable cells within 15 min incubation at 1xMBC, indicating that the glps-induced damage of the cell wall was lethal. Unexpectedly, MALDI-TOF and electrospray quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometry, (ESI-Q-TOF-MS/MS) analysis of glps showed sequence identity with the Major Royal Jelly Protein 1 (MRJP1) precursor that harbors three antimicrobial peptides: Jelleins 1, 2, and 4. The presence of high-mannose structures explained the lectin-like activity of MRJP1, while the presence of Jelleins in MRJP1 may explain cell wall disruptions.

Thus, the observed damages induced by the MRJP1 to the bacterial cell wall constitute the mechanism by which the antibacterial effects were produced. Antibacterial activity of MRJP1 glps directly correlated with the overall antibacterial activity of honey, suggesting that it is honey's active principle responsible for this activity.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Honey May Have a Variety of Health Benefits

It's more than just a sweet treat

LAS CRUCES >> Gordon and Laura Solberg have been keeping bees in Las Cruces since 1972. They say the winged creatures in the Mesilla Valley produce "some of the finest honey in the world." And after nearly five decades producing and consuming honey, and hearing about the experiences of their customers, they're convinced that honey is much more than a sweet treat.

It has a variety of health benefits they said, citing studies that show a daily dose of honey raises levels of disease-fighting antioxidants in the blood. Researchers say honey contains polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants that are thought to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Scientists at the University of California conducted a study which showed that the more honey people ate, the higher the levels of antioxidants in their blood. Antioxidants are thought to protect humans from disease by slowing potentially dangerous disease processes in the body. Researchers concluded that substituting honey for traditional sweeteners may be a healthier option...

Thursday, April 02, 2015

VIDEO: Local Honey May Help Combat Allergies

ORANGE COUNTY, Va (WVIR) - With those spring flowers on their way, many people in central Virginia are beginning to worry about allergies. An Orange County Beekeeper says he might have the answer.

Because bees pollinate many of those allergy-causing plants, Swanson says honey that is local to where you live might help keep you immune to those annoying symptoms...

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Date Syrup Compares Favorably to Manuka Honey for Fighting Infections

Date syrup shows promise for fighting bacterial infections


Date syrup - a thick, sweet liquid derived from dates that is widely consumed across the Middle East - shows antibacterial activity against a number of disease-causing bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.

New research, presented today at the Society for General Microbiology's Annual Conference in Birmingham, showed that, in vitro, date syrup is able to inhibit the growth of bacteria faster than manuka honey, which has previously been shown to have antibacterial properties and is increasingly used in dressings to improve wound repair.

Hajer Taleb, a research student from Cardiff Metropolitan University, who undertook the work, identified that the date syrup contains a number of phenolic compounds that form naturally in the date fruit as it matures. These compounds have previously been shown to have antibacterial activity. Artificial syrup - made of the constituent sugars found in natural syrup but lacking the phenolic compounds - was not as effective at inhibiting bacterial growth.

In vitro results have shown that date syrup produced traditionally in Basra, Southern Iraq, has antibacterial activity comparable to manuka honey. The results revealed that when the syrup was mixed with a range of disease-causing bacteria - including Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Enterococcus spp. and Pseudomonas aeruginosa - it inhibited their growth. The date syrup was effective in similar amounts to manuka honey but worked more quickly, inhibiting bacterial growth after six hours of treatment, while the manuka honey required longer...