Home   About  |  Blog  |  Donate  |  Join  |  Buy Local   Contact  
 

Bee Therapy:  Natural Results

 
Apitherapy is, simply said, the use of Bee Products to Prevent, Heal or Recover somebody from one or more diseases/conditions. It is also "the Art and Science of Treatment and Holistic Healing through the honeybee and her products for the benefit of Mankind and all the Animal Kingdom."


These products are said to be effective against a wide range of ailments, from arthritis and chronic pain to multiple sclerosis and cancer, although few scientific studies have as yet proved their benefits. The history of apitherapy extends back to ancient Egypt, Greece, and China. Even Hippocrates, the Greek physician known as the "father of medicine," used bee venom to treat arthritis and other joint problems.

Austrian physician Phillip Terc initiated the modern study of bee venom and intentional bee stings when he published his article "Report about a Peculiar Connection Between the Beestings and Rheumatism" in 1888. The late beekeeper Charles Mraz of Middlebury, Vermont, is credited with popularizing bee venom therapy over the past 60 years in the United States. Today, thousands of medical professionals and lay practitioners use apitherapy throughout the world.

Apitherapy works by promoting healthy cell and tissue growth, improving circulation, reducing inflammation and by encouraging an active immune response.

Bee venom therapy is the most complex of the different types of apitherapy. Always have an allergy test before beginning a course of treatment and always consult a trained practitioner for the treatments. Because honeybee venom is not closely related to wasp or yellow jacket venom, an allergy to those insects does not necessarily rule out being able to have honeybee venom therapy. Nevertheless, careful testing and supervision is a must in all situations. (Eventually, you can learn to administer the treatments at home, either by yourself or with the help of a partner.)

In BVT, the venom is administered by injection, either by needle or by bee sting. Although some practitioners inject the venom with a hypodermic needle, your practitioner may place the bees, one at a time, directly on your skin with a pair of long tweezers and allow them to sting. The bees are typically placed close to the joint, muscle, or other body part that needs treatment.

Obviously, the bee sting can be a bit painful, but it's nothing to be anxious about. In fact, honeybee stings are much less painful than wasp or hornet stings. The degree of discomfort is basically in proportion to how you respond to pain. The first sting is always the worst because you don't know what to expect. Once you know what it feels like, the experience definitely gets easier.

      Health Benefits

There have been few controlled scientific studies proving the value of bee venom, bee pollen, raw honey, royal jelly, or propolis, but there are many anecdotal reports about their health benefits. (One difficulty with controlled studies of bee venom is that a proper placebo is impossible to create; if you're stung by a bee, you know it.)

Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, bee venom is commonly used to treat diseases such as arthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis. It is also used to relieve chronic back and neck pain. Some apitherapists report that bee venom can also help break down and soften scar tissue, flattening scars and lightening them. This idea is supported by the fact that bee venom contains powerful enzymes that can break through scar tissue.

Bee venom therapy is additionally reported to decrease spasms and fatigue in multiple sclerosis patients and to increase the patients' stability. The National Multiple Sclerosis Association funded research at Allegheny University in Philadelphia to explore the possible benefits of apitherapy. The preliminary results of experiments conducted with laboratory mice, reported in 1998, found no beneficial effect against the course of an MS-like disease. Research is ongoing, however.
 
Copyright BeeTherapy.org  |  All Rights Reserved