The Superpowers of Bee Venom: Should You Try Apitherapy?
A recent study shows the ability of bee venom to kill certain breast cancer cell lines in a laboratory setting, which shows promise for developing treatments for the disease. Apitherapy, otherwise known as bee venom therapy, has some surprising benefits for helping both illnesses and injuries. It’s been used since ancient times, as the Greeks, Chinese, and Romans all used it for medicinal purposes.
What is Apitherapy?
Most often people seek out apitherapy to treat pain at an injury site. An apitherapy practitioner will grasp a honeybee with tweezers and direct a sting to the muscle or joint that hurts, repeating the process several times. The sting feels like you would expect a bee sting to feel, followed by a wash of pain alleviation.
Apitherapy uses products made from the honeybee, along with the stinger. The products may be extracted bee venom, or other products in combination with bee venom including honey, pollen, and beeswax.
Many practitioners today use bee therapy in conjunction with traditional medicine. Some doctors and nurse practitioners use it, along with acupuncturists and naturopaths. While it’s still in its experimental phases as far as regulation is concerned, there are plenty of benefits studies have found to show its effectiveness.
So far, studies show that bee venom helps improve the body’s circulation, reduce swelling, and improves the immune system.
What Bee Venom Therapy Helps
Apitherapy helps a wide range of illnesses and injuries. Like any alternative medicine, though, the results vary by person and you should always consult with your doctor.
- Healing wounds. Bee venom has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, both of which wounds need to heal. It helps decrease the pain while encouraging the wound to heal without the risk of infection.
- Lower rheumatoid arthritis pain. Bee venom’s ability to decrease inflammation and stiffness helps those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. It helps decrease pain, improve movement, and in some cases, may decrease or eliminate the need for Western medicine products.
- Help with neurological issues. Certain diseases, such as MS and shingles affect the neurological system and the immune system. Bee venom therapy can help with both issues, working as a complementary medicine to traditional Western medicine. It may help alleviate the symptoms, but it’s not a cure. You should still work with your practitioner to manage the disease, and possibly use apitherapy to boost the effects.
- Kill certain breast cancer cells. A study done using the venom of 312 honeybees showed that it destroyed triple-negative breast cancer cells. The right concentration has the potential to kill 100% of the breast cancer cells.
- Inflammatory skin conditions. Skin conditions such as psoriasis benefit from apitherapy. It helps alleviate the lesions psoriasis causes as well as reduce inflammation. Studies show significant success in patients with severe psoriasis compared to the control group.
- Decrease allergy symptoms. Honey has always been a go-to for sore throats, but now it may help alleviate allergy symptoms too. Since honey has pollen in it, which many people are allergic to, using honey can help the body slowly build up immunity to it rather than feeling attacked when pollen counts are high.
- Provide nutrients. Everybody needs vitamins, especially a multi-vitamin and apitherapy can provide just what you need. For example, bee pollen is packed with vitamin B. You can take propolis, which is a combination of bee enzymes, beeswax, and honey, which provide the body with the vitamins necessary for optimal health.
Side Effects of Apitherapy
As with any therapy, there is a risk of side effects. Always talk to your doctor before starting any new therapy to ensure it’s a safe option for you.
The most common side effects of apitherapy is an allergic reaction. Bee allergies can be deadly, so this is the most concerning risk. If you know you’re allergic to bees, this therapy isn’t for you, as bee stings can put you into anaphylactic shock. If you are unsure, again, talk to your doctor.
Other not as common side effects include:
- Pain at the site of injection (if you use the bee sting method)
- Heart palpitations
If you suffer any of these side effects, get in touch with your doctor right away.
Are you Thinking about Trying Apitherapy?
Studies are continually ongoing to discover the many benefits of apitherapy. While slightly new to the US, it’s been used for centuries around the world. It’s anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties help alleviate symptoms of many illnesses and injuries, helping you feel better without the side effects of traditional medicine that may serve as more of a ‘Band-Aid’ than a cure. Still, a lot of people experience positive results and will continue to seek out apitherapy for their conditions.