Originally published July 24 2009
Venom from Bee Stings Used to Relieve Arthritis and Multiple Sclerosis
by Melanie Grimes
(NaturalNews) Bee venom has increasingly been used as medicine to treat a variety of illnesses, including multiple sclerosis (MS), arthritis, fibromyalgia, and tendonitis. Bee venom solution, or BVS, is categorized as a drug in twelve European countries, and included in everything from salves, liniments, creams, and injectibles. Some forms of the venom are only available by prescription, but many are sold over the counter. Bee venom products are said to treat arthritis, rheumatism, tendonitis, bursitis, inflamed joints, Sudeck-syndrome, and numerous skin conditions. As a homeopathic remedy, bee venom, known as Apis mellifica, has been used to treat many ailments, including poison ivy, cystitis, urticaria, eczema, herpes, and meningitis. Apis is also used in acute illnesses, such as colds and flu and to help lower fevers.
The bees are not killed during the process of harvesting their venom. Commercial harvesting was first accomplished, in the 1950's, by electric shock, but more modern methods have proven less harmful to the bees. The liquid venom is then dried or freeze dried for use. The freeze-dried form is processed to remove pollen, dust, nectar or honey.
Bee venom solution has been used to treat MS since the 1980s, along with MS treatment with live bee stings. A study in 1988 at the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, Greece, reported success using bee venom therapy to reduce inflammation of an arthritis-like disease in rats. The report showed that bee venom acted by slowing the production of the compound known to cause arthritis pain: interleukin-1. A study in South Korea also showed anti-arthritis effects in mice and demonstrated that one of the compounds found in bee venom, called melittin, helped to block the inflammation that caused arthritis pain. A study on bee venom and MS in 2005 showed mixed results. Published in the Journal of Neurology, the study concluded that bee venom therapy did not help MS sufferers; however, individuals report many successes. Another study is underway at the Hahnemann University in Philadelphia using bee venom to treat mice that carry a disease similar to MS. Further research is still needed.
There have been some side effects noted from bee venom therapy, such as allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Dosage is difficult to control; however, many MS suffers are getting wonderful healing benefits from this treatment modality. It can also be a painful procedure. Research is underway on the action of bee venom on both nerves and the immune system, which will clarify the actual effects and help modify and improve treatment options.
About the authorMelanie Grimes is a writer, award-winning screenwriter, medical journal editor, and adjunct faculty member at Bastyr University. She also teaches homeopathy at the Seattle School of Homeopathy and the American Homeopathic Medical College.
A trained homeopath, she is the editor of the homeopathic journal, Simillimum, and has edited alternative and integrative medical journals for 15 years. She has taught creative writing, founded the first Birkenstock store in the USA and authored medical textbooks.
Her ebook on Natural Remedies for the Flu is available at:
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