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Bee Venom – Apitherapy – Benefits and Basic Overview
Bee venom therapy is one aspect of apitherapy, which can be defined as medicinal application of bee venom. Apitherapy also includes the use of other components of the beehive such as pollen, honey, propolis, and royal jelly.
Bee Venom Uses
Bee venom, which is taken from the stingers of bees, has been recommended since ancient times as medicine for back pain, arthritis, and skin diseases; today, it is sometimes considered an alternative remedy for Lyme disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and multiple sclerosis.
What’s In Bee Venom?
Bee venom contains many peptides, enzymes, and biogenic amines, at least 18 of which have medicinal properties. In many cases, the effective mechanism of the venom has not been determined, but the effect has been observed. Scientists believe bee venom affects the way the immune system operates in the body and may help stimulate cortisol production.
Bee Venom Application
Ancient bee venom therapy involved encouraging bees to sting the patient at specific acupuncture points or trigger points. Today, the active components of bee venom are most often injected or applied topically. Venom taken from bees in the warmer months usually is more potent because the bees are better fed. A venom solution called Apis Venenum Purum is a homeopathic preparation usually administered between the skin layers or just under the skin, where a bee sting would naturally deposit venom. In China and Europe, bee venom is sometimes administered with electricity or ultrasound.
Bee Venom Reactions
Before receiving bee venom therapy, patients must be tested with a tiny amount to ensure they’re not allergic. The therapy generally involves injections three times weekly. The injections do cause pain and inflammation locally for a few days, but in general, bee venom therapy is considered safe if administered by an experienced healthcare professional to a patient who is not allergic to bees.
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