In Bee Venom Therapy, also know as Apitherapy, a person intentionally lets themself be stung by a bee for medicinal purposes. Live bees are picked up with tweezers and set near the patients skin until they are stung. Bee Venom Therapy is used for a variety of disorders such as multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, arthritis, chronic pain, and rheumatic conditions. People engaging in this practice can be intentionally stung up to 20 times per day. So, why would a sick person intentionally subject themselves to the pain of a bee sting?
Using bee stings to treat illness might seem like a practice more suited for the middle ages, but these studies agree this strange therapy might have some benefits. One study by the NIH concluded that bee venom therapy was effective at treating arthritis in rats. Another study reported positive results when using bee venom as a means of pain relief. Currently there are addictional trials underway to detemine the effectiveness of bee venom in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis.
What researchers believe are main ingredients behind the medicinal benefits of bee venom, are the substances melittin and apelin. Melittin is a peptide found in bee venom that can stimulate the pituitary gland to release ACTH, this leads to the production of cortisol. Cortisol is a powerful hormone in our body which controls the immune system and our stress response. When melittin was tested in rats it was found to be 100x stronger than the anti-inflammitory drug hydrocortisone. Apelin also affects the immune system slowing down the production of interleukin-1, and reducing inflammation.
Click Here – to see a video about Bee Venom Therapy
Discovery Channel Video about Bee Sting Therapy being used to treat diseases like Multiple Slerosis, Arthrits, and Pain. Also show patients enaging in Bee Venom Therapy.
Bee Venom has especially been effective in treating forms of arthritis. An injection of Bee Venom completely suppressed the development of Polyarthritis, a form of auto immune arthritis. The effect of Bee Venom on arthritis is believed to have to different mechanisms of action:
1: altering the immune response
2: anti-inflammatory effects by way of corticosteroids