Apitherapy is the method of using bee products for disease prevention or treatment. Honeybees produce honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, and beeswax all of which are used by people for nutrition, immune system support, treatment of a variety of ailments, skin care, and healing of open wounds. Even bee venom is utilized as a remedy to treat many chronic illnesses.
The beginning of apitherapy can be traced back to more than 6000 years ago in ancient Egypt. The ancient Greeks and Romans also used bee products for medicinal purposes. There is also evidence that honey was part of traditional Chinese medicine.
Illnesses that Apitherapy may treat:
Honey has been used in treating wounds for centuries. Until antibiotics were developed in the mid 1900’s, honey was the main treatment for wounds. During Apitherapy treatment honeybee products may be applied topically, taken orally, or injected directly into the blood. Local wildflower honey may also protect people from allergies. This is because local wildflower honey can also include trace amounts of flower pollen, a known allergen. Consuming local honey could slowly introduce this allergen to the body, possibly building up an immunity to it.
Bee Venom Therapy (BVT) involves the medicinal use of bee stings. The venom is believed to reduce inflammation and improve the body's immune system. Only female worker bees produce bee venom which can be delivered directly from a bee sting. The bee sting may be administered to the skin through a stainless-steel micro mesh. This allows the venom to enter the skin but prevents the stinger from being attached to the skin, which would unfortunately kill the bee.
The greatest risk of bee venom therapy is the danger of a severe allergic reaction, which includes anaphylactic shock which can cause someone to stop breathing. If not treated instantly, anaphylactic shock can result in death. However, only a small percentage of the population is allergic to bee venom, it is extremely important that the person is tested for a bee sting allergy before the treatment.