Bee venom, this very precious and expensive ingredient, increasingly known for its supposed virtues. In addition, we hear more and more about a new alternative medicine that is sometimes controversial: apitherapy. Apitherapy consists in treating oneself with the products of the beehive and is as old as the world. Globally, we talk about honey, royal jelly but also venom.
Bee venom as a therapy for chronic diseases
Firstly, it may seem surprising that bee venom, which is yet a substance that is toxic to the body, can heal human beings. However, it is used to treat rheumatism, chronic arthritis, certain inflammatory diseases, multiple sclerosis and even Lyme disease. Studies have identified some of the anti-inflammatory components of venom that would explain its action: adolapine and melittin. But the therapy is unproven, expensive and potentially fatal. Research on bee venom therapy is mixed, with no definitive evidence that it works for any condition. But it has been used in Eastern medicine for thousands of years and there are several theories as to why some people are relieved. True remedy or belief? Some people agree that their illnesses have magically disappeared thanks to the venom.
How do we use it?
On the one hand, bee venom is used via cosmetics. On the other hand, it is injected by intradermal penetration. By bee sting or diluted injection. Some patients use it as a cure for well-being in the same way as acupuncture, and are therefore stung by live bees. The practice can be shocking, as the bees are sacrificed during this practice. Indeed, when the bee stings, its stinger remains stuck in the skin, when it withdraws, part of the abdomen is torn off, resulting in its death. Although we now know how to extract the venom from the bee without causing its death, during these acupuncture sessions, the bee is used alive. During the manufacture of cosmetics, drops or medicines, the bee undergoes an electroshock stimulating the production of the venom which is collected in the form of drops. It does not die as a result.
A therapy more and more known
On the one hand, Netflix has recently addressed this therapy in one of the episodes of his new documentary " (Un)well ". Indeed, this documentary, which gives the pros and cons, focused on Heal Hive. A company founded by a former Lyme disease patient who could not be treated. Until one day she tried a therapy based on bee venom. She said she was cured by it and decided to found this bee healing society to help sick people like her. So much so that we discover Kerri, a young 24 year old woman with Lyme disease, for whom this therapy is the last chance. Then, a year later, we can see on her Instagram account that the therapy was a success for her and that she is getting better and better.
On the other hand, several testimonials attesting to the miracles of the bee venom flow into the Instagram account of Heal Hive but also on the internet in general. Aside from doctors' warnings that the benefits of bee venom can be double-edged and that the same results can be achieved with traditional medicine without all the other risky components of the substance, bee venom therapy is becoming more and more popular. Especially at a time when people are looking for a more natural way of life and are therefore getting closer to nature. The greatest risk is anaphylactic shock. This is what happened to a Spanish woman in 2018, who was already in a coma when she arrived at the hospital and who died a few weeks later of multi-organ failure.
Where the problem is
Chemical substances and pesticides, "pathogenic" causes (parasites, viruses or fungi), intensive agriculture, genetic causes, the ravages of the Asian Hornet, electromagnetic pollution, incessant travel weakening swarms... So many causes causing the Colony Collapse Syndrome. It's no secret that bees are disappearing.
In spite of this, apitherapy is becoming a very popular therapy because of its virtues for the skin but also because of its supposed effects against certain diseases. Although some processes for harvesting honey or venom are supposed to be gentle on bees, one cannot help but think of the stress that these practices create for these insects which are so important for the environment.
Thus, whether one is for or against it, bee venom therapy is making headlines and seems to have proven itself on some people. Finally, there are still many things we don't know about it and that we will have to linger on.
The content provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice and consultation, including professional medical advice and consultation. Winston Sparkle is not responsible for any claim, loss or damage resulting from the use of or reliance on any content or information in the article.
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