While some research suggests that bee sting therapy may help treat certain health conditions, other research indicates that the therapy may be of little benefit. Here's a look at some key study findings:. Bee sting therapy may aid in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, according to a study published in the Chinese journal Acupuncture Research in For the study, people with rheumatoid arthritis were randomly assigned to treatment with either a combination of bee sting therapy and standard medication or medication alone.
After three months of treatment, both groups showed significant improvement in a number of symptoms, including joint swelling, stiffness, and pain. In addition, those assigned to bee sting therapy appeared to have a lower rate of relapse compared to those only given medication.
Bee sting therapy may not be beneficial for people with multiple sclerosis, suggests a small study published in Neurology in The study involved 26 patients with multiple sclerosis, each of whom was given bee sting therapy or no treatment for 24 weeks. At the end of the study period, researchers found no difference in disease activity, disability, fatigue, or quality of life between the two groups. Bee sting therapy also failed to reduce the relapse rate. Some patients may experience severe allergic reactions to bee stings.
In some cases, bee sting therapy can trigger anaphylactic shock, which is life-threatening. Given these safety concerns, it's crucial for anyone with a bee-sting allergy to avoid this treatment. Bee sting therapy is also known to cause pain, as well as such side effects as anxiety , dizziness, insomnia , changes in blood pressure , and heart palpitations. In addition, there's some concern that bee sting therapy may interfere with immune function.
Furthermore, a report from the World Journal of Hepatology warns that bee sting therapy may be toxic to the liver. Several other types of bee products may enhance your health. Due to the limited research, it's too soon to recommend bee sting therapy as a treatment for any condition. Self-treating and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences. Sign up for our Health Tip of the Day newsletter, and receive daily tips that will help you live your healthiest life.
There was an error. Please try again. Thank you, , for signing up. More in Holistic Health. With regard to the determination of the standard molecular weights of the protein bands, the exact locations of the crude BV proteins and their fractions were identified Figs. Crude venom has four pro-tein bands with molecular weights of 3, 15, 20 and 41 kilodalton kDa.
After chromatography, each fraction showed a single band. The anti-coagulant property was determined by using PT tests on fractions F 1 to F 4. The coagulation times were obtained by adding fractions from the gel chromatography to the plasma of three healthy rabbits of each sex.
Although fractions F 2 , F 3 and F 4 had more anti-coagulation activity than F 1 , F 1 also had some anti-coagulation activity. According to this method, if the time until coagulation occurs is increased compared to the control sample, then the anti-coagulation activity is increased. This research offers an effective and repeatable method for separating the anti-coagulation factors in BV. Venom from bees in the family Apidae like Apis mellifera , is a rich source of new compounds that have applications in medicine and biochemistry [ 19 ], and BV from Iranian bees seen to be effective in delaying the clotting of blood.
Coagulation tests, including PT tests, have shown that BV, in general, has anti-coagulation properties. From the results of tests carried out on six samples, we can be concluded that all were normal, as the time for each was in the normal range when tested by using PT 10 — 14 seconds and PTT 30 — 40 seconds. Thus, the anti-coagulation factor BV has been proven. The venoms of most stinging insects, including honey bees, consist of enzymes, protein, peptides, and a variety of smaller molecules. The pharmacological and biochemical activities of venoms from various stinging insects are remarkably convergent.
Most venoms induce immediate pain, contain phosphlipases, hyaluronidase, and other enzymes, and are capable of destroying red blood cells [ 20 ].
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The phospholipases derived from honey bees, yellow jackets, and fire ants have very different molecular weights: 16, for bees [ 21 ], about 31, for yellow jackets [ 22 , 23 ], and 28, in the form of tow roughly equal subunits for fire ants [ 24 ]. So far, melittin is the best characterized peptide. Extensive work with melittin has shown that it has multiple effects, probably, as a result of its interaction with negatively-charged phospholipids.
Venoms from other Apis species are similar, but even the venoms from the various types within each species are slightly different from each other. The toxicity of Apis cerana venom has been reported to be twice as high as that of Apis mellifera [ 28 ]. BV contains pharmacologically important constituents. The important constituents present in BV are melittin, apamin, hyaluronidase, phospholipase and histamine. Melittin is considered to be the major constituent of BV.
The present study analyzed the venom of Apis mellifera with regard to anti-coagulation activities. Its anti-coagulation proteins were isolated and evaluated by using chromatographic methods. The fraction extracted from the Iranian bee contained protein similar to anti-coagulation proteins such as PLA 2 and melittin, which are able to increase the blood clotting time in vitro.
In summary, bee products are very interesting and can either be developed further into medicinal products when they offer new and better treatment alternatives, or form the basis for the identification of new drugs that can be used according to the principles of pharmacology. In either case, much effort will be necessary in order to establish their position in modern medicine. Conflict of interest The authors declare that there are no conflict of interest. Hossein Zolfagharian, Email: moc.
Mohammad Mohajeri, Email: moc. Mahdi Babaie, Email: moc. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List J Pharmacopuncture v.
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J Pharmacopuncture. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Received Sep 26; Accepted Oct This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Objectives: Bee venom BV is a complex mixture of proteins and contains proteins such as phospholipase and melittin, which have an effect on blood clotting and blood clots.
Methods: Crude venom obtained from Apis mellifera was selected. Results: Crude BV increased the blood clotting time. Conclusion: BV contains anti-coagulation factors. Keywords: anti-coagulants, bee venom, chromatography, LD Introduction Honey bee venom HBV, Apis mellifera is a bitter, colorless liquid, and its active portion contains a mixture of proteins that, cause local inflammation and act as anti-coagulants.
Results Comparing the coagulation time of normal plasma without venom with those obtained for different concentrations of BV, crude BV was found to increase the plasma clotting time. Open in a separate window. Sephadex G chromatography of Apis mellifera venom. Discussion This research offers an effective and repeatable method for separating the anti-coagulation factors in BV.
Conclusion BV contains pharmacologically important constituents. Footnotes Conflict of interest The authors declare that there are no conflict of interest. Contributor Information Hossein Zolfagharian, Email: moc. References 1. Therapeutic application of anti-arthritis, pain-releasing and anti-cancer effects of bee venom and its constituent compounds. Pharmacol Ther. Habermann E, Jentsch J. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. Habermann E, Zeuner G. Comparative studies of native and synthetic melittins.
Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmakol. Zemizdat; Bulgaria: Pcelni produkti, the bee products in Bulgarian ; pp. Int J Neurosci. Bee products and their potential use in modern medicine. Effects of bee venom on glutamate-induced toxicity in neuronal and glial cells. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med.
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Cancer Metastasis Rev. Cancer mortality among beekeepers. J Occup Med. Bee venom pharmacopuncture: an effective treatment for complex regional pain syndrome. Effects of sweet bee venom pharmacopuncture treatment for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy: a case series. Integr Cancer Ther. Abdu Al-Samie. Measurement of prothrombin time PT and activated partial thromboplastin time APTT on canine citrated plasma samples following different storage conditions. Res Vet Sci. Protein measurement with the Folin phenol reagent.
J Biol Chem. Approximate LD50 determination of snake venoms using eight to ten experimental animals.
What happens when a bee stings you?
Purification from bee venom of melittin devoid of phospholipase A2 contamination. Anal Biochem. Isolation and partial purification of anti-coagulant fractions from the venom of the Iranian snake Echis carinatus. Acta Biochim Pol. Laemmli UK. Cleavage of structural proteins during the assembly of the head of bacteriophage T4. Moreno M, Giralt E. Three valuable peptides from bee and wasp venoms for therapeutic and biotechnological use: melittin, apamin and mastoparan.
Comparative enzymology of venoms from stinging hymenoptera. The amino-acid sequence and carbohydrate content of phospholipase A2 from bee venom. Eur J Biochem.