We often hear about the many therapeutic as well as the cosmetic uses of honey.Some of us may also have read about the use of bee venom as a cosmetic procedure when used to erase signs of aging by world famous celebrities.
All these and other uses made of bee products such as honey, venom, bee bread, pollen,royal jelly and propolis fall within the ambit of Apitherapy. Treatments that today constitute apitherapy have found mentioned in ancient practices of Egypt, China and Greece, however in modern times apitherapy refers mainly to the use of bee venom for various curative purposes.
Apitherapy is the use of honeybee produced substances for health and healing.
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 used to treat many chronic conditions.
Honeybee Produced Substances Used for Apitherapy
Fresh Bee PollenBee Pollen
Bee Pollen is the male reproductive material of plants used by bees to feed their larvae. Pollen is the honeybee's exclusive source of protein, containing all the essential amino acids that people require. People use bee pollen as a multi-vitamin, energy booster, and/or to build up their resistance to air-borne (hay fever type) allergens.
Propolis is a combination of beeswax, honey, and tree resins mixed with bee-produced enzymes, used to protect the bee hive from bacteria, fungus, and viruses. Propolis has natural anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. People use propolis as a remedy for colds & influenza, and to boost the immune system. The antibacterial and anti-fungal properties of propolis make it an ideal topical ingredient for treating various skin conditions.
Royal Jelly is an enzyme enriched food, produced by young worker bees and fed to a queen bee for her entire life. People use royal jelly as a multi-vitamin, an immune system booster to promote longevity, and for mental clarity.
Honey is plant nectar, converted to simple sugars, dehydrated, and used for energy and winter food. People use honey as a natural sweetener, as a sore throat remedy, cough suppressant, and for healing wounds.
Bee Venom is produced by worker female bees to defend themselves and their colony. People use bee venom to treat over 40 illnesses, including warts, arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
Beeswax is produced by worker female bees for building the honeycomb structure that is used for brood rearing and storing of honey & pollen. People use beeswax for a number of items including candles, cosmetics, and furniture polishes.
Applications of apitherapy
Medicinal applications of honey especially for topical application on cuts, grazes, burns, and ulcers, for eye and ear infections (i.e. placed in the eye or ear), consumption of honey for coughs and colds, gastritis and stomach ulcers, urinary tract infections, poisoning and so on.
Nutritional benefits of pollen in the form of 'bee bread'. Farmers were encouraged to separate out 'bee bread' from honeycomb when harvesting honey and to keep it aside for consumption as a 'medicine', especially for children, pregnant and lactating mothers, convalescents and the elderly.
Application of beeswax in preparing antiseptic, healing and massage ointments or creams for the skin. Farmers were encouraged to add local herbs used for healing cuts and grazes to these formulations such as Cucurma longa (turmeric).
Application of bee stings for arthritis, chronic pain and immobility, menstrual disorders and goitres, applied on the point of greatest pain or associated 'trigger points' or acupressure points.
Opportunistic consumption of royal jelly taken from queen cells that needed to be removed for swarm control. The medicinal and tonic properties of royal jelly was taught to farmers and anyone having problems conceiving was encouraged to try eating it raw from the queen cell.
Let us use wax and paraffin applications and bee venom therapy in order to stimulate the body's defences, and improve local blood circulation, trophic and metabolic processes. Before beginning bee venom therapy, perform an allergy test to make sure the patient is not allergic to bee products.
Wax and paraffin applications consist in enveloping different muscle groups and joints in warm appropriate wraps, 2.5- 3 cm thick, according to the scheme outlined by the doctor. These wax and paraffin applications are prepared in a special wax room. The wax and paraffin wrap is cooled to a suitable temperature, and then applied to the patient's body, which should be clean of oilcloth; it is carefully modeled on the surface of the patient's body and enveloped in a kind of diaper covering. The procedure lasts twenty minutes. In addition to having a thermal effect, these applications also have an impact on the musculo-articular system by diffusing biologically active substances through the patient's skin.
The wax and paraffin mixture is produced to a special recipe. It consists of wax, honey, and propolis extract in the following proportions: 1 kg of wax, 20 g of honey, and 5 g of propolis.
Apitherapy is applied along articular gaps occurring between the joints and contractures, in areas with myofascial trigger points, and painful periosteal zones. Using bee stings, we can give dose bee venom and reduce the negative impact of fear in patients.