Written by: Dr Diane Mueller, Dr. Miles Nichols & Nicola Schuler, CNTP, MNT,
Want your pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia or Lyme disease to FINALLY go away without the use of drugs with side effects?
This is Dr. Diane writing and I have suffered in my past greatly from pain, fibromyalgia and Lyme disease. I avoided all pharmaceutical medications throughout my healing journey and today I am free from disease. Part of the fundamental piece of my healing journey has been with the use of bee venom therapy.
As I say bee venom, some of you may be thinking, “ow”, but I have a solution for that. At our clinic when we use bee venom we mix it with procaine a numbing agent to greatly reduce the feeling of the bee venom. In fact, bee venom releases hormones that give us energy so myself and most people feel energized from the treatment.
How does it work?
Bee venom and the numbing agent are injected with TINY needles (much smaller than getting blood drawn or getting ears pierced) for a minimal sensation on going in. The bee venom stimulates your own natural healing response. With arthritis, pain, Lyme Disease and fibro it is sort of like the body goes to sleep for awhile and does not actively identify that there is a problem. The bee venom provides a sort of wake up call to the body to see there is a problem and begin the healing process. It is alerting your body’s immune system, pain reduction pathways, and anti-inflammatory pathways that there is a problem so you body can begin to release healing molecules to fix the problem.
In addition to the mentioned diseases, bee venom has been shown to help heal autoimmune conditions, neurological conditions and cancer. It stimulates and promotes immune health and can be helpful against allergies.
Bee venom may sound new but it is an extremely old method of treatment. It has been used for thousands of years. Bee keepers were some of the first to realize its power as bee keepers would report that when they were stung, their pain and arthritis would go away.
Luckily, we usually find that people do not need bee venom their whole lives. A series of 18 treatments is often enough to reverse the disease process especially when combined with other natural therapies.
Some people are concerned about allergies to bee stings. If you have ever reacted strongly to a bee sting, this therapy is probably not for you. Most people however are allergic to yellow jackets and the bee venom we use is from the honey bee, to which an allergy is extremely rare. We also start with 1/100 of a bee sting to make sure that you respond well to treatment and move you up slowly. When done with proper training (which we have) it is an extremely safe therapy.
There are a number of things that bee venom can do: Bee venom is anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-bacterial. It can help with neurological diseases, cancer and Lyme disease. It is used to improve skin condition and to treat allergy to bee stings. Other uses for bee venom are being researched.
I honestly do not know where I would personally be with this therapy. For me, pain, headaches, fatigue, fibromyalgia and brain fog began to turn around once I started using bee venom. We use it in our clinic due to the level of positive results that I have seen both personally and professionally on the clients my team and I have treated.
How to Find out More
If you live in Colorado or are willing to travel to the Greater Denver Area, please book a discovery call with our clinic to find out more about bee venom therapy. Click here to book a complimentary 15-minute discovery call now. You can also call or text 720-722-1143 to find out more. These 15 minute calls are designed to get you the information you need about bee venom.
Some of our clients really love the techy science behind bee venom. If this is you, read on! Please look for the “nitty gritty” parts of each section to get the sum of the section below.
DEFINITION OF APITHERAPY (AKA BEE VENOM THERAPY)
Apitherapy is a therapy that uses honey bee products, including honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly and especially bee venom for treating disease and pain.
Raw honey is a form of apitherapy. Many people know it for its anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties and can help a sore throat. Consuming local raw honey helps to build up a resistance to local allergens. Although we do not promote sugar, certain sugars such as raw honey we do recommend! Raw honey can also be used on wounds and burns.
We can also get apitherapy through ingestion of bee pollen can be taken to build up the immune system. Some people take bee pollen as a supplement.
Propolis is the nectar of the queen bee can be used to combat infections. These are all forms of apitherapy.
Bee venom therapy, or BVT, is a more potent form of apitherapy that has been widely used as a complementary and alternative therapy for 3000 years (Zhang S, 2018). Bee venom therapy was practiced in ancient Egypt, Greece and China, which were three civilizations known for their advanced medical knowledge (The American Apitherapy Society, 2019).
Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine”, used the healing ability of bee venom for arthritis and other joint problems (The American Apitherapy Society, 2019). In fact, the idea of using BV came from the belief that beekeepers hardly suffered from rheumatism or joint problems (Wehbe R, 2019).
Today, evidence suggests that various bee products promote healing by improving circulation, decreasing inflammation, and stimulating a healthy immune response (The American Apitherapy Society, 2019).
Bee venom can be used to relieve pain and treat chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, as well as central nervous system diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Wehbe R, 2019).
Bee venom has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activities. It’s beneficial anti-cancer and anti-viral properties have shown potential against ovarian and prostate cancer, as well as HIV (Wehbe R, 2019).
Nitty Gritty: Bee venom has been around for thousands of years and has been sued for rheumatoid, parkinson’s, ALS, Alzheimer’s, MS, as an adjunct in cancer therapy, for viral infections, for HIV, for circulation and more!
HOW DOES IT WORK
Typically, bee venom is injected into the body and is administered by a healthcare professional. Bee venom can also be used in live bee acupuncture or bee-sting therapy. This acupuncture method kills the bee whereas bee venom used in injection is collected in a sustainable way without killing bees.
BV is made up of a complex blend of polypeptides (melittin, apamin, mast cell degranulating (MCD) peptide and adolapin), enzymes (phospholipase A2 (PLA2) and hyaluronidase), amines, lipids and amino acids (Lee G, 2016) and (Wehbe R, 2019). Some of these components have anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive effects (inhibits nociception or the feeling of pain), some have toxic and detrimental effects, while others have both beneficial and adverse effects under different conditions (Lee G, 2016).
BV is an odorless and transparent liquid that bees use as a defense against predators. One drop of BV consists of 88% water and 0.1 µg of dry venom (Wehbe R, 2019). The venom contains the peptides melittin, adolapin, apamin, and MCD-peptide plus the enzymes PLA2 and other compounds like bioactive amines (e.g. histamine and epinephrine) and minerals (Wehbe R, 2019).
Nitty Gritty: Bee venom is a complex substance made up of a number of different types of molecules including proteins, enzymes and others. These different molecules are responsible for its anti pain and anti-inflammation effects.
KEY COMPONENTS OF BV:
Mellettin is the main component of BV, accounting for 40–60% of its composition (Chen J, 2016). It is one of the key biologically active substances of BV that produces anti-nociceptive (anti-pain), anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic effects (Bae G, 2016). Mast Cell Degranulating (MCD) Peptide accounts for 2–3% of BV’s dry weight (Wehbe R, 2019). MCD is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent (Banks BE, 1990). Adolapin is a basic polypeptide that is 1% of the dry weight of BV (Wehbe R, 2019). Adolapin has anti-inflammatory, anti-nociceptive, and antipyretic (reduces fever) properties and may exert an analgesic or pain-relieving effect (Jung SY, 2015). Phospholipase A2, or PLA2, represents 12–15% of BV’s dry weight (Wehbe R, 2019). It is an enzyme, whose activity can be improved by melittin (Wehbe R, 2019). Research shows that it has a protective immune response against a broad range of diseases, such as asthma, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease (Park S, 2015).Hyaluronidase represents 1.5–2% of BV dry weight (Wehbe R, 2019). It allows the active components of BV to diffuse effectively into a victim’s tissue and intensifies the spreading of the venom thereby boosting its effect (Topchiyeva T, 2016).
Nitty Gritty: There are five main components in bee venom that each have different healing properties. The properties allow it to have the effect that it does. Look at these properties sort of like vitamin C of the orange. The orange has a lot of nutrients in it and some such as vitamin C have been more researched than others for health benefits. These five components of bee venom are sort of like the vitamin C of the orange. They are the researched components of the bee venom which allows the bee venom to have the healing affect that it does.
BV is anti-inflammatory: Inflammation is the immune system’s way of coping with an injury or defending against a foreign invader. Inflammation is necessary and beneficial. However, chronic inflammation is negative and can lead to the development of several diseases like rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other autoimmune conditions, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, asthma, skin diseases, and CNS-related diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and ALS (Wehbe R, 2019).
Melittin, the main component of BV, at low doses can induce wide anti-inflammatory effects (Wehbe R, 2019). Its anti-inflammatory mechanisms have been researched in different diseases such as RA and ALS (Wehbe R, 2019).
For example, an 8-week study of 120 people with RA found that bee-venom acupuncture, using 5–15 bee stings every other day, provided symptom relief effects that were similar to those of traditional RA medications (Chen SY, 2018). The melittin acts by inhibiting inflammatory cytokines of the immune system (interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-8, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and interferon-γ (IFN-γ)) (Wehbe R, 2019). This ability to inhibit inflammatory cytokines leads to reduced inflammation in skin, liver, joint, and neuronal tissue (Kim WH, 2018).
BV can help treat neuro-degenerative disease:
- Alzheimer’s Disease (AD): The enzyme PLA2 in bee venom can be used as a treatment to block the progression of AD in mice (Ye M, 2016). PLA2 in bee venom can be used to reduce the accumulation of amyloid plaque and improve cognitive functioning in mice brains (Ye M, 2016). The same study similarly shows that bee venom PLA2 can increase glucose brain metabolism and reduce neuroinflammatory responses in the brain (Ye M, 2016).
- Parkinson’s Disease (PD): BV treatment repressed DNA damage in the brains of mice with PD (Wehbe R, 2019). BV normalized the neuroinflammatory markers and restored brain neurochemistry after injury (Khalil WKB, 2015). It has also been shown that BV can protect neurons from degeneration in experimental PD models (Wehbe R, 2019).
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS: BV leads to an increase in motor activity in the brains of mice with ALS (Wehbe R, 2019). This led to a higher life expectancy when compared with age-matched control mice (Wehbe R, 2019). Another study demonstrated that bee venom acupuncture (BVA) inhibits neuroinflammation in the spinal cord of symptomatic ALS mice by significantly reducing the levels of inflammatory proteins (Cai MD, 2015).
BV shows promise for cancer: Bee venom, as well as melittin, have shown antitumor activities against different cancer cell types including breast, liver, leukemia, lung, melanoma and prostate cancer cells (Jung GB, 2018). The mechanism behind melittin’s antitumor activity is that melittin can induce apoptosis (cellular death) of hepatocellular carcinoma cells (Wehbe R, 2019).
Another study found that BV and its major component, melittin, induce an inhibition of cancer cells growth both in vitro and in vivo (Park MH, 2011). These findings show the great potential of melittin in cancer treatment by acting on different key points of the disease (Wehbe R, 2019).
However, despite the convincing data regarding the potential use of BV, more specifically melittin, against a variety of cancer types, its application to humans remains very challenging because of its non-specific cytotoxicity i.e. it kills cells non-discriminately (Gülmez Y, 2017). Research is continuing on how to address this drawback of melittin in cancer applications (Wehbe R, 2019).
BV is anti-viral and anti-bacterial: The two main components of BV, melittin and PLA2, have antimicrobial activities and can be used as complementary anti-bacterial agents (Hegazi A, 2014).
BV and melittin have significant antiviral effects against numerous enveloped viruses (vesicular stomatitis virus, influenza A virus, herpes simplex virus, etc.) and non-enveloped viruses (enterovirus-71 and coxsackie virus) (Uddin MB, 2016). One study showed that melittin protected mice that were exposed to lethal doses of influenza A H1N1 virus (Uddin MB, 2016). BV interacts directly with the viral surface and can suppress viral replication in the host cell (Uddin MB, 2016).
BV may help treat Lyme disease: Lyme disease is a tick-borne, multi-systemic disease, caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. It has been found that both bee venom and melittin had significant effects on tested forms of B. burgdorferi (Socarras KM, 2017).
In contrast, the control antibiotics, used individually or in combinations, had limited effects. Findings strongly suggest that whole bee venom or melittin could be effective antimicrobial agents for B. burgdorferi although further research is necessary to evaluate their effectiveness (Socarras KM, 2017).
BV can improve skin: Bee venom is being added to facial products like serums and moisturizers. It can promote skin health by reducing inflammation, providing antibacterial effects and reducing wrinkles.
A 12-week study in 22 women demonstrated that applying a facial serum containing bee venom twice daily significantly reduced wrinkle depth and total wrinkle count, compared with the placebo (Sang MH, 2015). Another 6-week study found that 77% of participants with mild to moderate acne who used a serum containing purified bee venom twice daily experienced an improvement in acne, compared with the placebo (Han SM, 2016).
BVT is being used to help with an allergy to bee stings: An allergic reaction to a bee sting may be a life-threatening anaphylactic shock reaction (Sahiner UM, 2019). In these cases, BVT is the most effective treatment for preventing a systemic reaction to a bee sting and decreases the risk of anaphylaxis (Sahiner UM, 2019).
Peripheral tolerance development is the main mechanism, which involves T regulatory cells (Sahiner UM, 2019). Several other mechanisms are also involved in the development of long-term immune tolerance (Sahiner UM, 2019).
Studies are being done to identify further benefits of bee venom therapy. Initial findings suggest that BV can be a powerful tool in immune health and allergy treatment (Park S, 2015).
Nitty Gritty: There are a number of things that bee venom can do: Bee venom is anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-bacterial. It can help with neurological diseases, cancer and Lyme disease. It is used to improve skin condition and to treat allergy to bee stings. Other uses for bee venom are being researched.
Bee venom therapy should be administered by a professional. Adverse reactions to BVT are not uncommon (Park JH, 2015). It can cause some reactions such as local itching or swelling (Zhang S, 2018). Side effects range from minor skin reactions that usually resolve over several days to life-threating severe immunological responses such as anaphylaxis (Park JH, 2015). Because of the risk of anaphylactic shock, practitioners must be trained in how to handle a serious adverse reaction and must have the appropriate education and qualifications (Park JH, 2015).
That being said, many people who think they have an allergy to bees may in fact be allergic to wasps instead. Also, bee keepers have shown to have lower total IgE (allergic part of the immune system) and high total IgG (important part of the immune system protecting against infection and threats). This can be a great therapy that has unique things to offer people struggling with allergies and/or chronic infections.
Nitty Gritty: Bee venom therapy can be a very helpful therapy used for a number of conditions. It is important to work with a qualified practitioner. It is a safe therapy when administered by a trained professional.
How to Find out More
If you live in Colorado or are willing to travel to the Greater Denver Area, please book a discovery call with our clinic to find out more about bee venom therapy. Click here to book a complimentary 15-minute discovery call now. You can also call or text 720-722-1143 to find out more.