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Medicine Bee Herbals - Article Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Bee Venom Therapy

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Bee Venom Therapy

The whole fabric of honey bee society depends on communication-------
on an innate ability to send and receive messages, to encode and decode
information.

-- The Honey Bee

Medicine Dragonfly WomanYou may find it difficult to imagine voluntarily getting stung by a honey bee, but patients with MS who use bee venom therapy take about 4,000 stings a year, at the rate of 20-40 live bee stings per sitting, three times a week. Using bee stings for medicinal purposes {called apitherapy} is clearly not for the faint-hearted, but who would rather be sick for life when, after a few pinpricks, you could enjoy dramatic improvements?

Echinacea and BeesWhile the medicinal uses of bee products are known widely around the world and have been used in China since antiquity, their use in American holistic medicine has started only recently. With more than 1,500 papers on the healing benefits of bee stings published in European and Asian scientific journals, the idea of stinging for health is now gathering momentum in America. The therapeutic use of honey-bee stings is still in its early days: exact dosages and length of treatment are still being investigated. Helping this progression along is the pioneering work of the International Apitherapy Study {IAS}.

Bee venom can be injected into the skin of the patient either by hypodermic needle or by the direct contact of the honey bee. Here, the practitioner holds a live bee in a pair of tweezers, places it in contact with a particular spot on the patient’s body, and lets nature do the rest. Dosage is determined by how long you let the stinger remain in the skin: for example, you can remove it instantly or let it remain for five minutes.

Treating MS requires the most prolonged treatment, according to IAS data, which is tracking 4,500 individuals with MS. Yet patients report an easing of symptoms, such as less fatigued and reduced cramps, after only 20-40 stings. The bee therapy field is rich with almost unbelievable stories of crippled, bedridden MS patients walking and leading productive lives again within 6-18 months of beginning bee sting treatment.

Worker BeesPeer-reviewed studies of bee venom published in scientific journals have begun to unravel how this natural substance gets such astonishing results. First, the bee venom works both locally, at the site of injection, and systemically, through stimulating the immune system. Second, bee venom contains substances whose anti-inflammatory effect is 100 times stronger than hydrocortisone {and you don’t get unpleasant drug side effects with bee venom}. Research also indicates that bee venom is a potent antioxidant.

All these benefits do come with a slight risk. Scientists estimate that about 2% of the population is allergic to honey bee stings and will experience an allergic or even anaphylactic shock reaction to the venom.

Excerpts from Alternative Medicine,
Second Edition, Burton Goldberg

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