Bee sting! It gives me goose bumps whenever I think about bee stings. I was once bitten by a bee in my childhood and the affected part was swollen for many days. As a child I used to think surviving a bee sting was a brave thing, but I am amazed to see that some people choose to get bitten by bees for the treatment of some specific health conditions. This may sound bit crazy, but latest research shows that venom from bee sting can help treat and even prevent arthritis.
What does the bee sting study reveal?
The research was conducted by a team from University of Sao Paulo in Brazil and they found that the harmful inflammation in joints that lead to rheumatoid arthritis can be controlled by the bee venom. Lead researcher Suzana Beatriz Veríssimo de Mello, who teaches rheumatology at the University of São Paulo, said bee venom causes increased levels of anti-inflammatory hormones called glucocorticoids.
Why is bee venom helpful for Arthritis?
Researchers believe that the venom contains molecules that cause increase in natural hormones in the body that are responsible for the inflammation seen in Arthritis. De Mello said that “Bee venom is a complex mixture of substances that are known to induce immune and allergic responses in humans.”
Is this a new discovery?
It looks like from De Mello’s statement that bees venom has been used for ages to treat rheumatoid arthritis. She said – “Nevertheless, bee venom has been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis for centuries. However, the placebo effect has been described in studies investigating bee venom anti-inflammatory properties in arthritic patients.” I think the underlined statement message is that until now, there was no scientific...
evidence of treatment of arthritis by bee sting.
Is there any other disease that can be treated with bee venom?
Based on the study, there is no doubt that the experts believe bee venom can be used to develop new treatments for relieving the pain of arthritis and even prevent it from developing in the first place.
It is also believed that bee sting therapy, in which patients endure hundreds of stings by bees in the hope of getting better, is often used as a form of alternative medicine to treat a range of conditions such as asthma and multiple sclerosis.
I know one product from bees – bees wax, which is used as lip balm and as a matter of fact is a good product for your lips in winter. I was not aware of medicinal uses of bee venom. As far as I can read into this research, scientists have made a good progress in linking the effect of bees venom to arthritis, but it looks like lot of work is required to isolate the specific molecule(s) that cause this benefit, so that it can be added into medicine and taken as a pill, etc. Do you think next time you see a bee, instead of running from it; you want it to bite you!