Friday, March 30, 2012

Propolis Essential Oil Treats Anxiety and Stress

Propolis contains up to 10% essential oils, more in quantity than most aromatic plants. This could explain why each time we smell propolis or air from the beehive, we experience a nice, relaxing sensation... 

Therapeutic Effects of Propolis Essential Oil on Anxiety of Restraint-Stressed Mice
Hum Exp Toxicol,  2012, February 

Propolis has a broad spectrum of biological activities; however, whether its essential oils have neuroprotective effects is unknown.

In this study, we found that propolis essential oil (PEO) could significantly reverse the anxiety-like behavior of restraint-stressed mice, and has no effect on locomotor activity. Furthermore, PEO significantly decreased the plasma levels of cortisol (CORT), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and malondialdehyde (MDA), whereas it increased the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) in restraint-stressed mice.

These results strongly suggest that PEO has therapeutic effects on anxiety through antagonizing the hyperfunction of hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and improving the ability of antioxidation in brain tissue.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Five Reasons Why Honey Heals

Honey is good, natural "medicine" for everyone - inside and out. So take it daily or rub it on and treat your body well and bee healthy...

Honey’s ‘healing powers’ can be summarised into 5 main ingredients or activities of the components of honey
Scientific American, 2012, March 21

Hydrogen peroxide – Honey contains an enzyme called glucose oxidase which breaks down glucose sugars and generates hydrogen peroxide, a kind of bleach, when there is free water available. In case you missed the antimicrobial component it was friggin BLEACH IN YOUR HONEY. I can feel you wondering why bees would bleach their own food supply and it turns out that is very simple. Any available water can cause the honey to spoil so the presence of glucose oxidase in the honey is an inbuilt anti-spoiling mechanism, pretty smart huh?
photos of honey-healed wound in 3 weeks 
Sugar – The hydrogen peroxide control mechanism is a back up as very little free water exists in honey. The lack of free water is due to the vast amount of sugar dissolved into honey which gives it a low water activity. This essentially means that honey is more likely to take up water from its surroundings than have water removed from it and if you are a micro-organism it makes it very difficult to survive.

Methylglyoxal or MGO – This compound is an incredibly interesting and powerful antibacterial compound but, it is only found in certain natural honeys (Manuka honey from New Zealand) although it can be made in artificial greenhouses as well. This is the stuff that is making honey a potentially very useful topical salve (with the possibility of other forms of treatment being considered) in medical honey treatments such as MediHoney.

Bee Defensin 1 – Bee Defensin is an antimicrobial peptide (AMP) that for a long time was thought to be exclusively found in the Royal Jelly (The food worker bees make for potential Queen larve). But fairly recent discoveries have found it in the honey, but more on AMPs in a second.

Acidity – Finally, honey is fairly acidic and remains so even when diluted holding a pH of approximately 3.5. Nothing that likes eating you particularly likes living in acid so this property is very important.
No single property is more important than the others and the multifactorial nature of honey’s activities is probably the key to its amazing antimicrobial nature. Having said this, Bee Defensin 1 and other identified AMPs in honey such as Apidaecin may have much more involved roles that are only recently being uncovered...

Interestingly, apidaecins seem to also have the ability to alter the host immune system by modifying chemotaxis (movement of cells in the immune system), apoptosis (induced cell death), cytokine/chemokine production (the production of signalling chemicals which direct the immune response), antigen presentation and the Th1/Th2 balance (whether you fight the nasty with B cells or T cells).

In most cases the ability of apidaecins (and their homologues) to modulate the immune system has been done in the the organism the AMP was originally recovered from but some recent work sugests the potential for insect apidaecin to have a crossover effect on a mammalian system. While apidaecin is insect derived it appears to be sufficiently similar in shape to human AMPs that it can interact with and modify the activity of our immune system. When macrophages in particular were incubated with apidaecin they started pumping out chemokines and cytokines that promote increased antimicrobial activity in these cells...

While only preliminary, it seems honey and its various components might have more secrets to unveil which will further develop our understanding of the anti-microbial nature of this environmental product and at the same time its pro-immune responses elicited when we use it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Apitherapy Symposium, Workshop Boston Area, April 28-29

These workshops and symposiums are fantastic, intense sessions on the truly marvelous merits of honeybees, helping humans and animals with better health...

The American Apitherapy Society, Inc. & the York County Beekeepers Association Present “Honey Bees for Health,” An Apitherapy Symposium & Workshop
April 28-29, 2012
York Harbor Inn, York Harbor, ME
For more information:

All are welcome to this event in York Harbor in Southern Maine, just one hour north of Boston, MA. You will be able to learn from three experienced Apitherapists (two physicians and one acupuncturist), and interact with them and other people interested in Apitherapy. 

This ancient form of medicine with products of the beehive (honey, pollen, propolis, bee venom, and royal jelly) is used for health and healing throughout the world. The use of these products to maintain health is currently becoming well recognized in mainstream as well as scientific publications, and their power to heal when illness or accident occurs is also documented.

Conditions such as arthritis, MS, pain, and wounds are known to respond well to Apitherapy. Examples of material covered at this event are:  
 - adverse reactions, 
 - informed consent 
 - legal issues,
 - treatment of scars
 - Veterinary Apitherapy
 - Apitherapy for pain, arthritis, and accidents

The AAS is a nonprofit membership organization established for the purpose of educating about Apitherapy. This event is a prelude to the more comprehensive program of AAS’s course and conference (known as CMACC) to be given this year, October 5 - 7 in Portland, Oregon.

AAS and YCBA look forward to having you with us at the end of April. Enjoy early Spring in Maine at a beautiful historic inn, close to many of southern Maine’s coastal natural resources, as well as to fine shopping.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Propolis Protects Against Chemo & Radio Therapy-Induced Toxicity

Propolis protects prophylactically and preventatively ... an amazing feature that also modulates the immune system by boosting or balancing the production of healthy cells...

The Potential Usage of Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester (CAPE) Against Chemotherapy-Induced and Radiotherapy-Induced Toxicity
CellBiochem Funct, 2012 March 20

Protection of the patients against the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy regimens has attracted increasing interest of clinicians and practitioners.

Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), which is extracted from the propolis of honeybee hives as an active component, specifically inhibits nuclear factor κB at micromolar concentrations and show ability to stop 5-lipoxygenase-catalysed oxygenation of linoleic acid and arachidonic acid. CAPE has antiinflammatory, antiproliferative, antioxidant, cytostatic, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antineoplastic properties.

The purpose of this review is to summarize in vivo and in vitro usage of CAPE to prevent the chemotherapy-induced and radiotherapy-induced damages and side effects in experimental animals and to develop a new approach for the potential usage of CAPE in clinical trial as a protective agent during chemotherapy and radiotherapy regimens.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Honey Boosts Healthy Gut Bacteria

Their early findings were presented at Apimondia in 2009 and it's great to finally read what they were so excited about. Honey bees protect their pollen and bee bread with healthy bacteria, good for them, good for humans...

Healthy Lactic Acid Bacteria in Wild Honey Bees Can Fight Bacterial Infections
PLoS One, March 15, 2012

The stomachs of wild honey bees are full of healthy lactic acid bacteria that can fight bacterial infections in both bees and humans. A collaboration between researchers at three universities in Sweden - Lund University, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Karolinska Institute - has produced findings that could be a step towards solving the problems of both bee deaths and antibiotic resistance.

The researchers have now published their results in the scientific journal PloS ONE and the legendary science photographer Professor Lennart Nilsson from Karolinska Institutet has illustrated the findings with his unique images.

Today, many people eat healthy lactic acid bacteria that are added to foods such as yogurt.
"In our previous studies, we have looked at honey bees in Sweden. What we have now found from our international studies is that, historically, people of all cultures have consumed the world's greatest natural blend of healthy bacteria in the form of honey", says Alejandra Vasquez, a researcher at Lund University.

In wild and fresh honey, which honey hunters collect from bees' nests in high cliffs and trees, there are billions of healthy lactic acid bacteria of 13 different types. This is in comparison with the 1-3 different types found in commercial probiotic products, she explains.

The honey bees have used these bacteria for 80 million years to produce and protect their honey and their bee bread (bee pollen), which they produce to feed the entire bee colony. The researchers have now also shown that the healthy lactic acid bacteria combat the two most serious bacterial diseases to affect honey bees…

"As humans have learnt to use honey to treat sore throats, colds and wounds, our hypothesis is that the healthy bee bacteria can also kill harmful disease bacteria in humans. We have preliminary, unpublished results which show that this could be a new tool to complement or even replace antibiotics", says Alejandra Vasquez…

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Propolis Helps Treat Middle Ear Infections

Propolis and its powerful, naturally-ocurring ingredient, CAPE (caffeic acid phenethyl ester) is well-known to aid human and animal species...

Effect of Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester (CAPE) on H(2)O(2) Induced Oxidative and Inflammatory Responses in Human Middle Ear Epithelial Cells

Acute otitis media (OM) is a common pediatric disease. Recent research into the pathogenesis of OM has focused on oxidative damage, induced by oxygen free radicals, to the middle ear mucosa along with inflammation. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is a biologically active ingredient of propolis honey bees, with antioxidative and anti-inflammatory activities. The effect of CAPE on hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2))-induced inflammatory and oxidative reactions in the middle ear is still not known. The aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects of CAPE on cultured human middle ear epithelial cells (HMEECs).

The inflammatory injury of H(2)O(2) and the anti-inflammatory effect of CAPE were determined by measuring levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and COX-2) with real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analysis. Oxidative stress induced by H(2)O(2) and antioxidative effects of CAPE were evaluated directly by reactive oxygen species (ROS) production using flow cytometric analysis of 5-(and-6)-chloromethyl-2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate, acetyl ester (CM-H(2)DCFDA), and indirectly by the expression of superoxide dismutase (SOD) using Western blot analysis. The effect of CAPE was compared with N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) which has well-known antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects.

CAPE significantly inhibited H(2)O(2)-induced upregulation of TNF-α and COX-2 expression in a dose and time dependent manner. ROS accumulation induced by H(2)O(2) stimulation was decreased by CAPE pretreatment. Induced SOD expression after H(2)O(2) stimulation was diminished by CAPE pretreatment. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects of CAPE were similar to those of NAC.

These findings suggest that inflammation induced by H(2)O(2) can be inhibited by CAPE via inhibition of the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α and COX-2. Furthermore, CAPE has antioxidative effects, which decreases the need for endogenous SOD expression.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Denver Bee Hosts Apitherapy Seminar, March 27

A special meeting with experienced apitherapist, Dr. Frederique Keller, is certified to be an enlightening, inspiring and stimulating event...  

Apitherapy Evening
March 27, 7pm

Location:  Denver Beekeepers Association Meting
Denver Police Station District 1 Community Room

1311 West 46th Avenue
Denver, Colorado 

Dr. Frederique Keller, licensed acupuncturist and medical herbalist in a private practice that also incorporates classical homeopathy and bee venom therapy as well as utilizes honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly and bee bread where applicable. She also works in a second office specializing in sports and spinal injuries. 

Propolis Antimicrobial Properties Disinfects Eggs

What's true for humans is also true for chickens - the natural antiseptic properties of propolis have been proven beneficial for numerous species...

Effects of Propolis on Eggshell Microbial Activity, Hatchability, and Chick Performance in Japanese Quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) Eggs
Poultry Science, 2012 April

Propolis is a sticky resin produced by worker honeybees from substances collected from plants, and it has strong antibacterial and antifungal properties.

The purpose of this study was to establish the effects of propolis on egg weight loss, hatchability, chick performance, and to control microbial activity naturally occurring on eggshells.

A total of 750 fresh eggs was randomly divided into 5 groups. Eggs from the first group were sprayed with ethyl alcohol (70%, A), the second group was sprayed with benzalkonium chloride (B), and the third, fourth, and fifth groups were sprayed with propolis at 3 doses: 5, 10, and 15%. Eggs sprayed with propolis had lower egg weight loss than eggs from groups A and B (P < 0.001). Bacterial activity was reduced significantly in all propolis groups. There were no significant differences between treatments for hatchability, embryonic mortality, BW gain, and relative growth.

Results of the present study indicated that propolis could be an alternative hatching egg disinfectant versus a chemical disinfectant, without adverse effects on hatchability and performance of quail chicks.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Honey Provides Better, Faster Treatment for Burn Wounds

Incredible as it may seem, honey heals wounds and burns, protecting against inflammation or infection and enhancing new tissue formation and thus reducing scarring...

Comparison Between Topical Honey and Mafenide Acetate in Treatment of Burn Wounds

Histological and clinical studies of wound healing were performed in comparable cases of fresh partial-thickness burns treated with honey dressing or mafenide acetate in two groups of 50 randomly allocated patients.

Of the patients with honey-treated wounds, 84% showed satisfactory epithelialization by day 7 and 100% by day 21. In wounds treated with mafenide acetate, epithelialization occurred by day 7 in 72% of cases and in 84% by day 21. Histological evidence of reparative activity was observed in 80% of wounds treated with honey dressing by day 7 with minimal inflammation.

Fifty-two per cent of the mafenide acetate treated wounds showed reparative activity with inflammatory changes by day 7. Reparative activity reached 100% by day 21 with the honey dressing and 84% with mafenide acetate.

Thus, in honey-dressed wounds, early subsidence of acute inflammatory changes, better control of infection, and quicker wound healing were observed, while in mafenide acetate treated wounds a sustained inflammatory reaction was noted even on epithelialization. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Propolis Flavonoids Accelerate Wound Healing

Propolis flavonoids are numerous but those of great interest are CAPE (caffeic acid phenethyl ester), chrysin, kaempferol, pinocembrin, galangin and artepillin C. These vary on the geographical source of propolis, due the wide variety of polyphenols harvested by the honeybees in the region. Nonetheless, the anti-inflammatory effects have great importance for many applications...

Flavonoids in propolis acting on mast cell-mediated wound healing
Inflammapharmacology, 2012 Feb 17
Salvatore Chirumbolo, University of Verona Italy 

Barroso et al. have shown, on the latest issue of Inflammopharmacology, that the topical application of propolis on surgical wounds affected the number of mast cells recruited in these sites, and suggested two well-known anti-inflammatory components present in propolis, namely caffeic acid and artepillin C, as possible active molecules (Borelli et al. 2002; Paulino et al. 2008). It is widely acknowledged that propolis down-regulates type I allergy and inflammation by affecting mast cells, but the effective components of propolis, which cause these effects, remain still unknown.

Propolis components vary depending on the area from which they are collected, mainly because of the genetic variability among wild plants in different geographic regions; variability in phenolics composition may result in different biochemical property of the propolis, depending on the main component active in raw propolis or in its extracts. In Chinese propolis, chrysin, kaempferol and its derivative, pinocembrin and galangin were identified as main flavonoids able to act on mast cell-mediated inflammatory response, while chrysin was shown to inhibit IL-4 and MCP-1 production from antigen-stimulated RBL-2H3 basophil/mast cell lines (Nakumura et al. 2010). On the other hand, Brazilian propolis extract contains only small amounts of these flavonoids, which might suggest that variation in propolis components could affect anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties (Nakumura et al. 2010). Brazilian propolis contains, therefore, major percentage of phenolic acids, such as caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) and artepillin C (Park et al. 2002). 

excerpt online at
As the activity of propolis, like many natural products, may be due to the synergic effect of several bioactive components, it will be necessary to distinguish between different types of propolis and analyse its complex compositions to guarantee specific biological activities of propolis diffused worldwide (Frankland Sawaya et al. 2011). Furthermore, inflammation by mast cells can be inhibited by several flavonoids present in propolis. Recent evidence was reported showing that chrysin decreased gene expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-ά, IL-1β, IL-4 and IL-6 in mast cells by a nuclear factor-κB (NF- κ B) and caspase-1 dependent mechanism (Bae et al. 2011). Genistein modulates NF- κ  B and TNF-ά expression during the early stage of wound healing (Park et al. 2011). CAPE accelerates cutaneous wound healing and its is arguable that propolis with a significant amount of this phenolic acid may exert a wound repairing property (Serarslan et al. 2007). 

The anti-inflammatory property attributed to flavonoids in propolis might suggest that these polyphenols should exert their action toward other newly discovered function of mast cells (Ng 2010), even in association with CAPE or other phenolic acids. Wound healing is a complex process of lysis and reconstitution controlled by a series of cell signaling proteins and involved tissue regeneration and angiogenesis (Hiromatsu and Toda 2003; Nienartowicz et al. 2006). Mast cells have been shown to play a significant role in the early inflammatory stage of wound healing and also influence proliferation and tissue remodeling in skin…

Monday, March 5, 2012

1st ApiMedical Tourism Conf & ApiExpo, Bangladesh 22-24 June

Apitherapy is recognized complementary and alternative medicine in numerous countries around the world and is continuing to integrate into other countries' health care choices...

First International Api-Medical Tourism Conference, Api-Expo in Bangladesh

Bangladesh Tourism Foundation announced its 'First International Api-Medical Tourism Conference and Api-Expo' 2012 to be held at Dhaka Bangladesh from 22-24 June, 2012.

The Conference and Expo is open to apitherapists, beekeepers, tour operators, scientists and clinicians on beehive products with the objective of opening the world of apitherapy to medical people, beekeepers, alternative health practitioners and tour operators. The goal is that ApiMedical Tourism will rise due to the increasing interest in apiculture and apitherapy.

Speakers will deliver the keynotes in the plenary sessions that will improve and refresh the global knowledge base. The conference platform is targeted to health specialists, researchers and ordinary practitioners with a therapeutic interest towards the uses of honey, apitoxin, royal jelly, bees wax, propolis and bee pollen.

For more information, contact: 
Mokhlesur Rahman
Bangladesh Tourism Foundation and Coordinator
First International Api-Medical Tourism Conference and Api-Expo 2012

Conference Secretariat
Room 305, Academic Building, Faculty of Business Studies, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Tel: (+8802)9661920-70 (hunting), Ext- 7970
Mobile: +880155245657, 01714117801

Friday, March 2, 2012

Over Half of Alternative Medicine Public Use Apitherapy

This study shows 54% who use CAM also use bee products, a tendance worth increasing with more information sharing on the therapeutic importance of Apitherapy... 

Public Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Riyadh Region, Saudi Arabia

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is well established worldwide. The present work is aimed at studying the knowledge, attitude and practice of CAM by the people of Riyadh region, Saudi Arabia.

A cross-sectional descriptive household survey study of the people living in Riyadh city, as well as the surrounding governorates. A multistage random sample was taken from 1(st) January to the end of March 2010, with a total number of 518 participants. Data were collected using a pre-designed questionnaire through direct interview. The data was collected based on socio-demography, as well as knowledge, attitude and practice of CAM.

Participants were nearly sex-matched, consisting of approximately 70% Saudi and 30% non-Saudis. About 89% of the participants had some knowledge of CAM. Mass media e.g. (T.V., newspapers and radio) and family, relatives and friends represented the main sources of CAM knowledge, (46.5% and 46.3% respectively). Nearly 85% of participants or one of their family members has used some form of CAM before, and the most common users of CAM practices were females, housewives, and illiterate subjects (or those who could just read and write), as well as participants aged 60 years and above. Medical herbs (58.89%), prayer (54%), honey and bee products (54%), hijama (35.71%) and cauterization or medical massage therapy (22%) were the commonly used CAM practices. Most participants agreed that there are needs for; CAM practices (93.8%), regulations for CAM (94.9%), health education (96.6%), specialized centers (94.8%) and CAM clinics (92.7%). While only 8.3% of participants usually discussed CAM with their physicians.

There is a high prevalence and increased public interest in CAM use in the Riyadh region. There is a positive attitude towards CAM, yet most participants are reluctant to share and discuss CAM information with their physicians.