Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bee Venom Suppresses Parkinson's Disease

Bee venom has interesting effects on the body. It produces an effect locally (good for aching joints) and systemically (stimulating adrenal glands), which is why I consider those unexpected bee stings a boost for my immune system...

Neuroprotective Effects of Bee Venom by suppression of Neuroinflammatory Responses in Mouse Model of Parkinson’s Disease: Role of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ Regulatory T Cells

In the present study, we examined whether bee venom (BV) promotes the survival of nigrostriatal dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the MPTP-induced Parkinson’s disease (PD) mice model.

Treatment of BV prevented degeneration of nigrostriatal DA neurons, increased striatal dopamine levels, and improved motor function. This neuroprotection afforded by bee venom was associated with the suppression of microglia and inhibition of recruitment of CD4+ T cells.
Additionally, CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ Treg cells were significantly increased in vivo and in vitro after treatment of BV.

Therefore, we carefully propose that neuroprotection of BV might be associated with its anti-inflammatory properties and could be employed as novel therapeutic agents for PD and other disorders associated with neuroinflammation.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Malaysian Gelam Honey Heals Wounds

Monofloral honeys continue to show effectiveness in healing wounds. No matter where they are located, honey bees make good medicine...

E-CAM, 2012, May 18

Honey is one of the oldest substances used in wound management. Efficacy of Gelam honey in wound healing was evaluated in this paper.

Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups of 24 rats each (untreated group, saline group, Intrasite Gel group, and Gelam honey group) with 2 cm by 2 cm full thickness, excisional wound created on neck area. Wounds were dressed topically according to groups. Rats were sacrificed on days 1, 5, 10, and 15 of treatments. Wounds were then processed for macroscopic and histological observations.

Gelam-honey-dressed wounds healed earlier (day 13) than untreated and saline treated groups, as did wounds treated with Intrasite Gel. Honey-treated wounds exhibited less scab and only thin scar formations. Histological features demonstrated positive effects of Gelam honey on the wounds.

This paper showed that Gelam honey dressing on excisional wound accelerated the process of wound healing.

Wound healing is a complex biological cascade of cellular and biochemical events comprised of three phases: inflammation, proliferation, and maturation... A rapid increase of interest in the use of honey as wound dressing among researchers and modern practitioners includes case studies and clinical trials reporting the effectiveness of honey in the treatment of different types of wounds, with some showing effectiveness against bacterial strains resistant to synthetic antibiotics...
Day 10: (i) none (ii) saline (iii) gel (iv) honey
Honey Sample:
Gelam honey is a local monofloral honey produced by Apis mellifera bees from the flora source of Gelam (Melaleuca spp.) tree... The honey was obtained by the normal procedure of centrifuging the cut comb in a stainless steel container and filtered once by using a fine muslin cloth. The honey used was sterilized by gamma-irradiation (25 kGy) and kept at laboratory temperature (20°C), away from direct sunlight in aluminum foil covered glass bottle... 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Spinal Cord Injury Diminished with Neuroprotective Effect of Royal Jelly

Royal Jelly also has a stimulating, activating effect on the central nervous system and shows neurotrophic effects on the mature brain....

Royal Jelly Can Diminish Secondary Neuronal Damage After Experimental Spinal Cord Injury in Rabbits
Food ChemToxicol, 2012 Apr 17

The aim of this experimental study was to investigate the neuroprotective effect of Royal jelly (RJ) on traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI).

Twenty-one New Zealand male rabbits, weighing between 2.5 and 3.0kg were divided into three groups: Sham (no drug or operation, n=7), Control (laminectomy+single dose of 1ml/kg saline orally, after trauma; n=7) and RJ (laminectomy+100mg/kg RJ, orally, after trauma, n=7). Laminectomy was performed at T10 and balloon catheter was applied extradurally for traumatic SCI. Four and 24h after surgery, rabbits were evaluated according to the Tarlov scoring system. Blood, cerebrospinal fluid and tissue sample from spinal cord were taken for measurements of antioxidant status or detection of apoptosis. Four hours after SCI, all animals in control or RJ treated groups became paraparesic.

Significant improvement was observed in RJ treated group, 24h after SCI, with respect to control.

Traumatic SCI led to increase in the lipid peroxidation and decrease enzymic or non-enzymic endogenous antioxidative defense systems, and increase in apoptotic cell numbers.

RJ treatment mostly prevented lipid peroxidation and also augmented endogenous enzymic or non-enzymic antioxidative defense systems. Again, RJ treatment significantly decreased the apoptotic cell number induced by SCI.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

First Intl Conf on Api-Phytotherapy, May 18-20

Having just returned from an Api-Phytotherapie Conference in Toulouse, it's evident that the strength of Apitherapy is plant-based and it's important to include all that is phyto and vital to complementary and alternative medicine...

First International Conference on Api-Phytotherapy
Morocco (Fez), May 18-20 2012

This week-end, in the city of Fez, Morocco, will host an historic event: the First International Conference on Api-Phytotherapy!

As Apitherapy is based on bee products that have at least a 60% vegetal origin (for example, propolis, honey, bee pollen and bee bread).

On the other hand, most apitherapists, all over the world, prescribe also medicinal herbs to their patients/clients.

Over the years, Romania has hosted several conferences and workshops on Api-Phytotherapy, but they were mainly at a national level. So, the need to finally organize an international Api-PHYTO-therapy event was obvious.

Fortunately, due to the extraordinary efforts of Prof. Badiaa Lyoussi and her team, Romanian experts will assist in the first "International Api-Phytotherapy" event.

Visit their website for more information on the scale of this event where many world-reknown Api-Phytotherapy experts will be present.

You may also contact Pr. Badiaa Lyoussi directly at:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bee Venom Works For Shingles and Osteoarthritis

It's certainly not easy to conduct a double-blind study of bee stings. Yet when one isn't expecting it or not aware of its health benefits, it's difficult to claim the improvements are caused by the "placebo effect". I know many people who've benefited from bee venom therapy...

Bee Stings Banish Shingles Pain 2012, May 3
Q. My dad has suffered with pain from shingles for almost 2 years. Yesterday, during a nap on the deck, he got stung on the toe by a bee. Even though that was painful, he's feeling no shingles pain! Did you ever heard of such a thing? He's perplexed but elated, for however long the freedom lasts.

A. Several years ago we met a physician who told us that he had surprising success treating people with postherpetic neuralgia (long-lasting shingles pain) with bee stings (apitherapy). We know that shingles pain can be agonizing and there are few treatments that really work well.

We have heard similar stories from people suffering with arthritis. Years ago we received this letter: 
    "While snoozing on the porch I was stung on the finger by a tiny bee. The result: intense pain and after that a great reduction of arthritis in my arm."

Another visitor to our website reported: 
    "I was stung on my left leg five times by yellow jackets. I have osteoarthritis in my left knee, and the pain has been gone since I was stung. I'm hoping that it will last! "If I had a choice, though I would definitely pick honeybee stings over yellow jackets as they're much less painful."

Some prominent doctors used bee venom therapy to treat arthritis between the two World Wars. Hospital pharmacies even stocked injectable bee venom.
Apitherapy fell out of favor for lack of scientific proof. But people are now trying bee stings again for arthritis and other chronic conditions.

Some people keep honeybees to sting their sore joints. Others get their doctors to inject venom used for bee allergy desensitization. No one allergic to bee stings should try this treatment, for one sting could trigger a fatal reaction.

To learn more about apitherapy you may wish to listen to our one-hour radio show on this topic. It can be ordered as a one-hour CD. Or visit the American Apitherapy Society website or the international Apitherapy website.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Propolis Suppresses Prostate Cancer Cells

Propolis is a proven, preventative solution for cancer. CAPE is one of several flavonoids which exhibit anti-tumor properties. Other flavonoids which express the same activity include chrysine, quercetin, artepillin C, Methyl caffeate, Methyl feruleate and Diterpendoid of clerodan...

Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Suppresses the Proliferation of Human Prostate Cancer Cells through Inhibition of p70S6K and Akt Signaling Networks
Cancer PrevRes 2012 May 1

Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is a bioactive component derived from honeybee hive propolis. CAPE has been shown to have antimitogenic, anticarcinogenic, and other beneficial medicinal properties. Many of its effects have been shown to be mediated through its inhibition of NF-κB signaling pathways.

We took a systematic approach to uncover the effects of CAPE from hours to days on the signaling networks in human prostate cancer cells. We observed that CAPE dosage dependently suppressed the proliferation of LNCaP, DU-145, and PC-3 human prostate cancer cells. Administration of CAPE by gavage significantly inhibited the tumor growth of LNCaP xenografts in nude mice. Using LNCaP cells as a model system, we examined the effect of CAPE on gene expression, protein signaling, and transcriptional regulatory networks using micro-Western arrays and PCR arrays.

We built a model of the impact of CAPE on cell signaling which suggested that it acted through inhibition of Akt-related protein signaling networks. Overexpression of Akt1 or c-Myc, a downstream target of Akt signaling, significantly blocked the antiproliferative effects of CAPE.

In summary, our results suggest that CAPE administration may be useful as an adjuvant therapy for prostate and potentially other types of cancers that are driven by the p70S6K and Akt signaling networks.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Bee Venom Component Prevents Atherosclerosis

Interestingly enough, propolis also shows strong apoptotic (programmed cell death) activity. As a beekeeper, I welcome bee stings as a natural booster shot for my immune system. Fortunately, bee stings stimulate the body locally and systemically...

Apamin Inhibits THP-1-Derived Macrophage Apoptosis Via Mitochondria-Related Apoptotic Pathway
Exp MolPathol, 2012 Apr 17

The development of atherosclerotic lesions is mainly due to macrophage death. The oxidative stresses of monocytes/macrophages play a vital role in the initiation and amplification of atherosclerosis.

Apamin, a component of bee venom, exerts an anti-inflammatory effect, and selectively inhibits the Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels. The mechanisms involved in the inhibition of macrophage apoptosis have been fully elucidated.
We induced oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) in THP-1-derived macrophage and studied the effect of apamin on intercellular lipid levels, mitochondria-related apoptotic pathway and numbers of apoptotic cells. Oil-red O staining indicates that the inhibition of apamin in the condition significantly prevents intracellular lipid deposition.

Treatment with apamin significantly decreased the apoptotic macrophages by decreasing the expression of pro-apoptotic genes Bax, caspase-3 and PARP protein levels, as well as through increasing expression of anti-apoptotic genes Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL protein levels in the absence and presence of oxLDL. In vivo, with apamin treatment reduced apoptotic cells death by TUNEL staining.

These results indicate that apamin plays an important role in monocyte/macrophage apoptotic processing, which may provide a potential drug for preventing atherosclerosis.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Propolis Outperforms Dexamethasone in Surgical Wounds

Propolis speeds up the healing process and stimulates collagen development. This study clearly shows a big advantage in using propolis in place of surgical creams...

Effect of Topical Application of Different Substances on Fibroplasia in Cutaneous Surgical Wounds
ISRNDermatol, 2012 

Fibroblasts on the edges of a surgical wound are induced to synthesize collagen during the healing process which is known as fibroplasia.

The aim of this study was to determine the effect of the application of different substances on fibroplasia of cutaneous surgical wounds on rats.

Materials and Methods
48 Wistar rats were divided into three groups. A surgical wound 1 cm in diameter and 1  mm in depth was created on the dorsum of each animal. The surgical wounds were submitted to the topical application of an alcoholic extract of 30% propolis, 70% alcohol, or 0.001% dexamethasone in a cream base every 12 hours. The animals were sacrificed three, seven, 14, and 28 days postoperatively. The specimens were histologically processed and stained with Masson's trichrome. The assessment of fibroplasia was performed using a scoring system: (1) 5 to 25% collagen deposition; (2) 26 to 50% collagen deposition; (3) 51 to 75% collagen deposition; (4) more than 75% collagen deposition.

There were statistically significant differences in collagen deposition between the substances at all postoperative evaluation times.

Propolis and alcohol promoted greater collagen deposition in surgical wounds than dexamethasone.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Propolis: The Chemopreventative Anticancer Drug

The anti-tumor effects of Propolis are verified once again in detail. This protector of the beehive is the natural protector for all mankind and all in the animal kingdom... 

The Anticancer Activity of Propolis
FoliaHistochem Cytobiol, 2012 Apr
[click here for full pdf]
Propolis and its compounds have been the subject of many studies due to their antimicrobial and antiinflammatory activity; however, it is now known that they also possess antitumor properties.

This review aims to summarize the results of studies on the mechanism of activity of propolis and its active compounds such as CAPE and chrysin in the apoptotic process, and their influence on the proliferation of cancer cells.

Our review shows that propolis and its presented compounds induce apoptosis pathways in cancer cells. The antiproliferative effects of propolis, CAPE or chrysin in cancer cells are the result of the suppression of complexes of cyclins, as well as cell cycle arrest.

The results of in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that propolis, CAPE and chrysin may inhibit tumor cell progression and may be useful as potential chemotherapeutic or chemopreventive anticancer drugs...

With an increasing incidence rate of cancer worldwide, new anticancer agents are still required. One of the benefits of anticancer therapy is the ability to initiate apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in cancer cells. The studies presented in this review suggest that propolis and its compounds, CAPE and chrysin, may inhibit cell cycle proliferation or induce apoptosis in tumor cells...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Honey Treats Coughs Better Than Drugs

This is a follow-up study based upon results in 2004 that confirmed honey had better results than over-the-counter cough syrups for coughs and upper respiratory tract infections...

Honey Treats Coughs Better Than Drugs

There may be hope for parents looking for alternatives to drug-laden cough syrup to calm their children's coughs -- and help might be as close as that golden nectar in the kitchen. Honey can soothe throats and calm coughs, according to a new study.

The study, published Monday in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, found that children who received a small dose of buckwheat honey before bedtime slept better and coughed less than those who received either a common over-the-counter cough suppressant (dextromethorphan) or nothing at all.

"This is the first time honey has been actually proven as a treatment," says lead study author Dr. Ian Paul, a researcher at Penn State College of Medicine. He adds that honey has been recommended for ages by grandparents in certain cultures.

The researchers enrolled 105 children, between ages 2 and 18, in their randomized, partially double-blind study. On the first night of the study, the children received no treatment. Parents then answered questions about their children's sleep and cough, as well as the quality of their own sleep. The second night, the children were given either honey-flavored cough syrup or honey -- or nothing at all. Parents then reanswered the questions in the survey.

Parents whose children received the honey rated their kids' sleep and symptoms as better -- and their own sleep as improved as well...

Healing Powers of Honey
Paul says that the type of honey plays a role in the treatment.

"Darker honeys have more antioxidants than lighter honeys, and we wanted the best chance to see improvements," he says, noting that lighter honeys would probably also benefit kids. "At least locally [buckwheat honey] is available. I can get it here at the local supermarket."

Honey is also generally less expensive than over-the-counter medications, he says, and bring none of the side effects like dizziness or sleepiness.

The current study was inspired by an earlier investigation by Paul and his group. In 2004,...