After reading the title of this post, you may be saying to yourself......"I guess desperate people will try anything!". Well, that was my first reaction several years ago when I read about bee sting therapy being extremely useful for patients with multiple sclerosis. However, after reading some encouraging studies, hearing of patient's positive experiences and then trying bee venom products myself, I now view this subject in a different light. Let's focus on Lyme disease and some of the lyme related symptoms, which have been helped by using bee venom in different forms. I was not brave enough to try actual bee sting therapy so I opted for topical and internal bee venom products. I have been happy with the results. Here is a study done by the Rocky Mountain NIH Lab back in 1997 which shows that melittin, an active agent in bee venom, strongly inhibited the Lyme disease organism (borrelia burgdorferi)
Clin Infect Dis. 1997 Jul;25 Suppl 1:S48-51.
The antimicrobial agent melittin exhibits powerful in vitro inhibitory effects on the Lyme disease spirochete.
Lubke LL, Garon CF. Rocky Mountain Laboratories Microscopy Branch, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, Montana 59840, USA. Abstract Borrelia burgdorferi has demonstrated a capacity to resist the in vitro effects of powerful eukaryotic and prokaryotic metabolic inhibitors. However, treatment of laboratory cultures on Barbour-Stoenner-Kelly medium with melittin, a 26-amino acid peptide contained in honeybee venom, showed immediate and profound inhibitory effects when they were monitored by dark-field microscopy, field emission scanning electron microscopy, and optical density measurements. Furthermore, at melittin concentrations as low as 100 microg/mL, virtually all spirochete motility ceased within seconds of inhibitor addition. Ultrastructural examination of these spirochetes by scanning electron microscopy revealed obvious alterations in the surface envelope of the spirochetes. The extraordinary sensitivity of B. burgdorferi to mellitin may provide both a research reagent useful in the study of selective permeability in microorganisms and important clues to the development of effective new drugs against lyme disease. PMID: 9233664 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9233664 I decided to try bee venom on my painful knees and sore achilles tendons. It was becoming difficult to walk and to get any excercise. I used a bee venom ointment topically and bee venom mixed in honey for internal use. The first time I applied the ointment to my ankles, a few minutes later I could feel a pleasant warmth and tingling flowing up my legs. . An unexpected immediate benefit for me was the relief from restless leg syndrome. I was not applying the bee venom for this reason but it was a welcomed side effect. After about a month of fairly regular applications, my knee pain, tendonitis, and other stiffness also disappeared. However, I was using three remedies together...... gin soaked raisins ( a whole other post I need to write), the venom cream and the honey venom mixture for internal use. Because I was using several different remedies, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact hero in this story. I haven't had to use bee venom products for a while now because I have been doing fairly well....until yesterday. Last night I felt a headache coming on so having read that bee venom helps some people with headaches....I rubbed some bee venom cream on my temples and....it did go away. It could have been coincidence...but I think I won't hesitate to try it again next time I have a headache. The following is a link to Harrod Buhner's article which includes the benefits of bee venom. Buhner wrote the popular book....Healing Lyme. http://www.gaianstudies.org/articles9.htm The bee venom ointment and honey, available at Amazon(below) were not the brands I used in the past. The name of the brands I have been using are Venex ointment and Comvita Actiflex, which is the Manuka honey with bee venom added. I tried finding the Venex cream on Amazon but could not so I decided to order the brand below and test that out. It seems like a well known brand and the cream appears to be less expensive ...more for the money. I receive a small advertising fee when I sell products from Amazon....but if you would like to try the Venex brand cream, this is the website I got it fromhttp://www.dancingbeeacres.com/Qstore/Qstore.cgi?CMD=009&DEPT=1056165156&BACK=A0001A1
I have just ordered the two products above from Nelson Apiaries and will let you know, in a later post (maybe a month from now),how effective I think they are . Just a bit of warning....some people are allergic to bee products, especially venom, so if you do decide to try this ancient remedy....start slowly and monitor your reactions. Not all reactions mean that you are sensitive or allergic to bee venom. Many times patients experience a die off reaction, which is believed to be the consequence of toxins being released from dead organisms which are being killed off by whatever agent is used. A little research into this area will perhaps give you more confidence in determining whether a reaction is an allergic reaction or a herxheimer. Personally, I have not experienced any significant reactions.
I just started bee sting therapy for rheumatoid arthritis (suspected to be caused by (chronic) lyme.
The first two times (2 stings and 4 stings), not much happened other than the regular response to a sting (pain, later itching, clearing of brain fog, clearing of some fatigue). The third time (6 stings) I got extra swollen around the sting sites and that night I felt feverish and sick. Since I know I'm not allergic to bees, does this mean it's a herxheimer reaction? Should I reduce # of stings or stop?Or should I be encouraged?
How will I know for sure if it is a herxheimer reaction? I took some activated charcoal to clean up any possible toxins/die off floating around in my body.
I am taking anti-rheumatic drugs (Enbrel, which suppresses the immune system by intercepting TNF-alpha), so I'm also wondering if this will have an affect on the bee sting/healing response.
I have not tried actual bee stings and I am not a doctor....maybe you could go to Lymenet.org and post this question there. You also may want to find a yahoo group that works with bee sting therapy.
Herxheimers are usually exacerbations of symptoms you have normally or have had in the past from lyme or other infections. Because the bee stings were extra swollen and the fever accompanied the swollenness, it almost seems as if your reaction may have been due to the bee toxins themselves...not necessarily an allergy but your immune system fighting the toxins? This is just my opinion. I would be careful as I understand that allergies to bee stings can happen at any time.I'm sorry I am not of more help.Good luck