The curative power of BEES?

I took care of a patient with multiple sclerosis not too long ago.  As I reviewed her medications she currently took, I was surprised by one, bees.

Ever been stung by a bee?

What I did NOT think afterward was: “Boy, that probably has significant anti-inflammatory properties, I should harness that healing power.”

Seriously, who in their right mind thought that something an animal uses for defense could be curative.

Well, per the norm, I am an idiot.  Bee stings (or apitherapy) has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years.  Currently, the main use is targeted at multiple sclerosis and arthritis.

The scientist in me wants to scream “this is utter quackery!”  The results are yet to be proven by any trials (though some are underway).  But, much of medicine lacks double blinded studies to prove what is seen as standard of care.

Despite the lack of evidence, people line up in droves to have someone ram bees into them.  Patients claim it is curative, and return time and time again for repeat treatment of  bee envenomation.  So, perhaps this is a field where more study will reveal a hidden component in the venom that aids arthritis.  Who knows?  If you  told people a century ago that people would be lining up to have botulism toxin injected into them, they would have called you crazy, yet Botox is here to stay.

Here’s a video from a lady in Grand Rapids, Michigan, who has been doing this for a while.  What does she charge?  According the to video, five dollars a time and 30 cents a bee.  For that price I think I’m going to hire her to go “treat” that jerk who keeps taking two parking spots in the parking lot.  I’m sure his arthritis will feel so much better that he’ll now have the strength to park in just one spot.  But seriously, that’s a price anyone can afford, she is doing it because she truly believes it works.

For me, I’ll put this in the undecided category of medical therapies and stick to ibuprofen.


And then Oprah thought she would get into helping people in a similar way, it did not go so well.


Also, during my “research,” I found this fantastic video called “Dr. Bees.”

It is absolutely insane, and NOT SAFE FOR WORK.

Naughty language, and non-sequitor (and awesome).  Watch at your own sanity risk.




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