EVERYBODY dreads the bees because of their lethal stings. No doubt, bee stings are painful, but are very healthful if applied in controlled doses. The first to notice the medicinal properties of bee stings were beekeepers that lived healthier long life than non-beekeepers.
Ancient doctors and wise men used bee stings for healing. But at a point in history, modern doctors scorned the healing powers of bee stings as “old wives tales”. Even before the practitioners of bee venom therapy (BVT) and beneficiaries could provide scientific data to substantiate their claims that bee stings is medicinal, one fact was incontrovertible.
Beekeepers have the lowest incidence of cancer of all the occupations worldwide. This fact was acknowledged in the annual report of the New York Cancer Research Institute in 1965. Almost half a century ago, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 9(2), Oct., 1948, published a report by William Robinson, M.D., et al., in which it was claimed that bee pollen added to food (in the ratio of 1 part to 10,000) prevented or delayed the appearance of malignant mammary tumour.
L.J. Hayes, M.D had the courage to announce, “Bees sterilise pollen by means of a glandular secretion antagonistic to tumours.” Other doctors, including Sigmund Schmidt, M.D., and Ernesto Contreras, M.D., seem to agree that something in pollen works against cancer.
Dr W. Schweisheimer also said that scientists at the Berlin Cancer Institute in Germany had never encountered a beekeeper with cancer. A French study concerning the cause of death of 1,000 beekeepers included only case of a beekeeper that died of cancer. The incidence of cancer-caused deaths in a group of French farmers was 100 times higher than the group of beekeepers.
Till date, no study has faulted the fact that beekeepers have very low, almost negligible incidence of cancer worldwide. Due to the weight of this fact and coupled with his experience, John Anderson, Professor of beekeeping, University of Aberdeen, unequivocally declared: “Keep bees and eat honey if you want to live long. Beekeepers live longer than anyone else”.
But why and how do bee stings prevent or heal cancer? First, the major component of bee sting venom is mellitin, which has powerful bacterial and cytotoxic properties. The mellitin in bee venom activates two main glands – adrenal cortex and the hypophysis, which in turn begin to secrete hormones that have strong anti-inflammatory effect. Cancer and many other degenerative diseases are often preceded by inflammation. Bee venom also stimulates the immune system and cancer is less likely to gain a foothold in those with strong immune system.
Nothing promotes blood circulation better than the bee venom, which dissolves plaque in blood vessels and flush it out to ensure free flow of blood. Bee venom contains proteins and amino acids (18 of the 20 obligatory amino acids). When small doses of bee venom gets into the blood they compensate for the deficit of amino acids, make active hormones and vitamins, lower the level of cholesterol and have a positive effect on fat metabolism.
More importantly, the components of the bee venom include enzymes, which according to Dr Virginia Livingston, MD is the only weapon to stop hormones responsible for the explosive cancerous growth. But apart from its power to ward-off the risk of cancer, bee venom has also proven potent against cancer.
A study published in Journal Hepatology Jan. 31, 2008 found mellitin inhibits tumour cell metastasis by reducing cell mobility and migration via the suppression of Raci-dependent pathway, suggesting that mellitin is a potential therapeutic agent for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Dr Theo Cherbuliez, MD former president of the American Apitherapy Society ASS treated a 5mm vascular tumour with three bee stings around and one sting on top once a month for five months. The tumour disappeared to the point that its original location cannot be identified. Another, apitherapist, John O’Brien treated a growth on the top of his nose with bee stings. “I stung it and surprisingly, it started to shrink and receded back on my nose. Now it is still there, but very small and it is hardly noticeable”.
Written by Fabunmi, a Bee Conservationist and Diet Consultant, lives in Lagos Nigeria.