Honey bee stings are an ancient osteoarthritis treatment.
In fact I have a neighbour who is an orchid grower. He swears by this. He has OA in the base of his thumb and when it plays him up he grabs a bee off the orchids and gets it to sting him, around the base of his thumb, 3 or 4 times to relieve it.
Personally I think he is mad! Not because I don’t believe he gets pain relief by doing this but because it must hurt- A LOT!!!
Click on the link to watch a news video on CBS News about this new osteoarthritis treatment.
Using Honey Bee Stings as an Osteoarthritis Treatment
So although I wouldn’t go as far as getting stung on purpose I might try this new treatment for osteoarthritis.
It has been developed by a Korean company and they are now partnered up and starting testing in the US with Axis Clinical Trial and a Dr. Lydie Hazan. They are recruiting people to take part in a study to see if an injection of a new drug, called Apimed, will help. It will be injected into the affected joint and the researchers are saying it is standardized and purified “venom in a vial.”
Nobody is quite sure why bee venom works but Dr. Hazan told CBS
“It seems to have an affinity for inflammation in that it gobbles up the inflammation”
Quite what this means I am not sure! Does she means it breaks down the cells that cause inflammation or does she mean it stops the inflammatory response in some way?
I found one piece of research which compared the effect of prednisolone and bee venom. This showed that the honey bee venom was as good as prednisolone as reducing leucocytosis (white blood cell production). They conclude
Erosions of articular cartilage and inflammatory cell infiltrations into interphalangeal joint were effectively suppressed in treated groups.
This means they were not really testing OA but some type of inflammatory arthritis so please don’t think this is going to help the degeneration of the cartilage in your joint. However it may give excellent pain relief.
Should You Try This Ancient Osteoarthritis Treatment?
I would suggest you make sure you are not allergic to bees first but if you are braver than me then go for it! Or wait and see if Apimed is passed by the Food and Drug Administration and maybe try that.
In the mean time the best way I know to reduce inflammation is cold packs and massage. You can learn how to effectively use these osteoarthritis treatments in my book How to Treat Osteoarthritis Naturally.
You never know I could be adding Apimed as a natural osteoarthritis treatment very soon!