Most of us perceive bees as a buzzing summertime nuisance with the potential to cause pain. We swat them, stomp on them, spray them, and squish them between the folds of napkins to rid ourselves of their sting. In doing this, we rarely consider that we should give thanks to them for every third bite of food we take. That’s right. Every third bite food that goes into our mouths is the result labor performed by these tiny busy buzzing workers. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the cross-pollination that bees perform helps 90% of our wild plants to thrive and 30% of the world’s crops. Without bees, many of the world’s plants – including food crops – would die; that’s how important they are to the ecosystem and our own survival. We need bees.
Apitherapy: The use of bee byproducts like honey, Propolis, beeswax, royal jelly, and medical bee venom are a source of natural medicine with origins that date back to Egypt, China, and ancient Greece. Apitherapy is the practice of using these bee products to heal. Studies show that bee products have helped such diseases as HPV, cancer, Lyme Disease, asthma, autoimmune disease, and diseases of aging like Alzheimer’s and arthritis, and more. In addition, the products help reduce inflammation, thereby increasing longevity. Here are some of these products:
Royal Jelly: Royal jelly is secreted from the glands of the nurse bees and is fed to bee larvae in the colony. It is protein dense and rich in nutrients and vitamins. Royal jelly is the only substance that contains 10-HDA, a fatty acid that enhances overall cognitive capacity. Treatment with Royal Jelly includes the following:
– According to one study in the journal International Immunopharmacology, bee pollen suppressed histamine responses to allergens.
– Alzheimer’s Disease. May help to improve short-term memory due to its beneficial role in neurogenesis, the growth of new brain cells.
– Improves Skin. Royal jelly has demonstrated anti-aging effects on skin by increasing collagen levels.
– Eases gastric issues. Royal jelly is an effective probiotic in support of the gastrointestinal tract.
Propolis: Propolis is the “glue” that bees make from the resin of trees and other plants that keeps the physical hive from falling apart. When humans repurpose propolis for health, it is used for the following:
– Reduces plaque and gingivitis
– Cancer treatment – Two components, Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) and artepillin C, both fight cancer and inflammation due to increasing age, thereby increasing longevity.
– Decreases atherosclerosis. Rich in antioxidants, amino acids and a host of vitamins
Bee Venom: Ouch. Yes, this treatment requires that you get stung by bees, but in a controlled setting. The FDA has also approved a venom extract that is widely available called, Apex Venenum Purum. Studies are still being performed on bee venom but so far, it has had a positive effect on the following:
– Thyroid function – Regulates function in women with hyperthyroidism.
– Rheumatoid Arthritis – Venom enhanced the effectiveness of rheumatoid arthritis medication and decreased arthritis related edema.
Honey: Raw honey, the product that is 100 unprocessed retains all the enzymes, vitamins, pollen, propolis, and royal jelly. It is used for: Sweetener; Weight Loss; Regulates insulin; Antioxidant; Anti-inflammatory; Antibacterial for skin.
Beeswax: Is, as its name suggests, is a wax secreted by the worker bees. It is great for the skin and hair and works as an emollient and a humectant by drawing in moisture and sealing it in. Its rich vitamin A content boosts cell production and restores skin. (By Jayne B. Stearns from LivePast100Well.com)