Dr. Weeks’ Comment: 20 years ago, as president of the American Apitherapy Society, I led a delegation or doctors and scientists and beekeepers to China to convene the first Asian American Apitherapy conference. We traded ideas with Chinese doctors who used bee venom for many ailments – arthritis, gout, cancer etc. It was a remarkable event and stimulated the field of apitherapy for decades to come. We visited a hospital in Beijing where beehives were kept on the roof top and patients were treated with live bee stings in the hospital setting. The high point was introducing my friend and co-founder of the American Apitherapy Society Charlie Mraz, guru of American apitherapy, to his peer in China, Dr. Fung, because each man had read of the other’s work and we delighted to meet face to face in their older years. The note below confirms that apitherapy is alive and well in China as it is in America and in other countries as well
Bee Sting Acupuncture: Chinese Clinic Claims Therapy Can Treat Arthritis And Cancer
By iScienceTimes Staff on August 13, 2013 1:38 PM EDT
Bee sting acupuncture has become popular in China, but the medical effectiveness of such a therapy is disputed. (Photo: Pixabay: PDPhotos)
Bee sting acupuncture is gaining popularity in China, where some 27,000 people have undergone the treatment.
Wang Menglin runs a clinic in Beijing that specializes in the bee sting therapy, which falls under the medically-dubious category of “apitherapy.”
“We hold the bee, put it on a point on the body, hold its head, and pinch it until the sting needle emerges,” Menglin said. “We’ve treated patients with dozens of diseases, from arthritis to cancer, all with positive results.”
Menglin claims that one of his bee sting therapy patients, suffering from lung and brain cancer, had only a year to live. But after undergoing bee sting therapy, the patient believes his life expectancy is doubled.
Menglin uses imported Italian bees to sting his patients. When the bees sting the patients, they die–and so may the patients. There is no clinical evidence supporting the idea that bee venom or bee stings can treat any serious condition like arthritis or cancer.
Nor does bee sting therapy help patients with multiple sclerosis, another condition bee treatments can reportedly help with.
“In spite of long-standing claims about the possible benefits of bee venom for people with MS, a 24-week randomized study showed no reduction in disease activity, disability, or fatigue, and no improvement in quality of life,”says the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Traditional Chinese medicine like bee sting acupuncture is big business in China, where about $84 billion of traditional medicine is produced a year. Many Chinese citizens cannot afford Western medicine, while many opt for natural remedies due to cultural beliefs.
In related bee sting news, if you’re on the receiving end of a bee sting which you didn’t solicit for its medicinal properties, the Wall Street Journal featured an article about how to treat bee stings. Apparently one of the better ways to treat a sting is to make a paste out of meat tenderizer mixed with water. Apply that and you’ll feel both great and gross.