Honeybee's venom used to treat pain

Honey Bee’s venom used to treat pain. (WJAR)

Local honey has long been touted as a way to treat allergies.

But did you know the honey bee's venom can take the sting out of pain? Or so, some say.

It’s part of apitherapy.

"It's an ancient art in medicine and incorporates all the products of the bee hive as the medicine chest," said Frederique Keller, a licensed acupuncturist in New York and the President of the American Apitherapy Association.

"The venom has 60 identifiable components as well as some unidentifiable ones,” said Keller. “The two biggest ones are appemine and melittin and one is a peptide 401 that's what it's called. It's 100 times more potent than cortisone."

Dr. Patrick Fratellone is a cardiologist in New York City, and a bee keeper.

"And I came to a conference about seven years ago and I've been stinging ever since,” said Fratellone.

And it's not just for pain, it's for circulation and building up the immune system, they say.

"In my practice I do Lyme disease,” said Fratellone. “ I do Multiple sclerosis, arthritis, very effective."

If you're not sure if you're allergic?

"We do a testing which means, letting a bee sting and removing the stinger, waiting and watching and making sure a person's okay, not developing a reaction,” said Keller who also says she has rescue medication on hand, just in case. Although, she says, she’s never had a client who had an allergic reaction in 20 years.

It must be noted there are no scientific studies on the effectiveness of bee venom. The stories are anecdotal. And there's no certification, so anyone can learn to do it.

For more information on this process click here.

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