Lyme Disease and apitherapy- lots of studies
I reprinted this from a website by herbalist Stephen Buhner. His book Healing Lyme discusses a lot of the science behind apitherapy in treatment of Lyme Disease (he recommends using herbs instead since most folks dont want beestings, but still has high marks for it). The following was to be an appendix to the book as he says.
I'm really interested in the venom extraction process that he describes which involves mild electrical shock to bees. ANyone know more about the device he's describing?
by the way, it was difficult to give a direct link to the web site because the original site uses frames and is mostly about something completely unrelated to the book (ie New Age type spiritual stuff, not medicine)
Apis and Bi-edta in the treatment of Lyme disease - article
THE USE OF APIS AND BI-EDTA IN THE TREATMENT OF LYME DISEASE
By Stephen Harrod Buhner
Copyright © 2005 Stephen Harrod Buhner
This article was originally intended to be included in my book on Lyme disease:
Healing Lyme, as an appendix. Due to space considerations, it was deleted and is published here for those who are interested.
As research into borrelia treatment continues, increasing numbers of natural substances will be tested for activity against the organism and, over time, more potent herbal and natural treatments will be discovered. To date there are two substances other than antibiotics that have been tested and are active against Lyme borrelia organisms: melittin from bee venom, also known as apis, and BI-EDTA (bismuth). This is a brief look at their actions and potential uses.
Both of these substances are hard to find, both have potentially serious side effects if used inappropriately, nevertheless both, especially apis, have been used effectively in clinical practice. Apis has the longest tradition of use and in spite of nervousness about its use among both herbalists and physicians, historical and contemporary clinical outcomes with apis are excellent and side effects extremely uncommon. Please read the side effects section carefully.
Source: Bee venom
Chemical constituents: 40-50% of bee venom is melittin. Bee venom also contains a number of other compounds: apamin, mast-cell degranulation peptide 401, secarpin, tertiapin, adolapin, protease inhibitors, provamine A and B, minimine, cariopep, phospholipase A2, hualuronidase, acid phosphomonoesterase, glucosidase, lysophospholipase, histamine, dopamine, norepinephrine, leutotriens, glucose, fructose, numerous phospholipids, r-aminobutyric acid, B-aminosobutyric acid. Medicinal actions: Melittin is powerfully antibacterial, more potent than many commercial pharmaceuticals, and is anti-inflammatory. It stimulates the hypophyseal-adrenal system and produces cortisone. Melittin also stabilizes the lysosome cell membrane, protecting against inflammation.
Apimin is a mood elevator and anti-inflammatory. It works like melittin to produce cortisone and inhibits the part of the complement system (C3) which is involved in inflammation.
Mast cell degranulating peptide (MDC peptide or peptide 401) is an astonishingly potent anti-inflammatory, 100 times more effective than hydrocortisone in reducing inflammation. It blocks arachidonic acid production and inhibits prostaglandin synthesis. Adolphin is both an anti-inflammatory and pain killer. It inhibits microsomal cyclooxygenase and is 70 times stronger than indomethacin. Adolphin also inhibits platelet lipoxygenase - and thromboxane and prostacycline which are activated during inflammation.
The protease inhibitors in venom inhibit carrageenin, prostaglandin E1, bradykin, and histamine induced inflammations. They also inhibit chymotrypsin and leucine-aminopeptidase.
Bee venom is a potent antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, antiinflammatory, and possesses radioprotectant actions. It has been found to exert powerful actions as an antibacterial agent, anti-inflammatory, antiarthritic, antirheumatic, in neurodegenerative disease, as a cardiotonic, an antioxidant, and as a diaphoretic and diuretic. It has also been found to be a strong immunological agent, stimulating the body's protective mechanisms against disease. The Eclectic Botanical physicians considered it to be a potent alterative.
An alterative - smilax is one - is generally considered a tonic herb or substance that gradually restores proper function to the body. Historically, the term generally referred to herbs that could cleanse the blood, basically bind- endotoxins, reduce blood toxicity, infections, and skin problems. They gradually alter (hence the name alterative) a pathological condition and restore normal function and capacity.
Current uses in Asia and Europe are primarily focused on the treatment of rheumatic conditions, arthritis, gout, neuralgia, multiple sclerosis, and cancer. Some newer research shows that melittin has a powerful capacity to shrink tumors. History of Apis: Bee venom has at least a 3000 year history of use in China and nearly that long in Japan and Korea. The Romans used it as a powerful pain killer and the ancient Greeks used it as well. It is an integrated element of medical treatment today in China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Russia, Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania), in certain Western European countries (Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France), and is growing in use in South America. It was a regular part of American medical practice, primarily homeopathic and Eclectic Botanical practice from 1847 until World War II. It is still commonly used by homeopaths. In Eclectic Botanical practice a tincture of Apis, taken orally, was used.
The Eclectics used it primarily for healing diseases of the urinary tract, especially when there was a desire to urinate but an inability to do so. A list of conditions for which they used it are: suppression of urine, urethral and cystic irritation, especially with tenesmus; chronic nephritis; cystitis; menorrhagia; amenorrhea; leucorrhea; genital puffiness; labial inflammation; sore throats; dropsy; traumatic injuries of the subcutaneous tissues; rheumatism; subcutaneous inflammations. Dry, hot, red conditions, inflammation of the skin, internal organs, or brain and central nervous system. In general hot, red, or puffy conditions, especially of the mucous membranes and disorders of the urinary tract.
Apis entered the American pharmacopoeia in 1847 through a member of the
Narragansett tribe, "a woman strolling by" as the original source puts it. She suggested its use in the treatment of a 12-year-old boy who had been suffering for some time with a degenerative condition and for which nothing seemed to work. The indigenous peoples of the Americas had a long history of the use of bee stings in healing.
Collection: Originally the whole bee was used, often placed in a closed container which was shaken to "excite their anger." They were then macerated in alcohol and a tincture made for medical use. Nowadays collection is much more benign and controlled.