The importance of apitherapy
Apitherapy is a branch of complementary and alternative medicine that uses honey bee products, including honey, pollen, bee bread, propolis, royal jelly, beeswax, bee venom and larval bees.
In various parts of the world, apitherapy has different meanings and definitions. For instance, in the USA, apitherapy is mainly known as bee venom therapy using direct bee stings, the venom sack or injected apitoxin. Apitoxin is the venom collected with specific devices placed in the bee hive where the bees are stimulated to sting a special plate leaving their venom on it. The dried venom is further purified and used to prepare various diluted solutions.
In countries like Japan, China, Korea, apitherapy is mostly known for the health benefits of bee venom therapy as well as for the use of royal jelly – the exclusive food of the queen bee and the very young larvae. In Europe, especially in Eastern Europe, apitherapy is known as the use of all beehive products.
Apitherapy has been used for thousands of years. It can be traced back to ancient Egypt and China. The Greeks and Romans used bee products for medicinal purposes as well, where bee venom was used to treat joint pain from arthritis.
As a complementary therapy, apitherapy can bring a lot of benefits to both adults and children in respect of the nutritional value of some bee products (honey, bee collected pollen, bee bread, royal jelly, larval bees) and the physiological and therapeutical effects of other products as propolis, bee venom or beeswax. Bee products can also provide nutrients, proteins, essential fatty acids, vitamins (especially B group, C and provitamin A – carotenes and carotenoids), minerals (macro and oligoelements), and polyphenols (flavonoids and phenolic acids).
Our mission is to help define, construct and reinforce the structure of apitherapy as a natural medicine, to promote the knowledge and the recognition of beehive products to the medical, paramedical world in line with the World Health Organisation Strategy of promoting traditional and complementary medicines (CAM).