The Irony: Bees Kill Much More Often Than Lyme Disease
Dr. Richard Gunderman calls bees Americas most lethal animal. In 2018, scientists found that hornets, wasps, and bees were responsible for about 220,000 visits to the emergency department and 60 deaths every year.
While bee deaths are rare, deaths associated with Lyme disease are even more rare. One study found fewer deaths in Lyme patients than typical Americans, a year after diagnosis. LymeSciences literature review found 13 reliably reported deaths associated with Lyme disease from the 1970s to 2019.
Lyme Disease Is Expanding
Lyme disease has been surging in epidemic proportions over the past few years. This seems to be related to droughts and warmer summer conditions, and the surge of populations of deer and mice. To some degree, the latter also appears to be related to the increased the availability of acorns in the northeast U.S.
This is reflected by research on two of the leading tick species that carry Lyme disease: The blacklegged tick is the primary tick associated with Lyme disease.
The lone star tick ) has often been attributed to Lyme disease, but a 2018 study from U.S. Army Public Health and the CDC found that the lone star ticks do not carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.
A 2016 study found that the blacklegged tick has expanded over 44 percent since 1998, and found in 1,531 counties in 43 states.
The growth of these tick populations has, of course, resulted in more cases of Lyme disease. According to the Centers of Disease control, Lyme disease diagnoses range around 300,000 per year. And 96 percent of these cases are in 14 states in the Northeast and the Upper Midwest.
Dr Bill Rawls Treatment Guide
Want to see more Lyme disease treatment ratings? See What Dr. Rawls has to say about popular treatments and therapies in his Lyme Disease Treatment Guide.
Dr. Rawls is a physician who overcame Lyme disease through natural herbal therapy. You can learn more about Lyme disease in Dr. Rawls new best selling book, Unlocking Lyme. You can also learn about Dr. Rawls personal journey in overcoming Lyme disease and fibromyalgia in his popular blog post, My Chronic Lyme Journey.
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Precautions And Potential Downsides
While bee venom has been shown to offer several potential benefits, its important to note that studies supporting these benefits are limited. In fact, most available research has been conducted on animals or in test tubes.
Thus, its unclear how effective bee-venom therapy is as an alternative medicine treatment, as well as whether its any more effective than traditional treatments for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, chronic pain, or autoimmune diseases.
Certain methods of bee-venom therapy, including acupuncture, can lead to side effects, such as pain, swelling, and redness.
Additionally, bee-venom therapy can cause serious side effects or even death in highly allergic individuals by causing anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that can make it hard to breathe .
Other serious adverse effects related to this therapy have also been documented, including hyperventilation, fatigue, appetite loss, extreme pain, increased bleeding risk, and vomiting .
Of particular note, a review of 145 studies on the side effects of bee-venom therapy found that an average of 29% of people experienced adverse effects ranging from mild to severe after treatment .
In addition, the review found that compared with a saline injection, bee-venom acupuncture increased the occurrence of adverse side effects by a whopping 261% .
Bee-venom therapy and acupuncture should only be administered by a qualified healthcare professional.
Antibiotics Typically Given For Lyme Disease
Regardless of where the Lyme disease is contracted, conventional treatment is spearheaded by the use of antibiotics. The most popular of these antibiotics used by doctors is doxycycline. Other antibiotics used against the Lyme bacteria include cefoperazone, daptomycin, amoxicillin, tigecycline, metronidazole and tinidazole.
Sometimes doxy is the only antibiotic used. Other doctors will retest Lyme levels after a course of doxycycline and if the tests come up positive, will try the other antibiotics.
In some cases, a combination of these antibiotics will be given in combination in an attempt to fight the Lyme disease infection of B. burgdorferi bacteria.
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How Herbal Supplements Can Help
The best way to gain the level of phytochemical protection you need to help your immune system win the internal battle against invasive microbes is to take herbal supplements specifically, standardized botanical extracts.
Standardized botanical extracts take herbal supplements to the next level. Theyre made with wild plants or plants that have been cultivated to enhance their phytochemical content and are grown in an environment that doesnt introduce unwanted chemical toxins. The extraction process also yields the greatest concentration and the widest spectrum of phytochemicals in the plant. And the final product is standardized to a concentration of one or several key phytochemicals in the plant, so you know what youre getting.
Below are a few of my favorite herbs for mitigating the systemic chronic inflammation associated with chronic Lyme disease. Though all of the herbs have value in suppressing microbes and reducing inflammation, three of the herbs mentioned below Japanese knotweed, cats claw, and Chinese skullcap were found in a 2020 study from Johns Hopkins University to have greater activity against Borrelia burgdorferi than the antibiotics, doxycycline and azithromycin.
Injections Acupuncture Or Bee Stings
The main applications of bee venom are needle injections, acupuncture needles and bee stings.
Injections are typical in most doctors offices. And acupuncturists utilize sterile bee venom dipping canisters. But there is another option that is, being stung directly by bees.
Apitherapists have training in handling bees and applying these to patients.
An apitherapist may utilize tweezers to apply a bee directly to the skin. Or they may utilize bee therapy boxes. This will allow a brave patient to put their arm inside a container containing stinging bees. There are also larger chambers that apitherapists utilize.
And there are smaller bee therapy kits. While a person can learn to self-apply bee stings, it is important that an experienced apitherapist apply such methods, at least initially. An apitherapist will have epinephrine on hand in the case of allergic response. And an apitherapist will also pull out the stinger shortly after the sting and reduce reaction with an appropriate skin application.
So far in clinical research, acupuncture bee venom therapy has proven useful for pain and inflammation issues. But injections and bee stings serve to get more mellitin into the body for the antibiotic effects.
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Treatment Of Lyme Disease
Acupuncture can be incredibly beneficial in the treatment of Lyme disease because it helps alleviate and nurture the body during the journey of this bacterial disease and all of its manifestations. In addition, Summer Nemri, LAc, EAMP, often uses a variety of complementary therapies to assist in treatment, including essential oils, herbal medicine and supplements, and apitherapy .
Specializing in the treatment of Lyme disease, Summer shares her story:
Summer Acupuncture provides acupuncture, herbal medicine, and body work with a caring touch. Founder and Owner Summer Nemri, LAc, EAMP, offers a variety of services, including acupuncture, Acutonics and needle-free acupuncture, massage, cupping, moxibustion, essential oil therapies, and Kangen water. Summerâs specialties include treating Lyme disease, reproductive health for women & men, pain management, anxiety & depression. Summer Acupuncture is conveniently located in the Atrium Offices in the heart of Fremont, and ample street parking is available.
Bee Venom Fights Lyme Disease Reduces Inflammation
by Case Adams, PhD·
Lyme disease bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi
Recent research has proven out the ability of bee venom therapy for fighting Lyme disease, along with other inflammatory conditions. A 2017 study has confirmed that bee venom will kill the tick bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi better than popular antibiotics used for Lyme.
In this article
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Can Bee Sting Therapy Be Dangerous
There isn’t substantial scientific evidence about its benefits, yes, but Dr. Posina also adds that research also lacks in terms of its negative side effects. That said, one of the most important risks to be aware of is the risk of a severe allergic reaction, such as anaphylactic shock, which can result in death if not treated immediately, Dr. Posina warns.
Also, you’ll need to consider the bees. Honeybees in particular are extremelyimportant and essential for our environment as they contribute to about 80% of the pollination of flowers, fruits, and vegetables so experts stress that consumers need to consider the agricultural impact these treatments and products could have overtime. For more than a decade now, it is noted that there is a significant reduction in the number of bee colonies. It is believed that it is due to aggressive farming methods, chemical and pesticide use, pollution, global warming and disease spread through a parasite, Dr. Posina adds.
All experts consulted agreed: Never attempt apitherapy at home or unsupervised without guidance from qualified healthcare professionals. You should always speak with your healthcare provider about any forms of long-term treatment or use of new topical treatments in your routine.
Woman With Lyme Disease Reveals She Stings Herself With Bees On Her Spine 30 Times A Week To Treat Her Symptoms
- Brittany Elliott, 27, from Denver, Colorado, opened up about bee venom therapy , or apitherapy, earlier this week in a viral TikTok video
- The footage, which shows herself stinging herself with live bees that she orders online, has been viewed more than 1.1 million times
- Brittany said she was bitten by a tick at the age of seven but didn’t develop symptoms until she moved into a home with toxic black mold when she was 22
- Lyme disease can typically be treated by several weeks of oral antibiotics, though some patients still report symptoms, including fatigue and joint pain
- It took her years to finally get diagnosed with Lyme disease, but the treatments she was paying nearly $1,000 a month for weren’t helping
- Brittany, who now stings herself with 10 bees, three times a week, believes two to three years of the treatment will rid her of symptoms
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Herbs For Lyme Disease Treatment
Herbs have been used as a medicinal treatment for thousands of years. Many people have turned to herbal remedies to help provide relief from Lyme disease when antibiotics didnt completely help eliminate symptoms.
One research study found that a combination of doxycycline and baicalein provides additional healing benefits. According to a 2020 laboratory study, seven herbal medicines have been shown to kill B. burgdorferi in test tubes:
- Cryptolepis sanguinolenta
- Scutellaria baicalensis
Garlic has antibacterial effects and may help prevent tick bites. One study determined that people who took garlic supplements reported fewer tick bites than the placebo group. Garlic essential oil has been shown to eliminate the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.
Garlic can interact with certain medications, so speak with your healthcare provider before using it to prevent or treat Lyme disease.
Steviaa natural sweetener and sugar substitute derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plantmay be effective in treating Lyme disease. A study published in the European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology discovered that stevia extracts are more effective in killing Lyme disease bacterium in the lab than the standard antibiotics.
Essential Oils From Garlic And Other Herbs Kill Persister Lyme Disease Bacteria
- Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
- Oils from garlic and several other common herbs and medicinal plants show strong activity against the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, according to a new study.
Oils from garlic and several other common herbs and medicinal plants show strong activity against the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, according to a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. These oils may be especially useful in alleviating Lyme symptoms that persist despite standard antibiotic treatment, the study also suggests.
The study, published October 16 in the journal Antibiotics, included lab-dish tests of 35 essential oils oils that are pressed from plants or their fruits and contain the plants main fragrance, or essence. The Bloomberg School researchers found that 10 of these, including oils from garlic cloves, myrrh trees, thyme leaves, cinnamon bark, allspice berries and cumin seeds, showed strong killing activity against dormant and slow-growing persister forms of the Lyme disease bacterium.
We found that these essential oils were even better at killing the persister forms of Lyme bacteria than standard Lyme antibiotics, says study senior author Ying Zhang, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Bloomberg School.
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May Benefit Skin Health
Multiple skincare companies have started adding bee venom to products like serums and moisturizers. This ingredient may promote skin health in several ways, including by reducing inflammation, providing antibacterial effects, and reducing wrinkles.
A 12-week study in 22 women demonstrated that applying a facial serum containing bee venom twice daily significantly reduced wrinkle depth and total wrinkle count, compared with the placebo .
Another 6-week study found that 77% of participants with mild to moderate acne who used a serum containing purified bee venom twice daily experienced an improvement in acne, compared with the placebo .
Whats more, test-tube studies have shown that the venom has powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects against the acne-causing bacteria Propionibacterium acnes (
Although these potential benefits are promising, more research is needed to confirm them.
Bee venom has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and may benefit the health of your skin and immune system. It may also improve certain medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and chronic pain.
How A Bee Sting Saved My Life: Testimony From A Lyme Disease Patient
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I moved to California to die.
Ellie Lobel was 27 when she was bitten by a tick and contracted Lyme disease. And she was not yet 45 when she decided to give up fighting for survival.
Caused by corkscrew-shaped bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, which enter the body through the bite of a tick, Lyme disease is diagnosed in around 300,000 people every year in the United States. It kills almost none of these people, and is by and large curable if caught in time. If doctors correctly identify the cause of the illness early on, antibiotics can wipe out the bacteria quickly before they spread through the heart, joints and nervous system.
But back in the spring of 1996, Ellie didnt know to look for the characteristic bulls-eye rash when she was bitten she thought it was just a weird spider bite. Then came three months with flu-like symptoms and horrible pains that moved around the body. Ellie was a fit, active woman with three kids, but her body did not know how to handle this new invader. She was incapacitated. It was all I could do to get my head up off the pillow, Ellie remembers.
After fifteen years, she gave up.
So she packed up everything and moved to California to die. And she almost did.
Less than a week after moving, Ellie was attacked by a swarm of Africanised bees.
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Natural Remedies For Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. It is spread through the bite of infected ticks.
Ticks are very small, and their biteswhich can occur anywhere on the bodyare usually painless, so you may not immediately be aware that you have been bitten. In most cases, the tick must be attached to the body for 24 hours before Lyme disease is transmitted.
The signs and symptoms of Lyme disease usually start within three to 30 days after youve been bitten by an infected tick. Many people experience flu-like symptoms after being bitten, while more serious symptoms show up weeks after the bite. Early signs and symptoms of Lyme disease include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
If left untreated, symptoms can worsen to include Bells palsy , severe headaches, muscle, joint, and tendon pain, cardiac problems, and neurological disorders.
Most cases of Lyme disease can be managed and treated with two to three weeks of antibiotics. Depending on the severity of your symptoms and how long after the bite you were diagnosed, you may need a longer course of antibiotics to clear up the infection. Many people turn to natural remedies to help treat Lyme disease.
Bee Venom Therapy For Lyme Disease
Apitherapy is the medical use of honeybee products, such as venom, honey, pollen, and royal jelly. Using venom from live bees is commonly referred to as bee venom therapy. The full treatment consists of getting stung by 10 live honey bees, 3 times per week. One must start with one test sting and then slowly work up to the full treatment dose of 10 stings very slowly over the course of several weeks. To get the full benefits of treatment, it is recommended that one must consistently stick with the protocol for a period of 2-3 years.
During treatment, an epi-pen on hand is a requirement. If the patient is on a beta blocker medication, they will not be able to use bee venom therapy since a beta blocker will block receptors that utilize epinephrine . One must also take 3,000 mg of vitamin C every day so that the body can make enough cortisol. If the patient does not get enough vitamin C, the body can go into anaphylactic shock.
Melittin is a 26-amino acid peptide that is in bee venom. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agent. A study was done in 1997 that looked at the action of melittin against borrelia burgdoferi . They found that melittin caused all of the bacteria to cease motility in vitro within seconds. More research needs to be done. In the meantime, there are many testimonials online as to the effectiveness of bee venom therapy.
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