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.
Exploring Bee Venom Therapy
Thats when I read about Ellie Lobels story and Dr Klinghardts success with bee venom and started considering Bee Venom Therapy. It has anti microbial effects proven to be effective against the Lyme disease bacteria. I didnt like the idea of killing bees and I didnt know who to get bees to sting with in the first place . I couldnt get to the only bee venom therapy course in the UK or even contemplate managing a full day out of the house. So I approached my local BKA and to begin with, they supplied the bees so that I could begin the protocol endorsed by Ellie Lobel. I wasnt consulting a private doctor at this point and my GP was not supportive, with the Lyme diagnosis or any kind of treatment. In fact, they consider what Im doing to be self-harming with live bees. I have the distinct impression theyd like to lock me up.
The initial test sting was hard. Im allergic to bees and have histamine intolerance, so the possibility of going into anaphylaxis was relatively high. My throat did become tight and I had difficulty breathing for a few minutes. Slightly scary, more so for Lee. I was almost beyond caring, Id reached the point of last resort and no return. I had the precautionary alcohol free Benadryl on one side and EpiPens on the other . Lee had been primed to tip the Benadryl down my throat and then inject me if anything went wrong. It didnt. I was fine. I herxed like crazy that night- sweats, shaking, nausea and dizziness, but no anaphylaxis.
People Are Stinging Themselves With Bees At Home To Treat Lyme Disease
Lauren Rothman has been stinging herself with bees for over a year on purpose. She does this three times a week, 10 bees at a time, and leaves the stingers in for up to 20 minutes along her spine. Why?
She has chronic Lyme disease, and the bee venom keeps the symptoms of the disease at bay.
These bees have given me my life back, Rothman, 34, told VICE News, as she carefully lowers a bee onto her back with tweezers and allows it to sting, emptying its venom sack and producing a red welt.
I plan to continue to do it until I know that Im okay. If that takes four years, Ill do four years. Its become so routine for me that its like making a cup of coffee, she said.
The protocol is known as bee venom therapy , and among those afflicted with chronic Lyme, its gaining a lot of adherents. They call themselves stingers.
I meet online two or three new people every week who I havent found before, who are doing BVT, she said. Most people, if not everyone, say that theyre improving.
The claim is difficult to measure because chronic Lyme is not recognized by the medical establishment as existing at all. In other words, one cant be recovering from a disease that most doctors simply wont diagnose.
The stingers of course dont buy that, and are in a sense willing to prove it by stabbing themselves with pulsating venom sacs multiple times a week, sometimes for years.
Cover: Vice News Tonight/VICETV
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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 didnât 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 werenât 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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Research Proves Bee Venom Fights Lyme Bacteria
Researchers from Lyme Disease Research Group at the University of New Haven have been investigating the ability of natural products to combat Lyme bacteria the primary being Borrelia burgdorferi. They have tested bee venom used by many natural doctors over the past few years to combat Lyme disease.
The researchers tested both whole bee venom and a bee venom extract compound called melittin against the Lyme disease bacteria. Not only did they test these, but they also tested these against three popular Lyme antibiotics, doxycycline, cefoperazone and daptomycin.
The researchers also tested a combination of all three antibiotics.
The table below tells the story. The table shows the B. burgdorferi bacterial count numbers as a result of different treatments. The bars show how much of the bacteria in different forms is still alive after treatment. The red bar shows the spiral forms . The orange bar shows the persistent forms of the bacteria, including the round body forms. And the green bar shows the biofilms after seven days.
As you can see, the doxycycline therapeutic dose killed a lot of spiral forms but then the round bodies and biofilms are still pretty evident. The same goes for cefoperazone and daptomycin to different degrees. There is still plenty of biofilm bacteria evident after the treatment. Enough at least to allow the bacteria to grow.
The researchers concluded:
The researchers also noted:
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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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Stinging Away Lyme Disease With Bee Venom Therapy
Three-hundred-thousand people are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year. Usually caused by a tick bite, it can impact people physically, mentally, and neurologically. If diagnosed early, antibiotics will wipe out the bacteria left behind in the blood before it spreads through the heart, joints and nervous system. Now, some patients are turning to bees to take the sting out of this painful and debilitating disease.
One sting after another after another.
These days, Adriana Furey stings herself with ten live honeybees three times a week to get relief from the symptoms of chronic Lyme disease. Before
For months and years at a time in a dark room, really unable to pick my head up off the pillow, Adriana Furey recalled.
Adriana and her mother talked with 75 different doctors, tried antibiotics, immunotherapy, hyperbaric oxygen and herbal treatments. Nothing worked until bee venom therapy, or BVT. Ellie Lobel, a nuclear physicist, literally stumbled across the treatment by accident.
I was attacked by killer bees, Ellie Lobel shared.
But days after surviving the surprise bee attack her symptoms started disappearing. Ellie spent the next several years researching BVT and found it kills the bacteria that causes Lymes most debilitating symptomsbut according to Ellie, it only works if taken directly from the bee.
The devils in the dosing right, is what they say. So not enough, wont heal you, but too much can kill you, Lobel revealed.
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Ouch But Is It Nature’s Answer To Botox
Bee venom has been used for thousands of years as a medicine. Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates used it to treat arthritis, while Roman philosopher Pliny the Elder believed it was a cure for baldness.
It has been touted as a treatment for gout, while more recently several celebrities have extolled it as nature’s answer to Botox.
Actress and lifestyle guru Gwyneth Paltrow believes being stung on the jawline helped tighten her skin. ‘It’s actually pretty incredible if you research it,’ she said. ‘But, man, it’s painful.’
As far as Lyme disease is concerned, the active compound in the sting is thought to be melittin. This is the peptide – a string of amino acids – that causes the intense burning sensation.
Some scientists, citing lab tests, believe melittin is highly effective at killing the Borrelia bacteria that cause Lyme disease.
Issues With Antibiotic Treatment Of Lyme Disease
The problem is that studies have shown that doxycycline can kill up to 90 percent of the spirochetes of the bacteria. But then another form of the bacteria called round bodies or spheroplasts will rebound and increase in number.
These round body forms can embed into nerves and other tissues, growing a long-term form of the infection. These are often referred to in the literature as biofilm forms of the bacteria, because they group together in growing colonies.
The other antibiotics mentioned above and others have also been tested in the same way that doxy has been tested.
According to the research , these have various effects. For example, amoxicillin reduces spiral forms by around 90 percent and reduces round body forms by 80 percent. Others, like tigecycline, metronidazole and tinidazole have similar effects. However, the problem is that biofilms were only reduced by between 30 and 55 percent in tests of these popular antibiotics.
Furthermore, researchers are noticing that these bacteria are beginning to become resistant to some of the antibiotics. This presents a problem that will only get worse, as antibiotics become less successful.
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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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Lyme Disease Is Complicated
A number of years ago I trained with two doctors who treated patients with Lyme disease, and I eventually also worked with some Lyme patients in my practice. What I learned is that Lyme disease is a very complicated condition, and not everyone will necessarily follow the same course of the disease. Therefore it is important to find a doctor who keeps up with the research and is ready to apply a combination of methods, including natural therapies such as bee venom therapy.
While antibiotics alone might be successful in an early infection, as we see from the research above, they can also fall short of preventing a regrowth of the infection. For this reason, a combination of antibiotics and natural therapies such as bee venom, cats claw and others makes sense.
For more information on natural healing approaches to Lyme disease, consider Dr. William Rawls book on the topic:
Unlocking Lyme: Myths, Truths, and Practical Solutions for Chronic Lyme Disease by William Rawls MD
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Does Bee Venom Therapy For Lyme Help
Maybe. I think it is a therapy to consider if six to nine months of The Ross Lyme Support Protocol does not provide significant improvements.
A small number of patients in my Seattle Lyme practice tried bee venom therapy on their own. Some got symptom improvements using this method. However, I am unclear based on my experience what the actual success rate is among people trying this healing method. There is no research indicating this either.
How Bvt In Lyme Could Help
Most of the research on BVT is done in laboratory animal studies. These non-Lyme disease studies show BVT
- lowers activation of NF-kB which is a cellular messenger that triggers cytokine production.
Inflammation cytokines, created by the immune system attacking Lyme, cause most of the Lyme symptoms. So lowering them could help a person significantly. These non-Lyme animal studies may indicate what happens in humans however, the effect in humans may not be the same.
To read more about these cytokines and ways to lower them see Control Cytokines: A Guide to Fix Lyme Symptoms & The Immune System.
There is only one study about Lyme and BVT. In this study Lyme researcher Eva Sapi, PhD, carried out modified petri dish experiments in her lab. She found that one BVT component called melittin and whole bee venom both
- reduce Lyme biofilms,
- kill spirochetes, and
- kill round bodies .
So it is possible one other benefit of BVT is that it is an antimicrobial that can treat regular lyme and persister Lyme. And BVT could remove Lyme biofilms that block treatment. One word of caution here – it is very possible that this laboratory result does not correctly predict what happens in living people.
Read more about biofilms and effective treatment options in Biofilms: Lyme Disease Gated Communities. Read more about antimicrobial strategies for Lyme in A Lyme Disease Antibiotic Guide. Read more about persister Lyme and possible treatment approaches in How to Treat Persister Lyme. What Works?
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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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Can Bee Sting Therapy Be Dangerous
There isnât 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, youâll 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.