May 15

Can apitherapy treat the symptoms of Lyme disease?

Ricky Christensen
Core Spirit member since Dec 24, 2020
Reading time 7 minutes

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that sometimes can be difficult for victims and even doctors to initially diagnose. That’s because the symptoms of Lyme — fatigue, fever, sweats, headaches, muscle, neck and joint pain and trouble sleeping — resemble those of numerous other diseases, including the flu. Another problem in diagnosing Lyme disease is that it’s often transmitted from the bite of immature ticks that are so tiny and their bite so painless that many people don’t even realize they’ve been bitten. Consequently, by the time symptoms appear victims may not associate those issues with a tick bite. A bull’s-eye rash sometimes, though not always, appears in the area of a bite from a Lyme-infected tick.

Doctors typically prescribe antibiotics to treat Lyme, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. However, some people who have Lyme or who suspect they have the disease turn to an alternative form of treatment: apitherapy.

What is apitherapy?

Apitherapy is the use of products from the hives of honeybees (Apis mellifera) as well as the bees themselves, including their venom, to treat Lyme and a variety of other conditions. Bee products used in apitherapy include raw honey, bee bread (a fermented mixture of bee saliva, plant pollen, and nectar that the worker bees use as food for the larvae and for young bees to produce royal jelly), pollen, propolis (a substance primarily composed of resins collected by the bees from trees and plants), royal jelly (a milky-white, gelatinous substance secreted by the salivary glands of worker bees to stimulate growth and development of queen bees) and beeswax, according to Frederique Keller, president of the American Apitherapy Society (AAS).

The not-for-profit group’s mission, as described on its website, is to educate the public and health care community about the traditional and scientifically valid uses of apitherapy in promoting healing by improving circulation, decreasing inflammation and stimulating a healthy immune response.

Diagnosis and treatment

An accurate diagnosis of Lyme is critical before using apitherapy to treat Lyme, said Keller, who lives on Long Island, New York, where she is an apitherapy practitioner, acupuncturist and beekeeper. Before a person seeks apitherapy, he should visit the doctor and ask the doctor to send a blood sample to a lab to confirm the patient has Lyme, Keller said. Information about testing for lyme is available from IGene-X, Inc., a research lab specializing in state-of-the art testing for Lyme and associated tick-borne diseases.

Practitioners of apitherapy usually mix bee products and/or bee venom in some combination with raw honey and apply them topically as a salve or a cream. The salve or cream can be applied to tick bites and other problem areas such as a cut, scrape, scratch, bug bite, psoriasis, eczema, toe fungus, or hemmorrhoids, Keller said. Apitherapy is also used to treat multiple sclerosis, shingles and other neurologic problems, musculoskeletal issues, such as many forms of arthritis, traumas, sprains and fractures and tumors, both benign and malignant. Bee venom eyedrops can be used for ophthalmic symptoms, Keller said.

Before undergoing bee venom therapy, a person should consult a qualified health care practitioner who is familiar with apitherapy to help them navigate through all the Lyme protocols and establish a specific strategy according to their particular symptoms, Keller advised. “For optimal results, it is best to address nutritional issues, including taking products of the hive and lifestyle changes at least one month prior to commencing bee venom therapy,” she said. Treatment requires 3,000 milligrams of vitamin C daily in addition to the venom and can last from six months to more than two years, Keller added.

Techniques for treating Lyme or other ailments with live bee stings include whole stings, mini stings and micro stings into acupuncture points, Keller said, adding that people who opt for stings receive one test sting to determine their sensitivity. Less than one percent of the general public is allergic to honeybee venom, she said. There are a wide range of ‘normal’ reactions to a bee sting. These include but are not limited to redness, swelling and itching.

Traditional acupuncture methods can be adapted for apitherapy treatment of Lyme by dipping an acupuncture needle into a bee venom solution and administering the needle into the acupuncture points. This technique along, with micro stinging, is the most pain-free way to receive bee venom therapy, Keller said.

A patient testimonial

Deena Atlas of Northport, New York, has had both traditional and apitherapy treatments for Lyme and is a firm believer in the holistic approach of apitherapy.

“I was diagnosed with Lyme disease last summer in early August,” Atlas said. “I took the strong antibiotics for the prescribed amount of time. I was told by my doctor that we had to take blood tests every three months. This is because it can come back. That made me very scared!”

Then she heard about apitherapy and Keller. “I met Frederique and we started the process of stinging with five-to-eight stings twice a week. I also took fresh raw honey, bee bread and propolis. After nine months, I have had three blood tests. Every one has shown that I am completely negative for Lyme!”

Apitherapy is as old as humankind

Bee therapy is hardly new. In fact, it’s as old as humankind itself based on drawings that early hunter-gatherers left on cave walls depicting bees as a source of natural medicine. Records also show that ancient civilizations in Egypt, Greece and China used bee venom to treat arthritis and other joint pain.

Anyone considering bee venom therapy, however, should be aware that apitherapy is not sanctioned in the United States, although the Food and Drug Administration has approved bee venom for desensitization purposes. The AAS cautions on its website that apitherapy is considered experimental from both a medical and a legal viewpoint.

As a non-regulated practice, apitherapy falls under the purview of herbal medicine, dietary and nutritional supplement regulations, according to the AAS website. Some forms of apitherapy, the website points out, can be considered within the scope of practice laws for a variety of practitioners.

These practitioners include physicians, nurses, acupuncturists, naturopaths and laypersons such as beekeepers who are interested in apitherapy, according to the AAS website. Some beekeepers, for instance, can provide people with bees and show them how to treat themselves.

How to find an apitherapist

The AAS maintains a network of contacts involved with apitherapy who can offer emotional support to each other and share scientific and educational information about apitherapy. The network, however, is not meant to serve as a referral service to help people find practitioners, Keller emphasized. “That’s because most apitherapists are not comfortable treating anyone but themselves and do not want their personal info shared,” she said. Access is members-only, so you’ll have to join the group to contact people in the network.

The AAS holds an annual conference during which it conducts basic and advanced courses in apitherapy featuring international speakers who are experts in apitherapy. The AAS also holds regional workshops throughout the year. Dates and locations are listed on the website.

“Conferences and workshops are open to everyone — lay persons, beekeepers and health professionals,” Keller said. “People come to learn, deepen their apitherapy knowledge and to feel secure and supported in treating themselves, friends and family.”

Keller said she does know some practitioners around the country who incorporate apitherapy, including bee venom therapy, in their work. These include: Dr. Patrick Fratellone, New York; Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, Warren, N.J.; Dr. L. Russell Canfield, Santa Fe, N.M.; Dr. Michael I. Gurevich, accepts patients from around the U.S. but located in Nassau County, New York; Dr. Andrew Kochan, Sherman Oaks and Santa Barbara, Calif.; Frank A. Yurasek, L.Ac, Oak Park, Il..

People looking for an apitherapist could also contact a beekeeping club or an acupuncturist in their area.

How to assess your risk factor

If you are concerned about contracting Lyme through a tick bite and want to assess your risk factor, lymedisease.org, a nonprofit organization that serves the patient community through advocacy, research and education, suggests checking a canine sentinel map. Canine maps for Lyme are more accurate than maps of human infections because only 10 percent of reportable Lyme cases are currently captured by CDC surveillance, according to the website, which points out that dogs are routinely screened for Lyme disease through a nationwide program.

Lyme is often incorrectly considered an East Coast disease. In fact, it is found throughout the United States, primarily carried by lone star ticks in the South, deer ticks in the East and Midwest and black-legged ticks on the West Coast.

If not caught early, Lyme disease can become chronic and may spread to any part of the body and affect any body system.

Defending against Lyme

Perhaps the best defense against contracting Lyme is to understand tick habitats and to act and dress defensively. Adult ticks climb grasses and bushes and wait for animals — or you — to pass by and brush up against them so they can cling to the animal’s fur or your clothing. Nymphs and larvae, on the other hand, are typically found on the ground in layers of decomposing leaves underneath trees.

When outdoors hiking, camping, hunting or enjoying other activities, avoid tick habitats by staying on trails and dress defensively by wearing socks, long pants and long sleeves. It’s also a good idea to tie back long hair and wear a hat and light-colored clothing, which helps in spotting ticks before they make you their next meal — or worse.

If you don’t already have a tick protection plan for your pets, consult your vet. Animals can be infected with Lyme and other tick-borne diseases just like people can.

If you would like to read more about apitherapy, Keller suggests three books: “Health & The Honeybee” by Charles Mraz; “The Bible of Bee Venom Therapy” by Dr. Bodog Beck; and “Bee Venom, The Natural Curative for Arthritis & Rheumatism” by Dr. Joseph Broadman.

by Tom Oder For Mother Nature Network

Comments

Leave your questions here

To write a comment you must
or
Services
Category filter
Concern filter
Type filter
Sort
 
All categories
Art Therapy
$50 USD
Artist Teacher Workshop Or Tutoring

“Life Force” guiding our history, our body and spirits. Self portrait art, life drawing from the live model, gesture, and plein air painting. And extended cont…

Bryan Prillwitz
United States of America flag icon
Tarot Reading
$100 USD
Timeline Reading

EGYPTIAN TAROT READINGS using unique methods developed by Nelise Carbonare, a Brazilian healer with more than 40 years of experience in tarot consultations, as…

Nelise Carbonare
United States of America flag icon
Tarot Reading
$120 USD
THE SYNERGY OF THE PYRAMID

THE SYNERGY OF THE PYRAMID focuses on a specific relationship: One side for the consultant and one for their partner. (the partner does not need to be present …

Nelise Carbonare
United States of America flag icon
Tarot Reading
$10 USD
Pick one card

Many questions can be answer with just one Arcane.

Do you want to try?

Nelise Carbonare
United States of America flag icon
Personal Development Coaching
$50 USD
Spiritual Coaching - Removing Energy Blocks - Expansion

> “Who looks outside dreams. Who looks inside awakens.” Jung

Spiritual coaching is about moving you into a profound state of empowerment and involution m…

Kimla Rose (Kim Desrosiers)
United States of America flag icon
Life Coaching
$10 USD
Life Purpose and Soul Wisdom

What is your deeper truth, your deeper knowing, your MOJO, your deepest desires, those feelings that you can’t explain but that are so pure and so clear…or may…

Anna Beale
United States of America flag icon
Wellness Coaching
$10 USD
Your Missing Manual for Health & Life!

Are you constantly reading books, blogs and listening to podcasts trying to figure out what to do to be healthy?

With so much conflicting information out ther…

Pamela Malo
United States of America flag icon
Nutritional Therapy
$150 USD
Nutritional Therapy Consultation

Hi my name is Aria and I am the founder of Heal with Nutrition. I am a registered Nutritional Therapist and a Naturopath who has a passion on Nutrition and Hea…

Aria Alexandrou
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland flag icon
Tarot Reading
$10 USD
THOTH AND HERMETIC DECKS READING

With a deep knowledge of hermeticism and being introduced to the kabbalah tradition of the emanation process from the tree of life, I provide a deep insight co…

James Marchiori
Ireland flag icon
Personal Development Coaching
$55 USD
The Bridge to Your Desired Life

This is were you get real help with your struggles and life challenges. As life gets harder to cope with, we tend to look for external ways to get through. And…

Mina Mikhail
United States of America flag icon
Naturopathy
$10 USD
Intake Consult

short introduction consult to Integrative Medicine

Femke Neervoort
Netherlands flag icon
Career Coaching
$300 USD
Reset Coaching and Mentoring Programme

12 weeks of bi-weekly 90 minutes 1:1 Coaching and Mentoring. Total cost USD1800 (6x90minutes career coaching and mentoring session)

Are you returning to work …

Carla Martins
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland flag icon
Personal Development Coaching
$120 USD
Spiritual Life Coach Session-Personalized Session

Personalized Sessions

Because Everyone Is Unique

Client-centered sessions based on the area of focus requested by the client.

Each session is a LIVE Sessio…

Deborah Lucero
United States of America flag icon
Reiki
$55 USD
Guidance, Inspiration & Healing

This type of session is a favorite among many of my clients, as it is often times one of the smoothest way to address a challenge to reach a happier and health…

Mina Mikhail
United States of America flag icon
Mediumism
$10 USD
Psychic Readings

I specialize in love, past present future, future, past life, general, tarot, dream interpretation, specific, social, and career readings! Book today for clari…

Holly
United States of America flag icon
Life Coaching
$399 USD
1-on-1 Coaching

The journey started with our discovery call, and You decided: ” I’m ready! Let’s do this!”.

We will engage in 1-on-1 coaching sessions for 90 minutes. In this…

Carla Martins
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland flag icon
Ascension
$88 USD
Ascension Mentor Support

In this session, we come together with similar to a healing session but face to face.

We talk about what issues you are facing at the moment and we delve deep…

Claire C.
Australia flag icon
Spiritual Healing
$177 USD
Energy Healing

I am honored to assist you with intuitive channeled energy healings that support and nurture you on a physical level as well soul and energetic level, each ses…

Claire C.
Australia flag icon
Reiki
$375 USD
Usui Reiki 1st Degree Course

FIRST DEGREE COURSE - The ultimate Reiki course.

Have you ever wondered if you can heal? Have you felt a burning desire to help others? Then you’ve come to th…

Step Into Your Light - Christina Moore
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland flag icon
Life Coaching
$10 USD
Hand Analysis - Startup Session

What does a hand analysis do for me? ​

You will understand yourself and your life purpose. ​You will understand the roots of your triggers and reactionary be…

Brent Bruning, Master Hand Analyst
Switzerland flag icon
Shamanism
$10 USD
Sample Akashic Records Reading for Your Burning Issue

I connect to your Akashic Records and listen to what your guides want to bring to your conscoius attention at this time. Perhaps, it is an insight into why you…

Olga Aydınoğlu
Turkey flag icon
Shamanic Healing
$300 USD
Shamanic Healing Art

What is Shamanic Healing Art?

It is a physical artwork (usually a pastel drawing) I make for you based on the outcome of our online session. This artwork will…

Olga Aydınoğlu
Turkey flag icon
Shamanic Healing
$70 USD
Heal to say "No"

A limits and boundaries shamanic healing session to help you heal relevant wounds and traumas from this and/or other lifetimes, let go of false beliefs, judgem…

Olga Aydınoğlu
Turkey flag icon
Shamanic Healing
$70 USD
Writer's Block Shamanic Healing Session

Before the Session

I do my pre-meditation to find out the main reasons for your writer’s block. (This happens psychically, where I generally just need your na…

Olga Aydınoğlu
5
Turkey flag icon