Bees may be of more use to humans than just for honey find researchers based on findings of a recent study . Low doses of bee venom was given to rats with advanced rheumatoid arthritis. The treatment resulted in dramatic reductions of tissue swelling on affected paws.
Researchers then examined the effects of bee venom on synovial cells (cells lining the joints) obtained from human patients. The venom blocked the expression of inflammatory genes, much like COX-2 inhibitor drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. The researchers focused on melittin, a major component of bee venom and a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. They say this may hold the key to the anti-arthritic effects of bee venom.
Apitherapy, the use of honeybee products was used for curative purposes, since ancient times. Since the last few decades, conventional doctors have joined holistic practitioners in exploring the potential for bee venom to treat a wide variety of conditions from acute tendonitis to chronic back pain.
Researchers conclude saying that more studies are required to establish bee venom as a therapy since the way bee venom works still remains a mystery.