Throughout your life, you have probably viewed bee stings as something negative. However, recently conducted research suggests that bee venom could have some benefits for the human body. Curious about how bee venom could be used as a medical treatment? Horizon Pest Control offers a quick overview of what scientists have begun to learn about the promise of bee venom therapy.
What is Bee Venom Therapy?
Historians have found that people around the world used substances derived from bees as health products for thousands of years. Medical writings from the Greeks and Egyptians reveal their utilization of bees during ancient times. Today, this practice continues throughout Asia, Eastern Europe and South America with growing interest across the globe.
Bee venom therapy specifically refers to the use of bee venom, the poison that makes bee stings redden, swell and hurt, to treat medical conditions. Yet more research is needed to fully understand its potential. Ongoing clinical trials continue to provide insight, and scientists have uncovered a number of promising ways bee venom can address common health problems.
Reducing Severity of Allergic Reactions
One of the strongest areas of research that shows the positive effects of bee venom therapy centers on limiting the severity of allergic reactions to bee stings. For people with allergies to bee stings, it has been found that receiving a series of bee venom injections underneath the skin provides protection from future stings. Similar to a vaccination, controlled exposure to bee venom will activate your immune system and induce it to protect you from the harmful effects. In fact, the FDA has approved purified bee venom injected beneath the skin for use in this way. For those who are allergic to bee stings, bee venom therapy could be the solution to halt your worries of being stung.
Another benefit of bee venom therapy is its ability to reduce inflammation and swelling. This has been particularly useful for patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. In a 2008 study, people with rheumatoid arthritis were treated with bee venom therapy. After three months, they reported improvement in symptoms such as joint swelling, pain and stiffness. They also found that the symptom relapse rate was lower for individuals who underwent bee venom therapy compared to those using standard medications.
While there are plenty of benefits of bee venom therapy, some precautions should always be taken. Based on your medical history, your doctor can determine whether bee venom therapy is safe for you. Swelling and redness near the injection site are common side effects, and itching, dizziness and nausea have been reported in some cases.
Some individuals may experience severe allergic reactions, and anyone using bee venom therapy should have an EpiPen nearby for fast treatment. If you experience difficulty breathing, swelling of the throat or tongue or a rapid, weak pulse, seek medical attention immediately.
Explore Your Options
While we still have a lot to learn about bee venom therapy, this treatment offers positive benefits for a number of individuals. However, bee venom is only beneficial when administered by a trained medical professional and should be avoided in other circumstances. If your New Jersey home has become infested with bees or wasps, contact Horizon Pest Control today. Our bee control experts can eliminate these pests to help prevent stings and keep you and your family safe.