Bee Venom Therapy and MS

Bee venom is being investigated as a possible natural treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS). It is understood that bee venom stimulates immune response with adrenalin and endogenous cortisol release. The exact mechanism for achieving these results is not well understood.The anti-inflammatory constituents, however, have been identified. Melittin is the most abundant of these substances and is known to be 100 times more potent than hydrocortisone.

Bee venom therapy, also known or apitherapy, has a large following of MS patients internationally. Many find it very useful for reducing the common MS symptoms of fatigue, spasm and instability. It is symptomatic treatment, however, and cannot impact the degeneration of neural tissue.

It is essential that allergy to honey bee venom be determined prior to the start of treatment. Allergies to yellow jackets and wasps do not necessarily indicate a honeybee allergy. Careful monitoring by a doctor and experienced beekeeper during the first injections is paramount. Anaphylactic responses can be life threatening.

Once allergy has been ruled out, the patient can choose to sting themselves with live bees or inject small amounts of venom under the skin. Live bee venom is thought to be significantly more potent and therapeutic. Most patients insist that the best results require 6 to 10 stings at least twice a week. It is also reported that any noticeable change in symptoms may require several months of consistent treatment.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 31 Dec 1999

Last Modified: 25 Sep 2015