The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Apitherapy: Experience of German Beekeepers

    √ā¬†Apitherapy is the use of bee products such as honey to prevent or treat illness and promote healing.

    Researchers at Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen, Germany conducted a survey of beekeepers.

    First, the details.

    • Approximately 35,000 beekeepers were surveyed; 1059 completed questionnaires were returned.
    • The questionnaire included questions on the use of apitherapy.

    And, the results.

    • The beekeepers reported the most effective and favorable therapeutic effects with honey, followed by propolis, pollen, and royal jelly.
      • Propolis: reddish resinous cement collected by bees from the buds of trees
      • Pollen: fertilizing element of flowering plants
      • Royal jelly: substance secreted from the glands of worker honeybees, fed to all larvae during their first few days and then only to those larvae selected to be queens
    • Propolis was most frequently to treat colds, wounds and burns, sore throats, gum disorders, and as a general prophylactic.
    • Pollen was most commonly used as a general prophylactic and, less frequently to treat prostate diseases.
    • No adverse experiences were reported.
    • Factors associated with successful experiences:
      • Age of the beekeeper
      • Number of hives tended
      • Health consciousness of the beekeeper
      • Positive experiences with 1 product
      • Self-administration of treatment

    The bottom line?
    This appears to be the first study on therapeutic experiences with bee products among beekeepers.

    A Cochrane review and others have published favorable reviews of honey to treat wounds.

    1/20/09 21:33 JR

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