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Benefits and Side Effects of Apitherapy

What is Apitherapy?

Apitherapy is an alternative therapy used that uses the products made by honeybees for medicinal purposes. The products include honeybees wax, royal jelly, pollen, bee venom, and propolis. A combination of these products is used to treat various conditions.

According to the American Apitherapist Society, honeybees can treat various conditions including arthritis, shingles, multiple sclerosis and gout.(1)

Researchers believe that the products help in promoting health by improving circulation and stimulating the nervous system.(2)

Benefits and Side Effects of Apitherapy

Products Used for Apitherapy

Most of the products used for apitherapy are from one species of honey bee called Apis Mellifera. The products include:


Honey is the most common and well-known product of honey bees. It is used in apitherapy in raw form. Honey contains a small number of proteins, vitamins, and enzymes and is known to have antifungal and antiviral properties.

Bee Venom

Venom is produced by worker bees to protect themselves and their hives from attack. Bees inject venom into the attacker by stinging them. Bee venom contains protein, acids, water, and volatile compound that cause a painful reaction.

Royal Jelly

Nutrient-dense royal jelly is produced by honeybees to feed their larvae in the first few days of their life. After that, only the queen bees continue eating royal jelly. It is known that worker bees can live for only 4-6 weeks but the queen bees live for up to 6 years.

Royal jelly is a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins, and proteins. Antioxidants reduce the free radicals that are responsible for aging.


A sticky substance that is used to make plant raisins is known as propolis. It has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties and is used by honeybees to keep the inside of their hives free from bacteria and fungus.

Bee Pollen

Pollen that worker bees collect from plants is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids.

Bees pollinate plants while collecting pollen and transferring them from one flower to another. They also eat the pollen that provides them with most of the dietary protein.


The pollens are processed by mixing with honey and different enzymes. These pollens ferment and form beebread that is nutrient-dense and also easy to digest.


Beeswax is used to construct the honeycomb and plug honey cells when they are ready. The wax is also mixed with propolis to cover any cracks in the hives and protect the bees from infection.

Benefits of Apitherapy

Apitherapy has been used for centuries and is being explored by researchers to explore their new uses.

A journal published in 2020 in Wiley Public Emergency Collection suggested that people with COVID-19 would benefit from the antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties of these products.(3)

Apitherapy can be used to treat nerve pain, conditions such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and injuries such as burns or wounds.(2)

The hive products are used in combination with different hive products such as essential oils.

Benefits of Apitherapy in Treating Wounds and Scars

Research shows that honey has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumor, and antimicrobial properties.(4)

Honey can be applied directly to the wound or scar. It is known to be effective in treating diabetic foot ulcers.(5) The healing process can take longer i.e. up to 3 months.

Treat Immune and Neurological Conditions

Bee venom is used to treat various ailments including Parkinson’s disease, arthritis and nerve pain. The bee venom can be administered by direct sting, acupuncture, or bee venom injection.(3)

Apitherapy Boosts Health and Overall Immunity

Being rich in royal jelly, honey, bee pollen, and propolis are thereby rich in nutrients, vitamins, and certain proteins. They can be taken as a dietary supplement and help in boosting immunity and improving overall health.

Improve Oral Hygiene

Mouthwashes contain propolis that might reduce dental plaque and gingivitis.(6)

Reduce Hay Fever Symptoms

It is found that honey made from local flowers reduces hay fever symptoms.

Side Effects and Potential Risk of Apitherapy

Some people are allergic to bee stings and other bee products, and allergy in some cases can be life-threatening.

The use of injectable bee venom is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to be used for desensitizing people who are allergic to it.(7)

The negative effects of apitherapy include:

The product from honeybees is used to promote human health in apitherapy. They help in easing symptoms of neurological diseases, autoimmune conditions, and Parkinson’s disease.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 15, 2022

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