Sunday, February 19, 2017

Patch Test Recommended Before Using Product Containing Bee Venom

Bee venom in some wrinkle creams may be dangerous


Most people do what they can to not be stung by bees. But a beauty trend has some people using that venom in creams and cleansers to help stop wrinkles.

Doctor Elizabeth Geddes-Bruce from Westlake Dermatology thinks some patients may be using products containing bee venom, but not reading the warnings or realizing the potential dangers.

The creams will list bee venom as an ingredient and experts say higher concentrations could cause stronger reactions, especially if your skin isn't perfectly smooth.

"If you have a serious reaction, it can be the kind where your throat closes and you have trouble breathing. It can be life threatening," explained Dr. Geddes-Bruce. "You might have little micro-breaks or tears or an acne bump that causes a break in the skin and then you are potentially getting exposed to it and it getting into the bloodstream."

Dermatologists recommend doing a patch test before you slather a product containing bee venom all over your face.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Bee Venom May Help Treat Dermatitis

Bee Venom Phospholipase A2 Ameliorates House Dust Mite Extract Induced Atopic Dermatitis Like Skin Lesions in Mice

Toxins 2017, 9(2), 68

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a biphasic inflammatory skin disease that is provoked by epidermal barrier defects, immune dysregulation, and increased skin infections. Previously, we have demonstrated that bvPLA2 evoked immune tolerance by inducing regulatory T cells (Treg), and thus alleviated Th2 dominant allergic asthma in mice. Here, we would like to determine whether treatment with bvPLA2 exacerbates the AD-like allergic inflammations induced by house dust mite extract (DFE) in a murine model. Epidermal thickness, immune cell infiltration, serum immunoglobulin, and cytokines were measured. Ear swelling, skin lesions, and the levels of total serum IgE and Th1/Th2 cytokines were elevated in DFE/DNCB-induced AD mice. Topical application of bvPLA2 elicited significant suppression of the increased AD symptoms, including ear thickness, serum IgE concentration, inflammatory cytokines, and histological changes. Furthermore, bvPLA2 treatment inhibited mast cell infiltration into the ear. On the other hand, Treg cell depletion abolished the anti-atopic effects of bvPLA2, suggesting that the effects of bvPLA2 depend on the existence of Tregs. Taken together, the results revealed that topical exposure to bvPLA2 aggravated atopic skin inflammation, suggesting that bvPLA2 might be a candidate for the treatment of AD.

Friday, February 17, 2017

VIDEO: Is bee venom the secret ingredient to fighting wrinkles?

CBS, 2/15/2017

Bees are becoming buzz-worthy when it comes to smoothing out wrinkles. Bee venom in creams and lotions promises to fool the skin into thinking it’s been stung. The jury is still out on whether bee venom works, but using it could be dangerous for the two million Americans allergic to insect stings.

Tanya Phillips takes great pains not to feel the pain of getting stung by her honey bees.

"Bees don't like smoke, so this keeps them away from us," said Phillips as she squeezed a handheld smoker.

Deep in southern Travis County the master beekeeper knows if she stays calm the bees might too.
"I haven't done any quick fast movements that make them feel like they're under attack," said Phillips, the owner of Bee Friendly Austin.

Phillips works so hard to avoid bee venom she doesn't understand why the toxin is creating so much buzz.

"When it's injected into the skin there's a definite plumping that occurs, but it's not something that looks good," said Phillips.

She isn't sold on using bee venom, but it's becoming a trendy new ingredient for creams and cleansers. In a small study in South Korea 22 women applied bee venom twice a day for 12 weeks...

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Propolis is Nature's First Aid

Nature’s First Aid From Comvita

Comvita, 2/15/2017

Now that summer is truly here, we are all spending more time outside, and children in particular love to be outside during the warmer weather, playing, exercising and enjoying New Zealand’s outdoor activities. Comvita has some great ways to assist with those cuts, burns and grazes which are bound to occur during this time and they have some great tips for ‘nature’s first aid’.

Propolis is known as ‘nature’s best defence’ as it is a substance made from plant resin and collected by bees to prevent the hive from infection – using it to fill breaches in the hive wall and on foreign invaders in the hive itself. Propolis has been used for health and healing purposes since the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Today it is available in capsule, tablet, spray form and many more from Comvita. In tincture form, Propolis can be applied directly to the skin to cleanse small open wounds when kids get into scrapes...

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Antibacterial Activity Of Several Western Australian Honeys

Antibacterial activity and chemical characteristics of several Western Australian honeys compared to manuka honey and pasture honey

Archives of Microbiology

March 2017, Volume 199, Issue 2,  pp 347–355

The physicochemical parameters and antibacterial activity of 10 Western Australian (WA) and two comparator honeys were determined. Honeys showed a pH range of 4.0–4.7, colour range of 41.3–470.7 mAU, methylglyoxal levels ranging from 82.2 to 325.9 mg kg−1 and hydrogen peroxide levels after 2 h of 22.7–295.5 µM.

Antibacterial activity was assessed by the disc diffusion assay, phenol equivalence assay, determination of minimum inhibitory and bactericidal concentrations and a time-kill assay. Activity was shown for all honeys by one or more method, however, activity varied according to which assay was used. Minimum inhibitory concentrations for WA honeys against 10 organisms ranged from 4.0 to > 32.0% (w/v). Removal of hydrogen peroxide activity by catalase resulted in decreased activity for several honeys.

Overall, the data showed that honeys in addition to those derived from Leptospermum spp. have antimicrobial activity and should not be overlooked as potential sources of clinically useful honey.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Thai Longan Honey Has More Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds of Thai honeys produced from several floral sources by different honey bee species

PLoS One. 2017 Feb 13;12(2):e0172099

The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of four monofloral and one multifloral of Thai honeys produced by Apis cerana, Apis dorsata and Apis mellifera were analyzed by headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) followed by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS).

The floral sources were longan, sunflower, coffee, wild flowers (wild) and lychee. Honey originating from longan had more VOCs than all other floral sources. Sunflower honey had the least numbers of VOCs. cis-Linalool oxide, trans-linalool oxide, ho-trienol, and furan-2,5-dicarbaldehyde were present in all the honeys studied, independent of their floral origin. Interestingly, 2-phenylacetaldehyde was detected in all honey sample except longan honey produced by A. cerana.

Thirty-two VOCs were identified as possible floral markers. After validating differences in honey volatiles from different floral sources and honeybee species, the results suggest that differences in quality and quantity of honey volatiles are influenced by both floral source and honeybee species. The group of honey volatiles detected from A. cerana was completely different from those of A. mellifera and A. dorsata.

VOCs could therefore be applied as chemical markers of honeys and may reflect preferences of shared floral sources amongst different honeybee species.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Analyzing Nitrofuran in Bee Pollen

Development of an analytical method for detecting nitrofurans in bee pollen by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry

J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2017 Jan 9;1046:172-176

Bee pollen collected by honeybees, which is in powdered form, is a good nutritional supplement. Nitrofuran antibiotics are assumed not to be present in bee pollen, which is important as the level of antibiotics in bee pollen is strongly regulated in many countries.

A liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method to detect nitrofurans in honey has been developed, but this method is not suitable for bee pollen because of it being in powdered form.

During preparation of bee pollen samples, the dispersal of powder particles in an aqueous solution often makes them susceptible to forming an emulsion with solvent components such as hexane and ethyl acetate. This may reduce the reproducibility and sensitivity of analyses of nitrofuran levels in bee pollen. Therefore, we attempted to optimize the sample preparation conditions to detect nitrofurans in bee pollen by determining three nitrofuran residues, namely, 3-amino-2-oxazolidinone (AOZ), 3-amino-5-methyl-morpholino-2-oxazolidinone (AMOZ), and 1-aminohydantoin (AHD), using LC-MS/MS.

The optimized method prevented the formation of powder-induced emulsion. To verify the reproducibility and sensitivity of this method, it was validated using nitrofuran-free bee pollen spiked with analytes with different side chains at 1.0, 2.0, and 5.0μgkg-1. The accuracy levels were 94.1%-104.0% and the coefficients of variation were less than 12%. The limits of detection for AOZ, AMOZ, and AHD were 0.18, 0.25, and 0.30μgkg-1, respectively, while their limits of quantitation were 0.59, 0.83, and 1.00μgkg-1.

The LC-MS/MS method developed to analyze nitrofuran in bee pollen should contribute to the quality control of bee pollen and food safety.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Propolis Gel May Help Treat Gum Disease

Design, formulation, and physicochemical evaluation of periodontal propolis mucoadhesive gel

Dent Res J (Isfahan). 2016 Nov-Dec;13(6):484-493


Periodontitis is a disease of tooth supporting tissues, and Gram-negative Bacteria are the main cause of this. Propolis has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects due to its high polyphenol and flavonoids content. The aim of this study is the formulation of a mucoadhesive gel containing concentrated extract of propolis for treatment of periodontitis.


Formulations containing carbopol 940, sodium carboxymethylcellulose (NaCMC), hydroxypropyl methylcellulose K4M, and propolis extract were prepared. Among ten prepared formulations, five formulations had acceptable and proper physical appearance and uniformity; thus, they were selected for physicochemical tests (centrifugal, thermal change, cooling and heating, freeze and thaw, thermal stress, and pH evaluation), quantification of flavonoids, viscosity, mucoadhesion, drug release, and syringeability tests. We investigated the antibacterial activity of F10 (carbopol 940 1%, NaCMC 3%) against Porphyromonas gingivalis using the disk diffusion method.


Phenolic content was measured 39.02 ± 3.24 mg/g of concentrated extract as gallic acid and flavonoid content was determined 743.28 ± 12.1 mg/g of concentrated extract as quercetin. Highest viscosity (3700 cps) and mucoadhesion (21 MPa) were seen in F10. Study of release profile in F10 also revealed that propolis could release from this system in more than 7 days. All of the five selected formulations had ease of syringeability in 21-gauge needle for drug delivery into periodontal pocket. In the disk diffusion method, F10 produced significant growth inhibition zones against P. gingivalis.


Controlled release of drug into periodontal pocket helps effective treatment and recovery, higher persistence and reduces drug use frequency. Increase of carbopol 940 leads to viscosity and mucoadhesion elevation and accordingly decreases of release rate. F10 was the best formulation because of highest viscosity and mucoadhesion and lowest release rate. It had efficient function in treatment of periodontitis, so we recommend it for clinical evaluation.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Manuka and Honeydew Honey Membranes Show Activity Against Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria

Antibacterial activities of Manuka and Honeydew honey-based membranes against bacteria that cause wound infections in animals

Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd. 2017 Feb;159(2):117-121

In this study, membranes composed of honey (Manuka or Honeydew) and pectin were developed, and the ISO 22196 method was used to evaluate their antibacterial activities against (i.e., Staphylococcus pseudointermedius, Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa) that cause wound infection in animals.

The results demonstrated that both Manuka and Honeydew honey-based membranes had strong antibacterial activities against the strain of methicillin-resistant S. pseudointermedius tested. Specifically, membranes composed of Manuka honey were effective in inhibiting the growth of Gram-negative bacteria within 3 h, whereas those composed of Honeydew honey needed 24 h to neutralise bacterial growth.

The antimicrobial activities of both membranes developed in this study suggest that they can be effectively used as wound dressing in veterinary clinical medicine.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Anti-Cancer Activity of Portuguese Propolis

Flavonoid Composition and Antitumor Activity of Bee Bread Collected in Northeast Portugal

Molecules. 2017 Feb 7;22(2). pii: E248

Bee bread (BB) is a fermented mixture of plant pollen, honey, and bee saliva that worker bees use as food for larvae, and for young bees to produce royal jelly. In the present study, five BB samples, collected from Apis mellifera iberiensis hives located in different apiaries near Bragança, in the northeast region of Portugal, and one BB commercial sample were characterized by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to a diode array detector and electrospray mass spectrometry (HPLC-DAD-ESI/MS) in terms of phenolic compounds, such as flavonoid glycoside derivatives. Furthermore, the samples were screened, using in vitro assays, against different human tumor cell lines, MCF-7 (breast adenocarcinoma), NCI-H460 (non-small cell lung cancer), HeLa (cervical carcinoma) and HepG2 (hepatocellular carcinoma), and also against non-tumor liver cells (porcine liver cells, PLP2).

The main phenolic compounds found were flavonol derivatives, mainly quercetin, kaempferol, myricetin, isorhamnetin and herbacetrin glycoside derivatives. Thirty-two compounds were identified in the six BB samples, presenting BB1 and BB3 with the highest contents (6802 and 6480 µg/g extract, respectively) and the highest number of identified compounds. Two isorhamnetin glycoside derivatives, isrohamnetin-O-hexosyl-O-rutinoside and isorhamnetin-O-pentosyl-hexoside, were the most abundant compounds present in BB1; on the other hand, quercetin-3-O-rhamnoside was the most abundant flavonol in BB3. However, it was not possible to establish a correlation between the flavonoids and the observed low to moderate cytotoxicity (ranging from >400 to 68 µg/mL), in which HeLa and NCI-H460 cell lines were the most susceptible to the inhibition.

To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report characterizing glycosidic flavonoids in BB samples, contributing to the chemical knowledge of this less explored bee product.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Honey Allergy is Rare, But Serious

Anaphylaxis caused by honey: a case report

Asia Pac Allergy. 2017 Jan;7(1):48-50

Honey allergy is a very rare, but serious health condition. In this study, we presented 1 patient who had anaphylaxis after the honey allergological investigation with skin prick-prick test with honey. Honey as a food has been associated to allergic reactions and as the increased consumption of honey in health food may increase the incidence of honey-related allergic reactions.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Anti-Cancer Properties of Saudi Arabian Propolis

Characteristics, chemical compositions and biological activities of propolis from Al-Bahah, Saudi Arabia

Sci Rep. 2017 Feb 6;7:41453

Propolis has been used to treat several diseases since ancient times, and is an important source of bioactive natural compounds and drug derivatives. These properties have kept the interest of investigators around the world, leading to the investigation of the chemical and biological properties and application of propolis.

In this report, the chemical constituents that are responsible for the anticancer activities of propolis were analyzed. The propolis was sourced from Al-Baha in the southern part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Standard protocols for chemical fractionation and bioactivity-guided chemical analysis were used to identify the bio-active ethyl acetate fraction. The extraction was performed in methanol and then analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The major compounds are triterpenoids, with a relative concentration of 74.0%; steroids, with a relative concentration of 9.8%; and diterpenoids, with a relative concentration of 7.9%. The biological activity was characterized using different approaches and cell-based assays.

Propolis was found to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells in a concentration-dependent manner through apoptosis. Immunofluorescence staining with anti-α-tubulin antibodies and cell cycle analysis indicated that tubulin and/or microtubules are the cellular targets of the L-acetate fraction. This study demonstrates the importance of Saudi propolis as anti-cancer drug candidates.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Be Careful of Fake Manuka Honey

Bee careful: that manuka honey may be fake

The Sunday Times, February 6, 2017

Kourtney Kardashian swears by it, Scarlett Johansson loves its “amazing glow” and Gwyneth Paltrow used to pour it in her smoothies. There is only one snag with New Zealand-made manuka honey, the high-priced, high-profile­ superfood much loved by celebrities and their fans: a lot of it is as fake as spray-on tan.

Research commissioned by The Sunday Times has found that honey sold under the New Zealand manuka label at up to £45 ($73) a pot may not be manuka.

Results of the research last week persuaded Fortnum & Mason, the upmarket London grocer, to clear its shelves of its own-brand manuka honey after tests showed that it might not be genuine. Honey sold by Holland & Barrett and Amazon also failed the tests.

Commonly sold in health shops and believed by some to have a wide range of healing properties, the thick, dark-brown honey is supposed to be made from the nectar of bees that ­forage in manuka bushes found mainly in New Zealand.

However, any claims to being a health food are not accepted by New Zealand and British officials, and there has long been suspicion that cheaper honeys have been mislabelled as manuka to fetch higher prices, not least because an estimated 10,000 tons of supposed manuka honey is sold around the world each year...

Monday, February 06, 2017

Royal Jelly as a Superfood

Two superfoods you have never heard of!

Hindustan Times, 2/5/2017

In the cornucopia of ancient remedies culled from the plant and animal world, two superfoods stood out among others for their special properties. These two were expensive and not easily available, so they were classified as treasures. They are a little easier to get now, and perhaps not as expensive. So here’s a look at them.

1. Royal jelly

This special compound is a unique health food that has been in use since ancient times across China and South East Asia due to its many health and youth bestowing properties.

What is royal jelly?

A product of honey, royal jelly is the food that worker bees feed their queen bee. The queen bee is the most fertile bee in the hive and her only job is to rest and eat this magical food. With this as her sole diet, the queen bee grows to a very large size and eventually is so fertile that she gives birth to many, many bees.

Health benefits

Today, royal jelly is used to treat menopausal symptoms, it helps manage infertility and is added in skin creams for its anti-ageing effects. It is also used to improve brain and neuronal functions that are linked with ageing...

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Beeswax Ointment in Traditional Iranian Pharmacy

Qairooti (Cerate or Cera Beeswax Salve) in Traditional Iranian Pharmacy

Iran J Med Sci. 2016 May;41(3 Suppl):S8


Qairooti (Cerate), a medicinal salve or ointment, compounded of wax and oil, is a formulation used alone or as a basis for medicinal dosage forms. It is widely used from the ancient times to the present. Based on its structure, beeswax has unique characteristics. It builds stable emulsions and increases water absorbance of creams and ointments. The aim of this study was to gather all pharmaceutical information about preparing Qairooti products from traditional pharmacopoeaes, such as the various types of Qairooti and their preparation methods.


In this article, various types of Qairooti, their producing method and related indications have been discussed based on the main medical Persian manuscripts including Al-Canon fil tibb (Canon of Avicenna), Gharabadin-e-Kabir, Gharabadin-e-Salehi, Exir-e-Azam, Alhavi, Kamel-al-sanaat, Zakhireh-ye Khwarazm shahi, al-Shamel-fi-sanawat-al-tebie, Ekhtiarate badiee, Kholasat-al-tajarob, Tib-e-Akbari, Mofareh al-gholoob, Makhzan-ul-Adwiah, Hedayat-al-motealemin-fi-al-tibb, Altasrif-le-man-ajeza-an-talif, etc.


About 500 different formulations from the above-mentioned manuscripts were found and their preparation method and other required information were collected. The amounts of oil and wax in Qairooti are not fixed and depend on different factors; providing the best consistency and appearance of the formulation, such as seasonal temperature. In order to prepare cerate, wax has to be melted by indirect heat and then mixed with the isothermal oil. Mixing process should be performed precisely to provide a homogenized product. If the multi-ingredient cerate is needed, other constituents have to be added to the warm mixture of oil and wax.


There are many kinds of Qairooti in traditional Iranian pharmacopoeias recommended for different indications. Cerate was a common medication for injuries and wounds. Although it is still used in conventional medicine, some clinical applications in traditional Iranian medicine have been forgotten nowadays. It is recommended that we have a smarter approach to the traditional pharmacopoeias in order to use past experience and transcend existing knowledge of modern pharmacy.