A medical journal has recently raised safety concerns regarding apitherapy, a type of alternative medicine that uses various honey bee products, such as honey, propolis, royal jelly, or even venom.
Bee sting acupuncture, which is a form of apitherapy, involves a therapist holding a honey bee by its head and pinching it until the bee’s stinger emerges and punctures the patient’s skin. Asian countries such as Korea, China and Japan commonly use apitherapy as an alternative treatment or for aesthetic purposes.
In its latest issue, the Journal of Investigational Allergology and Clinical Immunology reported that a woman from Spain died after having an allergic reaction to a “bee sting acupuncture” procedure.
According to the journal, the woman, who had been receiving apitherapy every four weeks for two years, died after having an anaphylactic reaction.
“Previous tolerance to bee stings does not prevent hypersensitivity reaction, and repeated exposure could lead to a higher risk of sensitization,” said Professor Paula Vázquez-Revuelta of the allergy department at the Ramon y Cajal University Hospital in Madrid and one of the writers for the journal. “Patients should be fully informed of the dangers of apitherapy before undergoing it.”
Full article at Korea Biomedical Review