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bee venom therapy
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• alternative medicine

 

Definition:
Many peple believe that bee venom contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties and, hence, is a useful treatment for certain conditions. There are a number of places in the United States where people, in private homes, administer bee stings to others for the purpose of treatment. The two most common conditions treated with bee stings are rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and multiple sclerosis (MS). Anecdotal reports suggest that people who get these treatments experience real benefits.

Unfortunately, all we have are anecdotal evidence - absolutely no scientific or objective testing has been done on the efficacy and impact of bee venom. Without such testing, it is impossible to know whether or not it really works or if people experience more of a placebo effect. If there is some helpful agent in bee venom, it could be identified and used in a purer form and perhaps provide even more benefit. Because supporters and participants fail to work to have bee venom tested, they are not behaving in an entirely ethical manner - this is especially true because testing is necessary to identify any long-term negative consequences of bee venom.

Also Known As: apitherapy

Alternate Spellings: none

Common Misspellings: none

Related Resources:

What is Alternative Medicine?
There's an awful lot in the news and in society about "alternative medicines" these days. By some estimates, it's an industry doing between $15 and $20 billion annually - and growing! But what is alternative medicine - how does it differ from scientific medicine and why do people use it?

Skepticism & Critical Thinking
This is the main index for issues dealing with skepticism, critical thinking, logic and arguments. The first section is Critical Thinking itself - how to think about claims and arguments you hear, how to critique arguments, and how to formulate your own arguments such that they are more likely to be sound and valid. The second section is about Skeptical Investigations - the practical application of the critical thinking skills covered in the first section. Here you will find critiques of things like astrology, alternative medicine, parapsychology, the New Age and more.

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