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June 8, 1935

Bee Venom Therapy: Bee Venom, Its Nature, and Its Effect on Arthritic and Rheumatoid Conditions

JAMA. 1935;104(23):2120. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760230068028

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This book fails in its purpose of advancing the use of bee venom because most of the evidence is uncritical. The use of bees in medicine is traced from the time of Hippocrates to the present day. The author feels that bee stings are not accepted therapy because of the professional attitude toward lay remedies (as in the case of quinine), the seasonal and rural availability of bees (commercial vemon eliminates this factor), and the difficulty of using the procedure. The low incidence of arthritis in bee keepers and the tolerance of patients with arthritis to bee stings are noted. The venom is claimed to be effective through the increased oxidation (circulation) of the affected part. It is recommended in acute rheumatic fever and endocarditis, arthritis deformans, muscular rheumatism, myalgia, neuritis, migraine and many other conditions. It is stated to be contraindicated in tuberculosis, diabetes, gonorrhea and the "endocrine arthritides."

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