Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research (2004): Supplement 2:
2nd International Congress on Traditional Medicine and Materia Medica
Honeybee: The flying pharmacist
Saberi Najafabadi M., Tahmasebi M.A.
Ministry of Jihad e Keshavarzi, Tehran, Iran
Honeybee, a small -although powerful- creature moves from one place to another to make an elixir, which cures different diseases. To make one kilogram of honey the small creature has to carry 150000 pieces of pollen and suck the sap of ten million flowers.
Both honey and the honeybee poison have been used in treating diseases for thousands of years. The product made by such tiny creatures has been adored by the peoples of different lands and the divine books of different religions have appreciated honey. The traditional medicine books recommend honey for treating diseases such as toothache, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, malnutrition, healing wounds, and so on. Honeybee poison has been advised for treating rheumatic diseases and arthritis and so forth.
Recent studies have shown that poison of the honeybee is a complicated jumble of enzymes, proteins and amino acids, while honey contains different minerals such as calcium, sulfur, potassium, manganese, and phosphorous. Honey also contains different amino acids, vitamins and sugar.
This article presents the cases where honeybee poison is used in traditional medicine and the researches conducted on honey and poison of honeybee during recent years.