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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 192-193

Honey and bee venom in dermatology: A novel possible alternative or complimentary therapy for psoriasis vulgaris

1 Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, Hitit University, Çorum, Turkey
2 Urfa MediGap Hospital, Clinic of Neurology, Urfa, Turkey
3 Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Economics, Anadolu University, Eskisehir, Turkey

Date of Web Publication17-Nov-2014

Correspondence Address:
Engin Senel
Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, Hitit University, Çorum
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0257-7941.144626

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How to cite this article:
Senel E, Kuyucu M, Süslü I. Honey and bee venom in dermatology: A novel possible alternative or complimentary therapy for psoriasis vulgaris. Ancient Sci Life 2014;33:192-3

How to cite this URL:
Senel E, Kuyucu M, Süslü I. Honey and bee venom in dermatology: A novel possible alternative or complimentary therapy for psoriasis vulgaris. Ancient Sci Life [serial online] 2014 [cited 2023 Mar 21];33:192-3. Available from: https://www.ancientscienceoflife.org/text.asp?2014/33/3/192/144626


In this communication, we propose a hypothesis of honey and bee venom which has been used in the Ayurvedic treatments of arthritis, wounds, eczemas, and dermatitis to be a possible treatment option for psoriasis

Honey is a carbohydrate-rich compound derived from floral and other plants nectars modified by honeybee, Apis mellifera. Bee honey has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-oxidant properties due to its osmotic effect, hydrogen peroxide content, and high acidity. Treatment options of the venom components of this order have been widely studied in the literature. [1] It has been well-documented that undiluted honey inhibits the growth of organisms such as Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans[2],[3] Jeddar et al. reported that honey at 40% concentration was bactericidal to certain Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. [2] Honey improves wound-healing, and it can be used as a wound-dressing. [4] It has been also reported that bee honey and venom regimens had been used in the Ayurvedic and folkloric treatments of arthritis, eczemas, and dermatitis [5] Recent reports confirm that the honey is efficient in the treatment of venous and pressure ulcers [6],[7]

Bee venom acupuncture (BVA) method is a kind of herbal acupuncture performed with diluted honey bee venom and used efficiently in the treatment of various diseases [8] BVA can be used into acupoints or ashi points on the body. [9] It has been reported that BVA had analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-arthritic effects Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, autoimmune, and inflammatory disorder of unknown etiology characterized by the progressive destruction of synovial membranes and articular surfaces CD4 + T cells have a major role in the inflammation of the disease with release of the various inflammatory cytokine productions such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-1 (IL-1). The major aims of treatment in RA are relief of the pain, prevention of disability, and reduction of inflammatioṇ [10] Recent studies reported that BVA is an effective therapeutic option in the treatment of RA. [10],[11],[12],[13],[14] Kwon et al. reported that BVA is a clinically effective and safe method for relieving pain in the patients with knee arthritis [11] Suh et al. stated that BVA decreased the proteolytic enzyme activity and free-radical induced protein damage in the synovial fluid in an animal model. [14] Bee venom has been reported to inhibit macrophages and lymphocytes and to decrease the infiltration of the leukocytes and fibroblast to synovium. It causes a reduction of the amount of the cytokines such as CD54, CD56, IL-1, and IL-2. [12] Psoriasis is a common, chronic, and recurrent inflammatory disease of the skin characterized by erythematous and scaling plaques The etiopathogenesis of the disease has not been clarified yet, but it has been showed that Th2 cell activity and IL-2 production are reduced in the disease. [15] Elevated levels IL-1 α- and β-mRNA were found to be expressed in the keratinocytes cultured from the psoriatic lesions [16] We propose that bee venom therapy may be an alternative therapeutic option in the treatment of psoriasis vulgaris that shares the similar pathway with RA. Multicenter and controlled studies may be considered out to clarify this hypothesis

  References Top

Watanabe AS, Fonseca LA, Galvão CE, Kalil J, Castro FF. Specific immunotherapy using Hymenoptera venom: Systematic review. Sao Paulo Med J 2010;128:30-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
Jeddar A, Kharsany A, Ramsaroop UG, Bhamjee A, Haffejee IE, Moosa A. The antibacterial action of honey. An in vitro study. S Afr Med J 1985;67:257-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
Obaseiki-Ebor EE, Afonya TC. In-vitro evaluation of the anticandidiasis activity of honey distillate (HY-1) compared with that of some antimycotic agents J Pharm Pharmacol 1984;36:283-4.  Back to cited text no. 3
Yaghoobi R, Kazerouni A, Kazerouni O. Evidence for clinical use of honey in wound healing as an anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory anti-oxidant and anti-viral agent: A review. Jundishapur J Nat Pharm Prod 2013;8:100-4.  Back to cited text no. 4
Ediriweera ER, Premarathna NY. Medicinal and cosmetic uses of Bee's Honey - A review. Ayu 2012;33:178-82.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Gethin G, Cowman S Manuka honey vs hydrogel: A prospective, open label, multicentre, randomised controlled trial to compare desloughing efficacy and healing outcomes in venous ulcers J Clin Nurs 2009;18:466-74.  Back to cited text no. 6
Yapucu Günes U, Eser I. Effectiveness of a honey dressing for healing pressure ulcers J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs 2007;34:184-90.  Back to cited text no. 7
Lee JD, Park HJ, Chae Y, Lim S An overview of bee venom acupuncture in the treatment of arthritis Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2005;2:79-84.  Back to cited text no. 8
Lee MS, Pittler MH, Shin BC, Kong JC, Ernst E. Bee venom acupuncture for musculoskeletal pain: A review. J Pain 2008;9:289-97.  Back to cited text no. 9
Lee JA, Son MJ, Choi J, Yun KJ, Jun JH, Lee MS Bee venom acupuncture for rheumatoid arthritis: A systematic review protocol. BMJ Open 2014;4:e004602.  Back to cited text no. 10
Kwon YB, Kim JH, Yoon JH, Lee JD, Han HJ, Mar WC, et al. The analgesic efficacy of bee venom acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis: A comparative study with needle acupuncture. Am J Chin Med 2001;29:187-99.  Back to cited text no. 11
Park HJ, Lee SH, Son DJ, Oh KW, Kim KH, Song HS, et al. Antiarthritic effect of bee venom: Inhibition of inflammation mediator generation by suppression of NF-kappaB through interaction with the p50 subunit. Arthritis Rheum 2004;50:3504-15.  Back to cited text no. 12
Son DJ, Lee JW, Lee YH, Song HS, Lee CK, Hong JT. Therapeutic application of anti-arthritis, pain-releasing, and anti-cancer effects of bee venom and its constituent compounds Pharmacol Ther 2007;115:246-70.  Back to cited text no. 13
Suh SJ, Kim KS, Kim MJ, Chang YC, Lee SD, Kim MS, et al. Effects of bee venom on protease activities and free radical damages in synovial fluid from type II collagen-induced rheumatoid arthritis rats Toxicol In Vitro 2006;20:1465-71.  Back to cited text no. 14
Krueger JG, Bowcock A. Psoriasis pathophysiology: Current concepts of pathogenesis Ann Rheum Dis 2005;64 Suppl 2:ii30-6.  Back to cited text no. 15
Prens EP, Benne K, van Damme J, Bakkus M, Brakel K, Benner R, et al. Interleukin-1 and interleukin-6 in psoriasis J Invest Dermatol 1990;95:121S-4.  Back to cited text no. 16

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