Bee Venom

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Bee venom is secreted by a gland located in the abdominal cavity of the bees. It is an odorless and transparent acidic liquid that bees often use as a defense tool against predators. Honeybee venom  is a combination of different compounds. As reported by many publications, bee venom contains several active molecules such as peptides and enzymes including melittin, apamin, adolapin, mast cell degranulating peptide, and enzymes as well as non-peptide components, such as histamine, dopamine, and norepinephrine . The main constituents are melittin, which accounts for about 50 percent of dry venom, and phospholipase A2 (PLA2), which accounts for approximately 12 percent.

Honeybee venom is a clear liquid with bitter taste, fragrant sharp. When the honeybee venom comes into contact with the air, it quickly dries and crystallizes. Dried venom becomes a light yellow color and some commercial preparations are brown, thought to be because of oxidation of some of the venom proteins.

For thousands of years, humans have used honeybee products including honey, propolis, and venom from the European honeybee as medicines, the use of these honeybee’s products for therapy of diseases is known as apitherapy. Venom from honeybees contains many enzymes and peptides that are effective against various diseases. Different research papers stated the possibility of using bee venom in treating several complications. Bee venom and its constituents have multiple biological activities including anti-microbial, anti-protozoan, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-arthritic properties. The present review aims to refer to the use of bee venom itself or its fractions in treating several diseases and counteracting drug toxicities as an alternative protocol of therapy. 

May cause allergic reactions in humans ranging from hives, asthma, to even fatal anaphylaxis !


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