Complement Ther Clin Pract 2019 May 7;35:154-157. Epub 2019 Feb 7.
Department of Hematology and Internal Oncology, University of Jena, Am Klinikum 1, 07747, Jena, Germany.
Background: and purpose: Apitherapists promote the medical use of products from the beehive (bee venom, propolis, pollen, honey, royal jelly, dead bees, apilarnil, wax, wax moths), the use of beehive air or therapeutic sleep on a beehive. However, little is known about how far such treatment options are perceived as acceptable by patients.
Methods: Patients visiting either a family doctor in Kehl or a gynecologist in Weilburg (both in Germany) were asked to rate their knowledge of apitherapy as well as their readiness to use apitherapeutic measures.
Results: Honey and propolis represent the best-known bee products whereas beehive air and apilarnil are greatly unknown to the patients. Only honey seems to be an acceptable treatment option whereas propolis, pollen and royal jelly seem to be less acceptable. Bee venom was not considered an interesting treatment possibility and, in particular, live bee stings were considered less desirable. This study found that gender and acquaintance with a beekeeper influenced the patients' ratings but age, education and current medical condition did not.
Conclusion: Live bee stings, apilarnil or the inhalation of beehive air are not appealing to the majority of patients. Before apitherapeutic methods are promoted, it seems to be important to know about patients' willingness to tolerate such treatments. Perhaps therapy modifications can be offered which seem more acceptable.
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