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Bee venom acupuncture: Deadly quackery that can kill

Bee venom acupuncture is a form of apitherapy (treatment with bee products, such as venom, honey, or pollen) in which bee venom is injected along acupuncture points, often by actual bees. It also recently resulted in the death of a woman from anaphylactic shock. Basically, the use of bee venom acupuncture cannot be justified because it has no proven benefits and is potentially deadly.

I’ve been blogging for over 13 years now, and periodically I find my self saying something along the lines of, “I thought I had encountered every form of quackery, but I was wrong.” This is yet another of those times. I also find myself sometimes saying that I would have written about a case or a topic before, but real life intervened. This, too, is another of those times, with the real life intervention being my travel to Chicago for the Society of Surgical Oncology meeting, which is why there was no post yesterday. Meeting or no meeting, this particular case is so bizarre that I felt obligated to mention it. Also, because it shows how the sort of pseudoscientific quackery and rubbish (such as jade eggs intended to be stuck up women’s vaginas) promoted by Gwyneth Paltrow through her “health and wellness business” Goop, which includes everything from silly stickers that claim to rebalance your energy to psychic vampire repellent to a “wellness conference” In Goop Health that promoted a wide variety of quackery up to and including featuring an “holistic psychiatrist” who is not just antivaccine but an HIV/AIDS denialist, just harmless twaddle about health and beauty. It can be deadly. For instance, there’s a form of apitherapy (treatment involving bee products like honey, venom, or pollen) known as bee venom acupuncture.

So let’s go back to a 2016 New York Times interview with Gwyneth Paltrow. It’s a typical fluff celebrity interview. At one point we learn:

I’m always the guinea pig to try everything. I’ve got to try them all. I love acupuncture. Also, I just heard of a service called a sound bath, which might be too hippie-ish even for the likes of me. It’s some new healing modality. I might not be able to handle it.

But generally, I’m open to anything. I’ve been stung by bees. It’s a thousands of years old treatment called apitherapy. People use it to get rid of inflammation and scarring. It’s actually pretty incredible if you research it. But, man, it’s painful. I haven’t done cryotherapy yet, but I do want to try that.

Yes, intentionally letting oneself be stung by bees on “acupuncture points” along “acupuncture meridians” would indeed be painful. I mean, holy hell, at least even Senator Tom Harkin, the man responsible for the abomination that is the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, only used bee pollen, believing that it cured his allergies. On the other hand, one must be fair and note that apitherapy includes more than just bee venom acupuncture or even just bee venom products. It includes anything related to bees, including honey and pollen. Still, Paltrow clearly said that she let herself be stung by bees, meaning that the form of apitherapy she used was at least similar to bee venom acupuncture, probably without the layering on of acupuncture woo on top of the bee venom woo.

Now, fast forward to 2018, with news reports about an unfortunate woman from Spain:

A woman in Spain died after undergoing a supposedly routine “bee acupuncture” treatment and then suffering an allergic reaction that put her in a coma.

The alternative medicine procedure is more or less what its name conjures up: Instead of a needle, an acupuncture practitioner injects bee venom into the body at certain points. In some instances, live bees are used to sting and inject venom into the person directly.

The case in Spain involved live bees, according to the Journal of Investigational Allergology and Clinical Immunology, a Spanish medical journal. The patient, a 55-year-old woman, had already been going to such bee acupuncture sessions every four weeks over a two-year period to treat stiff muscles and stress, the journal stated.

In fairness, we have no idea whether this unfortunate victim of rank quackery first learned of bee venom through Gwyneth Paltrow. Quackery like this has many messengers promoting it. However, Paltrow’s endorsement of the procedure could easily lead others to harm, because injecting bee venom is not a benign procedure. Before I discuss the “evidence base” (if you can call it that) for bee venom therapy, let’s quote from the case report:

We report the case of a 55-year-old woman who had been attending apitherapy sessions every 4 weeks for 2 years with good tolerance. She decided to receive apitherapy to improve muscular contractures and stress. She had no clinical record of any other diseases (eg, asthma, heart disease), other risk factors, previous reactions of any kind with hymenoptera, or atopy. During an apitherapy session, she developed wheezing, dyspnea, and sudden loss of consciousness immediately after a live bee sting. An ambulance was called, although it took 30 minutes to arrive. The apitherapy clinic personnel administered methylprednisolone. No adrenaline was available. When the ambulance arrived, the patient’s systolic pressure had dropped to 42 mmHg and her heart rate had increased to 110 bpm. Oxygen saturation was not reported. Treatment was administered immediately and consisted of a double dose of adrenaline (0.5 mg each), saline infusion, intravenous corticosteroids, and antihistamines. During transfer to our hospital, the patient’s blood pressure and heart rate stabilized, although her Glasgow Coma Scale score was 6; therefore, she was intubated. At admission, a computed tomography scan was compatible with watershed stroke, while the results of an EKG, chest x-ray, and basic blood analyses were normal. Unfortunately, tryptase was not determined during the acute episode. Basal serum tryptase was normal. During admission, in vitro tests were performed 3 days after the reaction, as soon as our allergy department was consulted (Table). In vivo tests could not be performed because the patient had received antihistamine and her clinical situation was problematic. The patient died some weeks later of multiorgan failure. Persistent hypotension during severe anaphylaxis had caused a massive watershed stroke and permanent coma with multiorgan impairment.

So basically, here we have the case of a woman typical of those using alternative medicine, someone who sounds like one of the “worried well.” Basically, she sounded as though she were pretty healthy, but with some vague complaints, and that she was using bee venom acupuncture to treat them. She underwent routine bee venom treatments and over time apparently became sensitized to the bee venom. Then, because she was at what was probably an “integrative medicine” clinic, the clinic apparently didn’t have a crash cart, or at least didn’t have one of the key drugs that every crash cart needs to stock: Epinephrine. As a result, when the woman had an anaphylactic reaction to the bee venom and became hypotensive to a level not compatible with life if not reversed quickly, they couldn’t treat her adequately. (Hint: Steroids are NOT enough.) They also apparently didn’t have antihistamines (at least initial treatment with antihistamines was not mentioned). The single most important drug to have on hand, though, is epinephrine. It’s why people with severe food allergies and, yes, bee sting allergies carry an epinephrine autoinjector like an EpiPen around with them. Minutes, even seconds, count, and this woman went 30 minutes without effective treatment for her anaphylactic shock. Her profound hypotension (low blood pressure) resulted in a severe stroke and multiorgan damage that she could not recover from.

Leaving aside for a moment the lack of evidence that bee venom acupuncture is effective for anything, for a clinic administering bee venom subcutaneously to patients not to have epinephrine on hand in a properly stocked crash cart to treat an anaphylactic reaction was not just malpractice. No, it was criminal malpractice. It’s not as though allergies to bee stings are not well known to be common enough that you have to be ready to treat them. Moreover, just because this women had undergone apparently many sessions does not mean that she could not over time become sensitized to the bee venom and eventually develop an allergic reaction. Indeed, we can never know for sure, as the case report does not say, but I help but speculate that before her anaphylactic reaction this woman had likely developed slowly increasing signs of an allergic reaction to the bee venom, maybe a bit of hives, maybe a little tightness in her chest or flushing, before the session where she suffered final “big one” that were either not recorded, ignored, or dismissed as part of the therapy “working.”

As the case report authors note:

Previous tolerance to bee stings does not prevent hypersensitivity reaction; however, repeated exposure favors a higher risk of sensitization.

Exactly. A certain percentage of patients who undergo bee venom acupuncture (or any bee venom treatment) will become sensitized to bee venom, as this woman was.

There actually exists something called the American Apitherapy Society. A quick look at its website reveals many of the hallmarks of quackery, most prominent of which is the claim that the “products of the honeybee,” such as bee venom, honey, pollen, royal jelly, propolis, and beeswax, can treat just about everything:

Immune system dysfunction or problems

  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Hay fever

Neurologic problems

  • MS
  • ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
  • Shingles
  • Scar pain

Musculoskeletal problems

  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Tendonitis, bursitis
  • Spinal pain

Infectious problems

  • Bacterial, viral, and fungal illnesses

Traumas

  • Wounds, acute and chronic

Burns

  • Sprains
  • Fractures

Tumors

  • Benign
  • Malignant (cancer)

And, of course, the American Apitherapy Society features many testimonials of people supposedly “cured” (or at least helped) with multiple sclerosis, injuries, rheumatoid arthritis, pain, skin cancer, and, of course, Lyme disease. In fairness, it is quite possible that there could be medicinal substances in various “products of the hive,” but, if there are, certainly the American Apitherapy Society doesn’t provide compelling evidence for their efficacy. A search of PubMed finds around 158 articles on apitherapy, but most are either preclinical studies in cell culture or some in animal studies or highly speculative. There are a handful of clinical trials, nearly all of them looking at either honey or bee pollen. In terms of using actual bee venom, there is a crappy open label, single arm trial of 11 patients testing bee venom acupuncture as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease and another crappy single-blind randomized trial using apitherapy for central post stroke pain. There is one small randomized trial suggesting benefit of apitherapy in localized plaque psoriasis, but I am underwhelmed, and, as far as I can tell, none of these studies used actual bee stings, but rather instead used diluted bee venom.

As I’ve discussed many times before, acupuncture is a http://www.dcscience.net/2013/05/30/acupuncture-is-a-theatrical-placebo-the-end-of-a-myth/
. It doesn’t matter where you stick the needles or even if you stick the needles in (as long as the needle tips touch the skin); the effect is the same. You can even use toothpicks instead of needles! No matter how much acupuncture advocates try to claim that it is effective, the totality of evidence says otherwise.

So “bee venom acupuncture” is nothing more than apitherapy gussied up with acupuncture terminology, in much the same way that “electroacupuncture” is really transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation gussied up with acupuncture terminology co-opting acupuncture points or “biopuncture” is (hilariously) homeopathy gussied up with acupuncture, because apparently just one form of quackery wasn’t enough. In any case, “bee venom acupuncture” is just apitherapy. (Yes, it needs to be repeated.) There does exist a review article in (of course!) Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (an oxymoron if ever there was one) claiming to find some evidence of efficacy, but it included a bunch of low quality studies and seemed to bend over backwards to include studies from journals such as The Journal of Korean Society for Acupuncture and Moxibustion and The Journal of Korean Oriental Medicine. Naturally, the authors proclaim bee venom acupuncture to be “promising” and urge more study.

I prefer the conclusion of the authors of the case report:

Our data enable us to conclude that measures to identify sensitized patients at risk should be implemented before each apitherapy sting. Patients should be fully informed of the dangers of apitherapy before undergoing it. Apitherapy practitioners should be trained in managing severe reactions and should be able to ensure they perform their techniques in a safe environment, with adequate facilities for management of anaphylaxis and rapid access to an intensive care unit in order to prevent suboptimal management, such as delays in treatment (the patient waited 30 minutes before receiving intramuscular adrenaline). However, these measures may not be possible. Therefore, the risks of undergoing apitherapy may exceed the presumed benefits, leading us to conclude that this practice is both unsafe and unadvisable.

Basically, they’re saying that bee venom acupuncture’s risks outweigh its potential benefits, but that if it’s going to be done the practitioner should know how to manage an anaphylactic reaction (ha!), an ambulance and ICU should be rapidly available, and patients should be informed how potentially dangerous this treatment can be. Personally, I’d say not to do it at all, but I suppose a case can be made for mitigating harm if people are going to be stubborn and ignorant enough to use a treatment with no scientifically proven benefits that can potentially kill you if you’re unlucky enough to be allergic to bee stings or to develop such an allergy while undergoing treatment. Again, the potential benefits of bee venom treatment (none demonstrated in anything resembling rigorous trials) are far outweighed by the danger.

Thanks, Gwyneth Paltrow, for popularizing this sort of nonsense. Oh, and Kate Middleton, Victoria Beckham, Simon Cowell and Kylie Minogue, too, although at least they just apply it to the skin and don’t combine it with acupuncture. Even so, application of an allergen to the skin can cause an anaphylactic reaction, too. Celebrity pseudoscience and stupidity are universal.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

71 replies on “Bee venom acupuncture: Deadly quackery that can kill”

Unlike the celebrities promoting apitherapy the bees are valuable to the ecology. Perhaps they should use celebrity venom instead.

Shouldn’t there be a “CAM Adverse Event Reporting System” to which we could report these adverse events and then use this as irrefutable evidence on the internet and social media that the harms of CAM outweigh the benefits?

Devil’s in the detail (implementation of the thing, laws about mandatory reporting or not) but this, so this!

Alain

Excellent idea, and we could build that on a site very much like this one. Readers email site editors with links to mainstream media articles on incidents (send complete link in plaintext email to prevent spoofing/phishing malware attacks), editors read the articles and enter the relevant data into a database. Editors publish a daily article or two, readers can hang out and comment as we do here.

Relying on mainstream media articles as the sources of reports, provides at least a minimally-efficacious means of screening reports for credibility (as distinct from just asking the public to send in their anecdotes). Over time, the usefulness of the database may lead to collaborations and/or resources that can improve the scope of data collection.

The site will get all the publicity it actually needs, by merely existing: it will attract legit health professionals and informed laypeople, and occasional cranks whose comments will add amusement. It’s better to not publicize it in places such as Faceborg because that will lead to an overwhelming flood of redundant input.

The database itself can be made available on a read-only basis for anyone logged into the site, the better to encourage folks to think about the subject matter, write about it in other forums, and check their own informal hypotheses with the data.

It’s not as though allergies to bee stings are not well known to be common enough that you have to be ready to treat them.

I have known since I was in grade school that bee stings can cause death by allergic reaction, because at least one of my classmates was allergic to bee stings and had to carry the then equivalent of an EpiPen for that reason. Most of my classmates knew this, too. There were no medical professionals in my family, and the only medical professional I knew at the time was my pediatrician (who had no need to enlighten me on the subject of allergies because I did not, and to the best of my knowledge still do not, have any).

If this was common knowledge among elementary school students in the 1970s, there is no excuse for any alleged medical clinic in 2018 to not be aware of it.

Maybe not so much “unaware of it” as rationalizing it. You could easily see them thinking, “Well, bee stings are powerful medicine because they can make people fall over and die, but the bee isn’t targeting the right administration point… clearly we can control this by using ‘proper’ acupuncture points.” Still seems pretty crazy and irresponsible to play with this at all without having the proper medications to handle a ‘mistake’ on hand. My brother has a bee sting allergy and it’s really pretty scary when you stop and think about it.

I’m allergic to bee & wasp stings. The last time I was really stung was as a child, and I luckily didn’t have a full anaphylactic reaction, only rashes/swelling. But my parents got me an epipen just to be safe. I don’t have one now–I was sort-of stung a few years ago by a bee, but it only scraped me; I immediately drove to the local hospital (less than five minutes away) just in case, but only had some minor swelling, luckily. Now that I’m living in an area where bees/wasps are more plentiful I should probably see about getting another, and I am extremely careful outdoors and will not go near bees or wasps!

The very idea of intentionally injecting bee venom into anyone without an ana kit gives me the shivers.

I’ve certainly heard lots of people suggesting local honey to help with hay fever, but obviously, the risk there is orders of magnitude lower, and there are good economic and environmental reasons to buy local honey. So, hey, in that case, even if it does jack for hay fever, go for it! But I’ve never heard a good case for any of the rest of it.

My wife was diagnosed with MS and there was this guy getting media attention for claiming that he had his MS in remission due to regularly stinging himself with bees along his spine. So we (she) figures why not try this? BTW, this was a long time ago and before I became fully skeptical of these things. Anyhow, we met this guy and he gives us a mason jar full of bees and instructions (grab a bee with tweezers and apply to the right spot). We get home and look at the jar of angry buzzing bees and the ludicrousness of the whole enterprise kicks in and we laugh a lot and release the bees outside. End of apitherapy, round 1.
Next comes bee venom cream from the SIL with chronic Lyme. Raises a nasty red rash but nothing else so dropped as well. End of apitherapy, round 2.
My uncle kept bees for a while and never used protective gear (that’s for sissies) until one day a sting dropped him like he’d been shot and off to the hospital and no more bees after that.
We were lucky that nothing happened and there was no reaction to the bee cream. We would have been totally unprepared for it and it could have been as bad as this poor woman’s case. My SIL uses this stuff and other bee products regularly and I know she is not thinking of possible reactions and how to handle it and her naturopath isn’t thinking of this either. It promotes ‘good inflammation’ don’t you know. And aren’t epi-pens made by big pharma?

It sounds like an invocation of the Law of Similars to me. You treat a condition with the stuff that causes it.

Of course the Law of Similars is bunk. Unlike the Law of Unintended Consequences, which is strictly enforced.

I have been very fortunate to have never signed up with Facebook to become a data mining product. I am not planning on breaking that string of good luck, even to see that picture.

😉

I signed up about 10 years ago in order to send a congratulatory note to a former colleague who at just published his first novel. I think I signed on 2 or 3 times after that. I don’t think Facebook is getting much info on me.

Same here: and we have also avoided becoming involuntary guinea pigs for Russian cybersocial warfare experiments.

Honestly, i think the bees are worth more than the people promoting this quackery (I’m looking at you, Gwyneth).

Goopster: “I haven’t done cryotherapy yet, but I do want to try that.”

Around here, for half the year, we call this going outside. Perhaps I should start a cryo-resort for LA celebrities.

Oh, that sounds brilliant! There was great fun around here (Twin Cities, Minnesota) durin the Superbowl this year. We are apparently the first city to set up big, official, open-to-the-public outdoor events. And we’re also the coldest city with an NFL franchise. 😀 (Apparently Green Bay is slightly warmer. But they don’t have a roof on their stadium, so honestly I think that gives them more bragging rights.)

Anyhoo, there was much merriment seeing how astonished many wealthy Californian and Floridian celebrities were by the cold weather. They knew it was gonna be cold (it’s Minnesota, ya know?) but they were definitely not prepared to learn what cold really means. And we got some lovely subzero nights that week. February isn’t always that cold here, but this year it delivered.

It’s unseasonably cold now. Snowing at the moment. I’m not looking forward to my commute home. But if we could start selling at cryotherapy, I’m sure there’s a buck or two to be made. We could even set up something all boutique-like up on the north shore of Lake Superior and make it all classy and outdoorsy so they think it’s more real. 😀

Oh ( non-existent) g-d almighty!

About 10 years ago somebody I know not me got bit by quite a few ( I forget the estimated number of) large bees and CLAIMED that his arthritic knee felt much better and then sought out bees in hopes of stings.
I told him that I doubted it did anything.

He sometimes opined that we should seek out placebos too.

re cryotherapy:
rs, if you should start up a cryo resort don’t forget to add additional woo to attract believers:
after you jump into a Canadian cryo lake, you should offer bamboo towels and organic ice teas How about cryo-puncture using frozen steel needles or suchlike? Or cryo-massage involving ice cubes?
The dirty little secret about cryo may be that there was some woo that stated that freezing yourself helped you to lose weight without effort – except for the shivering. Weight concerns are frequently the basis of celebrity-loved woo.

I know that Russians swear by sitting in a hot sauna and then running out in the cold (sometimes even jumping in cold water) and then running back inside. Supposedly it is “healthy” (in the folk sense), but probably just invigorating or whatever. You know, kind of like being slapped all over with birch branches (a real thing.)

A similar sensation can be created by having a hot shower and then turning off the hot water for a blast of cold water at the end. This fell out of fashion when it was discovered that it could induce angina.
As a side note, I’ve been stung by both bees and wasps. The latter hurt worse.

Absolutely on bees vs. wasps. Plus wasps don’t do sh*t for anybody, they can sting multiple times, and they bite, too. When I was about three years old, I accidentally stepped into an underground wasps’ (yellow jackets) nest; let’s just say I still remember it vividly.

Plus wasps don’t do sh*t for anybody

They also swarmed some pistachio sausages that I had hung to cure for a few days. Fun cleaning that up.

The sauna is also a Finnish custom.

I remember attending sauna parties in Canada where one would sit in a110-120 degree C sauna for a while, walk barefoot for about 10m across the snow and jump through the hole in the ice in the swimming pool to cool down then walk back. Very refreshing.

Julian Frost’s assertion that “A similar sensation can be created by having a hot shower and then turning off the hot water for a blast of cold water at the end” is probably based on experiences with the anaemic saunas found in gyms which are better termed overheated rooms than saunas.

The experiences are not remotely similar but I think that outside of Russia, Finland and a few Finnish colonies in Canada it is rare to find a “real” sauna.

I don’t know if it is “healthy” but it is very relaxing. I have avoided the birch branches. One can have too much of a good thing.

I think that outside of Russia, Finland and a few Finnish colonies in Canada it is rare to find a “real” sauna

Estonia too.

They’re common in Sweden too, esp., logically enough, in areas with many Finns.

I’ve never summoned the testicular fortitude to do the sauna+frozen lake thing, myself, but it’s folk knowledge around here you shouldn’t do it if you’ve got a weak heart.

Anthony Bourdain tried it (very briefly) in recent-ish episode of his show Parts Unknown (I am a fan.) The intertubes tell me that it was the 2016 Nashville episode.

It’s certainly an industry among dermatologists. Heaven help me from residents with Q-tips. The PA that I last saw at least was willing to freeze just about anything from the can, but I’ve yet to find anyone who can really focus enough to go deep but not wide.

An allergist would never test for bee venom allergy without (1) using a much much smaller amount of venom than is in a bee sting and (2) having epinephrine ready (multiple doses if needed), (3) being trained in ALS (Advanced Life Support) should the patient code in the office and (4) getting consent about the risks from the patient for the testing (5) having adequate staff (who are all adequately trained) to call 911 and support a code. .

Why anyone else would administer bee venom to themself or others in a situation that doesn’t at least meet the above 5 criteria is simply crazy. There’s a reason bee keepers wear full protection from stings.

Funny you should mention that. I had allergy testing on Wednesday. I took note of the crash cart in the office, and the staff made it very clear that if I needed allergy shots I would have to wait 25 minutes after the injection before I could leave, and that epi was in the office in case of a reaction.

I think I’ll stick with honey and lemon juice to soothe a sore throat. At least that 1) doesn’t kill the bee, 2) makes sense, 3) feels good, 4) is much less likely to kill me.

Maybe someone should try to convince the goop crowd that what they really need are wasp stings. Doesn’t kill the wasp and there’s finally a use for those jerks. (Fig wasps excepted.)

I suggest tetrodotoxin for the GOOP crowd but I fear they’d be dumb enough to go for it.

A certain percentage of patients who undergo bee venom acupuncture (or any bee venom treatment) will become sensitized to bee venom

It is asymptomatic sensitization and it is the same with latex.

“It’s a cure for hepatitis, it’s a cure for chronic insomnia, it’s a cure for tonsillitis and for water on the knee”…from “Have a Cuppa Tea” by The Kinks, 1971.

Well, it’s called bee pollen because it is extracted from the beehive (or sometimes the bees themselves). Obviously it originally came from a flower, but I don’t know how easy it is to tell which one. I mean, honey manufacturers make claims about “clover honey” or “apple blossom honey” or “lavender honey” or whatnot, but bees can roam several miles from a hive and are not generally all that fussy about what they collect. (They have been known to favor spilled corn syrup over flowers, because even the metaphorical busy bee is lazy when the opportunity arises.)

Going back to my comments about the comparative pain of wasp stings vs. bee stings, why are they using bees? Why not wasps? Or scorpions even? Or is it because the latter two are predators and bees aren’t?
[/snark]

Well there are plenty of snakes and spiders with ‘flesh melting’ venom. Sounds like an opportunity for a natural weight loss program to me.

Q. How are allergens and venom similar.

A. Both can cause anaphylactic shock.

I’ve been stung multiple times by Orac and his minions when commenting about the non-therapeutic allergens in vaccine packaging.

Key Words: Atopy; Sensitivity; Regressive Autism; Allergy Induced; FDA Warnings; and criminal malpractice.

Key Words:

Jesus Christ. Subject headings in journals are not random collections of incommensurate word combinations. Please stick to being a fake book author.

Narad writes,

Please stick to being a fake book author.

MJD asks.

Could you please provide a citation and explanation?

Funny how this works: I’d just emailed you (Orac) a link to the BBC story about this. We must be reading each others’ minds or tapped into the Overmind or something;-) More like, my browser refresh didn’t work or I’d have seen this story before sending email.

Clearly the clinic and the doc in the present case should be prosecuted for criminal malpractice or perhaps criminally negligent homicide. No mercy for them, particularly since they didn’t have a properly stocked crash cart on hand.

Apitherapy and related dreck are arguably holdovers from European pagan religions that included reverence for bees. There was another article in the BBC about this in Lithuania. Though there is some debate over whether the prevalence of bee-related memes in Lithuanian language and culture is a pagan influence or the result of Lithuanian prominence in commerce involving honey and so on.

As I mentioned in my redundant email, apitherapy is all about the sympathetic magic: bees are good, bee stings are painful, good + pain = psychology of ritual; therefore bee stings (and bee products generally) have magical healing powers.

That said, I do agree with the occasional teaspoon of honey for soothing scratchy or sore throats. If one were so inclined, one could say some ritual words for the occasion.

”I’ve been stung multiple times by Orac and his minions when commenting about the non-therapeutic allergens in vaccine packaging.”
Yet you keep on sticking your head into the hive.

Old Rockin’ Dave writes,

Yet you keep on sticking your head into the hive.

MJD says,

That never stopped Winnie-the-Pooh.

The difference, Michael, is that bears gain honey from breaking into beehives. It is hard to see what you gain from constantly repeating your discredited ideas here and getting slapped down, unless you are a closet masochist.

MJD, Winnie-the-Pooh is a talking stuffed bear in a children’s’ fairy tale…oh, wait a minute, other than the for children part, that describes you,too.

Winnie-the-Pooh is, as we are told, is “a bear of very little brain.”
Michael J., I can see why you identify.

“Orac and his minions”
How sad that you have to be your own sycophant because no one else is lowly enough to take the job.

Old Rockin’ Dave:

I notice that MJD uses any ever-so-slightly related comment in order to free associate into his idee fixe .
Interestingly, student psychologists are instructed into the significance of “far associations” in evaluating people HOWEVER
I am not supposed to go any further into that as you know already. Fortunately, Orac’s minions are good at putting two and two together and not getting 11.

Denice Walter writes,

Orac’s minions are good at putting two and two together and not getting 11.

MJD says,

Orac’s minions are poor at putting one and one together and getting 11.

Interestingly, student psychologists are instructed into the significance of “far associations” in evaluating people

I’ve been informed that my inpatient hospital of choice, should it come to that, actually still uses Rorschach tests.

Beyond what has already been said about the lack of epinephrine and other precautions, and the mistreatment of bees, I am also shocked at Paltrow’s attitude, talking about therapies and about how she wants to “try them all”, as if it was only a trendy experience, that healthy people can try ; obviously not therapies with indications for a given pathology.

MJD says:
“Denice Walter writes,
Orac’s minions are good at putting two and two together and not getting 11.
MJD says,
Orac’s minions are poor at putting one and one together and getting 11.”
Old Rockin’ Dave says that MJD puts one and one together and gets “giraffe”.

“That never stopped Winnie-the-Pooh.” …who, as I recall, was described as “a bear of very little brain.”
How apposite.

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