By Bodog F. Beck. MD CURATIVE EFFECTS OF BEE VENOM
Arthritic and Rheumatoid Conditions: Their Relationship to Bee Venom
And now for the bee venom therapy! My highly respected and esteemed reader. I fully comprehend your thoughts. You expect me to say that all the enumerated difficulties which a well-educated and intelligent physician cannot overcome without the assistance of a whole army of specialists, our poor, insignificant little friend, the bee. will do all by herself! Far from it — sorry to disappoint you. but I can tell you right now that she will do surprisingly more for you than you expect.
What is to be taken away, you must do yourself. Search for and remove all exogenous (action or object coming from outside a system) and endogenous (arising from within) contributory causes and she will do the rest. Rather odd. isn't it?
I have too much regard and consideration for you to anticipate that you will just take my word and will use this little-known, unaccepted, and almost unheard-of remedial agent without obtaining a proper explanation. It would be rather an effrontery or insult on my part, which is the least of my intentions. I am firmly convinced that you would never expose your patients to such risk and danger.
Before I give an explanation of what contributes to the production of these unique curative effects of bee venom, for your satisfaction I just mention the fact that the remedy has been used by hundreds of physicians all over Europe, in well-known climes and hospitals of highest repute, in thousands of cases, and not a single instance lias been reported where it has done any harm or produced injurious effects. The administration of tins remedial agent must commence with a minimum amount and the divided doses must be increased gradually, both with respect to the number of injections and the concentration of the solution.
The curative value of bee venom is due mainly to its hemorrhagic and neurotoxic properties — especially to the former.
The hemonhagic effect of bee venom is not only a powerful action on the blood itself, stimulating the circulation, but also on the blood vessels. This is the best explanation and interpretation of its efficiency. Bee venom accelerates and intensifies the circulation, and dilates the capillary vessels. It has a distinct endotheliolytic action, to such an extent that it opens the capillaiy walls, enabling the blood cells to transmigrate into the tissues. This will result in an increased metabolism and. on account of the greater supply of oxygen, in an adequate oxidation, additional heat supply, improved elimination of accumulated waste, and destruction of bacterial growth-in other words, bee venom will produce exactly the effects which are required to correct the existing harmful pathological conditions and to restore the disturbed normal physiological state.
Necropsies of animals, after severe bee venom intoxications, show abundant blood effusions in all cavities of the organisms and hemorrhages of the mucous and serous surfaces, hepatic and peritoneal bleeding. Very often a leakage of blood can be found outside of the capillaries which form hemonhagic areas in the
ADRIAN, E. D. The nervous mechanism of pain, Uniu. Coll. Hosp. M., 1929.
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BANNATYNE, G. A. Rheumatic arthritis, its pathology, morbid anatomy and treatment, London, 1904.
BARCROFT, J. The respiratory function of the blood, Cambridge, 1914.
BARKER, L. F. Differentiation of the diseases included under chronic arthritis, Am. J. M. Sc., Phila., Jan. 1914. BEHAN, R. J. Pain, 1922.
BERGMANN, N. Uber Psoriasis und Gelenkerkrankungen, Diss., Berl., 1913.
BERLIOZ, L. Mernoire sur les maladies chroniques, les evacuations sanguines et I'acu- puncture. Rev. d. Alcaloides, Oct. 1928. BOURDILLON, H. Psoriasis et Arthropathie, These, 328, Par., 1888.
BUCKY, G., UND MULLER, E. F. Strahlende Energie, Haut und autonomes Nerven- system, Miinchen. Med. Wchnschr., 22, 1925.
CAJORI, CROUTER AND PEMBERTON. The alleged role of lactic acid in arthritis and rheumatoid conditions, Arch. Int. Med., Chicago, 34, 1924.
—The physiology of synovial fluid, Arch. Int, M ed., Chicago, 37, 1926. CARRIER, E. B. Studies on the physiology of capillaries, Am. J. Physiol., Baltim., 61, 1922.
CECIL, R. L, AND ARCHER, B. H. Classification and treatment of chronic arthritis, J. Am. M. Ass., 87, 1926.
tissues. The strong effect of the venom on menstruation, which we will describe later, is due to this property.
The physiological effects of bee venom can be best compared with those of histamine, which produces a noticeable dilatation and relaxation of the arterioles and capillaries, increased circulatory speed of the blood stream, lowering the arterial and increasing the venous pressure. After a hypodermic injection of histamine, even to the naked eye the dilated capillaries on the face and finger nails are plainly visible. In the whole body, it produces a sensation which is comparable to the "hot" climacteric flushes. Ruhmami thought that urticaria of the skin is due to the effect of histamine.
Pogany proved that histamine, administered intravenously in experimental animals:
1. Dilated the arterioles and capillaries, and increased the capillary pressure, which influenced the venous pressure.
2. Caused contraction of the veins.
3. By contracting the veins of the lungs, produced stagnation in the light heart.
Pogany found, also, that the syndrome was similar to that of Basedow's disease, and both conditions exhibited great sensitivity to adrenalin.
Deutsch. likewise, found that histamine has a distinct vasodilator effect on the small vessels, at the same time provoking a reflex central irritation. He thought that, so far. histamine excels all known remedies in the treatment of arthritis and rheumatism. Injected into the painful muscles, it has remarkable alleviating power, which is not due to any direct anesthetic effect, but can be attributed only to vasodilator action. In exposure to cold, especially in inactive states, there will be a lack of histamine in the cells of the organism, which, when replaced, will relieve spasm and pain. The usual empiric, symptomatic treatments of arthritis and rheumatism with physiotherapeutical measures (massage, spas, local irritants), mechanical, thermic, electric, and actinic treatments, have only one purpose-to increase circulatory speed, produce hyperemia and histamine. The circulatory speed of the rheumatic and arthritic is. as a rule, diminished and
histamine produces a derivative action.
Harmer and Harris used 1:1000 histamine-acid-phosphate in nor- mal saline solution, in their injections for clinical experiments. The most striking effect was the dilatation of the minute blood vessels of the skin, associated with an increased rate of blood flow. Reddening of the skin, and the raising of its temperature were the manifested phenomena: the increase of the limb volume was ascribed to the same cause. Subcutaneous veins assumed an increased tone. Blood pressure, both systolic and diastolic, fell slightly. Transudation of fluid from blood vessels into tissue space definitely increased, attributed to the intensified permeability of the vessel walls. Pulse rate was augmented by about twenty beats a minute. The respiration rate was usually not affected. Injected intravenously, the effects were com- plete in about three to four minutes. These effects occurred even in doses 500 times smaller than those used in animal experiments.
If we carefully observe the physiological effects of histamine, we cannot fail to notice their great similarity, almost identity, to those produced by bee venom, which would explain the action, utility, and efficacy of the venom in the management and treatment of arthritic and rheumatoid conditions.
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