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Chapter II. APITHERAPY AND APITHERAPEUTIST
II.1. APITHERAPY BETWEEN THEORY AND PRACTICE

 

The apitherapy, in the strict sense, can be defined as the science of treating various human diseases using: 1) raw bee products in the state in which they were harvested, 2) combinations of various bee products, 3) extracts of bee products, 4 ) combination of bee products or extracts thereof and extracts from plants, fruits, seeds, solubilized minerals, vitamins, enzymes, amino acids and so on; 5) apitherapy standardized drugs.

In Romania, as in other countries, too, the apitherapy as a science is insufficiently substantiated. Typically, the theorists of the apitherapy do not know well enough the bee colony or the biochemical structure of its products and clinically speaking, they are not practitioners. Either way, you can easily find a gap between the academics and clinicians, as the theorists are incomparably more. Typically, their participation in conferences and symposia, even the published material, too, are limited to the presentation, even approaching a savant air, of the effects of one or other of the bee products in one or other of human diseases. They also list an impressive bibliography, but if you want to know what their contributions are, you're already in trouble. Around the same situation are also the apitherapeutists which can not report any clinical case of disease remitted according to their recipes. And if they talk about success in one or other of the diseases, they can be trusted only for the sake of their statements, in the absence of the laboratory analysis, pre-and post-apitherapy, of the patients they are talking about.

The gap between the academics and practitioners leads obviously to the inability to theorize scientifically the results got in practice, to develop systematic synthesis papers that can put the apitherapy on the place it deserves among the medical sciences and clinical practice.

Frequently, in theory, and also in the medical clinic practice, the apitherapy is located in the best case as the adjuvant therapy of the traditional, allopathic medicine. The causes of this concept are very clear: of the programs of the faculties of medicine and pharmacy are missing the courses which have to inform the future doctors and pharmacists about the incomparable biochemical offer of the honey bees therapeutic products, as well as about their therapeutic potential. In Romania, recently, the apitherapy has been included among the medical skills. It is a step forward, but the doctors with expertise in apitherapy don’t have at hand standardized honey bee therapeutic products, which are clinically necessary for the sake of medical care. The bee food supplements with therapeutic potential are quite a few. To produce them by themselves, except the necessary technological equipments, they also have neither the means necessary for dosing the substances needed for the therapeutic target, nor for checking up the quality of the bee products that could enter their structure. The cases where the doctors apitherapeutists may have their own apiaries are extremely limited due to a variety of causes, whose sequence could begin with the lack of land in a melliferous area, but also with a lack of the knowledges needed for a beekeeper.

There are countries where the apitherapy is practiced in clinics with such a profile, such as in Canada, France, Argentina etc. In Romania the apitherapy has an insignificant percentage of the total of the clinical practice and it is practiced ambulatory, making it difficult to get the feedback: the most patients return to the office - with post- apitherapy analysis - only if the symptoms persist. It is almost impossible to monitor the treatment and correct the administration of the honey bee therapeutic products when needed, according to the therapeutic response. Thus, the possibility of some safety and effectiveness studies on the apitherapeutic act and also the preparation of studies and statistics becomes quite difficult.

Furthermore, the call of the patients to apitherapy is often made only when all the other therapeutic ways have been exhausted. The reason is quite clear: the lack of knowledge of the potential of intervention of the honey bee therapeutic products in a wide range of conditions in which the pharmacochemical medication achieves minor results or it is downright weak. Thus, in many cases, the apitherapeut would not only face with the primary disease, as many patients also present iatrogenic diseases, in many cases worse than the condition for which the treatment was initiated. No one, under no circumstances, should interpret this statement as a call to distrust in the allopathic medication. But where the honey bee therapeutic products recommended by a competent apitherapeut could help the allopathic medication, or are superior to the pharmacochemical synthetic drugs, it is in the patients best interests that the doctor have knowledges of apitherapy, or to be able to recommend an apitherapeutist intervention.

If known and applied by clinicians practitioners, the apitherapy can be a valuable adjunct of the conventional medicine. But at the same time it is not less true that, in a long list of conditions, the apitherapy may be a sufficient and unique therapy. I could list here, without the risk of not being just, the hepatitis, cirrhosis, autoimmune diseases, male and female infertility, endometriosis, dyslipidemia, various disproteinemia, viral infection with Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) etc.. We intend to argue these statements with pre-and post-apitherapy medical records existing in our database of the Apitherapy Medical Center.

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