Bee Venom Therapy Part of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Ancient Medicine All the Buzz in Modern China taken from Reuters, 1/22/2007

BEIJING With doctors urging amputation to stop the gangrene spreading upwards from his toes, Liu Guorong was sceptical when a friend said bee venom might save his foot.
"I was doubting this place," the 58-year-old diabetes sufferer said in a raspy voice during a visit to the Xizhihe Traditional Medicine Hospital on the outskirts of Beijing.

"When I got here, I had no idea what I was doing and what the bee sting treatment was all about." As Liu found out, it was painful. Bees were placed on his foot and provoked to sting him in a bid to rejuvenate the blackened, rotting flesh by flooding it with a rush of protein-rich blood.

Bee venom as part of Chinese medicine

A folk remedy for treating arthritis, back pain and rheumatism for 3,000 years in China, practitioners say that such pinpointed stings can repair damaged cells, stave off bacteria and ease inflammation. Doctors at Xizhihe hospital believe they can even cure liver ailments, diabetes and cancers.
"Doctors at other hospitals were telling me that they needed to cut my foot off," Liu said. "I'd spent loads of money."

Liu has been to Xizhihe several times to get stung and is now on a course of orally-taken bee venom medication. He now expects to keep his foot.

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