Kristen Sparrow • June 03, 2020
Apitherapy is an alternate therapy that relies on the usage of honeybee products, most importantly bee venom for the treatment of many human diseases. The venom can be introduced into the human body by manual injection or by direct bee stings. Bee venom contains several active molecules such as peptides and enzymes that have advantageous potential in treating inflammation and central nervous system diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Moreover, bee venom has shown promising benefits against different types of cancer as well as anti-viral activity, even against the challenging human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Many studies described biological activities of bee venom components and launched preclinical trials to improve the potential use of apitoxin and its constituents as the next generation of drugs. The aim of this review is to summarize the main compounds of bee venom, their primary biological properties, mechanisms of action, and their therapeutic values in alternative therapy strategies.