Q. Within a week of having a reaction to a bee sting (the skin was hot, red, swollen and blistered), the tremors in my right hand and jaw disappeared. I’d had them for three years and had just gotten a referral to see a neurologist.

My mother and her mother had Parkinson’s disease, so I suspect that is where I was headed though I hadn’t been officially diagnosed. Have you heard of this before?

A. There may be scientific support for your response to bee venom. We were somewhat surprised to discover research demonstrating that bee venom injections have benefit against Parkinson’s disease (Parkinsonism and Related Disorders, Sept., 2012).

The Michael J. Fox Foundation funded a study of bee venom therapy in a mouse model of Parkinson’s. The results were positive. French researchers also had some success with a study in mice (PLoS One, online April 18, 2013).  They are currently recruiting subjects for a clinical trial (MIREILLE) to assess the value of bee venom in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

While it will undoubtedly take time for scientists to determine whether this approach really has clinical promise, we find your story fascinating. Thank you.

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  1. P Enos

    I have tremors and am looking for anything to cure them. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

  2. vicki w.

    I have been trying for 2 weeks to get stung by a bee, I have terrible tremors. Can’t get a bee to sting me, any hints?

    • bethL

      If you have not yet succeeded, look for a local beekeeper who will help you, and be sure they are familiar with protocol such as having epi Pen handy just in case of allergy. Also see American Apitherapy Society website for more info. I have used bee venom for 20 years and have seen it cure bursitis, arthritis, tendinitis. If I had tremors I would try it.

  3. snowhite1969

    This makes sense to me. I use a TENS unit for disc pain that is near nerves. On a certain setting it makes me have a tremor in my arm. On other settings it stops the tremor a while. When I use the acupuncture setting I believe it distracts the nerve ending and stops the tremor for a while.

  4. jill

    I have essential tremor and would love to find something to help. I’ve done some participating in an essential tremor study at the NIH but that is just a study, not anything that will help me with my problem. Can the Graedons do a program on the essential tremor? thanks, Jill

  5. Urban

    Very intersting article.
    Bee venom can be used to cure and treat lots of other things as well.
    Read more here about the research of bee venom (apitoxin): http://www.apitoxin.se/research.html

  6. Peggy L.

    Redox signaling molecules affects your 75 trillion cells and helps the body heal and keep healthy as you age. Peggy RN, MPH, PNP

  7. MAXINE H.

    I, as a child growing up in the country, was stung many, times throughout out my childhood, never had a reaction, with exception of a little swelling and redness, but have seen people who have terrible reactions to bee stings, and they have to carry a pen to inject themselves. I am lucky, and it’s good to hear that there could be some benefits to bee stings. When you are stung as a child as I was, you build up and immunity to bees if stings can help parkinsons that in itself is a miracle..

  8. Kim pierce

    No wonder are bees are in decline. Do not bees die when they sting?

    • cam
      studio city

      Bees are dying because of pesticides not because we are using them to cure incurable debilitating diseases. In clinical settings the bee venom can be administered in a way that protects the bee. I answered your question but I am perplexed that you would ask such a question. A bee is an insect.

  9. JJ

    Would bee venom help essential tremor?

  10. ET

    I grew up in my father’s store. Over 60 years ago, I remember customers who used bee stings to treat “shakes” and other problems. Some maintained hives for that purpose.

  11. Rick T

    I receive regular Botox injections for tremors caused by Cervical Dystonia (caused by brain dysfunction in the same area of the brain that causes Parkinson’s.) They have been very effective.

    • cam

      HI Rick I have CD too. The botox did nothing for me. Was hoping someone had tried bee venom. I maybe the first.

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