Why honeybee venom has potential in the fight against breast cancer

Have you ever heard of honeybee venom therapy? It’s the use of honeybee venom for medicinal purposes (either through injections or intentional bee stings). A lot of people think it’s just some sort of new-age health practice, but it’s actually been used for over 5,000 years to treat a variety of conditions.

During Aristotle’s time, it was a popular treatment for gout. And today, it’s become a popular alternative therapy among people with multiple sclerosis. Other conditions it’s been used to treat include Parkinson’s disease, chronic pain and chronic Lyme disease.

While the scientific evidence supporting its ability to help with these conditions is limited, there is evidence that honeybee venom contains a powerful compound called melittin that can reduce inflammation. And as you know, inflammation is at the root of many, many diseases… including the ones mentioned above, as well as another big one — cancer.

In fact, a new study shows that this potent anti-inflammatory compound in honeybee venom can actually kill aggressive breast cancer cells.

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Honeybee venom compound destroys breast cancer cells in just 60 minutes

A recent study from researchers at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and The University of Western Australia found that honeybee venom can quickly destroy breast cancer cells in a laboratory setting.

In the study, researchers tested the effect of venom from 312 honeybees and bumblebees on a variety of different types of breast cancer cells, including cells from one the most difficult to treat type of breast cancer — triple-negative breast cancer.

They found that the honeybee venom rapidly destroyed triple-negative breast cancer and HER2-enriched breast cancer cells while having minimal effect on healthy breast cells. In fact, the lead researcher called the venom “extremely potent.”

Researchers also extracted the anti-inflammatory compound melittin from the honeybee venom and tested its impact on breast cancer cells. They reported that this powerful compound completely destroyed cancer cell membranes in just 60 minutes. That’s impressive. But melittin did more than just that…

It also significantly reduced the chemical messages sent out by cancer cells in just 20 minutes. These messages are critical to cancer cell growth and division… so less of them means less likelihood that tumors will grow and cancer will spread.

Researchers also found that melittin is compatible with chemotherapy and that the combination of melittin and a type of chemotherapy called docetaxel was extraordinarily effective at reducing the growth of tumors in mice.

“This is an incredibly exciting observation that melittin, a major component of honeybee venom, can suppress the growth of deadly breast cancer cells, particularly triple-negative breast cancer,” said Western Australia’s Chief Scientist Professor Peter Klinken.

Harness the healing power of honeybees

Now, it’s important to be clear… I am by no means recommending that you treat breast cancer with honeybee venom at this point. The research is still too preliminary to recommend that. But based on the results of this study, it’s highly possible that the potent anti-inflammatory compound melittin will be used in the treatment of breast cancer in the future. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that it will eventually save a lot of lives.

If you’re looking to support your overall health and wellness right now, however, I want to mention something called apitherapy.

Apitherapy is a term that applies to the use of all honeybee byproducts to improve your health. It includes honeybee venom therapy, but it also includes using honey, pollen, propolis and royal jelly for health purposes. Because the fact is, all of these honeybee-created substances have proven health benefits that range from fighting bacteria and viruses to taming inflammation to killing cancer cells.

In other words, you don’t need to inject yourself with honeybee venom to experience the health benefits honeybees can bestow on humankind… you just need a jar of honey, a propolis supplement or a tub or royal jelly.

Editor’s note: Discover how to live a cancer prevention lifestyle — using foods, vitamins, minerals and herbs — as well as little-known therapies allowed in other countries but denied to you by American mainstream medicine. Click here to discover Surviving Cancer! A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding the Causes, Treatments and Big Business Behind Medicine’s Most Frightening Diagnosis!


Venom from honeybees found to kill aggressive breast cancer cells — MedicalXpress.

Honeybee venom and melittin suppress growth factor receptor activation in HER2-enriched and triple-negative breast cancer — Precision Oncology.

Bee Venom: Overview of Main Compounds and Bioactivities for
Therapeutic Interests — Molecules.

Bee Venom Therapy — Bee Culture Magazine.

Honey Bee Venom in the Treatment of Arthritis — Integrative Medicine.

Anti-Inflammatory Applications of Melittin, a Major Component of Bee Venom: Detailed Mechanism of Action and Adverse Effects — Molecules.

Bee Venom — WebMD.


Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine, TheFix.com, Hybridcars.com and Seedstock.com.