Reuters: Libyan Patients Turn to Bee Stings for Pain Relief – Al Marsad

Bee stings are being used as natural treatment by many patients in Libya, specifically in Misrata, says a field report published by Reuters. 

(LIBYA, 1 June 2021) – The Reuters report followed Mohamed al-Zawawi, a physiotherapy practitioner in Misrata, who bought bees from workers who had carefully extracted them from a crowded cell, then put them in a plastic bag, preparing them for Zawawi in his work.

Al-Zawawi says that the use of live Chinese needles can support the treatment for a variety of diseases, as well as relieve pain. The father of a patient, Ismail Issa, who suffers from leukemia, reported that bee stings helps his son, who suffers from a tumour that has spread to his bones.

The father said, “We came to visit this healer who uses bees, and thank God there was some improvement. My son’s right eye had swollen but has since shown improvement, and thank God we hope he will recover soon with the help of the healer.” The report outlined Zawawi’s use of 6 bees biting different parts of his patients’ bodies.

Zawawi states that people were initially unsure of alternative medicine, but talking to them has helped grow his business, with an increasing number of patients now seeking his help. The report states that the use of beehive products as part of traditional treatment has been used for centuries in different parts of the world.

According to the Reuters report, live bee acupuncture practitioners of live bee acupuncture claim that the anti-inflammatory compound contained in the venom is beneficial to treat certain conditions. But the practice remains controversial within the medical field, with some saying that the health risks and side effects of administrating venom to patients outweigh its purported benefits.