Many researchers have studied how effective bee venom can be for treating arthritis, particularly rheumatoid arthritis (RA). One study published in the Chinese journal Acupuncture Research compared bee venom results in 100 RA patients. Fifty patients used traditional oral medicine, and 50 patients used oral medicine plus bee venom. After three months, researchers found that both groups experienced improved joint swelling and pain. They also had fewer swollen joints.
According to the study, the group that used bee venom in addition to traditional medicine saw better results than those who used traditional medicine alone. Researchers found that those in the group that used bee venom showed more improvement in joint swelling and pain, and morning stiffness. Patients treated with bee venom plus oral medicine also had stronger grasp force, and their relapse rate was lower.
Despite these studies, there is still controversy about the effect of bee venom on arthritis. In one review, researchers reported that bee venom acupuncture (BVA) was found to be an effective anti-inflammatory. However, its effectiveness on arthritis was still unclear. The researchers found 15 studies that met their criteria on bee venom. Yet, they reported that there was limited evidence demonstrating the efficacy of BVA. They also concluded that more studies and larger trials are needed to test BVA.