J Korean Acupunct Moxib Soc Search


J Acupunct Res > Volume 30(4); 2013 > Article
Kim, Ji, Lee, Jeon, and Kim: A Systematic Review of Clinical Study of Bee Venom Acupuncture
See the Original "".


Objectives :

The purpose of this systematic review was to overview and evaluate the current state of the usage of bee venom acupuncture.

Methods :

We collected 173 articles on bee venom acupuncture(BVA) clinical study from eight electronic databases from January 2002 to June 2013.

Results :

BVA was used in musculoskeletal diseases for 66 %, and the chosen acupoints were various. The ratio of the reports which had collected below 10 cases was 43 %. The concomitant treatment and evaluation tools showed diversity in each article.

Conclusions :

Bee venom clinical study shows the lack of unity and consistent regulation, and has low clinical cases. Future studies should correct these limits and promote more varied research to develop the therapy of bee venom acupuncture.

Fig. 1.
Flowchart of trial selection process
Fig. 2.
The number of published bee venom clinical studies is analyzed by year
Fig. 3.
The number of published bee venom clinical studies is analyzed by the number of subjects
Table 1.
Musculoskeletal Diseases Treated in Published Studies of Bee Venom Acupuncture
Classification Specific disease Number
Lumbago Lower back pain, herniation of intervertebral disc, compression fracture, lumbar sprain, spondylolysis, spinal stenosis, ankylosing spondylitis, transverse myelitis, baastrup’s disease 42
Knee pain Degenerative arthritis, meniscus tear, pes anserine bursitis 15
Nuchal pain Herniation of intervertebral disc, whiplash injury, soft tissue injury, cervical sprain 12
Post-stroke pain Osteoarthritis, hemiplegic shoulder pain, shoulder subluxation, central pain 12
Shoulder pain Tendinitis of supraspinatus, adhesive capsulitis, subacromial bursitis 8
Wrist pain De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tear of triangularfFibrocartilage complex, wrist sprain 8
Other arthralgia Rheumatoid arthritis 6
Ankle&Foot pain Ankle sprain, plantar facilitis 6
Elbow pain Tennis elbow 5
Total 114
Table 2.
Other Diseases Treated in Published Studies of Bee Venom Acupuncture
Classification Specific disease Number
Neuropathy Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Multiple sclerosis, trigeminal neuropahy, Parkinson’s disease, radial nerve palsy, peroneal nerve palsy, chemotherapy-induced peripheralneuropathy 16
Otorhinolaryngologic, dermatologic disease Allergic rhinitis, molluscum contagiosum, hyves, alopecia, obesity, psoriasis, trichophytia 11
Facial palsy Bell’s palsy, Ramsay hunt syndrome, postauricular pain with peripheral facial paralysis 9
Tumor Prostate cancer, malignant melanoma, cancer pain, intraspinal synovial cyst 4
Urinary system disease Benign prostatic hyperplasia, interstitial cystitis, proteinuria 4
Sequela of surgical operation Osteonecrosis operation, failed back surgery syndrome, lumbar spine operation 4
Pediatric disease Developmental disability 2
Cardiologic effect Heart rate variability 2
Others Cold sense of lower limb, Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, temporomandibular disorder 7
Total 59
Table 3.
Frequently Used Meridians and Acupoints in Bee Venom Clinical Study for Musculoskeltal Pain
Classification Meridians Number Acupoints Number
Lumbago BL 13 BL23, BL24, BL25, BL26 41
GB 11 Ashi points 17
GV 8 Hyeopcheok hyeol 13
ST 4 ST36 7
GB34 5
Knee pain ST 5 Ashi points 11
Intraarticular space 6
GB 4 GB34 4
ST35 4
Nuchal pain GB 5 Ashi points 7
GV 4 GB20 5
GB21 4
Post-stroke pain LI 11 LI15 10
GB 9 GB21 9
TE 7 TE14 6
LI11 6
SI 4 SI10 4
Shoulder pain LI 2 Ashi points 3
Wrist pain PC 2 Ashi points 5
Other arthralgia LI · GB · SP · HT · SI 1 Ashi points 6
Ankle & foot pain GB 3 BL60 5
BL 3
ST 3
Elbow pain LI 2 Ashi points 3
Table 4.
Frequently Used Meridians and Acupoints in Bee Venom Clinical Study for Other Diseases
Classification Meridians Number Acupoints Number
Neuropathy ST 9 ST36 9
LR 7 LR3 7
GB 7 GB34 6
LI 6 LI11 4
BL 4 GB39 4
Otorhinolaryngologic, dermatologic disease GV 2 Ashi points 8
BL 2
ST 2
KI 2
Facial palsy ST 6 ST4 5
TE 4 TE17 4
Tumor CV 2 CV1, CV2, CV12 1
Urinary system disease CV 4 CV4 2
Sequela of surgical operation Ashi points 2
Pediatric disease SI 2 SI11, SI12, GB30 1
GB 2
Cardiologic effect HT · LI · ST 1 HT7, LI11, ST36 1
Table 5.
Concomitant Treatment with BVA
Bee venom only 35
Acupuncture 119
Other pharmacopuncture therapy 16
Physical therapy or Korean Chuna therapy 42
Herbal medicine 18
Moxibustion 18
Table 6.
Evalutaion Systems in Published Cliniclal Studies of BVA
Classification Evaluation system Number
Musculoskeletal disease VAS 88
ROM or other physical examination 45
Oswestry disability index(ODI) 16
Neuropathy VAS 4
Medical research council(MRC) 3
Digital infrared thermal imaging(DITI) 3
Otorhinolaryngologic, dermatologic disease Subjective symptoms 8
Facial palsy Yanagihara score 8
House-Brackmann score(HB score) 3
Tumor VAS, pain rating scale(PRS) numeric rating scale(NRS) X-ray, CT, Pet-CT, MRI, PSA 1
Urinary system disease IPSS, ICSI, ICPI
VAS questionnaire, subjective symptoms
Sequela of surgical operation NRS 2
Physical examination 2
Pediatric disease Comparison with normal developmental stage 1
Cardiologic effect HRV§, TCD, Pulse wave 1
Others VAS 4
Subjective symptoms 3

*: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis functional rating scale-revised.

†: international prostate symptom score.

‡: interstitial cystitis symptom index and problem index.

§: heart rate variability.

‖: trans cranial doppler

VI. References

1. Korean Institute of Pharmacopuncture Science committee. Pharmacopuncturology. Seoul: 2008:23–6, 167–81.

2. Lee HS, Lee JD, Koh HK. The Review on the Study of Bee Venom in the domestic papers. The journal of Korean Acupuncture & Moxibustion Society. 2003;20(3):154–65.

3. Choi SH, Cha BC, Kwon KR. Component Analysis of Sweet BV and Clinical Trial on Antibody Titer and Allergic Reactions. Journal of Korean Institute of Pharmacopuncture. 2006;9(2):79–86.

4. Lee KH, Yoon HM, Ko WS, et al. Comparison of Treatment Effects and Allergic responses to stiff neck between Sweet Bee Venom and Bee Venom Pharmacopuncture. Journal of Korean pharmacopuncture institute. 2011;11(4):39–48.

5. Han CH, Lee YS, Kwon OM, Lee YJ. The Review on the Study of Bee Venom in the Journals of Korean Medicine. Korean Journal of Acupuncture. 2013;30(1):27–36.
6. Kim JD, Kang DI. A Descriptive Statistical Approach to the Korean Pharmacopuncture Therapy. J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2010;3(3):141–9.
crossref pmid
7. Jang MK, Yoon EH, Jung CY, et al. Review of Randomized Controlled Trials on Pharmacopuncture Treatment for Musculoskeletal Diseases. The Journal of Korean Acupuncture & Moxibustion Society. 2009;26(3):149–63.
8. Lee MS, Pittler Max H, Shin BC, Kong JC, Ernst Edzard. Bee Venom Acupuncture for Musculoskeletal Pain: A review. The Journal of Pain. 2008;9(4):289–97.
crossref pmid
9. Korean Acupuncture & Moxibustion Medicine Society Textbook Publish Committee Compilation. The Acupuncture and Moxibustion(the third volume). 2nd ed. Paju: Jipmoondang. 2008:186–90.

10. Lee YH, Kim CW, Lee KH. A case report of monitoring PSA level changes in two prostate cancer patients treated with Mountain Ginseng Pharmacopuncture and Sweet Bee Venom along with western anticancer therapy. Journal of pharmacopuncture. 2011;14(4):81–8.
11. Yoo HS, Kim JS. The Effect of Sweet Bee Venom Pharmacopuncture(SBVP) on Cancer-Related Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial and Double Blinded - Pilot study. Journal of Korean pharmacopuncture institute. 2008;11(1):21–9.
12. Bang SH, Yoo HS. A case Report on the Patient of Malignant Melanoma at Right Maxilla with the Treatment of Bee Venom Pharmacopuncture. Journal of Korean pharmacopuncture institute. 2007;10(2):99–105.
13. Hwang O, Kim JS, Jun HJ, Nam SS, Kim YS. Case Reports : Case Report of spinal meningeal cyst patient treated with by bee venom therapy. The journal of Korean Acupuncture & Moxibustion Society. 2003;20(3):217–28.
14. Gang HM, Kim GS, Kim DY, Ryo YJ, Park HS, Kwon KR. Two Cases of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia with Bee Venom Pharmacopunture Therapy. Journal of Korean pharmacopuncture institute. 2008;11(2):125–30.
15. Park SH, Han SR, Kang JS, et al. A Retrospective and Cross-sectional Study on Symptom Improvements in Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Patients Treated with Electroacupuncture and Bee Venom Acupuncture. Journal of Korean oriental internal medicine. 2010;31(3):437–47.

16. Jeong JJ, Kim SY, Sun SH, Kim BW. A Case Report of Proteinuria with Sjogren’s Syndrome. Journal of Korean pharmacopuncture institute. 2008;11(4):95–9.
17. Son GJ, Oh HJ, Lee JG, Nam SK, Kim CJ, Cho CS. Clinical Study of 25 Interstitial Cystitis Patients. Journal of korean oriental internal medicine. 2012;33(2):222–30.

18. Lee JH, Min KW, Kim SY, Kim SJ. The Case Report on 3 case of Conservative Treatment on Failed Back Surgery Syndrome. The Journal of Korea CHUNA Manual Medicine for Spine & Nerves. 2010;5(2):57–68.

19. Cho E, Kang JH, Choi JY, Yoon KS, Lee H. The Clinical Study on Effects of Bee Venom Pharmacopuncture Therapy in Patients with FBSS (Failed Back Surgery Syndrome). The Journal of Korean Acupuncture & Moxibustion Society. 2011;28(5):77–86.
20. Lim SY, Kim SW, Kim TH, Jung SY, Cho YC, Kim CS. A Case of Urinary Incontinence Patients After Having a Vertebrae Lumbales Operation. Journal of Korean pharmacopuncture institute. 2003;6(2):119–25.
21. Choi SH, Kim KU, Lee YK, et al. A Case Report of Sequela of Operation of Talus Osteonecrosis. Journal of Korean pharmacopuncture institute. 2006;9(1):115–20.
22. Korean Institute of Pharmacopuncture. Pharmacopuncture Practice Guidelines. Seoul: Hansung Print. 2000:185–202.

23. Yin CS, Koh HK. The first documental record on bee venom therapy in Oriental medicine: 2 prescriptions of bee venom in the ancient Mawangdui books of Oriental medicine. The journal of Korean Acupuncture & Moxibustion Society. 1998;15(1):143–1.

Article and Issues
For this Journal
For Authors
Submit Manuscript
Editorial Office
Gil Korean Medical Hospital, Gachon University
Keunumul-Ro, Chung-Ku, Inchoen 22138, Korea
Tel: +82-70-7606-6353,4    Fax: +82-32-232-3334    E-mail: jared@e-jar.org                

Copyright © 2021 by Korean Acupuncture & Moxibustion Medicine Society.

Developed in M2PI

Close layer
prev next