APITHERAPY - RETURN TO NATURE
Interview with Stephan Stangaciu M.D. International Apitherapy Consultant from Romania, General Practitioner and Acupuncturist, President of German Apitherapy Society, webmaster and Owner of http://www.apitherapy.com , Manager of "Dao" Ltd., 100% Natural oriented doctor...
by Predrag Cvetković
2. You developed your medical experience in eminent institutions. What can you emphasize as especially important for your advancement in Apitherapy?
The passionate love for our Mother-Nature and the strong belief that the beehive is the best “Pharmacy” and “Clinic” we can ever find.
I was extremely lucky also to be born in Romania and to have the chance to discuss “face to face” with many worldwide known specialists in Apitherapy like Dr. Popovici Corneliu, Dr. Popescu Mircea, Dr. Drugeanu Alexandru, Dr. Constantin Neacsu, Bioch. Cristina Mateescu. Also, I have had the great chance to study important articles written by Romanian apitherapists that studied over 40 years the healing properties of various bee products, like was the case with our famous Dr. Alexandru Partheniu, an extraordinary expert in bee venom therapy.
Another luck was that after getting the basic knowledge from our Romanian specialists in Apitherapy I found two important libraries in Bucharest full of articles written by international experts in Apitherapy like the ones from the ex-USSR, Yugoslavia (especially Dr. Popeskovic, D. from Belgrade), Bulgaria, Chechoslovakia, Poland, but also from France, USA, Canada, Japan a.s.o.
3. You are completely naturopathic oriented doctor. What methods do you use in your practice?
Mostly Phytotherapy, Aromatherapy, Accupressure, Acupuncture, Ayurveda, Dietotherapy, Medical Yoga and of course Apitherapy and Apipuncture.
4. The name of the company you run is “Dao”, which speaks of your determination to use thousands of years old experience of the East in your medical procedure. Would you recommend that to others too?
Yes. Only a therapist that uses the best from the Eastern medical systems combined with the best from the Western ones can have real chances to win the war against diseases and sufferings.
However, as “Dao” is not a very common name, I decided to be more pragmatic and change the name of my company in “Apitherapy Consulting International”. The “East-West spirit” will remain though and will be even increased in the future.
5. Let’s take your interest in Ayurveda in consideration. According to this ancient Hindu teaching any disorder physical or spiritual reveals in both corporal and psychological sphere. Therefore, the subject of attention should be the personality, and not the disease. Do you think that the official medicine is on its way to acknowledge the dominance of this attitude?
Yes, it is! As a matter of fact many old civilizations used also a similar motto with the following one: “Mens sana in corpore sano”. This means that a real physical health can be achieved only through a healthy mind, soul and spirit. In our time the modern medicine re-discovered the importance of the emotional factors for our health. Disciplines like “Psycho-immunology” confirms this theory.
This new/old theory explains why our so beloved beekeepers are having a much better health than of the other human beings. Besides their stronger physical body due to the consume of honey, propolis, pollen and propolis, together with the extraordinary important “controlled body warming” given by the bee stings, the beekeepers have a lot of satisfaction knowing that their work for the Nature (see the extraordinary importance of pollination for the vegetal world) and for the Human Society (see the healings offered so generously by the bee products) is extremely important. One of statistics says that in the world population there is a beekeeper for 999 people. To be able to offer honey and bee products for so many people gives you a lot of pride. To be able to help thousands of plants, shrubs and trees to multiply and thus fulfil their functions on Earth gives you more than pride, gives or should give you real happiness…!
6. Although you live in Romania, you hold the position of the president of German Apitherapy Society, which is a great international appraisal for your work. You have recently returned from your tour in Germany. What was the program of your journey and what can you tell us about Apitherapy in Germany?
I travel in Germany since 1993. Almost every spring and autumn I am asked to give lectures on various natural healing methods, in over 20 cities, mostly in the central and southern part of Germany. Hope to be able to come soon in Yugoslavia too!
The general curiosity of the Germans is extremely high together with their extremely strong desire to live better and longer, added to their respect for Medicine. The same applies for the Japanese people.
During my last visit in Germany, besides various lectures on Apitherapy, I started to organize our Second Congress on Bee Products and Apitherapy with international participation to be held this year in Passau, at the end of March (we published already details in our www.apitherapy.com ). It could be great to see as many as possible Yugoslav beekeepers and health practitioners coming to Passau too. Last year we have had participants from 31 countries…
The level of Apitherapy in Germany in my opinion is still not satisfactory, being much lower than the levels of Apitherapy practiced in countries like Romania, Cuba, Russia, China or Japan. However, there have been many books published on bee products and Apitherapy, the general tendency of the German population is clearly oriented towards the “green” and “soft” therapies, so I am very optimistic. We will start pretty soon special intensive Apitherapy Courses for Medical Doctors and Heilpraktikers (Heilpraktiker is a kind of a medical doctor practicing only natural therapies) and this gives me more confidence that Germany will become soon a real “helper” and “protector” of Apitherapists practicing all over the world.
7. Can you tell us what the present situation in world Apitherapy is? Which are the most important Apitherapy centres in the world?
As I said above: Romania (Bucharest), Cuba (Havana), Russia, China, Japan. Other countries that have important scientists and practitioners in Apitherapy are Lithuania, Taiwan, Korea, Ukraine, Poland, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, USA and Canada.
An extraordinary thing has happened during the last years… Due to the extremely fast Internet communication (E-mails and websites) Apitherapy scientists and practitioners from all over the world have the extraordinary chance to meet together, as often as they want, in the virtual space called simply “Internet”. Related to this aspect of our discussion I would like to mention here that due to the Internet I have the incredible chance to be in touch with people from over 90 (ninety!) countries!!! Our website specialised in Apitherapy ( http://www.apitherapy.com/ ) has already received over 30,000 visits… and thus the development of knowledge on Apitherapy is almost “exploding”.
So, my best advise for all your
readers and friends is to make everything possible to get linked with their
colleagues and friends from all over the world through this magic tool called
8. In what measure is Apitherapy present in Romania? Apart from the famous Apitherapy Center in Bucharest are there some other institutions, and how well is Apitherapy accepted by official medicine?
Besides our Romanian Apitherapy Center, located in down town Bucharest, there are about 100 other smaller medical offices where Apitherapy is practiced along with other usual medical treatments. Starting with last year (2002), the Romanian National Health Department through a specialised in post-graduate courses institute located here in Bucharest, organized for the first time in the world official highly scientifical Apiphytotherapy Courses for Medical doctors and Pharmacists. In the near future we hope to be able to open all our “borders” for medical doctors and pharmacists coming from many other countries, including for our neighbours and friends for so many centuries, the Yugoslav people. Such an official Apiphytotherapy Course basically helps on a medium and long term to prevent and solve faster many diseases and to diminish the high costs required by the medical assistance.
You can diminish the expensive imports of chemical remedies when you have in your backyard a few more beehives... There is an interesting saying I heard first time in Germany: “a beehive is better than 10 medical doctors…”. Based on this saying we can say that a Medical Doctor specialised in Apitherapy is for sure better than at least 5 other ones…
9. Can you agree that along with many healthy food movements favourable conditions were made for alternative methods of healing to be accepted?
Yes, there is a clear tendency all over the world towards the use of natural, ecological or biological products and therapies. Twenty or thirty years ago the pharma industry used to say that methods like acupuncture, homeopathy, Ayurveda or our Apitherapy are “not scientifical enough”, being considered “empirical methods” or worse “quackeries”… Nowadays when countries like Germany and Japan invests many millions of dollars in scientifically studies on natural products, including, by the way, on propolis, the situation changed completely. The future medicine will be a preventative medicine! In such a medicine the bee products offered by our bees and their beekeepers will be among the most required remedies. Let’s think only to the continuously increasing prices of propolis and royal jelly, all over the world, and we will understand that the world respects more and more the beekeepers and their work.
10. Let us now turn to the questions about concrete usage of bee products. Two different opinions can be found in books about the possibility of preserving healing substances of royal jelly in honey, because of the influence that honey ferments have on jelly. What is your experience? In what form do you use royal jelly most often in your practice and what do you recommend?
I do not believe that honey has important negative effects on royal jelly, on the contrary.
However, because royal jelly is such a precious product, found in so small quantities in the normal beehives, it should be used, as fresh as possible, always under the tongue for minimum 3 minutes before swallowing. Royal jelly has very fine substances like various hormones or pre-hormones and thus should be helped to enter the blood stream as fast as possible. Swallowing it fast like we use with honey is not a very good idea because the gastric juices may destroy some of these compounds before their absorption in the blood stream through the stomach mucosa (stomach wall). Another aspect is that royal jelly is lighter than honey and have the tendency to “climb up” in a big jar. Some beekeepers in order to homogenize the mixture needs to combine the fresh royal jelly with creamy honey, but the problem is that many potential buyers still have the wrong, old belief that crystallized honey contains too much sugar added in a not-correct manner by the beekeeper himself.
I usually advise the beekeepers that do not have the technology to liophilise the royal jelly and to make it in tablets to insert the queen cell having inside a maximum amount of royal jelly, with or without the queen larva, inside a very small container of maximum 30 ml. The mixture from this container (fresh collected queen cell to which multifloral honey is added on top) should be used as one “unit” or one “dose” per day. I saw this method used successfully in Canada in 1994. Such a dose at that time was worth about 20 USD…
11. Have you got any experience with propolized royal jelly (mixture of jelly and propolis)? According to the information from books this mixture preserves the healing substances of royal jelly very well. Also, what about using alcohol solution of royal jelly?
The best solvent of royal jelly is a solution of 9-12% alcohol.
So yes, the idea with mixing the propolis tincture with royal jelly is a good one. The only thing one need to do is to be cautious to diminish the strength of the alcohol from the propolis tincture first, than to add the fresh frozen royal jelly… A local good pharmacist should be able to help because there are special scales of diluting the alcohol that need to be used in a correct manner.
12. In our country propolis is getting very popular and used more often. Apart from 70% or 96% alcohol solution and water solution, propolis is also used dissolved in our domestic brandy – “prepecenica”. Usually 10g of propolis or more is dissolved in 1l of brandy. It is used as drops or as drink. In your opinion, are these doses small, since you recommend much bigger ones?
If prepecenica has enough alcohol and the extraction takes at least 8-10 days than everything should be OK. I suggest you will analyse the amount of flavonoids from your final mixture with prepecenica in order to be sure that with this method you extract maximum possible from the precious compounds found normally in propolis.
The dose however may vary largely according to the age, the weight and the personal condition of each person.
Usually a dose of 1 drop per kilogram body weight of propolis tincture 30% is accepted (a person having 70 Kg. needs usually 70 drops of tincture per day), but in some cases, like severe infections, a double or even triple dose can be given, diluted always in lukewarm (body temperature) water.
13. In your “Principles of Apitherapy” you emphasize the necessity of an allergy test before any treatment. What is your opinion about the possibilities of healing some allergies e.g. propolis or pollen allergy.
Pollen allergy is easy to heal especially when one uses beeswax cappings combined with local honey.
The propolis allergy is more difficult to cure, but one can try the same desensitisation method used by the medical allergists. According to Ayurveda, the people having allergies have also problems in the liver, gall bladder, stomach and pancreas areas, so these problems must be fixed before one can obtain a real healing of the disease. A good homeopath can prescribe also a good treatment, but only after a detailed diagnostic obtained sometimes after several hours of discussions.
14. Using bee stings in acupuncture points (apipuncture) is very interesting. What results do you achieve with this method?
Very good ones! I used this method to heal myself from a chronic lumbar pain that lasted for about three years. After only one month of bee stings I was cured and still am free of any back pains after over 6 years!
The application of bee venom therapy is though much, much larger than its use for lumbar back pains. When used appropriately can prevent or cure hundreds of different diseases/conditions.
It is a powerful method because it combines the strength of bee venom with the “intelligence” provided to us by the meridian energetical system found in our skin and body.
However, due to the risks of anaphylactic shocks this powerful method should be always practiced under medical control.
That is why, if you will want to highly develop this method in your country you need to convince your National Health Department to start officially Apiphytotherapy Courses for your medical doctors and pharmacists…
15. Dr Stangaciu, you made a remarkable collection of data about the diseases and patients you treated in the period 1995-1998. Have there been any qualitative changes since then? Can you give emphasis to some results?
Yes, during that period of time I used to treat all kind of diseases and conditions through Apitherapy. Now, having more experience, including after visiting over 20 countries and speaking with my colleagues, I learned that some conditions should be avoided or not treated at all. One example is vitiligo, a skin disease that according to my personal experience can not be improved or cured only with Apitherapy.
16. Apitherapy in Serbia is very feebly organized; one can say it is on its beginning. There is an initiative to found an Apitherapy society, but the number of doctors who practice Apitherapy is almost insignificant. What do you think should be done first in order to popularize Apitherapy?
There are two ways here, ideally to be used simultaneously.
First one is to go from “up to down”, trying to convince first your government that it is a huge mistake to lose high amounts of money to import the chemical and often expired “remedies” offered by some companies from western countries and it is much, much more intelligent to stimulate the national beekeeping and Apitherapy industry. We have passed through the same problem after our revolution in 1989… In the first years after this important change in our country the Romanian market has been flooded by all kind of medical “trashes” that have had no use anymore in the countries they have been produced. It is interesting to note that today highly informed countries like Germany, Japan, USA, Canada are diminishing a lot their consume of chemical based drugs and increasing the use of natural supplements and remedies. These countries lost over 40 years until they reached the conclusion that the natural remedies are usually better than the chemical ones. Why should we make the same mistake?!
Second one is to go from “down to up”, that means to inform the population in a highly dynamic and intelligent manner, through all Mass Media possibilities, especially through good books and articles, but also through TV and Radio shows specialised on alternative or better said complementary healing methods.
When the population will be well enough informed (like it is now in Germany and Japan), it will “press” the medical doctors and the health department to open their minds to other cheaper and more effective methods that can be added to the older ones.
This second method worked and still functions very well in Germany. 30 years ago the acupuncturists where considered “empirical” therapists. Nowadays there are over 50,000 MD’s and HP that practices Acupuncture in Germany…
17. You are very active in modern media – Internet. Apart from managing the famous site www. Apitherapy.com you also lead an Apitherapy course. What is the reaction of the enrolled students and what are the results?
The students are very pleased to receive directly in their own computer via e-mail, condensed in about 100 lessons, our Course; we offer them also our personal counselling and the best synthesis of the traditional and modern Apitherapy. In the last year we enrolled in this Course over 60 students located in 25 countries! Some of them that have enough money to travel participates also to our practical courses offered in Passau, Germany or in other countries like Peru.
Am glad to tell you that we have a student from Yugoslavia too, but we hope that the number will increase substantially in the future! Our Course have been already translated in English, German, French, Spanish, Arab and Greek and it is under translation in Portuguese and… Chinese! We wait for the translation in Serbian too… J
18. The site visitors will be interested to know that besides Apitherapy you are a beekeeper. How often are you with your bees?
Not as often as I wish… Only 3-4 times a year when I find time to visit my parents at the countryside… However, I plan to make an internationally sponsored medicinal and bee plants garden + an International Apitherapy Clinic near Bucharest and thus hope to be able to live the rest of my life near the most beautiful and most useful creatures the Mother-Nature has offered all of us…!
Dr Stangaciu, thank you for a pleasant conversation.
Thanks to Oliver Mihajlović for his help in translation
December 19th 2002. - January 22th. 2003. by E-mail