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Apis Mellifica




This remedy made from the honey bee, is widely used in our day to day practice in cases varying from allergies to insect bites. The main areas for which it is commonly used are:-


1. Insect bites      2. Urticaria     3. Kidney and bladder disorders      4. Oedema and Ascitis.


Typical Subjects:- Apis is always a hot weather remedy in all its complaints. The skin is dry and hot, the

patient is mentally fagged, their attention wanders when they are giving you their history, their speech is rather thick and it altogether difficult to get hold of their history. They have a dry mouth, the tongue is red and shiny and they are thirstless, even though the tongue does not look as if they should be thirstless. They are irritable, often very restless, and they have some vomiting of bile. If it persists at all they get a puffiness - blue and slightly puffy hands. They get intense abdominal pain with their diarrhoea, and the abdomen is distended and so tender that they cannot strain at stool. As a rule they lie with knees drawn up. They are worse from motin, worse for any kind of warmth, like all Apis complaints, and worse in the morning.  They describe the stool as large, formed and hot, starting yellow and becoming green, and they streaked with mucus or slime. It is also painless.  Occasionally it is large and watery, and sometimes offensive.


Notes and features:


1.Burning, stinging pains(like bee stings): This is the leading characteristic sensation of this remedy.  They are sharp and quick like the sting of the bee. These pains are as chracteristic of this remedy as are itching like chilblains of Agaricus, or the burning of Arsenicum and Sulphur, but the burning of Apis are relieved by cold, while those of Arsenic are relieved by heat. These burning, stinging pains may be present in the ailments of eyelids; throat; panaritium or felon, haemorrhoids, ovaries (especially right one), breasts(mastitis), skin(erysipelas, urticaria, carbuncles).


Great oedema: general or local.-The next general condition for which this remedy seems to be as near specific as any remedy can be is an infiltrated cellular tissue; an oedematous or dropsical condition. This condition obtains almost from the beginning of inflammatory affections and extends to the stage of exudation, and even to chronic dropsical states. In those intensely violent and rapid cases of diphtheria in which the whole throat fills right up  with oedematous swelling, the uvula hanging down like a transparent sac filled with water (Kali bich., Rhus tox), and the patient is in imminent danger of death by suffocation from actual closure of the throat and larynx, there is no remedy like Apis. The stinging, burning pains may be present in these cases or it may be painless. These dropsical or oedematous conditions may also be present locally in face, ears, eyelids( especially lower) genitals (especially scrotum); skin (erysipelas and urticaria);  and every where, general anasarca, abdomen. These oedemas are accompanied with the characteristic pains, or no pain at all.


4.Stupor: with sharp, sudden, shrill cries in bring disease (crie encephalique).


5.Thirstlessness, especially in dropsies and during heat of intermittents.

6.Skin alternately dry and perspiring.

7.Suffocative; feels as if every breath would be his last, especially in dropsical conditions or hot stage of intermittents.

8.Modalities:<after sleep, on touch (very sensitive), from heat and warm room; > cold room or air and cold applications.

9Bad effects: from suppressed or retrocedent  exanthemata; measles, scarlatina, urticaria.

10.Involuntary diarrhoea, with sensation as if anus were wide open.


Mental Symptoms:  The mental symptoms of  Apis are very striking, and the most striking thing throughout the mental state is the aggravation from heat and from a warm room. The symptoms themselves are great sadness, constant tearfulness without any cause, weeping night and day; cannot sleep from tantalizing thoughts and worrying about everything.  Depression of spirits with constant weeping.  Sadness and melancholy; extreme irritability; borrowing trouble about everything. Foolishly suspicious and jealous.  Absolutely indifferent to everything that would make her happy or joyful.  No ability to apply things that would make her happy to herself, they must mean someone else. Foolish, silly, childish behavior in a woman in confinement, in a woman in advanced years, talking foolish, twaddle, such as a child would talk, on serious occasions. The patient is Awkward; drops things readily. Another aspect of the mental state is the delirium, which comes on in serious forms of brain affections in children.  The child gradually goes into a state of unconsciousness.  Lies in a stupor, one side of the body twitching, the other side motionless, rolling head from side to side, head drawn back rigidly; pupils contracted or dilated, eyes very red, face flushed, a stupid state of state of semi-consciousness. Child lying with the eyes partly closed as if benumbed. It is suitable in congestion of the brain, meningitis or cerbro-spinal meningitis with opisthotonos when all the symptoms are aggravated from heat. The child puts on a more dreadful state if the room becomes overheated; becomes extremely death-like or pale.  If the child is able to do so it kicks the covers off. The heat increases every symptom.

 It also has muttering, delirium and loquacity.  All kinds of screaming and shrieking, shrill and otherwise violent. Premonition of death, dread of death, fear of apoplexy. Every breath seems to be his last breath(sensation).

The complaints of Apis are attended with violence and rapidity. They come on with great rapidity, rush on with violence until unconsciousness is reached. Dr. Boericke has described three words in mental symptoms  'Apathy, indifference and unconsciousness.' Dr. Kent says that "it has been may fortune to see many violent cases of poisoning from the sting of the honey-bee.  When the oversensitive patient is poisoned by the sting he is dreadfully sick.  The majority of people in the course of their life have been stung by the honey-bee an a mere little swelling occurs  in the region of the sting, a swelling as big as a robin's egg or a hen's egg at mot, without constitutional states ; that is, when the individuals not sensitive to Apis.  He may have been stung in half a dozen places, and each one  gives him a little lump  But you meet one who is sensitive to the sting of the honey-bee, and if he gets one little sting on any place in his body he comes down with nausea and anxiety that makes him feel that he is dying, and in about ten minutes he is covered with urticaria from head to foot; he stings and burns and wants to be bathed in cold water, he hears that he will die if something is not done to mitigate his suffering, rolls and tosses as if he would tear himself to pieces. Dr. Kent further says that he have seen all these symptoms  comes on after Apis. The antidote for that is Carbolic acid which when administered in that state, the patient described the sensation of Carbolic acid going down his throat as a cooling comfort. He    

says "Why doctor, I can feel that dose go to the ends of my fingers". These sensations are signs of true anti-doting effects.


Head Symptoms: - Apis has a bad headache which is nearly always from an irregular or suppressed menstrual period. It beings as a stabbing pain on first getting up in the morning and then goes on to throbbing. The patient complains that the head feels tight and is tender t touch.  They do look like Apis - puffy, a bit swollen and rather congested.  The eyes are bright and the conjunctivae are slightly congested. The patient is damp round head and forehead during headaches. The pain is dull with heavy sensation in occiput, as from a blow, extending to neck  accompanied with sexual excitement and is better from pressure.  Although Apis patients are better for pressure  but they do not want the head bandaged, because like all Apis  patients they get an aggravation from heat, as well as a certain amount of excitement and hyperaesthesia. They are worse from any movement and the pain is apt to shoot from side to side. If Apis does not seem to fit, you might consider four other remedies that are also better for pressure; these are Arg Nit., Glonine, ,Lac Defloratum and Pulsatilla. Whole brain feels very tired.  Vertigo with sneezing, worse on lying or closing eyes.  


Eyes:  With Apis you get a sudden onset of pain and acute inflammation. Lids swollen, red, oedematous, everted, inflamed; burn and sting.  Conjunctiva bright red, puffy.  Lachrymation hot. Photophobia.  Sudden piercing pains. Suppurative  inflammation of eyes. Keratitis with intense chemosis of ocular conjunctiva. Styes, also prevents their recurrence.


Ears:- External ear red, inflamed, sore, stinging pains.Inflammation of the meddle ear in connection with or after scarlet fever. 


Mouth:- Tongue fiery red, swollen, sore and raw with vesicles. Scalding in mouth and throat. Tongue feels scalded, red hot, trembling. Gums swollen. Lips swollen, especially upper. Membrane of mouth and throat glossy, as if varnished. Red, shining and puffy, like erysipelas. Cancer of the tongue.


Throat:- Apis is needed much less frequently, but is an invaluable remedy.  It is an acutely inflamed and painful throat. An Apis and an Aconite throat are both bright red and rather shiny-looking, but the Apis is more glistening than the Aconite, often with oedema of the uvula-swollen and sac like and hangs down with a semi-transparent appearance like a bag of water bag.  The throat and mouth are dry and burning. They get a sharp stinging pain in the throat on any attempt o swallow, and nearly always get a lot of swollen glands, and the glands are highly sensitive to touch. They cannot bear anything tight round their neck. The worse for hot applications and worse for a hot drink. With the Apis picture, you often get rather swollen lips.


It also has a time aggravation in the meddle of the afternoon, rather unexpectedly. They are not only worse in a hot room, in front of a hot fire, after sleep, and much worse for any solid food, which they simply cannot take because of the stabbing pain it gives them.


Two other things go with the Apis sore throat.  One is a marked urticaria.  It you get the patient with urticaria with a sore throat, two medicines should immediately come in mind, the first being Apis (and the second Dulcamara). The other thing with their sore throat is a generalised soreness in the joints and all over. During an attack they are quite thirstless , which is surprising and they look chilly. They are shivery and rather shaky, and you are inclined to wrap a blanket round them, but in a few minutes they are feeling much worse. They feel quite ill and  throw it off.  As a rule their face is either puffy and red and swollen, or pale and swollen.  Occasionally it is oedematous.. Quite often their tonsils ulcerate and they show a sort of bright red mark round the margin.  This characteristic of Apis and  Apis is the only one in which it is present. 


Stomach:-Sore feeling . Thirst-less.  Vomiting of  bile, food with great anxiety.  Craving for milk [Rhus,Acid phos]


Abdomen:-Apis causes soreness and tightness throughout the Abdomen and hypochondria. Sensation of tightness runs through many of the  complaints of Apis. The abdomen is extremely tender< from sneezing. . Dropsy of abdomen. Peritonitis. Swelling in right groin.


Stool: Diarrhoea-involuntary on every motion; stools are yellow, green, olive green watery tpe etc. - which smell like carrion. ;  anus seems open(like phosph.) Anus feels raw.  Haemorrhoids with stinging pain after confinement. In its constipation, it is related more commonly to head troubles. He goes many days without a stool.  The bowels seem to be perfectly paralyzed, with congestion of the brain and acute hydrocephalus.


Urine:- The urinary troubles are numerous in Apis. The urine is scanty, coming only in drops. Much straining before the urine will start, and then only a few drops; dribbling a little hot urine, burning urine, bloody urine. As soon as few  drops  collect in the bladder the urine comes, constant, ineffectual urging. Later the urine is almost suppressed. Infants go a long time without passing urine, screeching and carrying the hand to the head, crying out in sleep, kicking off the covers. Very often a dose of Apis will be found useful. Urinary troubles, with swelling of the genitals, and the swelling is oedematous. Scancy urine in little boys, with the foreskin enormously distended., or in hydrocele. Every time the call to urinate comes he will shriek, because he remembers the pain he had the last time. Inflammatory  complaints of the kidneys and ureters, bladder and urethra. The whole urinary  tract is irritated, very much like Cantharis, and these two medicines antidote each other. Retention of urine in nursing infants. It is queer how the old women knew, long before Apis was proved,  that when the little new born baby did not pass its water they could find a cure by going out to the bee-hive and catching a few bees, over which they poured hot water, and of which they gave the baby a teaspoonful. Some domestic things like that have been known among families and among nurses, and it is consistent because it is just like what we give Api. for. 


Female: Apis is a great friend of the woman.  It cures all her inflammatory complaints it seems, when the symptoms agree. Burning and stinging pains in the ovaries especially the right; when greatly enlarged and even cystic, Apis has proved a curative remedy , has often cured tumors, and has caused cystic formation to stop growing or to disappear. The right ovarian region is very sensitive.  Pain in the uterus and ovaries before and during menses. Stinging, tearing pains cutting like knives, worse from heat. I is a very easily got symptom, because in mot painful symptoms heat or the hot water bag are tried with the natural hope of relief, but with this remedy it aggravates. She throws it aside, for the pain is worse from heat. "Ovaries enlarges," etc. Dropsy of right ovary. Ovarian tumor.


Respiratory:- Dyspnoea, breathing hurried and difficult. Oedema of larynx. Feels as if he could not draw another breath. Suffocation, hot, dry cough, supra-sternal. Hydro-thorax.



Oedematous.  Synovitis. Whitlow-in the beginning stages. Knee swollen, shiny, sensitive, sore with stinging pain. Feet swollen and stiff.  Feel too large. Rheumatic pain in back and limbs. Tired, bruised feeling. Numbness of hands and tips of fingers. Hives with intolerable itching. Oedematous  swellings. The patient is Awkward; drops things readily.


Skin:- Urticaria, with cold or intermittent fever; there is sudden eruptions of welts with terrible itching. This is a very good remedy for hives and allergic reactions, when there is puffy swelling, redness, itching and stinging pains (which are similar to the effects of bee sting.)The effective area is warm and very sensitive to slightest touch. Apis shouid be used immediately for any acute allergic reaction, and is said to prevent serious allergic complications.  Swelling after bites; sore, sensitive.  Erysipelas, with sensitiveness and swelling, rosy hue. Carbuncles, with  burning, stinging pain[Ars., Anthrac,.]. Sudden puffing  up of whole body. Lichen and erythema nodosum.


Sleep:- Very drowsy. Screams and sudden starting during sleep.


Fever: Not very frequently indicated. But the symptoms calling for it are:- Afternoon chill with kthirst; worse on motion and heat.External heat, with smothering feeling. Sleeps after the fever paroxysm. After perspiration, nettle rash, also with shuddering.


Modalities:- Worse: heat;  Touch;  Bed is intolerable;   Pressure;  Right side;  Later afternoon;   

                                 after sleeping;   Closed, heated room.

                      Better: Cold applications;  Motion;  Open air;   Uncovering;  Sitting erect.


Relationship:  Complementary to Natrum Mur. Inimical to Rhus Toxicodendrion.





Nat. Mur.

Led. Pal. *

(Also Apis mellifica ihigh potency- the high potencies antidote the lower potencies of this remedy.


Ledum pal is also useful in punture wounds. Apis mel. And Led. Pal are also helpful in treating bites of other animals as well, e.g. rats, cats and dogs.

Summary of Indications:  Insect bites- urticaria- Kidney and bladder disorders- oedema and ascites.



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