MS symptoms: Swarming Bee Stings & Medical Marijuana: Does any of it really help MS?


Ever had anyone suggest or insist that medical marijuana is the cure all for MS? How about bee stings? If you have had MS for very long, you’ve probably heard it all. Well here’s the scoop. reported on recent complementary or alternative medicine (CAM) studies  done at Harvard Medical School and journaled in Neurology. Although some MS patients have used medical marijuana to alleviate symptoms and pain, until now the guidelines have been limited. Safety and efficacy had not been determined. “Ginkgo biloba, magnetic therapy, bee sting therapy, omega-3 fatty acids and reflexology,” were also studied.

 The Findings
“Specific forms of medical marijuana can ease patients’ symptoms – specific symptoms of spasticity, or muscle stiffness and helped with frequent urination,” stated Narayanaswami. It did provide relief from some symptoms but had negative side effects of “dizziness, drowsiness, being off balance and cognitive problems in some people, researchers noted.” There no relief from tremors or urinary incontinence.

Turns out the study revealed ginko biloba didn’t really help memory or thinking, though it may “reduce tiredness or fatigue.” Magnet therapy was limited in relieving fatigue and tiredness. Reflexology did help with pins and needles and tingling sensations. The low-fat, omega-3 fatty acids diet did not demonstrate efficacy for MS patients. It could be helpful in overall health but not for preventing MS disability or alleviating symptoms. Bee stings did not work out so well either. As a final warning reminds us that many of these therapies are not FDA approved and interactions with on-going MS treatment therapies are unknown.

So the next time someone suggests I get stunk by a hive a bees I can state according to Harvard Medical School the therapy is ineffective. Whew! Always wanted a solid excuse for not trying that one! Although I was covered in bee stings by a swarming hive when I was two years old. Does that count?

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About the Author

Melissa Cook
Melissa Cook is the author of As a retired high school teacher and school district administrator, she chooses to share her MS story in hopes of benefiting others.