Apis mellifica – Honey bee
Remedy picture as described in traditional homoeopathic texts.
As the heading suggests this remedy is made from the honeybee. To understand the essence of this remedy we look at the effect that a bee sting has on us and its side-effects: a sudden edematous swelling which is hot, burning and stinging and may cause the person to shriek.
Apis is mainly used in home prescribing for treating bites and stings with redness, heat and swelling. Other conditions such as hives, nettle rash, allergic eruptions, sore throats and cystitis also respond well to Apis when indicated.
Symptoms usually come on quickly and with intensity and there is an aggravation to heat and touch.
In Apis we see a strong tendency to suspicion and jealousy and ailments resulting from jealousy. There is a constant busyness like that of the bee gathering honey and seeking nectar. They may develop relationships that are destructive and find it very hard to detach. They may appear to be happy when feeling miserable inside and there can be angry fits of rage when irritated. Tend to be clumsy and awkward. Desire for company but not affection, they can find it difficult to integrate into the community and can be emotionally unstable and unpredictable.
Eye: Inflammations of the eye and its deeper tissues, swellings around the eyes in allergic conditions, conjunctiva bright red. Burning, stinging pains, relieved by cold applications, and sensitivity to bright light.
Fever and Thirst: The high temperature is accompanied by excitement, shivering and lack of thirst. During chill, which is more prominent in the afternoon, the person is thirsty and feels worse in a warm room. Sweat absent or only in spells.
Head and Face: Sense of congestion and fullness, head pain with vertigo, the brain feels tired. The face or affected part is red, hot and swollen with piercing pains or waxy, pale and puffy.
Throat: Constricted with stinging pains. Tonsils and uvula swollen, puffy looking and fiery red with stinging pains on swallowing. Better cold drinks.
Chest: Apis has difficulty with respiration in general. Short/oppressed breathing, worse in a heated room when lying down and at night. Panting, feeling that they will die soon because they cannot breathe, feeling ‘as if smothered’. Cannot breathe in the heat – like bees that need to ventilate themselves constantly.
Stomach and Abdomen: Thirstless when there is retention of water and thirsty when there is loss of fluid. Abdomen walls feel tender, sore and bruised; sensitive to touch and pressure, full and bloated. Diarrhoea with vomiting, rawness in anus. Loose stool in the morning.
Skin: The skin is rosy, red, sensitive, sore and very puffy – ‘as if stung by a bee’. Stinging pains. Large urticaria. The skin can be alternatively dry and hot and then gushing with sweat.
Urination: retention or suppression of urine, urinary tract irritated with burning, smarting, or soreness. Frequent urination in cases of cystitis. Constant urge but only passes a little urine.
Extremities: Limbs feel as if paralysed, powerless. Lower extremities swell. Rheumatic pains in shoulder extending to back of neck; pains especially after strong emotions or mental shock. Sensation in feet or toes as if too large.
Sleep: Sleepy but unable to sleep due to great restlessness, sudden starting during sleep; dreams of travelling long distances or flying.
- Burning, darting, stinging pains
- Puffy, hot, oedematous (watery) swelling
- Very sensitive to touch and heat
- Very tired but too restless to sleep
- Fidgety, fussy and hard to please
- Symptoms move from right to left and from above down
- Anger, jealousy, bad news
- Bee and insect bites
- Allergic reaction
Better: Cold bath or cold applications; movement; sitting erect, milk
Worse: Heat and warm applications; touch, pressure, late afternoon (3-4pm), lying down
Desires: Milk; sour; oysters; vinegar
Aversions: Drinks; water
Repetition of the dose: Apis has a slow action and shouldn’t be changed too soon
Compare to: Cantharis, Lachesis, Pulsatilla, Aconite and Arnica
Follow with: In many cases it can help prevent a relapse if Nat Mur is given after Apis has dealt with the acute symptoms.
Author: Owen Homoeopathics