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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2018, Article ID 2353280, 7 pages
Research Article

Standardization of the Manufacturing Process of Bee Venom Pharmacopuncture Containing Melittin as the Active Ingredient

Traditional Korean Medicine Technology Division, R&D Development, Korean Medicine Preparation Team, National Development Institute of Korean Medicine (NIKOM), 94 Hwarang-ro, Gyeongsan-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to Hwa-Dong Lee; ten.liamnah@30000eel

Received 25 August 2017; Revised 6 December 2017; Accepted 24 December 2017; Published 25 February 2018

Academic Editor: Woojin Kim

Copyright © 2018 Yoonmi Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Pharmacopuncture is a unique treatment in oriental medicine that combines chemical stimulation with conventional acupuncture. However, there are no standardized methods for preparing the herbal medicines used in pharmacopuncture, and it is not clear whether the active ingredients are safe and stable. Several studies have investigated nonstandardized preparation processes, but few investigations have addressed safety and preparation methods. Pharmacopuncture may provide an alternative treatment for incurable diseases. However, it must be as valid and safe as standardized medicine. In this way, the present project may contribute to the industrialization of medicine in Korea. It may also expand health insurance coverage by promoting evidence-based medical insurance benefits. Thus, the present study attempted to standardize and improve the raw materials, preparation, and efficacy of bee venom pharmacopuncture (BVP), which is a highly effective technique in oriental medicine. Method. To purify the crude bee venom, the extract was subjected to a stepped-gradient open column (ODS-A; 120 Å, 150 mesh). Using this method, the yield of melittin was significantly increased and the allergen proteins were effectively removed. The melittin content of the purified bee venom was determined using HPLC, and the product was then diluted to 0.1 mg/mL using injection water in preparation for BVP. Results. In the present study, we standardized the purification process to provide safe and stable BVP by increasing the main effective components and eliminating allergens. This study will be seminal in the industrialization and regulation of BVP. Conclusion. We developed an effective strategy for melittin purification and allergen removal from bee venom to create safe BVP.