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A proponent of injecting bee venom for its anti-inflammatory benefits, Gerard Butler, gruff action hero, requested 10 shots consisting of the venom of 23 bee stings to soothe his muscles after a 12-hour stunt shoot for his new movie, only to enter anaphylactic shock. While promoting his upcoming disaster movie Geostorm on ITV’s Lorraine, the Scottish superhuman described the sensation as “awful, creepy crawlies all over me, swelled up, heart’s going to explode.”
Butler shared that after his time in the hospital, he learned that the doctor had actually given him “10 times too much” venom, and was supposed to inject him once a week for 10 weeks, not 10 times at once. One might think that going into anaphylactic shock after being purposefully injected with the venom of 23 bees would shake a person into never, ever trying something so dangerous again, but that’s just not how Scots roll, apparently.
Four days after the first incident with apitherapy—the medical name for the use of honeybee products—Butler figured he’d give the bee stings another shot. Surprise: after the Butler-tested and GOOP-approved treatment was administered once more, he was admitted to the hospital, again. In an interview interview with Jeannette Graf, a New York dermatologist, the homeopathic remedy is described as a treatment that should be approached with caution. The active compound in bee venom does consist of anti-inflammatory properties, however, according to the derm: “Bee venom has the potential to help minimize symptoms—the science isn’t really there yet, but there’s potential for things that don’t respond to Western medicine.”
After a severe allergic reaction to bee venom, it might not be the wisest decision to sting yourself with a bee on purpose again. Additionally, as colony collapse—the phenomenon in which worker bees abandon their queen—plagues apiaries across the nation, and billions of honeybees continue to die each year, the apitherapy wellness trend comes across as somewhat ignorant.
Butler also appeared on The Graham Norton Show and discussed another hospitalization that came about two weeks after the bee-venom incident, when a woman driving her car hit his motorcycle and sent him on a “somersault 30 feet in the air.” Despite his visit to the hospital, Butler’s injuries were not major, and he's now able to laugh at his brushes with danger, even taking a dig from Thor: Ragnarok's Jeff Goldblum, who told him, “I’ve done some cockamamie things in my time but that is crazy.”
Maybe Butler should consider joining Goldblum as a superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since bee stings, mid-air somersaults, and 65lb space suits have nothing on this Scottish man of steel.
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