Gerard Butler: I injected myself with bee venom and ended up in hospital

Scottish actor went into anaphylactic shock after using the traditional remedy after a 12-hour day of performing stunts

Gerard Butler has told how he went into anaphylactic shock after being injected with the venom of 23 bee stings.

The Scottish actor said he had been over-exuberant with the remedy, which some claim eases muscle ache, after a 12-hour day of performing stunts on set for his latest film, Geostorm.

Butler told the ITV chat show Lorraine: I had heard of this guy injecting bee venom, because apparently it has many anti-inflammatory compounds. So, Im like: Come, come to New Orleans where were filming. So, he gives me a shot, and I go: Oh, thats interesting because it stings.

Then he gives me 10 shots, and then I have the worst reaction. I kind of enter this anaphylactic shock. Its awful, creepy crawlies all over me, swelled up, hearts going to explode. But I go through it, and then I find out he gave me 10 times too much.

Butler was immediately taken to hospital, but admitted that four days later he decided to give the remedy another go. I decide to do it again because, I think: Maybe I just took too much. So, hes on the phone, and this time I have to go to the hospital [again].

Bee stings have been used as a remedy, known as apitherapy, for centuries, initially by placing live bees on inflamed areas and in more modern times by extracting the venom from the living bees and injecting it.

Butler, 47, known for films including 300, is not the first celebrity to dabble with bee venom as a medical remedy. Gwyneth Paltrow, who has moved from acting into the health sphere with her wellness venture Goop, has said she experimented with bee stings to help with inflammation and scarring. Its actually pretty incredible if you research it. But, man, its painful, said Paltrow.

Other conditions helped by bee stings according to advocates of the treatment include rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, skin lesions, and chronic hives.

The New York dermatologist Jeannette Graf recently told Vogue: Bee venom has the potential to help minimise symptoms the science isnt really there yet, but theres potential for things that dont respond to western medicine.

Jeff Goldblum, a guest with Butler on BBC1s The Graham Norton Show, gently mocked the Scots use of the remedy. Ive done some cockamamie things in my time but that is crazy, he said. I think we should trust science.

Butler was recently hospitalised after a motorbike crash that left him with injuries to his knee and ankle. He said it happened after a woman parking her car reversed into his bike and he did a somersault about 30ft in the air.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Editor's choice