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Functional Foods

Bee Products

14 years, 4 months ago

2384  0
Posted on Dec 30, 2005, 8 p.m. By Bill Freeman

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Bees produce several substances that are useful to humans


Bees produce several substances that are useful to humans &emdash; namely, honey, propolis, pollen, and royal jelly.


Honey: Used as a skin treatment, honey prevents infection and speeds healing by starving existing bacteria and protecting the skin from infection by new bacteria.

Pollen: Bee pollen is essentially the male seed of a flower blossom that has been collected by bees and to which bees add certain digestive enzymes. Analysis of bee pollen shows it typically contains a wealth of nutrients utilized by the human body, including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids. Several studies have found that bee pollen is of benefit to men suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). There is also some evidence to suggest that it may help to protect the liver from toxins.

Propolis: Consisting mostly of tree resins, propolis is used by honeybees to seal the cracks and openings in hives. Propolis is rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant flavonoids. It also contains terpenoids, which have antibacterial, antiviral, antiprotozoan, and antifungal effects. For acute internal infections, propolis can be taken along with regularly prescribed medications. It is also an effective salve for wounds, especially in combination with honey. Propolis is available in a dry powder form, which may be sprinkled onto mouth sores as a therapeutic dressing.

Royal jelly: Secreted from glands on the bee’s head, royal jelly is used to feed bee larvae for three days. The queen bee, however, eats royal jelly exclusively and it is believed to account for her fertility and her relatively long life (5-7 years vs. 7-8 weeks for worker bees). Royal jelly contains collagen and several vitamins. It is thought to be an antiinflammatory agent.


Refer to packaging.

MAXIMUM SAFE LEVEL: Not established


Pollen: Bee pollen should not be taken during pregnancy.

Propolis: Allergic reactions to topically applied propolis are quite common, typically they involve pain, redness, swelling, and sores. Use should be discontinued straight away. Propolis is also a known "sensitizing agent," therefore regular use can cause people to develop allergies to the product.

Royal Jelly: Contraindicated during pregnancy.

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