Bee products offer numerous benefits for your health. While raw honey may be all the rage, bee pollen, propolis and royal jelly can also offer fantastic nutritional benefits. In fact, these products are extremely popular with health enthusiasts all over the world.
3 Healthy Products Made By Bees
1. Royal Jelly
Royal jelly is a white gooey substance that the bees secrete from glands located on their heads. A larvae being reared for Queenhood, is fed copious amounts or royal jelly, which is considered a superfood. It contains fatty acids, vitamin B’s (best natural source of vitamin B5), amino acids, minerals and a protein called royalactin which is responsible for catalyzing the metamorphosis from worker bee to Queen.
A queen bee is larger than the average worker, elongated and regal-like. And while a worker bee has underdeveloped ovaries and can only live six weeks, a queen bee does have ovaries and can live up to five years! (Unfortunately due to conventional farming and chemicals, queens no longer live this long.)
Royal jelly has been used in antiaging products and according to a recent study has been found to improve spatial memory and concentration.
When choosing a royal jelly product, it’s important to ensure that the bees have not been harmed. Immortality Alchemy, a company based in California, treat the bees ethically. Another plus is that the royal jelly is dried so you can easily add it to smoothies or yogurt. I mention this because one downside of royal jelly is that it tastes horrible.
Propolis is a resinous type mixture made and used by bees to hold their hives together. The glue-like substance is made from beeswax and other secretions, along with resins from the buds of conifer and poplar trees. Propolis has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
The ethanol extract of propolis (EEP) shows antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anticancer properties. Due to its antimicrobial activity, propolis also shows promise in the treatment of oral cavity diseases and gingivitis.
Propolis has many medicinal uses:
– When combined with echinacea and vitamin C, propolis has been effective in preventing respiratory tract infections in children.
– Children with recurrent acute ear infections (rAOM) have found relief and lower incidence of recurrence with propolis.
Today propolis is commonly found in products such as chewing gum, creams, cosmetics, throat lozenges and is also currently being researched as an option for dental sealants and a tooth enamel hardener.
Look for propolis in your local health food store. Wise Woman Herbals carries a pure propolis tincture that I use in a dental rinse.
3. Bee Pollen
If you look at a honeybee in flight, she often is carrying two little orange balls of pollen on each side. It takes a bee eight hours a day for one month to gather a teaspoon dose of pollen. And each pellet contain more than two million flower pollen grains.
Pollen, used to feed their young, is one of the most nourishing foods on the planet. It contains all the essentials, such as amino acids, vitamins (including B complex and folate acid), and protein. Bee pollen is actually 40% protein — more rich in proteins than any animal source. It contains more amino acids than beef.
It is extremely important to know where you’re getting your bee pollen from. Why? Because according to Greenpeace, one teeny grain has been found to contain up to 17 pesticides in it.
– Check with your health care practitioner if you have allergies to honey, pollen or seasonal allergies, before consuming any honey related products.
– It is always best to purchase products from a trusted source in their original state to minimize your risk of allergic reactions.
– People with diabetes need to limit their intake of honey products, as it may raise insulin levels, and worse their condition.