Most people are aware of the health benefits of honey, however bees produce many other substances that are extremely beneficial to human health. Propolis, royal jelly, bee pollen and bee venom all contain powerful health-boosting substances that help to cure infections, support the immune system, fight the signs of aging, promote radiant skin and hair and prevent disease. All of these natural substances have been used medicinally for thousands of years and are currently being studied for their life-giving properties. Royal jelly is currently one of the most popular supplements in the US used by millions of people to lower cholesterol, promote wound healing and prevent conditions such as diabetes. Bee venom is used in a variety of anti-aging products to prevent the appearance of wrinkles as well as in bee venom therapy which is an alternative treatment for rheumatism and other joint diseases. Other bee products are being studied for their ability to fight cancer and cure life-threatening diseases such as Aids.
Royal jelly is secreted by the glands of worker honeybees and is fed to larvae and the queen bee. The queen will exist on a diet of only royal jelly which is the main reason for her prolonged lifespan. Worker and drone bees live for an average of 3 – 4 months, whereas a queen will live for seven years as a result of the protein, lipids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals contained within her food. Just one portion of royal jelly provides vitamins A, C and E along with most of the B vitamins. It also contains 17 different amino acids which include all of the 8 essential amino acids along with a healthy dose of calcium and iron. A study conducted in 2014 at the Tabriz University of Medical Sciences in Iran found that a daily dose of 1000mg royal jelly administered to 50 female volunteers suffering from Type II diabetes was able to improve some of the factors associated with diabetes such as oxidative stress and glycemic control. Two separate studies have also found that royal jelly may have cancer fighting abilities. In 2011, a team of researchers in Turkey based at the University of Ataturk found that royal jelly enhanced the capabilities of a cancer treatment drug known as cisplatin while protecting the liver and kidneys from damage caused by the drug’s harmful side effects. A study performed at the University of Belgrade in 2013 found that royal jelly “is effective in inhibiting cancer cell proliferation” when given in combination with four other compounds namely Resveratrol, Ganoderma lucidum, Sulforaphane, and Lycopene. Always purchase fresh royal jelly to obtain the raw enzymes rather than the capsules that have been processed and treated with heat that destroys the natural enzymes.
Propolis is harvested from the leaf buds and bark of trees by worker bees that use it to seal cracks and disinfect their hive. It has strong antimicrobial properties and beekeepers will often chew on small pieces of propolis in order to relieve a throat infection. It can also be applied topically to cuts, bruises and skin infections to promote healing. Propolis has been found to have one of the highest antioxidant activities of any substance. Antioxidants destroy harmful free radicals within the body that are responsible for many diseases such as cancer. Propolis has also been found to prevent the build-up of plaque, and one study performed at the Kothiwal Dental College and Research Center in India found that it was also an effective way of preventing fungi such as candida albicans from multiplying in the mouth. Several studies have shown that propolis may be an effective weapon against HIV and Aids. Phil Peterson at the University of Minnesota led a team of researchers in an experiment to see if propolis could slow the progression of HIV. They found that propolis was actually able to prevent the HIV virus from entering healthy human cells. Another study performed in 2001 at the University of North Carolina found that a compound isolated from Brazilian propolis known as Moronic acid showed significant anti-HIV activity.
Bee pollen is collected by honeybees as they move between different types of flowers. Each bee collects the dusty pollen from inside a flower and moistens it using a small drop of honey that it brings with it from the hive. The bee will then transform this into the golden granules known as bee pollen that have become one of the most popular health supplements worldwide. Bee pollen is considered a complete superfood that provides more protein and amino acids than any other animal food source. Bee pollen contains an antioxidant bioflavanoid known as Rutin that supports the cardiovascular system helping to prevent heart attacks and strokes. It is also a rich source of carbohydrates and B vitamins which provide a burst of energy and help stave off tiredness and fatigue. Bee pollen has also been found to reduce inflammation and allergic responses. A research team in Brazil found that bee pollen phenolic extract could be a useful tool against allergic reactions that caused anaphylactic shock and aggravate the symptoms causing asthma. A 2007 study at the Zhejiang University in China found that an extract taken from bee pollen was able to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell death in human cancer cells. Researchers concluded that “bee pollen of Brassica campestris L. may be a promising candidate for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer.”
Honeybee venom, or apitoxin, has taken the skincare world by storm with bee venom facials, serums, moisturizers and masks becoming some of the most sought-after beauty products by celebrities everywhere. Bee venom improves blood circulation to the face which stimulates collagen and elastin, two critical substances required to fight the effects of aging. Products containing bee venom often retail for anywhere up to $300 for a single tub of face cream.
Bee sting therapy has been used as an alternative treatment for arthritis for many years, but it could soon find its way into mainstream medicine. A professor at the University of Sao Paolo in Brazil led a study that proved bee venom increased the levels of the body’s natural anti-inflammatory hormones known as glucocoriticoids. Axis Clinical Trials based in Los Angeles, California is currently recruiting participants for a controlled study on the effects of bee venom on osteoarthritis in the hope of getting their drug Apimed approved by the FDA. Apimed is said to be purified “venom in a vial” and is designed to be injected directly into the joints.
Apis Mellifica is a homeopathic remedy that is made using the crushed body of the entire female honey bee. It is recommended for conditions such as burning, swelling, inflammation, joint pain, insect bites and stings, sore throat, headaches, allergic reactions to insect bites and anaphylaxis. A 2014 study performed at the University of Florence in Italy found that Apis Mellifica was able to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress on human cells.
Permission is granted to copy the title and first one hundred words with the provision that the author's name be included and a link to the original article be added.