You can find three basic types of bee products in the health food stores – pollen, propolis and royal jelly. Bee pollen is derived from flowers and is different from pollen from air, which is derived from grass.
Bees gather pollen and it into compact grains that are gathered from the beehive. (The second type of pollen is collected directly from plants, but is also referred to as bee pollen.) Bee pollen contains proteins, vitamin B, carbohydrates and various enzymes.
Propolis (also referred to as bee adhesive) is a sticky resin that bees are gathering from coniferous buds to repair open spaces on hives.
Royal jelly is a dairy-derived substance produced by glands in the hypopharynx of worker bees, and it serves as the nutrition to queen bee. The special nutrition composition of royal jelly is a possible cause of fertility, size and longevity of the queen bee.
How do they work?
Bee products are considered to be a medicine for almost all diseases. Their advocates, amongst other things, claim that these substances slow down aging, improve body aptitude, increase immunity, help with weight loss, have antibacterial activity, and can alleviate symptoms of allergies. Although bee pollen may be helpful to allergies, and propolis locally works well with cuts and bruises, a few studies of bee products confirm the overwhelming claims that these products are often described.
MAIN USEFUL EFFECTS: bee pollen can help with sneezing, nose leaking, eye dryness and other symptoms in people suffering from seasonal allergy caused by floral pollen. Some scientists believe that intake of small amounts of pollen can reduce the individual’s sensitivity to certain allergens, such as hysterectomy allergy.
Theoretically, when exposed to even very small amounts of pollen, the human immune system produces antibodies that protect us from excessive reactions induced by classical allergy symptoms. This theory is still being examined; so far it can be said that pollen is not dangerous for most people. Some claim that for the best results in reducing the susceptibility to floral pollen from their own environment should be used with pollen originating from the same area.
ADDITIONAL USEFUL EFFECTS: propolis may act as an agent that makes the skin softer and helps to heal the wounds. Although it contains some antibacterial agents, studies have shown that, in the fight against infections, those are not as effective as classical antibiotics or antibiotic fat that can be purchased without a prescription. As royal jelly increases the growth, fertility and longevity of the queen bee, some have thought that the effect on humans could be similar. There is no evidence for such claims, but in traditional Chinese medicine, royal jelly is highly valued for its effectiveness in recovery after the disease.
How to take them?
DOSAGE: the amount of pollen needed to alleviate allergy symptoms is different for each person. Generally, you should start with a few grains a day and then gradually increase the dose to one to three teaspoons.
USE GUIDELINES: before the beginning of the pollen season, take very small amounts of bee pollen every few days – a few grains or just part of a tablet. If no side effects occur, slowly increase the dose until the symptoms of allergies are mitigated. Dietary supplements that contain bee pollen should be taken with plenty of water; you can also put dried or fresh pollen in the juice or sprinkle on the dish.
Possible side effects
Some people are allergic to the pollen, which can be manifested by asthma attacks, eczema, or nose leaking. Start by taking small amounts of these products to see if you are sensitive to them. If rash, burning sensation in the throat, skin redness or headache occur, stop taking the preparations immediately.
IMPORTANT: people with asthma and those who are allergic to bee stings should be very careful when taking bee products; they should not take the royal jelly at all.