Bee products such as honey and royal jelly are commonly found in just about any store today. Have you ever walked down the aisle and wondered why they might be also selling bee pollen?
(This post contains affiliate links. Learn more.)
Bee pollen is different from bee venom, honey, and royal jelly. It is made up of plant pollen and bee saliva that is compacted into little balls and carried on the legs of worker bees. This ball of pollen, also called bee bread, is used as a food source for the bees. Since it is made from pollen, each ball of pollen can differ significantly from one another depending on what pollen is collected from what plant.
Bee pollen has been used for thousands of years by various cultures. Hippocrates used it in many of his healing concoctions. The Chinese, Romans, and Egyptians would also use bee pollen in their medicine. The Native Americans would eat the pollen during long journies to keep their energy up. Today it is used for a variety of things.
In the 1970’s bee pollen became a popular supplement for athletes. Many popular athletes promoted the pollen for its ability to improve athletic abilities. It has been used to treat constipation, diarrhea, premature aging, premenstrual syndrome, menopause, hay fever, mouth sores, joint pain, painful urination, prostate conditions, radiation sickness, bleeding problems (nosebleed to menstruation problems), eczema, pimples, diaper rash, wounds, alcoholism, asthma, and allergies. Has also been used to stimulate appetite, improve stamina and athletic performance, reduce premature aging, soften skin, improve liver function, reducing stress, and weight loss.
Vitamins, Minerals, & More
-Trace Vitamins (including vitamin C)
Possible Properties: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immune booster, diuretic, general tonic
Bee pollen is not safe for everyone. Do not take long term, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, are allergic to pollen or bees, or if you are on blood thinners.
- Allergic reaction
- Shortness of breath
- Possible liver or kidney damage
- Acute hepatitis
- Increases heart rate
- Cardiac arrest
Tainted bee pollen could cause severe reactions including death. Make sure you get quality bee pollen supplements. Learn how to find quality supplements here.
Does it Work?
For the most part, it is not know how effective bee pollen is for humans. Some research has shown that a bee pollen extract had anti-inflammatory effects in rats, that bee pollen has antioxidant activity similar to fermented foods, and has been shown to increase liver health in chickens. However, studies have not been done on how bee pollen effects humans. Results found in animal testing does not always translate into effective human uses.
More studies are needed specifically on how bee pollen may or may not benefit humans. Talk to your doctor before taking bee pollen supplements or any supplements at that. If you are going to use bee pollen make sure to get it from a trusted source such as Greenbow’s Organic Bee Pollen.