Do you know that May 20 is the World Bee Day? The United Nations set aside this day to raise awareness on the significant contributions of bees and other pollinators.
When we hear about bees, we usually think of honey. However, there are other bee products that we should know about. Like honey, they also have enormous health benefits.
Also called bee bread or ambrosia, bee pollen is a combination of pollen, saliva, and honey. It goes through a fermentation process and becomes the main source of food for a beehive.
Studies show that bee pollen is also nutritious for humans. A tablespoon has only 16 calories but is already a rich source of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Aside from being close to being a perfect food, bee pollen has been recognised by the German Federal Board of Health for its medicinal benefits.
- Bee pollen reduces the irritating symptoms of menopause like hot flashes, hair loss, insomnia, and memory loss.
- Similar to other bee products, bee pollen speeds up the healing process of skin wounds. Aside from attacking harmful bacteria, bee pollen increases blood circulation and moisturises the wound.
- Bee pollen is usually sold as an antidote to low libido because it stimulates blood flow in the nervous system. As a result, stress and tiredness are reduced.
- Its high level of antioxidants protects people against free radicals linked to major diseases like cancer and diabetes.
- Bee pollen lowers bad cholesterol levels. High cholesterol levels lead to heart diseases.
- Bee pollen kills harmful bacteria that typically cause skin infections, food poisoning, bacteraemia, septic arthritis, and toxic shock syndrome.
When bees mix saliva and beeswax, the resulting bee product is propolis or bee glue. This glue fills small gaps in the beehive.
Researchers discovered that propolis is a good source of flavonoids, a powerful antioxidant. There are also other benefits:
- Propolis contains an antifungal compound called pinocembrin, which assists in healing wounds. People with serious burn injuries heal faster with propolis. The topical application of propolis was found to be effective in healing wounds resulting from oral surgeries.
- Cold sores and genital herpes also heal faster with the help of ointments containing propolis.
- Studies show that propolis treats cancer by stopping the increase of cancer It also complements traditional breast cancer treatments.
- Propolis contributes to lowering the blood sugar of people with diabetes.
- Propolis mouth rinses reduce swelling caused by dentures. They also help cancer patients with oral mucositis.
Royal jelly is the third among the many beneficial bee products. Worker bees secrete royal jelly to feed all classes of bee larvae for three days. Only the fertile female bees that eventually grow into queen bees are allowed to eat royal jelly beyond three days.
It was eventually discovered that royal jelly is rich in protein, vitamin B, and fatty acids. Here are some proven benefits of royal jelly:
- Aside from reducing the effects of menopause, the cholesterol levels of women improved after taking royal jelly.
- Like other bee products, royal jelly heals wounds by moving fibroblasts faster.
- People with type 2 diabetes benefit from the ability of royal jelly to reduce blood glucose levels.
Similarly, there are other bee products with superior nutritional and healing benefits – honey, beeswax, nectar, and bee venom.