People have long venerated bees for their honey production and crop pollination. Few people know that bees can do more than that. Bee byproducts are now widely used as health supplements, and doing something as simple as eating local honey can give you health benefits. This blog will review a few common bee byproducts and their physiological benefits.
Besides being a delicious sweetener, honey has been proven to be useful in medicine. One of the proven applications is the use of honey as a wound dressing. In this it has been shown to reduce healing times and scarring when used on wounds, even in post-operative wounds. It is also known to have a greater than average amount of certain nutrients such as niacin, however none of these are prevalent in amounts that equal what is considered an average daily dose.
There are also a great deal of speculated uses for honey. One of the most prevalent “home remedies” involving honey is the use of raw honey to treat pollen allergies. Eating 2-3 tablespoons of raw honey daily is recommended for relief of mild to moderate allergy symptoms during the spring and summer months. More possible health problems treated by honey include relief of pharyngitis, constipation, duodenal ulcers, liver disturbances, kidney function disturbances, and fever. Some reports have even claimed improvement in heart problems of convalescents with a honey solution injection.
It is important to note that for each of these uses of honey it is raw, unprocessed, multifloral honey that is being used. Honey in this form conserves many more healthy chemicals including protein, antioxidants, amino acids, and vitamins to name a few.
Bee Pollen Pellets
Most people know that bees collect nectar, but did you know they also collect pollen in a leg structure called “pollen baskets”? This pollen is consumed by bees as a source of protein. Pollen not directly consumed is often stored in a form known as “bee bread,” which is pollen that undergoes a lactic acid fermentation as a means of preserving the pollen.
Bee pollen has been scientifically proven to improve a number of prostate difficulties, even in some cases of prostate cancer. Some other possible benefits of bee pollen ingestion are improvement of allergies, anemia, male sterility, ulcers, high blood pressure, and nervous and endocrine disorders. It has been speculated to improve acne, skin vitality, athletic performance, and even sexual prowess!
Propolis is a mixture that is used as a sealant for small spaces in the hive. It has been shown to have significant antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activity. When propolis extract is used in combination with current antibiotics a synergistic effect has been observed. Some have also claimed it can be used in anti-asthmatic mouth sprays, act as an anti-rheumatic, aid in anemia improvement, and aid in tissue regeneration and wound healing.
Royal jelly is a substance fed to bee larva and queens. It has proven antibacterial effects when used topically. There could possibly be anti-wrinkle effects and epithelial stimulation and growth effects when applied topically. According to some sources there are also blood pressure normalizing effects, cholesterol level decreasing effects, and improvements in anemia when ingested.
Most people try to avoid bee stings but there is evidence for a number of medicinal effects of bee venom, especially pure bee venom. Bee venom has been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory. For this reason it was tested as a wound dressing, and it was found that a Hydrogel dressing loaded with 4% bee venom had excellent anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties.
Bee venom is also used in acupuncture-like treatments where a patient is stung purposefully on a regimen to try to elicit effect. These therapies could have positive effects in epileptic patients. Furthermore circumstantial evidence has been collected to suggest bee venom may help with a huge list of other complications like arthritis, asthma, multiple sclerosis, migraines, sinusitis, sore throat, and many more. Oddly enough it has also been investigated as a way to protect against the damaging effects of xrays.
I hope after reading this blog you are more educated on the healing effects of bee byproducts. I highly encourage you to try some of these remedies if you are seeking natural medicine treatments.
“Bee Venom-Loaded Hydrogel Accelerates Wound Healing, Exhibits Anti-Inflammatory Effect.” Apitherapy News. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Dec. 2013. .
“Honey for Allergies.” Apitherapy Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Dec. 2013. .
Krell, R. “Value-added products from beekeeping..” Corporate Document Repository . FAO, n.d. Web. 8 Dec. 2013. .