For about 50 years, bee pollen has been used as a restorative. This supplement combines the golden colored pollen that bees gather from a variety of flowering plants with plant nectar and bee saliva. To collect the pollen, beekeepers attach special scrapers to the hive, the scrapers remove the pollen from pouches located in the bees hind legs as they enter the hive. The bees use pollen for food, and indeed it is rich in nutrients that people can benefit from as well, such as protein and many vitamins and minerals. Bee pollen can also combat stress, enhance the immune system and improve physical and mental performance. Some evidence suggests it may have anti-aging effects. Flower pollen, which is collected directly from plants, is another supplement offering health benefits similar to bee pollen's.
How bees gather pollen
Collecting pollen is hard work for bees. With their jaws, they separate the pollen sacks of plants and moisten the pollen until it forms clumps that stick to a special third pair legs. At least 50 trips are needed to bring 1 gram of pollen back to the hive. Still, removing some of the pollen for human consumption does not harm the bees; enough is left to nourish the entire hive.
The combination of highly nutritious substances in bee pollen has an energising effect on the body and improves general health. Bee pollen stimulates the metabolism and promotes healthy cell growth. Many of the substances in pollen are biocatalysts, compounds that must be present for chemical reactions in the body to occur.
Bee pollen is rich in many minerals and vitamins, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc, riboflavin, thiamine and vitamins A, B6, C, D, E and K and is a source of 12 different unsaturated fatty acids. It also supplies biotin, a vitamin that is important for the skin, hair and nails. Plus, it provides protein, essential oils, essential amino acids, caratenoids (important for the synthesis of vitamin A in the body) and flavonoids.
Forms of bee pollen
Bee pollen is available at health food stores in powdered form, granules, tablets and capsules. Some capsules contain other bee products, such as royal jelly, propolis and honey, as well as vitamin E or other nutrients. Pollens that come from multiple sources contain more nutrients than single source pollens. Begin at the lowest dose listed on the label and gradually increase the amount taken as needed to produce the desired effect.
Scientific studies have shown that bee pollen restores appetite. This is because the essential oils in bee pollen boost metabolism and have an invigorating effect on the body.
Take care : Some experts recommend bee pollen for hay fever on the theory that small amounts taken internally can desensitize allergy sufferers. This hasn't been proved, though, and there are some contradicting reports of adverse reactions to bee pollen. Therefore, people who are allergic to pollen should not take bee pollen.
Used to treat anemia, general weakness, circulatory problems, atherosclerosis, constipation and liver disorders, and to build up strength after an illness.
Methods of administration
General strengthening treatment
Because it is rich in vitamins and contains almost all the minerals and trace elements, bee pollen is a good tonic for the elderly and people under stress. Thoroughly mix the following: ½ lb. of liquid acacia honey, 2 oz. of bee pollen, 2 oz. of brewer's yeast and 2/3 oz. of royal jelly. Take 1 tbsp. of this strengthening mixture each day.
Propolis is a resinous substance bees collect from certain trees to produce a "cement". Bees use it to construct and repair the hive, blocking invasions of fungi, bacteria and viruses. It is similarly beneficial in the human body. As s salve or tincture, it has a germicidal effect and can be used to speed the healing wounds. When taken internally, it stimulates the immune and circulatory systems.
Propolis cream for acne
Slightly warm 2 tsp. of chamomile oil, 3 drops of peppermint oil and 20 drops of propolis tincture; combine with ½ oz of healing earth; dab on pimples.
Propolis tincture for athlete's foot
With a cotton swab, apply propolis tincture to the affected parts of the feet twice a day until the problem abates.