Bees products as nutritonal supplements

~ M.K.

Royal Jelly, propolis, 10-HDA... terms that sound mysterious and almost mystical. But there is no big secret here - these are the basic ingredients we encounter in apitherapy, a method of traditional medicine that involves applying the gifts of the honey bee to improve and preserve health. We present some of these gifts provided by valuable bees more closely, in order to introduce you to their positive effects, which are evidenced by the knowledge of beekeepers and folk healers gathered over the years and the personal experiences of satisfied users.

Honey

Honey, apart from being a valuable food, is again recognized for its healing and antibacterial properties when taken orally or applied to the skin to treat wounds and burns.

Many of us have resorted to honey and lemon as a traditional remedy for sore throats. There is a scientific explanation for this: the most common bacteria known to cause sore throats is Streptococcus pyogenes, and laboratory experiments show how honey can inhibit their growth. Another bacteria for which there are similar indications of the inhibitory role of honey is Helicobacter pylorum, the cause of stomach ulcers.

Honey has a number of potentially beneficial properties like the acidity of honey, its enzymatic activity and high osmotic potential. The osmotic potential of honey is due to the high concentration of sugar; this allows for a strong osmotic effect that can lead to the breakdown of bacterial membranes, thus inhibiting microbial growth. Honey can also be used to heal the skin and treat wounds. Its antibacterial properties and specific chemical composition are favourable factors for preventing infections, reducing inflammation and promoting rapid wound healing and skin damage. Honey also contains compounds derived from plants and flowers such as flavonoids and active phenols, well known for their antibacterial properties.

Pollen

Pollen is a very important ingredient in the diet of honey bees, and many experts testify to the nutritional value of pollen as one of the most complete foods in nature. Pollen contains about 30% protein and includes all the amino acids necessary for human nutrition, the full range of vitamins and minerals, together with trace elements, carbohydrates and fatty acids. Pollen users claim that it gives them a feeling of energy recovery, helps fight exhaustion and depression, and strengthens the body's resistance to colds and flu.

Propolis

At the entrance to the hive there is a kind of defensive barrier made of propolis, which also serves as a disinfection treatment for bees returning home. Propolis contains substances and resins that bees collect from plants, and in many cases these compounds represent the reaction of plants to injury or otherwise protect plants from predators and pathogenic organisms. It is therefore not surprising that propolis is one of the most effective natural antibiotics.

Various acids (the most famous is acetylsalicylic acid) and a high concentration of flavonoids are responsible for the beneficial properties of propolis. However, the overall effect is probably due to the still unexplored number of over 270 ingredients (minerals, vitamins, trace elements) that are present in propolis as a unique combination.

Propolis, according to some research, supports phagocytes (in the human immune system), inhibits the production of pain prostaglandins, helps fight free radicals, binds toxic heavy metals, suppresses excessive histamine release, strengthens blood vessels and cell membranes, protects the skin and mucosa, helps alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, suppresses gingival regression and has a beneficial effect on dental health, and is traditionally used in the treatment of chronic respiratory diseases (like asthma, bronchitis, allergies).

Royal Jelly

Worker bees and queen bees begin life as identical eggs; whether an egg develops into a worker bee or a queen is determined by the diet. The larvae of queens feed on large amounts of royal jelly, and then develop into individuals that differ in many ways from worker bees - namely, they will live as much as eight time longer! Royal jelly is therefore a powerful food for developing bees because it is a concentrated source of many nutrients, including B vitamins, as well as vitamins A, C, D and E and essential fatty acids.

Royal jelly is the most valuable natural dietary supplement and can help when our body is weakened by illness or stress. In addition, some research claims that royal jelly works by promoting the creation of new healthy cells, helping the immune system, stimulating metabolism, positively affecting hormonal balance in women, etc.

10-HDA

One of the most important components of royal jelly is the unsaturated fatty acid 10 HDA (10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid), which can’t be  synthetized in a laboratory, or found elsewhere in nature. The highest biological activity of royal jelly is attributed precisely to the effect provided by 10 HDA.

Research testify of various positive effects of 10 HDA royal jelly, such as: antibacterial effect, stimulation of brain cell formation, anti-diabetic effect, support for strengthening the body's resistance and others.

Angelica

The root of this plant is the official ingredient in Swiss, Austrian and German pharmacopoeias. * Angelica can help against colds, coughs, pleurisy (inflammatory process in the lungs), colic and wind, rheumatism and diseases of urinary tract. It is traditionally used as an expectorant and, in the case of fever, it acts as a diaphoretic which promotes sweating i.e. evaporation through the skin.

* Pharmacopoeia (literally, drug preparation), in the modern sense - a book containing instructions for the identification of medical compounds, approved by the official ministry of health or pharmaceutical companies

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