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Wednesday, September 9, 2020

"Bee" Good To Your Health


A few years ago I had an unfortunate run-in with a bit of food poisoning. I had little appetite for about a week afterward, which is extremely unusual for me. I'll swear to this day that virtually the only thing that helped me along through the duration of this unsettling malady was drinking hot honey tea -- basically, just tea-temperature water with nothing other than a generous amount of honey dissolved in it.

Since then, I've held not only the therapeutic use of honey in high esteem but also the viability of the various other bee products -- bee pollen, bee propolis and royal jelly. Everyone's familiar with honey, of course, but these other three bee-related substances could perhaps use some greater explanation for those who might be curious about their nature and potential health benefits.

Bee Pollen

Bee pollen is often referred to as nature's most complete food. Human consumption of bee pollen is praised in the Bible, other religious books, and ancient Chinese and Egyptian texts. Bee pollen rejuvenates the body, stimulates organs and glands, enhances vitality and brings about a longer life span. Bee pollen's ability to consistently and noticeably increase energy levels makes it a favorite substance among many world-class athletes and those interested in sustaining and enhancing exercise performance.

Bee Propolis

Bee propolis, often called Nature’s penicillin, has historically been used to treat tuberculosis, ulcers, mitosis, colitis and to boost immunity. Bee propolis has been shown to destroy bacteria, viruses, fungus and even penicillin-resistant bacteria (staphylococcus). It contains bioflavonoids, one of which (galangin) is a natural antibiotic. Additionally, bee propolis boosts immune functioning, specifically by increasing the activity of phagocytes (killer cells). Bee propolis also inhibits prostaglandin production, thereby stopping inflammation.

Bee propolis is a resin collected from plants by bees and used in the construction of hives. Bees adopted sterilization habits long before humans. The most sterile place in nature, believe it or not, is the bee hive. Propolis is the natural substance responsible for neutralizing any bacteria, fungi or virus which enters the hive. Also one of the most powerful foods found in nature, propolis is a highly complex mixture of waxes, resins, balsams, oils and a small amount of pollen. It also contains what are called phytotonizides. Phytotonizides are believed to contain immunity factors, which, when used internally, stimulate the body and give it a natural resistance to diseases (in other words, they function as natural antibiotics). Propolis is gathered from bee hives all around the world, and proper temperature control will assure maximum freshness and consistency.

When taken as a supplement, bee propolis is an excellent aid against bacterial infections. It stimulates phagocytosis, i.e., it helps white blood cells to destroy bacteria. Good results have also been obtained in using bee propolis against inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth and the throat, dry cough, halitosis, tonsillitis, ulcers, and acne.

Royal Jelly

Royal jelly is a substance of complex chemical structure produced by the young nurse bees as larva food. Although it is not quite as well-known as bee pollen, royal jelly equals pollen in its salutary effects.

The young nurse bees make royal jelly, which they secrete from glands on the tops of their heads. For 2-3 days, royal jelly is the only food given to all young larvae in their maturation process, while for the queen larvae, it is the specific food for their whole life period. During the 3 days in which the worker bee larvae are fed on royal jelly, they reach the maximum development; their weight multiplies about 250 times. The queen (fed only on royal jelly for her entire life) reaches maturity 5 days earlier than the worker bees; and, when she is fully grown, her weight is double that of the working bee. The span of the worker bee's life is about 35-40 days, while the queen lives 5-6 years and is extremely prolific. She is fertilized once, and from that moment on can lay as many as 3,000 eggs a day during the season. As incredible as this may seem, she can lay that many eggs for five years.

This ultra-rich, concentrated food commonly called royal jelly is not just useful for the bees, however. It contains remarkable amounts of proteins, lipids, glucides, vitamins, hormones, enzymes, mineral substances and specific vital factors that act as biocatalysts in cell regeneration processes within the human body. Royal jelly is continually being studied in the hopes of unlocking even more of its marvelous life-enhancing secrets.

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