Bee pollen refers to the flower pollen that collects on the legs and bodies of worker bees. It can also include some nectar and bee saliva. Pollens come from many plants, so the contents of bee pollen can vary significantly. Don’t confuse bee pollen with bee venom, honey, or royal jelly.
People take bee pollen for nutrition; as an appetite stimulant; to improve stamina and athletic performance; and for premature aging, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), hay fever (allergic rhinitis), mouth sores, joint pain (rheumatism), painful urination, prostate conditions, and radiation sickness.
It is also used for weight loss, bleeding problems including coughing or vomitingblood, bloody diarrhea, nosebleed, brain hemorrhage, and menstrual problems.
Bee pollen is also used for gastrointestinal (GI) problems including constipation, diarrhea, enteritis, and colitis. Some people use bee pollen as a general tonic, to increase urine flow, and for alcohol intoxication.
Bee pollen is used topically for skin care in skin softening products, and for treating eczema, pimples, and diaper rash.
You may hear claims that bee pollen enzymes (chemical compounds that assist in chemical reactions) provide a variety of treatment benefits. However, any enzymes in bee pollen are likely to be digested in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. There is no reliable evidence indicating that bee pollen enzymes or other ingredients in bee pollen are effective as treatment.
How does it work?
The enzymes in bee pollen are thought to act like medicines. However, these enzymes are broken down in the stomach, so it is unlikely that bee pollen has any effect.
Possibly Ineffective for:
- Increasing athletic performance and stamina.
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Early research suggests that a specific combination product (Femal, Natumin Pharma) seems to decrease some symptoms of PMS including irritability, weight gain, and bloating when given over a period of 2 menstrual cycles. This product contains 6 mg of royal jelly, 36 mg of bee pollen extract and bee pollen plus 120 mg of pistil extract per tablet. It is given as 2 tablets twice daily.
- Appetite stimulation.
- Premature aging.
- Hay fever.
- Mouth sores.
- Joint pain.
- Painful urination.
- Prostate conditions.
- Menstrual problems.
- Weight loss.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & Safety
Bee pollen is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when used for up to 30 days. There is also some evidence that taking 2 tablets twice daily of a specific combination product that contains 6 mg of royal jelly, 36 mg of bee pollen extract, and bee pollen plus 120 mg of pistil extract per tablet for up to two months seems to be safe.
The biggest safety concerns are allergic reactions. Bee pollen can cause serious allergic reactions in people who are allergic to pollen.
There have also been isolated reports of other serious side effects such as liver and kidney damage. But it is not known if bee pollen or some other factor was truly responsible for these effects.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking bee pollen is POSSIBLY UNSAFE during pregnancy. There is some concern that bee pollen might stimulate the uterus and threaten the pregnancy. Don’t use it. It’s also best to avoid using bee pollen during breast-feeding. Not enough is known about how bee pollen might affect the infant.
Pollen allergy: Taking bee pollen supplements can cause serious allergic reactions in people who are allergic to pollen. Symptoms can include itching, swelling, shortness of breath, light-headedness, and severe whole-body reactions (anaphylaxis).
The appropriate dose of bee pollen depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for bee pollen. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.