Royal jelly is used a general tonic to help combat cellular aging and boost the immune system. It has also been used for asthma, menopausal symptoms, high cholesterol, PMS, kidney disease, hay fever and a host of other conditions. Some other benefits you may not have heard of include, improving infertility in men, fighting cancer and treating viruses such as herpes simplex.
What is royal jelly?
Royal jelly is a thick milky secretion produced by special glands in young worker bees who serve as “nurses” to the hive. Royal jelly typically contains about 60% to 70% water, 12% to 15% proteins, 10% to 16% sugar, 3% to 6% fats, and 2% to 3% vitamins, salts, and amino acids. Its composition can vary depending on geography and climate. Worker bees feed royal jelly to the larvae for their first three days of life. Think of it as an equivalent to colostrum that babies receive from their mothers during their first days of life.
What makes a Queen Bee?
Royal jelly is what separates a queen bee from all of the rest. All of the “eggs” in a bee hive are identical. But one lucky bee will be fed exclusively on royal jelly. This bee will become the queen. On average, that bee will become 40% larger than her fellow bees, and up to 50% heavier, she will also live up to 20 times as long, which translates to 6 years. She will also produce eggs equal to more than twice her own body weight, every single day.
15 Health Benefits of Royal Jelly
Nutrient Rich and Reduces Stress-Royal jelly is rich in vitamins A, C, D, E and B. It also contains minerals including calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and sulfur, as well as 17 different amino acids, including the 8 essential amino acids that we must get from food, as our body doesn’t produce it on its own. This nutrient rich blend is helpful in reducing stress levels.
Anti-Viral–Royal jelly has inhibitory effects on HSV-1 the Herpes simplex virus. It is considered an alternative treatment to Acyclovira, a prescription antiviral drug that is used to slow the growth and spread of herpes.
Lowers Cholesterol –Research has shown that adding royal jelly to your diet on a consistent basis can lower “bad” cholesterol levels. High cholesterol levels are linked to cardiovascular problems such as strokes and heart attacks.
Cancer – Bisphenol A (BPA) is an environmental estrogen that stimulates the growth and proliferation of human breast cancer MCF-7 cells. Studies show that royal jelly inhibited the growth-promoting effect of BPA on MCF-7 cells.
Improved Memory–Studies show that royal jelly has a neuroprotective role and may be beneficial for brain function, spatial learning and memory as well as offering beneficial effects for patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Blood Pressure-Hydrolysate protein and potassium found in royal jelly can have a long lasting and positive effect on blood pressure. When combined it acts as a vasodilator which reduces stress on the heart and the blood vessels.
Amino Acids– As the building blocks of protein, amino acids are critical for the health and proper function of your body. Royal jelly contains all eight of the necessary amino acids that must be acquired through our diet, since the body doesn’t produce it on its own.
Infertility– Sohag University Hospital and Asyut Gynecology and Infertility Clinic conducted a study of 99 couples affected by asthenozoospermia, (reduced sperm motility). Royal jelly was found to increase male fertility and sperm motility which increase chances of pregnancy.
Premature Aging–The antioxidants found in royal jelly help to eliminate free radicals. Free radicals cause premature aging of our cells.
Wound Healing -Studies show that Nika cream, a mixture of honey, royal jelly and olive oil-propolis extract accelerating wound healing in both normal and diabetic subjects.
Anti-Bacterial-Honey and royal jelly have strong antibacterial properties. The results of a current study together with previous evidence of a rapid bactericidal activity of glps (honey glycoproteins) show that glps possess suitable characteristics to be considered a novel antibacterial drug candidate.
Inflammation -With its wide range of enzymes, vitamins and flavonoids, royal jelly has strong anti-inflammatory properties. The presence of flavonoids that inhibit the development of inflammation are prolific in royal jelly.
Flavonoids & Its Benefits-Royal jelly contains flavonoids like chrysin which has anticancer, ant oxidation, and anti-inflammatory activities. It also contains galangin, which reduces tumor growth. This study also showed that melanoma tumors could be reduced and lifespan increased if used as a therapeutic treatment.
Weight Loss-Lecithin is a component of royal jelly. Lecithin has numerous health benefits including lowering bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol. It prevents the hardening of cell membranes and is excellent for the cardiovascular system. It has also been shown to improve liver function and improve digestion, all of which help to improve your metabolism and increase weight loss.
Lipids– The lipids in royal jelly are useful as preventive and supportive medicines with functionalities that include potential inhibitors of cancer growth, immune system modulators, alternative therapies for menopause, skin-aging protectors, neurogenesis inducers, and more.
Some important words of caution
Royal jelly is not for everyone. A number of people are allergic to honey, bee pollen, and royal jelly. An allergic reaction can also be quite severe, even causing rapid anaphylaxis. Before you add royal jelly to your diet, it is an excellent idea to speak with your practitioner or allergist to be sure you are not allergic.
Individuals with history of allergy to honey or other related products should avoid taking royal jelly supplements.
Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with royal jelly. Royal jelly might increase the effects of warfarin (Coumadin). Taking royal jelly with warfarin (Coumadin) might result in an increased chance of bruising or bleeding.
What form of royal jelly is best?
Royal jelly in its natural state is unstable and must be kept frozen or refrigerated to preserve it.
It is also available in an extract as a powder or liquid. The powdered form is the most popular and what many capsules contain. You want to look for freeze dried powder, although it costs more money to manufacture, no preservatives have been added and no nutritional value has been lost.
A spray dried powdered form is available. This is a less expensive way to manufacture. In this process the royal jelly is diluted and food preservatives are added.
Where to buy royal jelly
Royal jelly is commonly found at Farmer’s Markets, health food stores and online. Be sure to only buy from reputable sources and buy certified organic whenever possible.
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