We've talked about the topic of apitherapy and the many medicinal benefits bee products offer us, from the antibacterial properties of royal jelly to the healing powers of raw honey; it's incredible what beautiful things these tiny creatures can create! One of the most versatile byproducts that bees offer us is bee pollen - it's great for our insides and helps us achieve glowing results on the outside. Let's take a deeper look at bee pollen's medicinal and cosmetic benefits.
What is bee pollen?
In nature, bees forage and collect pollen from various plants and flowers and bring it back to the hive. The colony then uses the pollen as a source of minerals, proteins, and fats.
Bee pollen is often regarded as a superfood because of the potent nutrients and benefits it has for the human body. Others look at bee pollen as a natural therapeutic product that has antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties.
What are the benefits of consuming bee pollen?
Many people choose to consume bee pollen because of its rich nutritional value and high bioactive components. It's a wonderful source of amino acids, phospholipids, vitamins, and other macro- and micronutrients. It also contains beneficial proteins, carbs, fats, and flavonoids.
Over the last decade or so, researchers have been hard at work discovering the health benefits of bee pollen. Some of their claims include
- Supporting the immune system: Bee pollen can inhibit allergic reactions and potentially kill off bacteria and viruses due to its antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties.
- Relieving inflammation: Its anti-inflammatory qualities help reduce inflammation and swelling within the body. This could offer discomfort relief caused by burns, menopause, multiple sclerosis, and joint pain.
- Working as an antioxidant: Antioxidants protect your body from free radicals - harmful molecules that lead to health and skin problems, including acne, premature aging, cancer, and diabetes. Bee pollen is packed with a sweeping variety of antioxidants that can support skin and overall health.
- Increasing liver health: The liver's primary purpose is to filter toxins out of the body and keep the other systems running smoothly. Scientists have found that the consumption of bee pollen can promote liver health and accelerate the healing process after damage has occurred to the organ.
Here are some of our favorite ways to include bee pollen into our regular meals:
- Use dried granules as a crunchy topping for yogurt, cereal, or oatmeal
- Stir it into your morning coffee as a natural sweetener
- Blend it into your smoothie
- Sprinkle it on a piece of toast with honey and cinnamon
It's important to contact your healthcare provider before beginning a new supplement, and it's recommended to gradually introduce bee pollen into your diet to ensure no adverse reaction. Start with ½ a teaspoon per day and work your way up to 1 - 3 tablespoons over the course of 3 to 4 weeks.
Using bee pollen topically
Bee pollen can improve skin conditions like acne, eczema, and diaper rash when applied topically. Researchers have found that topical application of bee pollen in salve, lotions, and other ointments accelerates the skin's healing process compared to untreated wounds and can relieve scarring and pain caused by skin flareups, cuts, and burns.