(NaturalHealth365) Full of robust nutritional value and bursting with health benefits, products from beehives have benefited mankind throughout history. In fact, beehive ‘superfoods’ have earned a strong reputation for helping people to eliminate environmental allergies, accelerate wound repair plus much more – since ancient times.
Interestingly enough, a queen bee is an incredible powerhouse, producing about 2 million eggs in its lifetime – a mark unmatched by any other living creature. But, in fact, such an incredible feat is vital to the survival of the bee.
Are you eating raw honey – yet?
Most people don’t realize that it takes approximately one million bee hours for every one pound of honey produced. While honey itself is one of the most energy-rich nutrients found in nature, the hive also provides us with additional useful products, all with their own impressive nutritional profile.
First, let’s take a closer look at why raw honey is so powerful.
Like most processed foods, the commercially prepared honey you can find on any grocery shelf is a far cry from the truly raw, unfiltered honey found in nature. The later is much more nutrient dense, boasting 80 or more substances known to play a positive role in human nutrition. These include not only vitamins and minerals, but live enzymes, proteins, carbohydrates and even antimicrobial agents that provide antiallergenic, bactericidal, expectorant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Unlike white sugar and other sweeteners, raw honey contains two sugars that are easily absorbed and will not overtake the bloodstream or set the stage for a sugar crash. While also being easy on the intestinal tract, honey also helps the body to recuperate efficiently after exertion – something noted by many competitive athletes.
Honey also holds benefits as a beauty and skin care product. Its antimicrobial qualities make it a very popular ingredient in hair and body cleansers. Plus, it’s used in facial masks and topical skin preparations to promote healing of damaged skin cells.
The healing power of royal jelly
From menopause to arthritis, royal jelly – sometimes referred to as milk of the bees because it is a substance secreted by the nurse bees to nourish the queen bee and her hatched larvae – holds a very rich nutritional profile that can provide relief for a number of ailments.
A single pound of royal jelly required about 1,000 three-day-old queen cells to make and the product is fast to deteriorate. This substance is available in both liquid and lyophilized form for human use, although it’s most commonly found as tablets, soft gels or capsules.
Among the many substances found, on the laundry list of nutrients contained in royal jelly, are agents that fight infection and boost the immune system, as well as naturally occurring hormones, fatty acids, sulfur, protein, vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and gelatin, an anti-aging substance known to be a precursor to collagen.
With an impressive 12 percent protein content, royal jelly has also been found to contain compounds which are key for nerve transmission. Inadequate levels of these compounds are associated with several nerve-related disorders, including Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
Royal jelly’s ability to normalize blood vessel integrity has left it sought after for those seeking improved cardiovascular health and arthritic patients longing for improved circulation. In addition, the natural hormones it contains have been found to help alleviate conditions associated with the female reproductive system and hormone balance – including PMS and menopause.
Is propolis better than antibiotics?
Propolis is another beneficial substance that traces its origins back to the beehive. Bee propolis is actually a resin secreted by trees, which is then metabolized by bees. It is made up of 55 percent resins, 30 percent beeswax and 10 percent aromatic ethers and oils.
With about five percent pollen in propolis, bees use propolis to ensure an extremely sterile environment in the hive.
Propolis has antibiotic-like properties that actually slow the growth of fungi, bacteria and viruses. Medical researchers have determined that, used in liquid or capsule form, propolis can alleviate symptoms and duration of such ills as sinusitis, influenza, sore throat and the common cold.
As a topic agent, it has also been shown to heal inflammation, ulcers and tumors of the skin as well as treat other skin disorders. Scientists at the University of Western Australia, whose findings were later supported by Russian researchers, found that propolis also increase the effectiveness of conventional antibiotics, including neomycin, penicillin and tetracycline.
Its antibacterial properties are thought to be two-fold: it halts bacteria from multiplying and it increases disease resistance. Since it is a natural supplement, there are not the usual concerns found with conventional medications, including fears of antibiotic resistance.
Bee pollen is LOADED with essential nutrients to strengthen the blood
Finding its way into beehives because it is carried by bees, pollen is actually the male reproductive portion of plants. Like other products found in the beehive, pollen contains an impressive list of nutrients, including minerals, vitamins, omega-3 and other essential fatty acids, simple and complex carbohydrates, trace elements, enzymes, amino acids, and rutin – a known strengthener of blood cell walls and capillaries.
Its incredible powerhouse of nutrients have been used for generations to provide strength and improved health to the ill and weak.
Dr. Remy Chauvin, M.D., Institute of Bee Culture, Paris, also points out that bacteria such as salmonella E. coli cannot survive in bee pollen – making pollen an important agent in warding off such infections.
Its natural hormones are also known to promote bone and tissue development, increased muscle tone and even improved fertility, all without the harmful side effects of synthetic versions.
From allergies to wound repair, beehive products have helped humans for thousands of years. Obviously, if you’re concerned about an allergic reaction, consult a holistically-minded physicians before consuming any bee-related products.