Bee Products 

Sunday 22th April 2012

On Friday I told you how my support of the health benefits of Manuka honey had landed me in hot water

Well, to really wind the authorities up I’m going to make even more statements about the healing power of this fantastic natural product, and some other stuff that we get from bees as well.

Click here to find out some real bee secrets.

And just in case the nice people at Trading Standards are monitoring our newsletter now, I am also going to be quoting from scientific documents, previously published papers and a bit of ancient text.

Interestingly I don’t feel the need to tell you about the established benefits from pure, raw Manuka honey.

I already know that The Good Life readers realise that this rich and powerful honey coming direct from artisan beekeepers in New Zealand is packed full of health promoting properties.

I am also confident that you are on the case of the commercial slight of hand that some producers use.

Much of the Manuka honey sold in the UK hides behind a spurious labelling ploy – the UMF factor - which is nothing more than an opportunity for some distributors to try to increase their profits.

Worse than that it allows them to mix their honey DOWN to a standard by including other less potent product rather than just put the real, raw, unadulterated Manuka honey into a jar.

That’s what our honey is – straight from the hive and at its full potential – click here to get yours.

So, as far as you good people go there’s not much more I can tell you about honey.

Now we know that bees make honey but that’s not the only stuff that we can use to help us in our daily traumas.

There is a lot of good stuff to be had from around the hive.

‘Bee’ good to yourself

One of the research papers that I have always referred to for matters of ‘beekind’ and the fruits of their labours was published in 20081.

Its authors stated that one of the most interesting and undervalued aspects of modern medicine was the concept of functional food.

These were defined as those where at least one of their components (whether nutritional or not) affects the organism so that it positively and specifically promotes a physiological or psychological benefit.

What I really like about the way they put an argument together is that they make it so simple to understand and apply.

In this case they clearly state that;

‘Among foods that possess the characteristic of functionality, we may include all those originating in the beehive: honey, propolis and royal jelly.’

They’ll find no argument from me on that score.

Honey, as I’ve said, is well known to us but what of the other substances?

Propolis – A resinous substance that is used in the hive to protect the colony from infection and infestation. It has been shown to contain over 300 individual components including pollen, essential oils and a mass of organic compounds which have significant medicinal qualities.

This complex composition is thought to be responsible for its properties such as antioxidant, antibacterial and immunomodulation. It is for these reasons that many people take it post surgically.

Of a more contentious nature is the consideration that propolis can act to slow down or stop cancer cells growing and dividing.

Now I’m not saying that this is the case or that it has been categorically proven, however, there is an awful lot of evidence out there in support of it.

A paper summarising the benefits in various types of cancers suggests that it’s not that the propolis does anything to the aberrant cells, but that it helps the body’s own defence system make a stronger fist of it.2

Want to boost your immune system?

Royal Jelly – This is truly food for a queen, since the entire hive contribute to making this extra special and highly nutritious compound.

Within the colony the monarch is the most important individual as it is she who lays the eggs and allows the continuation of their species – so it stands to reason that the really good stuff will be reserved for her.

When researchers in the United States began to determine what it was that made Royal Jelly so special they were amazed at what they found.3

Their studies isolated a highly potent antibacterial agent which they named royalisin and found that it was truly unique to anything else in the animal or plant kingdoms.

According to “The Healing Foods Reference Database4” Royal Jelly may help with bone fractures, kidneys, liver, bronchial asthma, pancreatic disorders, stomach ulcers, insomnia, skin disorders, mental fatigue, anaemia and depression.

And if that isn't enough, Royal Jelly is commonly believed to help slow down the ageing process, improve vitality and energy levels, and improve and strengthen hair and nails. It has also been used for helping control cholesterol levels and to improve sexual vitality!

No wonder the bees save this super food for the most important bee of all.

Is it time to treat yourself royally?

The point of all this – a sting in the ‘tale’

Using natural products for health has been part of human history and in fact many of these compounds are the forerunners of major drug discoveries.

When it comes to bees our history is littered with powerful, if anecdotal evidence that they can provide us with some of the best in natural products.

The fact that a few boffins sat in their cosy European office can’t test them properly doesn’t mean that they have no value – if anything it proves that we don’t need the interference of politicians.

I happen to agree that some degree of statute is needed to ensure we receive only the best and properly dose-controlled substances irrespective of whether they come from a warlocks home or a big factory.

What I fail to understand is when this gets applied to honey, propolis or Royal Jelly.

This matter isn’t over – watch this space.

Yours, as always


1Viuda-Martos et al. (2008: Functional Properties of Honey, Propolis and Royal Jelly. J. Food Sci. Vol 73 (9). Wiley

2Sforcin (2007): Propolis and the Immune System: A Review. J. Of Ethnopharmacology Vol 113 (1) Elsevier

3Fujiwara et al. (1990): A Potent Antibacterial Protein in Royal Jelly. J. Of Biological Chemistry Vol 265 (19)

4 accessed 17/4/12 16:14


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