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Bee pollen is considered a highly nutritious food because it contains a balance of vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, enzymes, and essential amino acids. Pollen comes from various plants, including buckwheat, maize, pine (songhaufen), rape, and typha (puhuang). Avoid confusion with bee venom, honey, and royal jelly. Bees use propolis, a resinous substance, to construct their hives while royal jelly is secreted from the salivary glands of bees.
The lay public probably uses it more often than is prescribed in clinical practice. Typically, bee pollen is used as a rejuvenator or a tonic. It is also used to enhance athletic stamina and strength and to assist in recovery from illness. Bee pollen is often used as a pollen and spore antidote during allergy season. It may aid in respiratory complaints such as bronchitis, sinus congestion, and common rhinitis. In the support of hormonal disorders, bee pollen is thought to balance the endocrine system with specific benefits in menstrual and prostate disorders. In Chinese medicine, bee pollen is used for building blood, reducing cravings for sweets and alcohol, as a radiation protectant, and a cancer inhibitor. Topically it is used for eczema, skin eruptions, and diaper rash. Available research does not adequately support its use for these indications.
Athletic performance enhancement:
Bee pollen does not appear to enhance athletic performance. However, additional study is needed before a firm recommendation can be made.
Cancer treatment side-effects:
Bee pollen may reduce some adverse effects of cancer treatment. Additional study is needed before a firm recommendation can be made.