Flower pollen is collected by honeybees as they gather nectar which is their food. The bee pollen that is collected from hives contains digestive enzymes of the bees and gametes which are the flowers’ male reproductive cells.
Bee pollen is full of proteins, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and trace elements. It is also a very good anti-oxidant. Bee pollen also contains proteins although these are not easily digestible.
The actual composition of bee pollen varies depending on the flowers found in the area that the bees live in, the environment, agricultural practices followed in the area etc. If bee pollen is got from heavily industrialized areas, it could contain heavy metals and other pollutants.
Bee pollen can also contain herbicides, fertilizers and fungicides. Pollen from plants is also collected using machines and used as supplements.
Bee pollen is used for various medical conditions like prostate problems, to cure allergies, lower cholesterol levels, increase hormone levels, provide sexual strength, alleviate symptoms of depression, benefit those with atherosclerosis, increase stamina, improve metabolism and also help with bleeding problems.
It is important that anyone takes small doses of bee pollen to start off and check if they have any allergic symptoms before taking larger doses.
Dosage of bee pollen really depends on the type of product (capsules, liquid, tablets or raw granules) that is being used. Labels of the products usually contain the strength of bee pollen and the dosage per day.
Bee Pollen For Pregnant Women And Breastfeeding Mothers
There are many questions raised about the safety of including herbal supplements like bee pollen in the diet of pregnant or breastfeeding women.
There are differing opinions and most nutritionists advise people to consult their OB/GYN. It is possible that bee pollen taken orally (via the mouth) could act as a uterine stimulant and create problems during pregnancy. Hence taking bee pollen orally it should be avoided.
Pregnancy is a very critical time for you are responsible for both your health and that of your child. During and after pregnancy women get stretch marks on her breasts and belly.
There are several topical products that are available to get rid of these unsightly marks. Most of them contain essential oils, vitamin E or bee products etc.
One product contains comfrey, elderflower and bee pollen in sweet almond oil and olive oil and this is said to help the skin expand and avoid the formation of stretch marks.
These products are safe to use during the first trimester.
Honey that contains bee pollen can be safely given to pregnant women.
However, it is generally advised that pregnant women avoid un-pasteurized pure honey since it will contain contaminants and organisms that could harm them. Babies under 1year must not be given honey or any bee pollen products.
A study was conducted in China on the effects that Brassia campestres L. bee pollen had on pregnant women and if it affected fetal growth.
Pregnant rats were divided into 3 groups. The control group was just given normal diet. The other two groups had bee pollen added to their diet in different quantities apart from their regular food.
The two groups that were fed bee pollen gained weight and had greater levels of total protein, hemoglobin, albumin andserum iron. Their fetuses gained weight and there were lower death rates.
The fetuses also did not display any abnormalities like skeletal, visceral or external malformations. These results demonstrate that bee pollen could help improve the nutrition of pregnant women without affecting their fetuses.
More research is required about the benefits of bee pollen for pregnancy. Since bee pollen is also said to lower blood pressure and stress it could benefit pregnant women who suffer from these conditions. It is also important to check the sources from which bee pollen has bee got to avoid any contaminants.
Since there is not much research on the subject, nursing mothers are advised to avoid bee pollen products as there is no evidence of its benefits and the risks could be far greater.
Hence, if you suffer shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, nausea or itching, you could be experiencing an allergic reaction to bee pollen. Stop using it at once and seek emergency medical help.
Anyone who has a family history of allergies should avoid bee pollen especially during pregnancy for your baby could also suffer from a similar pollen allergy.
Bee products like honey or bee pollen must not be administered to infants less than 1 year since they could contract botulism which is a very dangerous paralytic illness.