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Honey, Propolis, and Royal Jelly: A Comprehensive Review of Their Biological Actions and Health Benefits

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Honey, Propolis, and Royal Jelly: A Comprehensive Review of Their Biological Actions and Health Benefits

Honey and its by-products Propolis, Royal Jelly and Bee Pollen, have been widely used for their health and medicinal properties by many cultures for thousands of years. As such there is a vast body of knowledge and scientific work available detailing the possibilities and limitations of Honey’s use in the treatment and prevention of disease in humans. The research is available from peer-reviewed journals which are posted on government web sites. We will be highlighting some of this material from the U.S. PubMed Central (PMC) site of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The first article briefly summarizes a study carried out in Malaysia in 2017 and published in the Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity Journal.

Apiculture is the science and art of prolonging, sustaining, and retaining health by using products obtained from honeybee hives, such as honey, bee bread, bee venom, bee pollen, propolis, and royal jelly. Recent years have seen the fast application of bee products in both traditional and modern medicine. This discussion focuses on the potential health benefits of bee products, including honey, propolis, and royal jelly.

The potential health benefits of honey, such as microbial inhibition, wound healing, and its effects on other diseases, are described. Propolis has been reported to have various health benefits related to gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, and gynaecological, oral, and dermatological problems. Royal jelly is well known for its protective effects on reproductive health, neurodegenerative disorders, wound healing, and aging. Nevertheless, the exact mechanisms of action of honey, propolis, and royal jelly on these diseases and other health issues are not fully yet understood, and further research is ongoing to explain their exact contributions.

Honey

Honey is a sweet liquid processed by the honey bee. Honey is recognized worldwide due to its high nutritive components that are beneficial for human well-being. It has been traditionally used by Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Chinese to heal wounds and diseases of the gut, including gastric ulcers. It has also been used as a remedy for cough, sore throat, and earaches. In India, Lotus honey has been traditionally used to treat eye infections and other diseases. In addition to being used externally, honey is also used internally as a functional food to provide energy and nourishment to enhance vital organs in the body. This has been in practice since ancient times.

The active components of honey, such as glucose, fructose, flavonoid, polyphenols, and organic acids, play an important role in its quality. Honey is being produced in many countries all over the world and is recognized as an important medicine as well as energy-providing food due to its functional properties and nutritional values. Additionally, honey is well known for its biological, physiological, and pharmacological activities.

 

Propolis

Propolis is generally known as the “bee glue”, which is a generic name that refers to the resinous substance accumulated by the bees from different types of plants. Propolis functions in sealing holes and cracks and for the reconstruction of the beehive. It is also used for smoothing the inner surface of the beehive, retaining the hive's internal temperature (35°C), preventing weathering and invasion by predators. Furthermore, propolis hardens the cell wall and contributes to an aseptic internal environment. Propolis generally becomes soft and sticky upon heating. It also possesses a pleasant smell.

Propolis and its extracts have numerous applications in treating various diseases due to its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antimycotic, anti-fungal, anti-ulcer, anticancer, and immuno-modulatory properties.

 

Royal Jelly

Royal jelly, a white and viscous jelly-like substance, is secreted from the worker bees. It is also known as a “superfood” that is solely consumed by the queen bee. Royal jelly is also fed to the honeybee larvae upon hatching and it is the only food fed to the immature young larvae during their first 2-3 days. The queen bee consumes it throughout her entire life cycle. Royal-actin is the main compound in royal jelly that allows the morphological change of a larva into the queen bee. 

This superfood is the main reason for the longevity of the queen bee compared to the other bees. Royal jelly is widely used as a dietary nutritional complex to help combat various chronic health conditions. Furthermore, it is one of the profitable remedies for human beings in both traditional and modern medicine. Many pharmacological activities such as antibacterial, anti tumor, anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory  effects have also been attributed to it.

 

Research is summarized by NRGY Honey. NRGY Honey do not own the rights to the research. 

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