Bee well: Health from the hive (part 2)

May 3, 2013

Bee PollenTalking Health with Dr. Carter 

By Dr. Lester Carter
Owner, Carter Drug Store

When we think bees, most of us think of honey. For millennia, people have enjoyed honey’s sweetness and other benefits. What is little known is that the hive is the source of three more health enhancing substances. These are pollen, propolis, and royal jelly.
This week we discuss the benefits of pollen and how it can support your health.
Called “the world’s first health food,” pollen’s healing powers have been described in ancient writings. Some think pollen may be the secret ambrosia eaten by the gods to ensure eternal youth. Pollen means pine flour in Latin and is the male sperm cells of flowering plants. Pollen is so physically indestructible that identifiable grains of the first pollen bearing plants are found in the earth’s geological strata.
Pollen contains nearly all the known nutrients: all 22 amino acids, 27 minerals, a full range of vitamins, and many enzymes.
It is 3 5 percent protein, 40 percent carbohydrate, and 5 percent fat. The protein is more highly assimilable than eggs, and half an ounce can supply the MDR when no other protein source is used. Over 50 years ago, pollen was found to be so perfectly balanced that when extended by roughage and water it is a complete survival food.
In his classic “Bee Pollen, Miracle Food,” Felix Murat reported that pollen has four principle effects on the system:
• regulates the action of intestinal functions, especially in cases of chronic constipation and diarrhea which has been resistant to antibiotic treatment.
• stimulates the rapid increase of blood hemoglobin in anemic children.
• stimulates more rapid increase of weight and energy with convalescing persons.
• brings a calm state without side effects.
Other health problems reportedly responsive to pollen include the decline of mental and physical powers, upper respiratory infection, menstrual problems (especially when combined with royal jelly), prostate problems, sleeplessness, circulatory disorders, chronic colitis, high blood pressure, the common cold, disturbances of the endocrine system, and some nervous disorders. Pollen is also good as a general tonic.
Since the 1970s, bee pollen has been widely used as a sports supplement. Its value was established internationally when a pollen product manufacturer in Sweden was accused of inappropriate marketing and taken to court. The manufacturer had advertised ” .. .increase your performance capacity by taking such-and-such pollen tablets.” At the trial, the manufacturer concluded that pollen preparations could be used to treat diseases, increase working capacity, diminish tiredness, and improve sports performance. This opinion was supported by statisticians and by the testimonies of scientists. The firm won the case and was given permission by the courts to continue with their advertising program.
Pollen supplements are most effective taken on an empty stomach. The effect is progressive with the greatest percentage of change occurring between twenty and thirty days. Although competing athletes take large quantities of pollen daily, the average person is advised to follow the instructions on the label.
A three month trial is recommended. In studies with aging people pollen brought heightened morale, a sense of spiritual well-being, and actual physical health.

Next week: Propolis