Bees produce several wonderful products, and each of them are worth their weight in gold, especially when it comes to medicinal treatment. The world already knows just how beneficial honey is, and sadly, many Americans are just familiar with the commercial plastic bears placed on the grocery store shelves. That’s the extent of their knowledge, and as far as they’re concerned, they’re merely to make food sweet. There’s more to honey than that and the other materials produced by bees can be used as further support to help improve a variety of ailments and health issues, these range from auto-immune disfunction to microbial infections.
Carly Stein guests on a podcast and she shares her experience as a founder of Beekeeper’s Naturals. She’s currently moving between the busy and profitable hives of Wall Street to the quiet hives in her own backyard. She’s here to talk about everything related to bees as she is a staunch believer of the products. She talks in detail about the therapeutics behind multiple hive products, such as honey and propolis. She approaches these in a scientific fashion and she provides a guide to those looking into holistic medicine. She also explains why it’s crucial to support local businesses and how the world needs to keep bees and their hives thriving in the ecosystem.
At the forefront of functional medicine, Chris Kresser, M.S., L.Ac is a globally recognized leader in the fields of ancestral health, Paleo nutrition, and integrative medicine. He is the co-director of California Center for Functional Medicine as well as the author of the New York Times best-selling author of The Paleo Cure.
Revolution Health Radio features Kresser interrogating all manner of guests on a variety of topics. His favorite pastime is debunking common medical myths, but frequently invites guests, like Carly Stein, whose work pique his interest.
All about Bees
So, why are bees such an integral part of the ecosystem? These winged and hardworking insects come with such much benefits. They are most known for their honey, but what many don’t realize is that the other bee products are just as important. Below is a breakdown of just some of the products good for health and how we can take them.
1. Raw Honey
The sweet golden taste of honey is what many people love most. This natural remedy is produced when bees consume plant nectar and mix it with a variety of enzymes. They then regurgitate this partly digested substance and store it in their hive. This is also their source of energy. Honey also has a variety of other perks. There’s more to it than just its taste. This has antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting properties that are really good for you. It helps soothe your sore throat and fight the common cold. It’s also good for those who suffer from seasonal allergies. Honey can also reduce your risk of H. pylori, a bacteria that attacks the stomach lining and cause you to suffer from ulcers. For those who suffer from burns, this is great too. Just apply the sticky substance directly to the affected area to prevent blistering and speed up healing. The best part is that honey never spoils.
2. Bee Pollen
While you may not think too much about it, pollen is actually the sperm of the plant world. Bees collect this using their hind legs. They bring it back to the hive as it becomes the food of the bees that live there. This is their primary protein source. As for its health benefits, this is a very nutrient-dense product that is heavily packed with digestible protein, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, carbohydrates, and lastly, fatty acids. These are all the things we need to stay healthy and live a life of quality. This powerhouse comes with anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-cancer properties. Moreover, it also aids in healing wounds and protecting the heart. This does the latter by lowering the amount of fats found in the blood. Athletes make use of bee pollen a lot when it’s time to train because of the amount of nutrients it contains. They simply buy the product from health stores, add it to their drinks, sprinkle it on top of their breakfast meals, and they’re pretty much set.
Worker bees have wax glands that secrete out beeswax. This is used to make honeycombs that are found in their hive. This doesn’t come easy as experts estimate that bees need to fly roughly 6 times around the earth to produce a mere pound of beeswax. It may be worth investing on it because this comes with antimicrobial properties. When applied it the skin, it also has a soothing effect. Using it is simple as well. This can be applied externally and mixed with olive oil, herbs, or essential oils to make salves. Check out some beauty care products, you’ll find this on the list of ingredients. They are also great for candle-makers as beeswax is a clean-burning alternative to toxic paraffin. This is also a good replacement for plastic and can be used as re-usable food wrap. When it comes to basic homecare, this is a natural wood treatment and is good for sealing cracks.
Propolis is basically a resin that trees release to heal and repair damage on the bark. This is also good when it comes to preventing disease. Bees collect this when they need to patch up the hive. In other words, propolis is ‘bee glue’. They also use it as an antibiotic, antifungal, and antibacterial aid to help stave off viruses, bacteria, and infections from the hive. Raw propolis has around 300 compounds that’s packed with anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, antiviral and anti-cancer properties. This also helps with wound healing by strengthening the immune system. Propolis has been used to stop gastrointestinal infections, vaginal infections, candida, oral diseases, and dental wounds in its tracks. This also promotes skin health as it comes with the ability to work miracles on the body by fighting sickness and boosting immune system.
5. Royal Jelly
This white jelly made by the worker bees. They produce it just for the queen of the hive. There may be more to royal jelly than meets the eye because the queen bee lives about 4 to 5 years. Whereas the worker bees live for only about 3 months or even less. Like the other bee products mentioned above, this has incredible anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, antimicrobial, and immunomodulating properties. What sets this apart is that it has anti-aging properties as well as it extends lifespan by boosting collagen production in the skin. It also does wonders for the brain by stimulating it to improve mental health and prevent neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.