Royal jelly, the protective milk of bees

BENEFITS OF ROYAL JELLY

  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Natural source of antioxidants, anti-aging
  • Relieves the symptoms of menopause
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Reduces blood pressure
Royal Jelly

Photo Mareefe in Pexels

What is royal jelly?

Royal jelly is a milky secretion produced by bees to feed the larvae of the colony and the queen.

More precisely, it comes from the hypopharyngeal and mandibular glands of the bees.

While all larvae benefit from it until they hatch, only the queen consumes it throughout her life.

It is a yellowish to whitish gelatinous substance, which bleaches in contact with air, especially when removed. It is not very appetizing when you put it like this, but be assured that it has a very sweet and sour taste.

The queen of a colony can live 5 to 6 years, while worker bees live about 45 days.

It is believed that royal jelly is one of the causes of this resistance and longevity of the queen. It is a particularly rare product, since a hive cannot naturally produce more than 300 g per year.

Ancient Egypt

Thus, although its use has been recorded for centuries, in ancient Egypt, but also in traditional Chinese medicine, its consumption remained very limited and reserved for a privileged few.

It was used specifically to fight fatigue, strengthen the body and promote longevity.

This is also the case in Russia and Eastern Europe, where it is also used as an adaptogen.

Today, beekeepers have developed techniques to increase the production of royal jelly and its conservation, including a freeze-drying or cold-drying process.

Therefore, its consumption has spread and is now easily found in pharmacies and organic and health food stores.

From a nutritional point of view, royal jelly is particularly rich.

Composed of 60% water, the remaining 40% is loaded with carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, minerals, vitamins, amino acids.

This nutritional richness would be at the origin of its many medicinal properties, and especially its ability to strengthen our immune system.

However, scientific studies that prove these claims are still rare, and most of those that corroborate their properties have been conducted in vitro or on animals.

It is consumed as a dietary supplement, in ampoules or fresh. It can also be used in cosmetics, applied to the skin.

Nutritional Composition

  • Protein
  • Amino acids
  • Carbohydrates: fructose and glucose
  • Fat: saturated fatty acids, including stearic and palmitic.
  • Minerals and trace elements: calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, copper
  • Vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 or folic acid

The benefits of royal jelly

Strengthens the immune system

Royal jelly is known to strengthen the immune system and thus protect the body from viruses and bacteria.

What explains this particular property is the presence of certain fatty acids and proteins in royal jelly, including MRJPs (Major Royal Jelly Proteins). These have antibacterial activity and support immune function.

So far, in vitro and animal studies are mainly available, but the results support an increased immune system.

This study, carried out by different Italian universities and the University of Macao, established the immunostimulant and antimicrobial activities of different compounds in royal jelly.

Natural source of antioxidants, anti-aging

Royal jelly is also a natural source of antioxidants. Certain amino acids, fatty acids and phenolic elements in its composition have a high antioxidant activity. They help fight against free radicals and cellular aging.

In particular, it can be used as an anti-aging skin treatment, since it increases collagen production. In addition, it protects the skin from UV damage, one of its main aging factors.

This study from Korea’s Kyung Hee University, conducted on rats, showed that royal jelly helped increase collagen production.

Relieves the symptoms of menopause

Royal jelly can be a natural and effective ally in the fight against menopausal disorders.

Among the symptoms we see, hot flashes, weight gain, migraines, anxiety, and back pain are the most common. Two thirds of postmenopausal women are affected by these disorders.

Royal jelly compounds have estrogenic activity and are believed to relieve symptoms of menopause. They also promote good hormonal balance in women. To alleviate these disorders, a cure of maca is also advised.

This study from Kindai University in Osaka, Japan, conducted on 42 postmenopausal women, showed that daily consumption of 800 mg of royal jelly for 12 weeks significantly reduced back pain and anxiety.

Anti-inflammatory

Royal jelly has an anti-inflammatory activity that helps fight different types of inflammation. Three fatty acids in particular would be at the origin of this property.

This in vitro study conducted by several Chinese academics has demonstrated the anti-inflammatory capabilities of three fatty acids that make up royal jelly.

Anti-cholesterol

Another property of royal jelly is to reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the blood. As a result, it reduces the risk of cardiovascular accidents.

These would be specific proteins. Studies have been conducted in both animals and humans, but the results need to be confirmed by other studies.

This study from Chung Shan Medical University in Taiwan conducted on 40 people showed that those who consumed 3 g of royal jelly per day for one month saw their levels of bad cholesterol drop.

Reduces blood pressure

Royal jelly helps to reduce blood pressure, protecting our heart and promoting good circulation.

It acts directly on the walls of the veins and arteries by softening them. This will reduce blood pressure and improve circulation. Certain proteins that constitute it would be at the origin of this property.

This study from Fuzhou University in China showed that a dietary supplement composed of different products from the hive helped reduce blood pressure in rats, but the role of royal jelly could not be accurately determined.

How do you eat royal jelly?

Encourage organic and French royal jelly

It is advisable to use organic royal jelly of French origin to ensure better quality, traceability and absence of pesticides. Its composition and nutritional benefits vary according to the environment and the flora surrounding the hives.

Today, products from Asia are flooding the market. Imported at low cost, their production conditions and health benefits are being questioned.

Beyond the health and environmental aspects, the purchase of a French product helps to support a quality industry that is facing many difficulties. Overwhelming competition from imports, reduction of biodiversity, new predators, pesticides…

French beekeepers have come together in the Groupement de producteurs de gelée royale, which, in particular by creating a label, aims for excellence in production and product preservation.

Fresh royal jelly

Eating fresh royal jelly is the best way to benefit from its nutritional properties. A product that is not processed or frozen is a guarantee of quality, and the fatty acids and proteins responsible for its benefits are better preserved.

You can buy it directly from a beekeeper or in an organic store. It is kept in the refrigerator.

Freeze-dried Royal Jelly

Freeze-dried royal jelly is obtained by dehydration of the fresh product. It is mainly presented in the form of capsules and tablets, and is suitable for people who do not appreciate its taste.

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Royal jelly in ampoules

It is the form that is most easily found in stores, pharmacies, parapharmacies, organic stores … The ampoules are ideal to start a cure, being the exact dose. We take care of choosing fresh royal jelly ampoules from the French market. Check the ingredients carefully, as manufacturers tend to add other compounds, including sugar.

Dosage

It is recommended to consume 300mg to 1.2g of fresh royal jelly per day, and up to 400mg of freeze-dried jelly.

In general, three-month cures are recommended at the change of season when the body may be weakened.

Fraîche : one teaspoon per day in the morning

In ampoule form: one ampoule diluted in a glass of water in the morning

In lyophilized tablet: depending on tablet dose

Contraindications and side effects

There are contraindications for people with allergies to other products of the hive, honey, pollen, wax. Allergens can also be present in products containing pesticides and cause asthma.

It is also not recommended for pregnant or nursing women. Medical advice should be sought for children.

History, cultivation and market of royal jelly

Making orphan beehives…

All the hives produce royal jelly, but not enough for human consumption. The mother bees only secrete the volume necessary for breeding, and do not reproduce.

To increase the production of a hive, beekeepers have developed new techniques. These include “orphaning”, which involves removing the queen from a colony so that the mother bees can produce more royal jelly.

A production in four stages

  • Grafting: outside the hive, the larvae are placed in real false cells in a frame for 12 to 36 hours.
  • The introduction: we place this frame in the orphan’s hive. The mother bees will improve the alveoli and give the larvae lots of royal jelly.
  • Harvest: after three days, when the cells have reached their maximum abundance, the frame is removed.
  • Extraction: Royal jelly is extracted from each cell. Thus, a hive can provide up to 1000 g of gelatin per year.

As for its price, that of French origin costs about 2,300 euros per kilogram, while that of imported goods costs on average 300 euros per kilogram.

Other Options:

You can also get several health supplements of this type of jelly in various presentations in the online stores of Amazon, Amazon, WalMart, Costco, Sams Club, Carrefour,  alibaba, eBay, Aliexpress, Zappos, Target, Newegg, Etsy, My American Market, Macy’s, Staples , MyKasa. Each of these manuals can be found in great online offers.

In addition, you can find free health apps from Google Play or in the App Store.

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