Beyond producing honey and beehive products as royal jelly, bee pollen and propolis, bees are crucial to maintaining healthy ecosystems and securing food supplies. In traditional medicine, people have long used natural bee products due to their biological actions and enhanced health attributes.
Bee products for the pharma and food supplement industries
During recent years, natural bee products have become highly attractive to the pharma and food supplement sector. Organizations have had the opportunity to look more closely at their pharmacological potentials and therapeutic applications in preventing and coping with diseases.
The following beehive compounds offer a huge new opportunity to wellness-oriented companies. Continue reading to know all about them!
Consumers are longtime familiar with honey, but many will ask themselves two new questions: ‘what is manuka honey?’ and ‘how is it different from traditional honey?’. Manuka honey is a very specific type of honey, exclusively produced by bees in a New Zealand native tree that gives it its name.
Bees that pollinate this plant suck their nectar and add enzymes to it while carrying it to their colonies. It holds enhanced curative properties compared to average raw honey due to its higher concentration of methylglyoxal (MGO).
Bee pollen is a raw ingredient from the beehive that provides the greatest nutritional value, this has come to be called “the perfectly complete meal” due to its composition. Nectar is collected from flowers and carried on the hind legs of bees. It is then mixed with saliva to kick-off a biochemical process full of enzymes, amino acids and other nourishing substances.
Bee pollen is stored in the honeycomb to ferment food for the hive, as it is fully packed with health-promoting nutrients.
As its name describes, royal jelly is the royal food used to feed larvae and adult queen bees exclusively. Also called bee milk because of its texture, this substance is secreted from the worker bees’ head glands.
Besides being full of water, it has a vast amount of proteins and vitamins that can be naturally processed into tablets, liquids and other supplements. Consider that it is one of the reasons bee queens live 40 times longer!
Propolis is produced by bees, who collect resins from botanical sources and then mix them with enzymes, honey and wax back in the hive. This resinous substance is in charge of coating and maintaining the hygiene of the colony.
As a complex mixture made by bee-released and plant-derived compounds, propolis formation is a lengthy process. No wonder it has such powerful traits.
Health benefits of bee products
The above-mentioned health ingredients can often be as effective, if not more, than conventional alternatives, Some of their key capacities are outlined below.
Anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of natural bee products such as honey and propolis make them helpful in wound healing. They can rapidly remove bacteria from infected areas. Furthermore, their capacity as coating and dressing compounds enhance fibroplasia and angiogenesis in skin damage.
The non-invasive nature that beehive products share provides high quality medical care for children in a safe environment. From immunization to symptom relief, apitherapy can highly strengthen youngster’s wellbeing.
Bee products like propolis exert antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects that can improve diabetic complications. By reducing the expression of glucose, propolis acts as an agent for the treatment of insulin-insensitive diabetes, while manuka honey offers a healthier alternative to refined sugars.
The strong antioxidant and antibacterial properties of propolis make it one of the best ingredients for balancing problematic skins. Manuka honey and royal jelly also offer nourishing and non-irritating replacements to more aggressive skin-popular products like retinol.
Benefits for gastrointestinal tract
The benefits of bee products offer both treatment and prevention capacities that enhance gastrointestinal health. Experts agree that manuka honey can act as a prebiotic to balance the bad bacteria in the gut; soothing digestion. On the other hand, propolis and bee pollen can induce the growth of healthy bacteria.
Propolis is widely used in toothpastes and mouthwashes to decrease permeability and restore dentin, counteracting tooth sensitivity. As agents in oral hygiene, manuka honey and propolis effectively fight against oral infections and treat caries or gingivitis amongst others.
Pharyngitis and coughs
Besides the all-time effective method of bringing relief to sore throats with honey, bee health products have been found to treat pharyngitis and upper-respiratory tract infections more effectively than modern medicines.
Liver and pancreatic diseases
Royal jelly’s antioxidant properties improve oxidative damage, helping prevent pancreatitis and other organ inflammations. Beehive products also offer a protective effect on the liver and pancreas, helping keep the tissues performing at its best.
Extracts of propolis and pollen are thought to prevent and regulate hypertension by inhibiting the functioning of inflammatory pathways. Cardiovascular disease is one of the most common disorders globally, while bee health products largely reduce the risk factor associated with it.
The usage of natural bee products is an extensively popular approach for promoting reproductive efficiency. Besides from easing premenstrual and postmenopausal symptoms, daily administration of royal jelly has shown estrogenic effects both in vitro and in vivo.
Neurodegenerative and Aging Diseases
The antioxidant nature of bee health products like royal jelly has proved to prevent chronic diseases and to decelerate the effects of aging. Neuroprotective and nerve-tonic characteristics of honeybee bioactive compounds have the ability to block and treat cognitive behavioral deficits.
Applications in the pharma and food supplements industry
Research and innovation have played a key role in materializing the benefits of bee products. From consumable dietary supplements to medicinal remedies, these sectors are constantly working towards exploiting the infinite qualities of bee-based ingredients.
In food supplements
Bee products are rich in salubrious molecules; such as proteins, simple sugars, essential amino acids and monounsaturated fatty acids. Suppliers in the food sector transform bee products into natural and ready-to-use supplements that can be easily incorporated into human diet.
Depending on consumer preferences and needs, food supplements can range from gummies, snacks and sprays to functional foods and honey blends amongst others. A smart way to integrate an extra boost to the immune system and overall body health with bee products.
In pharma projects
Bee health products have been used in traditional healing practices to treat and prevent many types of disorders forever. Biochemical compounds found in them have been demonstrated to display antibacterial, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties.
In order to offer the best possible treatment to specific conditions, suppliers in the pharma sector can now offer an array of formats ranging from capsules, syrups, mouthwashes and creams to vials, tablets and emulsions. An alternative approach to improve human health with bee products.
If you advocate for a healthier, socially-responsible and environmentally-friendly future, we will be more than happy to help you flourish in an innovative and impactful sector. Discover the benefits of natural bee products and their value as an alternative solution to health and nutrition!
Contact one of our experts to discover premium quality ingredients or download our corporate presentation to read more about bee products’ potential in the pharma and food supplements industry.