Ali (raa) once said, “The Muslim is like the bee who eats only good things and only good things come from them.”
Last week we learned about the benefits of honey. This week we will explore other bee products.
Pollen is the ultra-fine powder that makes up the male element of a flower. Honeybees, who collect it, pass by poor pollen and collect only that which is nutritious and healthy. Some experts even say that the bee chooses “instinct ” those good flowers. This can be explained by the verse, “And your Lord taught the bee” (16:68).
Bee pollen contains all the elements humans need in a form easily assimilated by the body. For this reason, bee pollen is called “the perfect food”. Indeed, it contains all the minerals (14), vitamins (13), trace minerals, proteins, amino acids (15), enzymes, co-enzymes (over 5,000) and hormones known to man and probably many more known only to Allah (Pollen Power, p.3).
Pollen is a prime source of proteins, which cause elevation of the gamma globulins of the body and increase its immune defense reactions. Known as a “Fountain of Youth”, it has linoleic acid, which is the only fatty acid for the nutrition of the hair and skin, and which slows the aging process and increases capillary strength. “Drs. Louveave and E.L. Mand of France report that experiments showed that Honey Bee Pollen can reverse the aging, darkening, wrinkling and blemishing of the skin” (New Horizons, p.1).
Bee pollen is also very helpful for fatigue (psychological or physical), immune system deficiencies, anemia, sleep disorders, diabetes, cholesterol, diarrhea, constipation, prostate disorders, and rheumatism. Cartson Wade said, “Bee Pollen is a natural way to improve metabolism and help control and take weight off.” He recommends eating pollen before meals for those who want to lose weight or eating it after meals to increase weight (Pollen Power, p.3)
Many cases of stress and nervous disorders also respond to this miracle food because of the high concentration of micronutrients, particularly zinc and selenium. A stressed body needs an enormous amount of vitamins, especially vitamins B and C. If the body does not have them regularly, it can cause long-term damage to the glandular system. This can be solved or avoided by taking bee pollen that is easily and quickly assimilated. For this reason, bee pollen is actually used by many athletes to increase energy, endurance and performance.
In addition, the Women’s Clinic at the University of Vienna, Austria, led by Hermuss, found that bee pollen could also be an effective complimentary treatment for cancer. They gave a bee pollen supplement to women who have cancer and found that they suffered fewer side effects from their radiation therapy. In another study at the University Hospital of Wales, a trial on 60 men showed that pollen extract is an effective treatment for prostate enlargement and that it increases the effectiveness of chemotherapy. However, unlike chemotherapy, pollen does not attack the tumor but stimulates the immune response (National Honey Board, p.2).
Bees make propolis from the resinous sap of the trees. They use it to protect their hive from viruses and bacteria. For humans it is an excellent antibiotic, eliminate toxins and pollutants and helps stop the dependence on drugs. It is very rich in flavonoids and in acids like phenolic, caffeic, cinnamic etc. Rao, of the American Health Foundation in NY, reported that caffeic acid helps prevent colon cancer (Challem, p.2).
Propolis has also been found to prevent the growth of bacteria, especially those strains responsible for surgical infections and pneumonia. Other scientific researches have shown that propolis inhibit the activity of bacteria causing dental caries and protects against several other species of bacteria. It may also act on blood pressure, stomach ulcers and sexual strength too (Challem, p.2).
Propolis works as many antibiotics drugs do. Effectively, it inhibits the bacterial cell division and destroys their protective envelop-like cytoplasm. However, unlike antibiotics, bee propolis works not only against viruses but it also prevents their reproduction, thanks to its cinnamic acids. A study published in the Journal of Ethno-pharmacology (Challem, p.1) showed that the antioxidant properties of propolis have the same function as vitamin E, which is very important for skin treatments and degenerative diseases like, cancer, diabetes, senility, and strokes (Challem, p.1).
Royal Jelly is sometimes difficult to find because of its high demand and difficulty of manufacture. This white gelatinous substance is secreted by the salivary glands of worker bees. It is the food for the queen bee, who is the only bee in the hive that lives for several years (worker bees only live for a few weeks). Royal Jelly, which is synthesized during the digestion of bee pollen, is a mixture of various proteins and water and has a reputation of maintaining youthfulness in people as well as bees.
“there issues from within their bodies [the bees] a drink of varying colors, wherein is healing for mankind. Verily in this is a sign for those who give thought”(16:68-69).
The collagen of bee propolis helps moisturize the skin and soothe dermatitis. Royal Jelly also contains B vitamins – especially B5 – which eases stressed nerves; amino acids; and minerals such as calcium, zinc, potassium, iron and manganese. Royal Jelly is also rich in pantothenic acid – part of a B vitamin complex, which may enable it to treat some bone disorders and assist many metabolic processes (Barret, p.3).
Some studies have shown that it has more benefits when injected. Royal Jelly possesses an excellent and powerful antibacterial protein called royalisin, which has proven to protect against several species of bacteria. Royal Jelly may also have effects on tumors. In a study on mice done in Japan, it also appeared that Royal Jelly reduced and inhibited the tumor. The mice treated with Royal Jelly lived longer than the ones who were not treated with Royal Jelly (Challem, p.4).
However, although this product is miraculous, it should not be consumed by people who have asthma or anaphylaxis without the advice of a doctor. This is because some products made of Royal Jelly and other herbs, such as BeeAlive and BeeSweet, have been the objects of condemnation for false claim by the federal court (Rhoades, p.1).
Bee products, especially honey, are usually considered only as food. However, it is time to include them in our medicine and daily diets. Scientists of our time are now accepting this “old remedy” which was already beautifully mentioned in the Holy Qurâ’an and in the Sunnah, 14 hundred years ago! We should finally embrace it as well.
“Honey is a remedy for every illness and the Qurâ’an is a remedy for all illnesses of the mind, therefore I [The Prophet] recommend to you both remedies the Qurâ’an and honey” (Bukhari).