Bee pollen is celebrated by herbalists for a variety of benefits including:
- improving athletic performance
- boosting immune function
- decreasing the symptoms of PMS
- improving nutrient utilization
- lowering heart disease risk factors
- boosting liver function
There’s some scientific evidence based primarily on animal studies to back up these claims, but research in humans is lacking.
While bee pollen shows potential as a treatment for a number of conditions, there have also been reports of rare but serious side effects.
In rare cases, some reports have found bee pollen to cause serious side effects such as:
As bees travel from flower to flower picking up pollen, some of that pollen will come from allergenic plants. According to a
Also, according to a
The study concludes that healthcare providers should be aware of the risk of potentially severe allergic reactions to using bee pollen as an herbal supplement. This is especially important for people who have a pollen allergy.
The Mayo Clinic also warns of rare but serious adverse reactions including:
Rarely associated with herbal supplements, photosensitivity is an abnormal skin reaction to light. A
The symptoms slowly resolved after discontinuing use of the supplement along with corticosteroid treatments. Because the individual ingredients had not been associated with photosensitivity, the study concluded that the combination of ingredients could have potentially interacted to cause this toxic reaction.
The study recommends caution when combining multiple herbs and supplements.
After stopping the supplement and undergoing hemodialysis, the man’s condition improved. The study concluded that although there is not much detailed information on the adverse effects of bee pollen, it should be taken with care, either on its own or as an ingredient of nutritional supplements.
The combination of bee pollen and warfarin might result in an increased chance of bleeding and bruising.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine indicates that taking bee pollen is possibly unsafe during pregnancy. There’s some concern that bee pollen might stimulate the uterus and threaten the pregnancy.
At this point, there’s not enough available information to know how the infant might be affected by bee pollen.
A 2010 study performed on animals showed that giving bee pollen to pregnant rats throughout their gestational period had harmful effects on both mothers and fetuses.
Bees collect pollen from flowers and bring it back to the hive to make food for the bee colony. It contains:
- amino acids
- fatty acids
The make-up of bee pollen differs from area to area based on a number of variables, such as:
- plant sources
- soil type
According to a
- anticancer immunostimulating
- local analgesic
- burn healing
While bee pollen shows some potential for use in the treatment of a variety of conditions, there have been some reports of rare but serious side effects. This includes:
- allergic reaction
- renal failure
- phototoxic reaction
Since there’s no recommended dose of bee pollen, it’s difficult to know how much is beneficial and how much could trigger a dangerous reaction. Consult your doctor before adding bee pollen, or any other herbal supplements, to your diet.