Apiceuticals is the term given to natural medicines from the beehive. The millenia people have known about the healing power of honey, which is antibacterial. But there are several other substances produced by honeybees which have medicinal properties. Collectively, these are known as apiceuticals.
Here’s a brief introduction to each.
Honey is by far the most well-known bee product. Produced by honeybees from nectar collected from millions of flours, honey is a delicious sweet treat. Honey is also antibacterial, and has been used to treat wounds and promote healing for thousands of years.
This is because honey is rich is flavonoids and polyphenols which may act as antioxidants. Research into the antibacterial properties of honey has lead to the development of honeys with guaranteed biological activity. Honey is also a fantastic first-aid treatment for wounds because it provides a barrier to infection. It keeps the wound free from further infection, which can speed up the healing process.As well as being applied directly to the skin, honey can also be eaten or used as in hot drinks, along with other immune-boosting ingredients. Honey soothes sore throats so a hot drink made with fresh root ginger, honey and a slice of lemon is a great home remedy for coughs and colds.
We use honey in our Propolis Throat Spray and our Propolis Syrup. We also sell Propolis Honey and Pollen Honey, which combine apiceuticals for increased benefit.
Bee pollen is perhaps nature’s finest superfood. It’s created by honeybees from the pollen they collect from flowers. Bee pollen is packed with nutrients. Firstly, bee pollen has as much as 2g of protein per tablespoon – pound for pound, that’s more than chicken, beef or eggs! At 1.5g per tablespoon it’s a good source of fibre too. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin A and B, magnesium, iron, zinc, enzymes, and fatty acids. When foraging, the bees collect plant pollen which they mix with saliva and honey or nectar. This creates a fermentation process that makes all of those excellent natural nutrients much more bioavailable, which means our bodies can absorb them more easily.
Bee pollen can be added to all kinds of food to add extra nutrients and a delicious sweet flavour. We also produce Pollen Capsules which contain the same high levels of nutrients.
Propolis is made from plant and tree resins, collected by the honeybees. They primarily use it to block up holes in their hives, but it also has amazing antibacterial properties. Bees harness this biological activity to defend their hives from infection. If an intruder makes its way into the hive, a mouse for example, the bees can kill the intruder but they are unable to move it. This could result in bacteria which would be very harmful to the bees. In order to defence the colony, bees mummify the intruder’s decaying body in propolis. This locks in the bacteria and prevents it from spreading.
As well as being antibacterial, propolis is also anti-inflammatory, antifungal and even antitumoral. Extensive research is being undertaken into the power of propolis. At BeeVital we have worked with leading universities on research projects which have explored some of the most remarkable properties of propolis. For example, antibacterial resistance is becoming a major threat to human health. Research conducted with Leeds Beckett University demonstrates that when taken alongside pharmaceuticual antibiotics, propolis makes bacterial susceptible to drugs which had become ineffective.
This is another apiceutical substance produced by honeybees. It contains a whole range of B Vitamins, which makes it a valuable source of these important nutrients. Like propolis, royal jelly has also been shown to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. As well as this, studies have shown that royal jelly is able to reduce cholestorol levels, which in turn could reduce rates of heart disease. As with honey, royal jelly is also thought to aid wound healing and skin repair. There are many other health benefits which demonstrate that royal jelly could be an important apiceutical for supporting overall immune health.
As the name suggest, bee venom is produced by bees and is responsible for the pain of their stings. However, as well as being painful, research demonstrates that bee venom has a number of health benefits. Bee venom has been used by proponents of apitherapy (alternative medicine which uses apiceuticals) for thousands of years. It is thought that bee venom has anti-inflammatory properties which may make it a useful treatment for arthritis. Evidence from animal studies show that bee venom may be useful in treating autoimmune illnesses. This may be due to its anti-inflammatory properties, and its capacity to boost the body’s normal immune function.
Although a relatively recent label, apitherapy has been practiced by humans for thousands of years. The natural world is full of substances which heal – by protecting and soothing as well as by supporting the body’s natural immune system. Apiceuticals come in various forms, from honey with which most people are familiar, to bee venom and propolis which are much less well-known. There is no doubt that bee products offer some of the most remarkable health benefits to be found in the nature. This is why BeeVital has dedicated decades to the research and exploration of these amazing substances.Our ground-breaking range of honeys, bee pollen supplements and propolis products aim to make the health benefits of apiceuticals available to all. If you’re interested in starting to use apiceuticals yourself, we would recommend: