Royal Jelly, often called “milk of bees” by many people, it’s a creamy white or pale yellowish substance created by young worker bees (between their 5th and 15th days of age). These bees, also referred to as nurses, will feed la larvae mouth to mouth.
They mix honey and bee pollen with enzymes from their glands (hypo-pharyngeal and mandibular glands) to produce this extraordinary food. It is ultra sour, has a bitter taste and a strong odor but it was considered to have a rare biological power. The purpose of this substance is to feed all larvae in their first three or four days after hatching. In these period of time they increase in weight of about 250 times.
After the larvae become workers they will be fed with honey, and the queen will be fed only with royal jelly (as the name tells). The royal jelly will make the difference. Its components help the queen mature into a large, fertile and longer-living bee.
Royal jelly has a powerful effect on the bee’s endocrine, hormonal, and metabolic systems. The queen will be fed only with royal jelly throughout its entire life and it will become a fertile, larger bee with a lifespan up to 5 years (compared to 4-6 months of a regular bee), which will be able to lays 2.5 times her weight in eggs, per day.
What is the composition of royal jelly?
The main active substances in its composition are: proteins, female hormones, lipids, carbohydrates, antibiotics, minerals, vitamins (especially B, PP, E), 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid, dients still undetermined. Here is a more detailed list:
- Lipids, of which 80–85% fatty acids and then phenols, waxes, steroids and phospholipids
- Dietary Fatty acids, such as 10-hydroxy-2-decanoic acid and others, such as gluconic acid , 10-hydroxydecanoic acid and other dicarboxylic acids
- The 57-kD a protein known as Royalactin that differentiates honey bees into queen bees
- Carbohydrates, mostly sugars: glucose, fructose and some other monosaccharides and oligosaccharides
- B Vitamamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, BB, B12) more than it’s found in yeast. Among them B5 (Pantothenic Acid) is in a really big quantity, which leads to its benefit on nervous system and adrenals. B5 is also known as “the anti-stress vitamin”.
- Mineral salts: Calcium, Copper,Iron, Gallium, Potassium, Lithium, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium , Strontium
- Acetylcholine – which has a main part in the central and peripheral nervous system.
- Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) and catabolites
- Testosterone, the actual hormone
How do we store royal jelly?
It has been demonstrated that royal jelly should be frozen as soon as harvest, because this is the only way to prevent decomposition of biologically active proteins.
Fresh royal jelly:
In its raw form, which is the best, the validity of royal jelly is
– 3 to 5 days inside the hive,
– only a few minutes outsides the hive in a temperature of 15-25º C
– 6 months, if it is refrigerated (3º to 5º C)
– 2 years if it is stored in the freezer (below -18º C)
Lyophylised royal jelly:
– 1 year if it is stored in the refrigerator (3º to 5º C)
– at least 2 years if it is stored in the freezer (below 18º C)
Fresh of lyophylised royal jelly in honey
– 2 years at room temperature (the total humidity of honey-royal jelly should be less than 18%)
What is the therapeutic use of royal jelly?
The therapeutic action of this product is based mainly on its features of fortifying, anti-anemic, growth stimulants, anti-infectious and even anti-cancer.
It is used as a general tonic, increases physical and mental endurance, helps in menopause, helps in reducing blood cholesterol, delays the aging process, it’s preventive and adjuvant in cases of colds and flu.
In the traditional Chinese medicine royal jelly played a key role and it’s still used in almost all medical conditions. That is why the Chinese are the world’s largest producers and consumers of royal jelly.
It is used in many sectors, ranging from the pharmaceutical and food industries to the cosmetic and manufacturing sectors. More details here: Royal Jelly health benefits.
It is better to first consult a medical doctor when deciding to take royal jelly, and test for an eventual allergy. People with a high incidence of allergy, bee venom allergy or asthma, should avoid taking royal jelly.
Take special caution if pregnant or lactating.
Where can we find royal jelly?
Unless you know a beekeeper who collects it and keeps it correctly stored, I will go with
YS Royal Jelly/Honey Bee – Royal Jelly, 2000 mg, 75 capsules (see picture)
but the most efficient royal jelly is in its fresh stage. You can find it on Amazon.com sold by Stakich: FRESH ROYAL JELLY 1 KG (2.2-LB) – 100% Pure, All Natural, Top Quality at 1 kg, very cost-effective, easy to be transferred into some other bags in the freeze and keep some in a small jar in the refrigerator the your daily use. It is shipped with 2 or more ice-gel packs to keep it cold.
Yet, some people complained that it arrived warm and that maybe a styrofoam package would have been better. GREENBOW is a trustful company which sells organic royal jelly in smaller jars (which is better if haven’t tried it yet) and ships in styrofoam. Worth trying.
Now, children will never ever swallow it raw. Maybe if we have the patience to mix it in honey, it may get better. One can try it, but the best way to take it is in already made combinations of honey and royal jelly. Here is an example: YS Royal Jelly/Honey Bee – Royal Jelly In Honey Ultra Strength, 21 oz gel.
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Stefan Bogdanov, Bee Product Science, 2014