I remember walking the cobblestone streets of Annecy, France and perusing the colorful farmer’s market. I stopped in front of one table, covered with all kinds of raw honey, and was offered a sample of propolis to chew. I quickly learned that this was not gum…it’s actually used to keep the throat healthy and help fight off bacteria that can cause a sore throat or cold. I also learned that there are different benefits for each step in the “honey making” process.
Royal jelly, the nutritious substance secreted from the salivary glands of worker bees, serves as food for all young larvae and as the only food for larvae that will develop into queen bees. It is considered by many to be a potent natural anti-oxidant and has been used for years throughout Europe for health and beauty.
Royal jelly is widely used in Europe where it is known for its ability to enhance skin texture and smoothness, and for its contributions to longevity. In a German medical report, Royal Jelly in Dermatological Cosmetics, Hans Weitgasser, M.D., writes that royal jelly, added to face masks, creams, and lotions, softens the skin, causing fine lines and wrinkles to disappear.
“Through local application, as an ingredient in face masks, creams, and lotions, royal jelly has tremendous effects at the cellular level. In regular use, the skin becomes soft and wrinkles disappear. When royal jelly is used topically as a salve on skin damaged by the effects of radium treatment (radiation), the skin heals rapidly and symptoms disappear. – courtesy of Better Nutrition
This milky, honey-like substance is very high in B Vitamins and contains all 17 amino acids, which help with the production of protein. This is important because collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, and especially important for youthful skin. Royal Jelly also contains aspartic acid, which is important for cell regeneration. The niacin found in royal jelly also helps to increase blood flow and helps with epidermal/dermal communication.
Vitamins found in Royal Jelly :
Vitamin B I (Thiamine)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Niacin (nicotinic acid)
Now, you wont find any major FDA guidelines or reports on royal jelly – but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should ignore this ingredient altogether. Unless you have an allergy or a compromised immune system,** royal jelly is a great supplement both topically and internally. As with any ingredient or supplement, it is important to find the purest source and most gentle treatment. Look for reputable suppliers or ask your local health food store or health professional for suggestions.
Here are some great ways to use this sweet nectar:
Always go by the suggested dosage on the bottle and start off with the smallest amount suggested. Take it straight, or add it into your smoothies!
Simple Royal Jelly Moisturizer: dry or mature skin conditions
4 ounces shea butter
2 ounces jojoba
2 teaspoons organic vitamin E oil, 5000 IU
1 teaspoon active royal jelly
6 drops organic lavender essential oil
Mix all ingredients on high until smooth and creamy. Store refrigerated in an airtight container.
Royal Jelly and Nutmeg Mask: great treatment for weekly use
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 teaspoon of royal jelly
Combine ingredients and apply, leaving on skin for 20 minutes. Rinse with cool water.
**People who are allergic to bees and honey and those who have asthma can face real dangers if they take royal jelly. As with many supplements, pregnant and breast-feeding women and small children should check with their health professional before adding royal jelly to their diet. Topical use is considered safe in small amounts in these cases.