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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Bee Pollen

Bee pollen consists of the microspores of the male reproductive elements of various plant species, including buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench), rape (Brassica campestris L.), pine (Pinus spp.) and Typha spp. Properties associated with bee pollen include nutrient, diuretic, hemostatic, breaks up stasis, and astringent. Bee pollen is most commonly used traditionally for bleeding (nosebleed, vomiting blood, coughing blood, metrorrhagia, bloody diarrhea, traumatic injries, etc.), amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, abdominal pain, painful urination, mouth sores, eczema, alcohol intoxication, and rheumatism. A more modern or recent use is in treating constipation.

Much of the pollen used in the United States comes from China and Spain. Its sources are very different, hence its chemical composition reflects this. But in general it is very rich in nutrients, containing up to about 28% protein, 14.6% to 22.9% amino acids, 1 to 20 % lipids, up to 44% carbohydrates, 2 to 2.5% flavonoids, and 3.6% to 5.9% vitamin C. It also contains sterols, alkanes, triterpenes, etc.

Bee pollen can cause allergic reactions in some individuals. However, no serious toxic side efffects due to its ingestion have been reported; otherwise, the news would have appeared on prime time nelevision or on the front page of newspapers.

Dr. Albert Leung’s book, Better Health with (mostly) Chinese Herbs and Food discusses the use of 60 different herbs as healing foods, including bee pollen on page 9. For more information about Dr. Leung and his writings, visit www.earthpower.com.

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