|Long, long ago, a caveman discovered a beehive in the trunk of a tree.
He tasted the sweetness of honey, and felt the sting of bee venom. In
the process, he also discovered and learned the food value of the other
products of the hive: beeswax, bee pollen, propolis and royal jelly.
Thus, we can conclude bee products are the oldest nutritional
supplements used by humans.
Ancient scripts spanning many cultures and thousands of years mention
bee products and their uses, from the earliest writings in Greek and
Chinese literature to the Bible. Royal Jelly is especially revered by the
Chinese who are presently the largest producers and consumers of
royal jelly in the world.|
|This yellowish white cream is the bee's milk. Unlike the plant-sourced
pollen and propolis the bees harvest and bring back to the hive, royal
jelly is a food produced by the hypopharyngeal glands in the heads of
nursing bees. Bee larvae are fed royal jelly for approximately the first
three or four days of life. The ones selected to become workers and
drones are then switched to "brood food" which consists of a little royal
jelly mixed with pollen and honey while the larvae selected to become
queens continue to be fed solely on royal jelly.
The queen is responsible for the continuation of the hive and for the
production of the pheromones to keep the colony working in unified
order. She will lay 2,000 eggs per day and outlive her workers by many
years. The royal jelly diet is what makes her a queen.
|The composition of royal jelly is unique. It is an acid food with a pH of 3
to 4. In liquid form it is two-thirds water with approximately 12%
protein. Natural sugars vary depending on the needs of the queen but
average approximately 11%. The fatty acids are chemically perhaps the
most interesting five percent of the royal jelly. Unlike other animal or
plant fatty acids that contain 14-20 carbon chain triglycerides, royal
jelly hydroxy fatty acids or dicarboxylic acids are short-chained 8-10
carbon free fatty acids. One of these unique fatty acids is 10
hydroxy-2 decenoic acid or 10-HDA. It is the marker compound used to
test royal jelly potency. Because potency can vary in commercial royal
jelly products, it is important to get royal jelly from a source that tests
regularly for 10-HDA content.
Royal jelly is available in many preparations. As a freeze-dried powder,it
is shelf stable in softgels and capsules. Liquid royal jelly should be kept
frozen for optimum freshness. Raw honey mixed with the royal jelly has
the unique ability to preserve it without refrigeration. For people who
want good flavor with a boost of quick energy a spoon of royal jelly in
honey on toast is a great way to take a supplement.