15 Powerful Benefits of Royal jelly
The widespread benefits of Royal Jelly make this natural bee product a necessary addition to anyones at-home remedies collection.
Royal Jelly as a natural medicine has been around for centuries (records show that even the Ancient Egyptians used Royal Jelly!). I recently attended a bee keeping course and was instantly fascinated with the several different substances honey bees produce. I was absolutely awe-struck as I began to learn the benefits of royal jelly as well as the other substances bees produce: honey, bee pollen, and propolis.
I instantly decided I was going to do an article series on bee products and threw myself into the research. I wanted to start by noting that the science behind the benefits of bee products is extensive and can be overwhelming. In order to make this article as easily digestible as possible I have avoided going into every detail behind each of the studies I reviewed, but I always include a reference list at the end of each article for any who would like to read the research studies themselves!
So What is ROYAL JELLY?
As luxurious as it sounds, Royal Jelly is a substance created by honey bees to feed the queen bee. All bee larvae are fed Royal Jelly for the first three days of life but are then switched to a standard bee diet of pollen and honey. Only the queen bee will continue to eat Royal Jelly and only Royal Jelly for the rest of her life. The powerful effects of Royal Jelly can be seen even within the bee life cycle. Standard worker bees will live 6-8 weeks whereas the queen bee can live up to 5 years!
Benefits of royal jelly
1.Highly Nutrient Dense
Royal Jelly is made up of water, carbohydrates, protein, fat, mineral salts (mainly copper, zinc, iron, calcium, manganese, potassium, and sodium salts) as well as several vitamins and minerals. Although nutrient composition can vary depending on hive locations, these nutrients are commonly present in Royal Jelly:
- Thiamine (B1)
- Riboflavin (B2)
- Pantothenic acid (B5)
- Pyridoxine (B6)
- Niacin (B3)
- Folic acid (B9)
- Inositol (B8)
- Biotin (B7)
- Nucleic Acids
- Gamma Globulin
- 17 Different Amino Acids (including the 8 essential amino acids that the human body cannot produce)
2. Reduces Oxidative Stress (through high levels of antioxidants)
Multiple studies have found Royal Jelly to be high in a variety of antioxidants including specific amino acids, fatty acids, and phenolic compounds. One fatty acid, in particular, 10-hydroxydecanoic acid (10-HDA), has not been found in any other natural raw material on earth! Numerous animal and human studies have confirmed the presence of antioxidants in Royal Jelly and demonstrated its powerful ability to counteract oxidative stress.
These high levels of antioxidants allow the body to fight overpowering free radicals, protect the body from more damage, and even heal the body from previous damage!
3. Suppresses Histamine Response
A 2001 study found that upon consumption of Royal Jelly, histamine response to allergens was immediately suppressed (decreased the serum levels of antigen-specific Ig E and significantly inhibited DNP-KLH mediated-histamine release). These histamine suppressing benefits paired with the anti-inflammatory benefits can improve allergy symptoms. However, those with allergies to bees should avoid Royal Jelly until consulting with a licensed medical physician.
4. Balances Cholesterol
Several studies have found that daily consumption of Royal Jelly can reduce cholesterol levels. For example, one 12-week study found that participants who took Royal Jelly on a daily basis showed reduced levels of LDL cholesterol by 23%-28%. Some research points to the presence of lecithin as the mechanism through which Royal Jelly is able to lower LDL levels, however, more studies are needed to verify and/or identify other mechanisms.
5. Speeds Wound Healing (increased collagen production, antibacterial)
Several components of Royal Jelly can increase wound healing time and reduce scarring. One study saw increased collagen production when Royal Jelly was taken orally. A separate study found significantly enhanced tissue repair capacity in human cells treated with royal jelly. Lastly, its antibacterial effects keep wounds/damaged skin clean and free from infection.
6. Improved Skin Health
Royal Jelly increases collagen production which can reduce/prevent wrinkles and fine lines. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce acne, rosacea, rashes, and other skin irritations. Royal Jelly can actually be found in certain skincare products and can even be applied topically to the skin. The extremely high content of antioxidants will further fight the aging process of the skin by neutralizing free radicals in the body. Lastly, Royal Jelly can increase skin moisture content leading to more supple skin. This increased hydration can also help calm skin irritations caused by dryness, itchiness, and flakiness.
7. Lowers Blood Pressure
Several studies have found that there are a few proteins in Royal Jelly that cause smooth muscle cells to relax in veins and arteries leading to lowered blood pressure. A study in 2004 observed the antihypertensive effects of single-use instances of Royal Jelly (in other words, what effects were recorded after just one dose of Royal Jelly). Researchers found that systolic blood pressure was reduced after just one dose of Royal Jelly and the effects lasted for roughly 8 hours.
Benefits of Royal Jelly Cont…
8. Supports Fertility/May Treat Male Infertility
A study found in Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine analyzed mice and the effects of Royal Jelly on sperm count, sperm motility, viability, maturity, and DNA integrity. Mice were separated into 4 groups and were orally given either a saline solution, a Royal Jelly solution, an oxymetholone solution, or a Royal Jelly and oxymetholone solution once a day for 30 days straight. Those in the oxymetholone group demonstrated lowered sperm motility and testosterone levels and higher levels of immature sperm, sperm with DNA damaged, and MDA concentration when compared to the control and Royal Jelly + oxymetholone group. Those in the Royal Jelly + oxymetholone group showed increased levels of testosterone and sperm motility. Researchers concluded that Royal Jelly may be able to improve oxidative stress caused by oxymetholone and improve male fertility.
Other studies have found that regular consumption of Royal Jelly may help regulate imbalanced hormones in women and improve egg quality, which can lead to greater chances of conception. Other potential benefits include:
- Increased libido
- Support egg and sperm health
- Promote hormone balance
- Protect liver health
- Diminish and reduce the signs of aging
- To reduce inflammation caused by illness or injury
- To naturally boost the body’s immune system
- Protect against the fertility-damaging effects of chemotherapy
9. Regulates Blood Sugar
Multiple animal studies have found that regular consumption of Royal Jelly can increase insulin sensitivity. One study observed the effects of Royal Jelly on obese rats and found that daily consumption also appears to have a protective effect on the pancreas, liver, and reproductive tissue.
A recent human study had participants take 3,000mg of Royal Jelly daily for 6 months. At the end of 6 months, researchers noted a 20% reduction in fasting blood sugar.
10. Improved Memory/Healthy Brain Function
Multiple studies looking at the effects of Royal Jelly on brain function have revealed some very encouraging results! A study looked at the effects of Royal Jelly on stress-induced. “Wistar rats were supplemented with RJ for 14days and the stress induction started on the 7th day. Stressed rats increased corticosterone levels, glycemia, and lipid peroxidation in the brain and cerebellum, cerebral cortex, and hippocampus besides reduced glutathione defense system in the brain and striatum. Rats supplemented with RJ decreased corticosterone, maintained glycemia, and decreased lipid peroxidation in the brain, cerebellum, as well as striatum, and hippocampus, besides improved glutathione defense system in cerebral cortex and striatum.”
In 2018, researchers found that rats treated with Royal Jelly were able to better detox specific chemicals (Aβ toxicity) in the brain that have been associated with Alzheimer’s! More studies are needed to identify the mechanism through which Royal Jelly can cause these effects. Many researchers suggest that the main factor could be the high level of antioxidants.
11. Tear Secretion & Chronic Dry Eyes
Two recent studies (one animal, one human) found that oral doses of Royal Jelly may be used as a natural treatment for chronic dry eye. The studies found that daily consumption of Royal Jelly increases tear secretion from the lacrimal glands in the eyes.
12. Boosts Immune System
Highly anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, Royal Jelly acts as a natural immune booster. The MRJPs (Major Royal Jelly Proteins) and fatty acids are particularly potent antibacterial compounds within Royal Jelly that can help reduce the incidence of infection when taken daily.
Royal Jelly also contains bifidobacteria, beneficial bacteria that support the gastrointestinal system, making it a significant probiotic.
13. Reduces Side Effects of Cancer Treatments
Several studies have looked at the benefits of Royal Jelly to help reduce symptoms and side effects of cancer chemotherapy treatments. One study found that Royal Jelly reduced heart damage in chemotherapy-treated rats. A small human study found that applying Royal Jelly topically helped prevent mucositis (a cancer treatment side effect that causes painful ulcerations in your digestive tract). It is worth noting that both studies were quite small (under 20 people) and further research is needed to confirm these potential benefits.
14. Certain Symptoms of Menopause
As menopause approaches, the amount of circulating hormones in women’s bodies is significantly reduced, leading to uncomfortable symptoms like body pain, reduced memory, depression, anxiety, etc. One study demonstrated that Royal Jelly reduced depression and improved memory in postmenopausal rats. A human study had 42 postmenopausal women take 800mg of Royal Jelly on a daily basis for 12 weeks straight. Results showed reduced back pain and anxiety! Lastly, a 2016 study found that taking 150 milligrams of Royal Jelly daily over 3 months improved cholesterol levels in healthy postmenopausal women.
15. Reduces PMS Symptoms
In 2014, researchers found that the ability of Royal Jelly to mimic human estrogen improved symptoms of PMS. Study participants were observed for almost a year and symptoms during the menstrual cycle were recorded. Women took 1000mg of Royal Jelly orally each day while on their menstrual cycle. No significant results were found after the first menstrual cycle, but after two consecutive months of taking Royal Jelly during menstruation, significant improvements in PMS symptoms were noted.
While more research is needed to solidify many of these potential benefits, the current studies are extremely encouraging. As someone continually looking for natural and effective treatments I was over the moon when I began learning more about Royal Jelly and the seemingly endless benefits and applications. I will be incorporating Royal Jelly into my daily routine and am excited to share my observations in my own personal experience!
Royal Jelly Products:
- B-Powered Blend by Beekeepers Naturals: blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, honey and propolis
- BLXR Brain Fuel by Beekeepers Naturals: Nootropic brain supplement of royal jelly, ginko biloba and bacopa
P.S. use code “LEIGHANN” for 10% off your entire purchase.
Asama, T., Matsuzaki, H., Fukushima, S., Tatefuji, T., Hashimoto, K., & Takeda, T. (2018, April 29). Royal Jelly Supplementation Improves Menopausal Symptoms Such as Backache, Low Back Pain, and Anxiety in Postmenopausal Japanese Women. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29853955
Fratini, F., Cilia, G., Mancini, S., & Felicioli, A. (2016, November). Royal Jelly: An ancient remedy with remarkable antibacterial properties. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27664731
Ghanbari, E., Nejati, V., & Khazaei, M. (2016, August). Antioxidant and protective effects of Royal jelly on histopathological changes in testis of diabetic rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27679827
Ghanbari, E., Nejati, V., & Khazaei, M. (2016). Improvement in Serum Biochemical Alterations and Oxidative Stress of Liver and Pancreas following Use of Royal Jelly in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27602318
Ghanbari, E., Khazaei, M. R., Khazaei, M., & Nejati, V. (2018). Royal Jelly Promotes Ovarian Follicles Growth and Increases Steroid Hormones in Immature Rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5641457/
Greek-origin royal jelly improves the lipid profile of postmenopausal women. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09513590.2016.1188281
Imada, T., Nakamura, S., Kitamura, N., Shibuya, I., & Tsubota, K. (2014, September 22). Oral administration of royal jelly restores tear secretion capacity in rat blink-suppressed dry eye model by modulating lacrimal gland function. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25243778
Kai, H., Motomura, Y., Saito, S., Hashimoto, K., Tatefuji, T., Takamune, N., & Misumi, S. (2013, March 06). Royal jelly enhances antigen-specific mucosal IgA response. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5779328/
Kim, J., Kim, Y., Yun, H., Park, H., Kim, S. Y., Lee, K., . . . Cho, Y. (2010, October). Royal jelly enhances migration of human dermal fibroblasts and alters the levels of cholesterol and sphinganine in an in vitro wound healing model. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21103081
Kocot, J., Kiełczykowska, M., Luchowska-Kocot, D., Kurzepa, J., & Musik, I. (2018, May 02). Antioxidant Potential of Propolis, Bee Pollen, and Royal Jelly: Possible Medical Application. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5954854/
Kohno, Okamoto, Sano, Arai, K, I., Ikeda, & Kurimoto. (n.d.). Royal jelly inhibits the production of proinflammatory cytokines by activated macrophages. Retrieved from https://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/14745176
Malekinejad, H., Ahsan, S., Delkhosh-Kasmaie, F., Cheraghi, H., Rezaei-Golmisheh, A., & Janbaz-Acyabar, H. (2016, February). Cardioprotective effect of royal jelly on paclitaxel-induced cardio-toxicity in rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4818372/
Metwally Ibrahim, S. E., & Kosba, A. A. (2018, December). Royal jelly supplementation reduces skeletal muscle lipotoxicity and insulin resistance in aged obese rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29960833
Minami, A., Matsushita, H., Ieno, D., Matsuda, Y., Horii, Y., Ishii, A., . . . Suzuki, T. (2016, December). Improvement of neurological disorders in postmenopausal model rats by administration of royal jelly. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27736245
Morita, H., Ikeda, T., Kajita, K., Fujioka, K., Mori, I., Okada, H., . . . Ishizuka, T. (2012, September 21). Effect of royal jelly ingestion for six months on healthy volunteers. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3499288/
Oka, H., Emori, Y., Kobayashi, N., Hayashi, Y., & Nomoto, K. (2001, March). Suppression of allergic reactions by royal jelly in association with the restoration of macrophage function and the improvement of Th1/Th2 cell responses. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11367535
Pan, Y., Xu, J., Chen, C., Chen, F., Jin, P., Zhu, K., . . . Hu, F. (2018, March 05). Royal Jelly Reduces Cholesterol Levels, Ameliorates Aβ Pathology and Enhances Neuronal Metabolic Activities in a Rabbit Model of Alzheimer’s Disease. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5845009/
Park, H. M., Cho, M. H., Cho, Y., & Kim, S. Y. (2012, June). Royal jelly increases collagen production in rat skin after ovariectomy. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22468645
Taavoni, S., Barkhordari, F., Goushegir, A., & Haghani, H. (2014, August). Effect of Royal Jelly on premenstrual syndrome among Iranian medical sciences students: A randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled study. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25146061
Tokunaga, K., Yoshida, C., Suzuki, K., Maruyama, H., Futamura, Y., Araki, Y., & Mishima, S. (2004, February). Antihypertensive effect of peptides from royal jelly in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14758031
Yamauchi, K., Kogashiwa, Y., Moro, Y., & Kohno, N. (2014). The effect of topical application of royal jelly on chemoradiotherapy-induced mucositis in head and neck cancer: A preliminary study. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25400667
Zahmatkesh, E., Najafi, G., Nejati, V., & Heidari, R. (2014). Protective effect of royal jelly on the sperm parameters and testosterone level and lipid peroxidation in adult mice treated with oxymetholone. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25050300
Zamani, Z., Reisi, P., Alaei, H., & Pilehvarian, A. A. (2012). Effect of Royal Jelly on spatial learning and memory in rat model of streptozotocin-induced sporadic Alzheimer’s disease. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3507025/