- Indications with possible efficacy:
- Other indications with no proof of efficacy:
To reduce blood cholesterol
To stimulate hair growth (topically)
To stimulate the immune system
Tonic action (popular use)
- Risk of Drug Interactions: Low
- Adverse Effects: Rare
Royal jelly is a milky secretion produced by worker bees (Apis mellifera) for the exclusive development and nurture of the queen bee. Young worker bees nourish the queen bee with this secretion from their pharyngeal glands This nutritive nectar may be why there are significant differences between the sizes, fertility and longevity of the queen bees and worker bees. This important differences may be why some people have believed (probably wrongly) that humans taking this product may benefit from the same results as those observed in queen bees. Royal jelly is rich in proteins (12%), lipids (8%), carbohydrates (12%) and B vitamins, especially panthotenic acid. The product's proposed antitumoral and antibacterial effects have not been clearly established.
Direction of use
There is no evidence that royal jelly is effective in any indication and the used doses vary widely.
- Side effects
Royal jelly is usually not associated with any severe toxicity.
Do not use it if you are allergic te bee venom. In people with a history of atopy or asthma, royal jelly appears to cause a high rate of allergic symptoms.
Peoples taking warfarin (Coumadin) should limit or avoid taking royal jelly because of the risk of hemorrhage.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Since there is no safety data available concerning its use during pregnancy and breast-feeding, pregnant and lactating women should not take royal jelly.
- Royal jelly may not offer its users the benefits they hoped for. This harmless and nutritive product offers nothing more than what can be found in other cheaper foods or a well-balanced diet.
In 2004, Canada adopted new regulations that control the manufacturing, packaging, labeling and importing of natural health products. The new regulations also include an adverse reaction reporting system. Products that conform to the regulation's criteria are identified with a natural product number (NPN) and can be legally sold in Canada. This number indicates that the product meets specific criteria for safety and purity, not that it is effective for any indication.
Medicinal plant contents vary naturally from plant to plant - just as fruits from the same package may vary in taste and texture. There is no standard to measure the active content of each plant. Thus, efficacy of natural products should be expected to vary from brand to brand as well as from bottle to bottle of the same brand.
For more information about the Natural Health Products Regulations, or to check if a product has been assessed, visit the Health Canada website at www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/index-eng.php.
- Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2010
- Pierce Andrea, Practical Guide to Natural Medicines, 1999
- Facts & Comparisons, The Lawrence review of natural products, 1998
- Passeportsanté.net. Gelée royale. www.passeportsante.net
- The Review of Natural Products, 6th Edition, 2010
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The patient information leaflets are provided by Vigilance Santé Inc. This content is for information purposes only and does not in any manner whatsoever replace the opinion or advice of your health care professional. Always consult a health care professional before making a decision about your medication or treatment.