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Royal Jelly Effects

Royal Jelly, the food of bee larvae and the queen bee, is produced by worker bees of about 5-15 days old (bees of this age are called nurse bees) from their hypopharyngeal gland and mandibular gland.

Royal jelly is creamy white and possesses vinegar smell and slightly hot taste. Worker bees produce royal jelly for feeding all kinds of bee larvae not more than three days old, and only the larvae destined to grow up as, the queen be receives abundance of royal jelly throughout her life. Royal jelly is an important nutrient that makes the queen bee grow larger and acquire more beautiful appearance than bees of other classes; and she also lives 10-20 times longer life than general worker bees. More importantly she can lay as many as 2,000 eggs (total weight of eggs equal to her own body weight), every day for about 10 months in a year. The quantity of royal jelly produced is very small. Worker bees in a beehive (more than 60,000 bees) can produce only 1.5-3.3 gm of royal jelly per day. Royal jelly, on commercial production, is collected every three days (5-10 gm/day).

From biochemical analysis, it is found that royal jelly is composed of many useful nutrients, the ingredients being as follows:

Protein 14-15%
Ash and other elements 

Moreover, there are several kinds of vitamins in it. Each gram of royal jelly is composed of various vitamins in the following composition:

Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
5 microgram
Vitamin B2 (riboflavine) 
9 microgram
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)3-50 microgram
Niacin100 microgram
1.7 microgram
Inositol 100 microgram
Folic acid
0.2 microgram
Panthothenic acid
200 microgram

Panthothenic acid content in royal jelly is considered highest compared with other natural supplemental foods. Moreover, traces of vitamin A, C and D are also found in it.

Besides, it is also composed of minerals and amino acids (all of the 9 essential amino acids), enzymes, small molecules of sugar, fatty acids, fats and many other substances.

The various substances in royal jelly considered very important included 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid, acetylcholine, insulin like peptide, testosterone, sebacic acid and glycoprotein. 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid, the fatty acid only found in royal jelly, proven to have antibacterial, antifungal, antiradiation and antitumor activities. Acetylcholine provides dilate blood vessels and consequently reduce blood pressure. Insulin like peptide reduces the blood glucose. Testosterone, a male sex hormone, helps invigorate sexual virility. Sebacic acid is another fatty acid which effectively inhibits the growth of fungus on the skin. Glycoprotein content helps keep brightness and elasticity of the skin making it free from pimples and blotches.

Rich in nutrients that are beneficial to the body, royal jelly has been used as a supplemental food for nourishing the body and nerves, alleviation of fatigue and weakness, restoration of vigour and health, improvement of memory and concentration of mind. It is used for slowing the aging process, by stimulating the function of various organs. Besides, royal jelly also lengthens life expectancy of cancer patients. It stimulates the weak and growth-retarded children to grow on equal term with normal children. It invigorates sexual virility, and supplies nourishment to the skin to keep brightness and lustre without pimples or blotches. It blackens the hair promoting luxuriant growth halting falling off of the hair. In addition royal jelly has been shown antiinfluenzal activity.

In addition to nourishing and restoring health, royal jelly can also alleviates or relieves many symptoms that are mostly present in menopausal women, namely aches and pains, palpitation, headache, dizziness, sweating, insomnia, ringing ear, frequent urination, shoulder pain, arthralgia, hot flashes, loss of appetite, constipation and fatigue. It would regulate menstruation. In some cases, royal jelly may be useful in diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, anemia, heart diseases including angina pectoris, renal diseases, toxernia, arthritis, back pain, stiff shoulders, hepatitis, disorders of nervous system, asthma and dermatitis.

Clinical Trials of Royal Jelly

Scientists in many countries are paying attention to royal jelly as may be seen from medical reports for the effectiveness of royal jelly in some diseases.


Dr. H. Destrem (1956), a French physician, studied with 134 patients between the age of 70 and 75 years suffering from weakness, emaciation, deprivation of physical strength. After giving only six doses of royal jelly, apparently those patients got healthier with the restoration of appetite, increase in weight, producing a state of euphoria, and rise in the blood pressure in those suffering from low blood pressure. According to Dr. Destrem, "Royal jelly is a therapeutic agent, its use being of the greatest possible interest to geriatrics".

Dr. Sarrouy et al (1956) gave the royal jelly to infants suffering from severe malnutrition, and found that the weight gain was quite decided. However, the reaction on the general health even more interesting. Children lose their drawn and old faces, their eyes brighten and their cheeks regain their colour.

Dr. Ardry (1956) studied and tested the physical and chemical aspects of royal jelly, and made a suggestion that the various effects of royal jelly cannot be duplicated by giving the same vitamins contained in it, despite a dosage as high as 1,000 times that the content in royal jelly was given. He concluded that royal jelly acts more likely on the body by stimulating the suprarenal glands which then exerts its effect on body metabolism.

In 1957, Dr. Remy Chauvin reported on his experimental administration of royal jelly to patients having nervous symptoms, low blood pressure and people suffering from severe weakness. It was reported that after only a few dosages of royal jelly, these patients showed remarkable improvements, they could eat well, gained normal blood pressure and their nervous symptoms disappeared.

Joseph Matuszewski (1965) believed that royal jelly provided normal metabolism of the body with better urination and could prevent from obesity and emaciation. It. could resist infectious diseases, regulated the functions of endocrine glands and was good for arteriosclerosis and cardiac insufficiency.

In 1967, Prof. Peichev and co-workers carried out observations on 23 clinically healthy old men at Kocho Sveter Home in Bulgaria (ten between 60 and 69, six between 70 and 79 and seven between 80 and 89). They found that the combined use of royal jelly, honey and bee pollen had an invigorating effect, made these old people feel better, improved their appetite and sleep, reduced pain around the heart, increased volume of urine, lowered cholesterol content and blood pressure, and eased respiratory and sexual functions.

Recently Kushima (1985) reported on the efficacy of royal jelly in various symptoms of menopausal women. Patients suffering from renal diseases excreted more volume of urine rapidly, and the symptoms of general edema disappeared. Royal jelly was also effective for promoting the growth and development of premature babies.

Pharmacological Effects

From the studies on experimental animals, it was found that royal jelly was effective in various systems, such as cardiovascular system, endocrine system, reproductive system; and it also possessed anticancer and antibacterial activities, and so on.

In 1939 Henry Hale demonstrated that royal jelly contained hormones that stimulate better growth of ovary in the white rat within a few days. In the same year Heyl injected the extract of royal jelly into female rat and found it stimulated the ovarian growth in the same manner, while fruit flies grew faster and laid eggs at a faster rate than usual by 60% (Townsend and Lucas 1940).

Gardner (1948) fed fruit flies on food containing royal jelly and it was found that they lived longer (17 days) than the group that was fed on normal food. (13 days).

Hinglais et al reported from 1955 to 1957 about the antibiotic powers against some bacteria including the bacteria that caused T.E. infection. These experimental results were confirmed by Helleu (1976), and Cheocharnvit and Vongsechai (1985).

10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid was considered as a compound responsible for antibacterial and antifungal activities of royal jelly (Barker et al 1959).

In 1959, Townsend et al injected a mixture of living leukemia cells, lymphosarcoma cells and royal jelly into mice and showed that the mice did not develop cancer. In the same year Dr. Smith also experimentally fed the larva of worker bee on unlimited amount of royal jelly and found that it could turn into the queen bee. However, several researchers experimented on using a prepared mixture of the same ingredients that contained in royal jelly for feeding the worker bee larva, and found that the larva survived but never turned into queen bee.

Stojko and co-workers (1985) demonstrated that royal jelly could protect the experimental rats from lead poisoning. They suggested that amino acids and vitamins in royal jelly are important factors in stimulating of enzyme synthesis for destruction of poisons. Therefore, it can give protection from lead poisoning. The workers then concluded that royal jelly might also protect from other environmental poisonings.

Besides, royal jelly had rejuvenation effect which was confirmed in female rats (Kushima, 1985). Furthermore royal jelly could alleviate the mal effects of X-ray radiation in male mice. This might explain the effect of royal jelly in slowing the aging process.

10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid found in royal jelly could increase the life span of mice with leukaemia, lymphosarcoma and mammary cancer (Hiranramdej 1988). Royal jelly might also effective in slow dividing cancer cells (Tamura et al 1985).

Moreover, royal jelly also had many other benefits, such as stimulating the joining of bone in experimenting with the mandibular bone of the rabbit. It showed anti-influenzal activity in the experiment with the chicken embryo (Derevich and Petrescu). It could reduce blood sugar in diabetic mice and rats. It reduced blood cholesterol and total fat levels in the rabbit. It increased red blood cells of the rat. Mice lived longer and blood pressures in cats and dogs were reduced.

The royal jelly showed cumulative effect of its various substances toward the body rather than the effect of anyone particular substance, and it is believed that the most important effect of the royal jelly is the improvement of microcirculation of blood to various tissues thus helping improve the functions of body cells.