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What Is Royal Jelly?

Have you ever wondered what Royal Jelly actually is?

We often get asked – What is Royal Jelly? For many years there has been an endless array of research conducted around the importance bees play in maintaining the environment, as well as how their various products potentially may support human health. Bees are responsible for pollinating the plants that provide over one third of the worlds food supply, and more recently the increase in global scientific studies around the effects of bee products on human health and wellness has increased significantly. It seems that the basic concepts of nutrition are starting to change. While dieticians, nutritionists, the medical profession and natural health practitioners all agree that a diet rich in complex carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals is essential, they are also recommending the use of ‘functional foods’ such as medicinal foods, superfoods, nutraceuticals or designed foods for dietary supplementation. (1)

For many people, ‘functional foods’ is still a very new term, however, according to the Mayo Clinic, “Functional foods are foods that have a potentially positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition. Proponents of functional foods say they promote optimal health and help reduce the risk of disease.” (6) One such functional food or as we like to call it, a ‘Supreme Superfood’ is Royal Jelly. Royal Jelly is a very special superfood for honey bees, and specifically the Queen bee.

queen bees are fed royal jelly

What is so ‘royal’ about Royal Jelly?

When bees are at the larvae stage in the hive, the worker bees feed the larvae with Royal Jelly. Royal Jelly, a protein-rich off-white substance which is secreted from the glands in the hypopharynx of the nurse bees, is fed to all larvae for the first 3 days of their life. The larvae destined to become queens are bathed in Royal Jelly throughout their development as well as throughout their life. (5) Queen bees and worker bees have identical DNA and all have the potential to become a Queen.

bee larvae are fed royal jelly

There is no particular pattern – that we know of – as to why some bees are chosen as Queen bees and the rest as worker bees, however after the first 3 days of life, the chosen Queen is exclusively fed a diet of Royal Jelly. Interestingly enough, they are the only bees that develop reproductive organs and since the 1960’s, scientists have been delving into the connection between Royal Jelly and the possible link to reproductive support in humans.

It’s interesting to note that the Queen bee also grows 1.5 times the size of her worker bees and lives for up to 5 years, whereas worker bees live for just a few months. Royal Jelly certainly is amazing!

The History Of Royal Jelly

Historically, Royal Jelly has been in use for thousands of years. Many cultures across the globe ingested Royal Jelly because it was believed that it would help people achieve a longer and healthier life. As only a small amount of Royal Jelly was produced hundreds of years ago, the use of this product was limited to the aristocracy, royal families and the rich. In traditional Chinese medicine Royal Jelly was also called the “food of the Emperors” believed to support longevity, enhance vitality and provide the energy needed to get through a long day. Royal Jelly was also touted as a natural supplement for supporting immunity and in India, Maharajas would consume Royal Jelly to maintain their youthful energy.

Traditional Chinese Medicine used royal jelly

Pharaohs during the ancient Egyptian era consumed the product to also enhance longevity and in more recent centuries, Pope Pius XII’s physician prescribed Royal Jelly to the Pope to help him recover from a serious illness. Even back in the 1980’s Princess Diana of the British Monarchy enjoyed the benefits of Royal Jelly during her pregnancy to support her through morning sickness and Queen Elizabeth still uses this amazing product on a regular basis to avert fatigue! (3)

The popularity of Royal Jelly has grown significantly over the years and we’re pleased to see that it’s not just available to the Royals any longer, but is used by millions of people worldwide!

The life-changing health benefits of Royal Jelly

Royal Jelly is largely marketed as a supplement which falls under the category of ‘Apitherapy’ – the practice of using alternative medicine utilising bee products.

It is comprised of

  • Water (60-70%)
  • Sugars (10-16%),
  • MRJPS: Major Royal Jelly Proteins (12-15%)
  • Fats (3-6%)
  • Lipids
  • Salts
  • Essential amino acids
  • B vitamins
  • 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA)
  • Royalisin
  • Royalactin

The Major Royal Jelly Proteins, 10-HDA, Royalisin and Royalactin are ingredients only found in Royal Jelly and tests have shown that they have significant antibacterial and antifungal properties as well. Royal Jelly also contains 8 of the 9 essential amino acids that the human body cannot produce and must ingest daily to support healthy, optimal functioning. This ‘supreme superfood’ is widely regarded as a ‘health tonic’ because of the multivitamins and considerable nutrition it provides. (1)

So: how can Royal Jelly potentially support your health?

Royal Jelly and Stamina

Royal Jelly may boost endurance, fight fatigue and stress. A Japanese study conducted in 2001 also reinforced these claims when they found that the endurance of mice increased after they were fed pure Royal Jelly. (2)

Royal Jelly and Cholesterol

Several studies have suggested that Royal Jelly is, in fact, cardio protective which lowers blood pressure and reduces the kind of cholesterol that can harm your body. A study conducted in 1995 found that regular daily consumption of 1 gram of Royal Jelly (dry weight) reduced cholesterol by 14%. This doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you like however……Following a proper diet is still essential for optimal health. (2)

Royal Jelly and immunity

A USDA researcher, Leigh Broadhurst, Ph.D. contested that Royal Jelly immunises the honey bee colony in a similar way to how mother’s milk boosts immunity in newborns. It has also shown to have antimicrobial properties, which makes it very effective against bacteria and yeast. A study conducted in Egypt in 1995 found that Royal Jelly may fight against and kill various kinds of bacteria, including E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus. (2)

Royal Jelly and fertility

Some years ago, children’s book author, Roald Dahl, authored a story called ‘Royal Jelly’ highlighting how a beekeeper boosted his fertility, as well as the health of his baby, by secretly feeding him and the family Royal Jelly. Although there have been no human studies to back this claim, many believe that Royal Jelly does affect fertility with studies showing that daily consumption of Royal Jelly may balance hormones as well as boost overall wellness and nutrition. (2)

Royal Jelly and skin care

Royal Jelly has long been used cosmetically because it contains the protein ‘collagen’ which is required for youthful looking skin. Lack of collagen leads to the formation of wrinkles so Royal Jelly is used in cosmetics worldwide to support skin elasticity and rejuvenation. Even shampoo companies incorporate Royal Jelly into their shampoos and conditioners because, protein is great for repairing damaged hair too! (3)

There are many testimonials and personal experiences online about how Royal Jelly may also be used as an anti-inflammatory agent, helping reduce the symptoms of menopause, supporting the healing of bone fractures, reducing inflammation associated with arthritis and multiple sclerosis. In some cultures, it is also speculated that Royal Jelly also helps in the prevention of cancer and curing liver diseases and skin disorders. (3)

scientists study bees

Clinical trials continue to take place worldwide to support the health claims associated with Royal Jelly. Currently our very own pure and premium ‘Kiwi Royal’ Royal Jelly is being used in a scientific study by Yale University to look into the effects of Royal Jelly on cancer cells.  CLICK THIS LINK to find out more about the study, and for more information on other clinical trials, check the links below or head to our SCIENCE page.

The Kiwi Royal difference

The production of Royal Jelly is an extremely long and meticulous process, one that requires close attention and precise timing. Kiwi Royal has dedicated itself to creating and delivering the purest Royal Jelly and Royal Jelly, Manuka Honey blended products in the world. With a market flooded with substandard or synthetically enhanced products, we believe in the power of purity and potency. Our products are created in the pristine and prime Royal Jelly producing conditions of clean, green New Zealand (Aotearoa), known worldwide for its lush, untapped natural world, housing some of the most potent natural, active ingredients. The Royal Jelly produced by Kiwi Royal is 100% ethical, authentic and traceable, ensuring premium quality and potency, unlike many others available in the market.

So, if you’ve tried a Royal Jelly product previously and haven’t experienced the potential benefits, or if you’re ready to look at how Kiwi Royal products may support your health, now is your opportunity to feel the difference.

Take the next step and see what it’s like to live like a Royal….every day!

Disclaimer: Vitamins and minerals are supplementary to and not a replacement for a balanced diet.  

Medication: Royal Jelly should not replace any medically advised medication or instruction from a health care professional.

Weight loss: Weight loss takes time and effort to be successful. People should seek professional advice on diet, exercise and lifestyle changes. Individual results may vary.

Allergies and contraindications: The best way to test if Royal Jelly may assist you is to try taking small doses while closely observing your symptoms.

It’s important to note that if you are allergic to bees/bee venom or if you have oestrogen-sensitive reproductive cancers in your family history, please speak to your healthcare professional about Royal Jelly first.