What is pollen? Can it really make you healthier? Do bees get hay fever? What are the health benefits of royal jelly? These are the kind of questions that come to mind when people think about the products that come from the honey bee. We review the book and provide some answers here.

The Healing Power of Pollen and Other Products from the Beehive
Maurice Hanssen, 1979
ISBN 0 7225 0526 4

As a beekeeper, I have had the pleasure of watching my honeybees come back from their trips to the field loaded down with pollen. It is fascinating to sit to the side of a hive and watch the workers land at the entrance and waddle into the hive carrying these large pellets in an array of colors.  Yellow, red, orange, grey, an occasional purple or lavender hue are all represented during the height of the Spring nectar flow.

Yet I had never taken much time to really research about the actual health benefits of pollen, even though I had heard comments here and there.  So I recently purchased a copy of this book and began reading it.

What impressed me most about this particular book was the number of medical studies (mainly done in the UK or other parts of Europe) that Hanssen cited.  A short list of what various medical and natural practitioners have tested pollen for is as follows:

  • colds
  • flu
  • hay fever
  • asthma
  • allergies
  • prostatitis
  • rheumatism
  • arthritis
  • wounds
  • radiation sickness
  • hair loss
  • menopause
  • menstrual pains
  • mental concentration
  • virility
  • rejuvenation
  • fatigue (general and also associated with diabetes)

One of the main points behind using pollen as a supplement, according to Hanssen, is that pollen contains a long list of trace minerals, nutrients and vitamins which our bodies need.  Depending upon how much processed food one eats, there is a good chance that many of these are missing in our bodies.

Here are some of the minerals that have been identified in pollen:

  • sodium
  • potassium
  • magnesium
  • calcium
  • aluminum
  • iron
  • copper
  • zinc
  • manganese
  • lead
  • silica
  • phosphorus
  • chlorine
  • sulphur

The book has numerous testimonials written by persons ranging from professional athletes to mothers of young children to aged businessmen.  Each of the letters shares the person’s own story of how pollen supplements improved quality of life.

After reading this book, I am personally determined to give pollen a try as a supplement for a period of time.  Even though our family eats on the healthy side of the spectrum, it would be interesting to see if there are any noticeable benefits to such a program.

In doing some research for this article, I actually located a copy of the book online. Since it is apparently out of print, you can read it for free.

If you are considering more research on this, look at this list of books on pollen.