What is it?
People commonly take bee pollen for nutrition. It is also used by mouth as an appetite stimulant, to improve stamina and athletic performance, and for premature aging, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): There is no good evidence to support using bee pollen for COVID-19. Follow healthy lifestyle choices and proven prevention methods instead.
How effective is it?
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
The effectiveness ratings for BEE POLLEN are as follows:
Possibly ineffective for...
- Athletic performance. Research suggests that taking bee pollen supplements by mouth does not seem to increase athletic performance in athletes.
How does it work?
Are there safety concerns?
Special precautions & warnings:Pregnancy: Taking bee pollen is POSSIBLY UNSAFE during pregnancy. There is some concern that bee pollen might stimulate the uterus and threaten the pregnancy. Don't use it.
Breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if bee pollen is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Pollen allergy: Taking bee pollen supplements can cause serious allergic reactions in people who are allergic to pollen. Symptoms can include itching, swelling, shortness of breath, light-headedness, and severe whole-body reactions (anaphylaxis).
Are there interactions with medications?
- Warfarin (Coumadin)
- Bee pollen might increase the effects of warfarin (Coumadin). Taking bee pollen with warfarin (Coumadin) might result in an increased chance of bruising or bleeding.
Are there interactions with herbs and supplements?
- There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.
Are there interactions with foods?
- There are no known interactions with foods.
What dose is used?
To learn more about how this article was written, please see the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database methodology.
- Naseri L, Khazaei MR, Khazaei M. Potential therapeutic effect of bee pollen and metformin combination on testosterone and estradiol levels, apoptotic markers and total antioxidant capacity in a rat model of polycystic ovary syndrome. Int J Fertil Steril 2021;15:101-7. View abstract.
- Olczyk P, Koprowski R, Kazmierczak J, et al. Bee pollen as a promising agent in the burn wounds treatment. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2016;2016:8473937. View abstract.
- Nonotte-Varly C. Allergenicity of Artemisia contained in bee pollen is proportional to its mass. Eur Ann Allergy Clin Immunol 2015;47:218-24. View abstract.
- Münstedt K, Voss B, Kullmer U, Schneider U, Hübner J. Bee pollen and honey for the alleviation of hot flushes and other menopausal symptoms in breast cancer patients. Mol Clin Oncol 2015;3:869-874. View abstract.
- Komosinska-Vassev K, Olczyk P, Kazmierczak J, Mencner L, Olczyk K. Bee pollen: chemical composition and therapeutic application. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2015;2015:297425. View abstract.
- Choi JH, Jang YS, Oh JW, Kim CH, Hyun IG. Bee pollen-induced anaphylaxis: a case report and literature review. Allergy Asthma Immunol Res 2015 Sep;7:513-7. View abstract.
- Murray F. Get the buzz on bee pollen. Better Nutr 1991;20-21, 31.
- Chandler JV, Hawkins JD. The effect of bee pollen on physiological performance: Ann Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, Nashville, TN, May 26-29. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1985;17:287.
- Linskens HF, Jorde W. Pollen as food and medicine - a review. Econ Bot 1997;51:78-87.
- Chen D. Studies on the "bionic breaking of cell wall" pollen used as the additive of prawn diet: Shandong Fish. Hilu Yuye 1992;5:35-38.
- Foster S, Tyler VE. Tyler's Honest Herbal: A Sensible Guide to the use of Herbs and Related Remedies. 1993;3
- Kamen B. Bee pollen: from principles to practice. Health Foods Business 1991;66-67.
- Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics. 1996;73-76.
- Krivopalov-Moscvin I. Apitherapy in the rehabilitation of patients with multiple sclerosis -- XVI World Congress of Neurology. Buenos Aires, Argentina, September 14-19, 1997. Abstracts. J Neurol Sci 1997;150 Suppl:S264-367. View abstract.
- Iversen T, Fiirgaard KM, Schriver P, et al. The effect of NaO Li Su on memory functions and blood chemistry in elderly people. J Ethnopharmacol 1997;56:109-116. View abstract.
- Mansfield LE, Goldstein GB. Anaphylactic reaction after ingestion of local bee pollen. Ann Allergy 1981;47:154-156. View abstract.
- Lin FL, Vaughan TR, Vandewalker ML, et al. Hypereosinophilia, neurologic, and gastrointestinal symptoms after bee-pollen ingestion. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1989;83:793-796. View abstract.
- Wang J, Jin GM, Zheng YM, et al. [Effect of bee pollen on development of immune organ of animal]. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi 2005;30:1532-1536. View abstract.
- Gonzalez G, Hinojo MJ, Mateo R, et al. Occurrence of mycotoxin producing fungi in bee pollen. Int J Food Microbiol 2005;105:1-9. View abstract.
- Garcia-Villanova RJ, Cordon C, Gonzalez Paramas AM, et al. Simultaneous immunoaffinity column cleanup and HPLC analysis of aflatoxins and ochratoxin A in Spanish bee pollen. J Agric Food Chem 2004;52:7235-7239. View abstract.
- Lei H, Shi Q, Ge F, et al. [Supercritical CO2 extraction of fatty oils from bee pollen and its GC-MS analysis]. Zhong Yao Cai 2004;27:177-180. View abstract.
- Palanisamy, A., Haller, C., and Olson, K. R. Photosensitivity reaction in a woman using an herbal supplement containing ginseng, goldenseal, and bee pollen. J Toxicol.Clin Toxicol. 2003;41:865-867. View abstract.
- Greenberger, P. A. and Flais, M. J. Bee pollen-induced anaphylactic reaction in an unknowingly sensitized subject. Ann.Allergy Asthma Immunol 2001;86:239-242. View abstract.
- Geyman JP. Anaphylactic reaction after ingestion of bee pollen. J Am Board Fam Pract. 1994 May-Jun;7:250-2. View abstract.
- Akiyasu T, Paudyal B, Paudyal P, et al. A case report of acute renal failure associated with bee pollen contained in nutritional supplements. Ther Apher Dial 2010;14:93-7. View abstract.
- Jagdis A, Sussman G. Anaphylaxis from bee pollen supplement. CMAJ 2012;184:1167-9. View abstract.
- Pitsios C, Chliva C, Mikos N, et al. Bee pollen sensitivity in airborne pollen allergic individuals. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2006;97:703-6. View abstract.
- Martín-Muñoz MF, Bartolome B, Caminoa M, et al. Bee pollen: a dangerous food for allergic children. Identification of responsible allergens. Allergol Immunopathol (Madr) 2010;38:263-5. View abstract.
- Hurren KM, Lewis CL. Probable interaction between warfarin and bee pollen. Am J Health Syst Pharm 2010;67:2034-7. View abstract.
- Cohen SH, Yunginger JW, Rosenberg N, Fink JN. Acute allergic reaction after composite pollen ingestion. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1979;64:270-4. View abstract.
- Winther K, Hedman C. Assessment of the Effects of the Herbal Remedy Femal on the Symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Curr Ther Res Clin Exp 2002;63:344-53..
- Maughan RJ, Evans SP. Effects of pollen extract upon adolescent swimmers. Br J Sports Med 1982;16:142-5. View abstract.
- Steben RE, Boudroux P. The effects of pollen and pollen extracts on selected blood factors and performance of athletes. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1978;18:271-8.
- Puente S, Iniguez A, Subirats M, et al. [Eosinophilic gastroenteritis caused by bee pollen sensitization]. Med Clin (Barc) 1997;108:698-700. View abstract.
- Shad JA, Chinn CG, Brann OS. Acute hepatitis after ingestion of herbs. South Med J 1999;92:1095-7. View abstract.
- Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics. 2nd ed. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 1996.
- The Review of Natural Products by Facts and Comparisons. St. Louis, MO: Wolters Kluwer Co., 1999.
- Foster S, Tyler VE. Tyler's Honest Herbal: A Sensible Guide to the Use of Herbs and Related Remedies. 3rd ed., Binghamton, NY: Haworth Herbal Press, 1993.