Pollen grains carry the male gametes of flowers. These are packed with digestive enzymes and over ninety nutrients that are required by humnas. No wonder then, that bee pollen is said to be a complete food. Despite all of their uses, certain side effects have also been reported. Though such cases are rare, caution is more useful than running for medical aid.
One of the benefits of bee pollen is that, it is used to treat allergies. This is done by the process of desensitization. In this process, small amounts of bee pollen is introduced in the body. Our immune system sees them as foreign substances, and produces antibodies against them. Now, the next time the body is exposed to these allergens, it immediately reacts and releases the antibodies, without any delay. It is quite ironic that, the same bee pollen that is used to treat allergies, may trigger allergic reactions in some.
Symptoms of such reactions are itchy throat, skin rash, fever, hives, coughing, and wheezing. In severe cases, the affected person may go into an anaphylactic shock, in which, the swelling of throat and tongue, impairs breathing. If immediate medical help is not made available, then this may be fatal. Such reactions are seen in those individuals who are to prone to allergic reactions, especially caused due to bee stings. Those, who have a history of anaphylactic shock are strictly advised against consuming bee pollen.
Other than these allergic reactions, other side effects of bee pollen that certain individuals have reported include:
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Stomach pain
- Chest pain
Though rare, there are certain health risks of bee pollen. Therefore, it is best to be cautious while using such supplements. People who are affected by heart diseases, high blood pressure, and any disease of the blood vessels should avoid these supplements. Pregnant women must avoid its consumption, as it is may possibly be unsafe. It may stimulate the uterus, and threaten the pregnancy. Also, breastfeeding mothers must avoid it, as not enough is known about how it may affect the infant. Those who are affected by diabetes, asthma, and who are on prescription drugs must also exercise caution while considering bee pollen therapy. It is best to consult the physician before staring its consumption.
Another danger of bee pollen is that these entities absorb pollutants from the atmosphere very easily. Hence, if these are collected from areas which are heavily industrialized, then there is a possibility that instead of reaping the many benefits of bee pollen, one is consuming toxins and pollutants. Hence, be very sure of where your bee pollen comes from.
Whether you have had previous episodes of allergic reactions or not, it is best to consult your healthcare professional before starting the therapy. Also, it is very important to exercise caution before, one starts on bee pollen therapy. For this, test your body's reaction with a small amount of bee pollen first. Wait for a day to see if your body shows any signs of an allergic reaction. Just in case, if you develop any side effects, discontinue its use and consult your doctor immediately.
If no side effects are observed, gradually increase your dosage till you reach the normal dosage. Once you know that you are not going to develop any complications, stick to the recommended dose. Do not take double dose, if you skip previous day's dose. In case you feel that you should make up for the skipped dose, consult your doctor first. As far as the correct dosage is concerned, stick to your physician's recommendation or to those mentioned with the supply.
Bee pollen adverse effects are rare but its impact may be serious in certain cases. Just in case one develops any signs of side effects, he should discontinue the dosage and contact his doctor immediately.