Royal Jelly ~ Royal jelly, which is sometimes called bee’s milk, is a thick creamy liquid secreted by special glands in young worker bees who serve as “nurses” to the hive.
All bee larvae are fed a small amount of royal jelly mixed with honey for the first three days of their lives. Starting on day four, however, most of the bees are weaned from this diet and develop into worker bees. But one bee, hatched from an egg identical to the rest, is fed exclusively on royal jelly. That bee becomes the queen.
Researchers and practitioners have explored both the chemical composition and the potential therapeutic uses of royal jelly, particularly over the last several decades. Among other things, the complex substance has been found to be rich in amino acids (including the eight essential to human life), essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, RNA, DNA, and many other elements of clinically proven usefulness. Other compounds in royal jelly have yet to be identified.
Proponents of apitherapy (which also includes the use of other hive products, such as bee pollen, propolis, and bee venom) make many claims for the virtues of royal jelly. Among other things, it is said to increase appetite and general vigor; retard aging; boost longevity; accelerate healing; strengthen the immune system; and exhibit antibiotic and antiviral properties.