Royal Jelly
Royal Jelly
This information describes the common uses of Royal Jelly, how it works, and its possible side effects.

How It Works

Royal jelly may benefit those with high cholesterol, but it has not been shown to treat cancer in humans.

Royal jelly is a viscous substance secreted by worker bees that makes up the essential food for queen bees and their larvae. It is consumed as a health food around the world. Royal jelly has been shown to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce inflammation in laboratory and animal studies. It has not been studied as a cancer treatment in humans. Royal jelly has weak estrogenic activity and should not be used by patients with hormone-sensitive cancer.

Purported Uses

  • Menopausal symptoms
    In one uncontrolled prospective study, royal jelly improved symptoms in postmenopausal women.
  • Osteoporosis
    Royal jelly improved bone health in laboratory and animal studies.
  • Cholesterol management
    Some research evidence supports its use for high cholesterol levels.
  • Male infertility
    One study suggests its use for male infertility, but more large-scale clinical trials are needed to confirm this effect.
  • Diabetes
    A few studies suggest it may improve some type 2 diabetes markers in both men and women. Confirmatory studies are needed.
  • Mucositis
    In patients receiving radiotherapy and chemotherapy, royal jelly along with standard mouthwash therapy improved symptoms of oral mucositis and healing time. Confirmatory studies are needed.

Do Not Take If

  • You have estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer: Royal jelly can stimulate growth of cancer cells.
  • You are taking blood thinners such as warfarin: Royal jelly can enhance its effects.
  • You are taking cholesterol-lowering medications: Theoretically, royal jelly may have additive effects.

Side Effects

  • Anecdotal weight gain, facial rash and gastrointestinal discomfort.
  • Several cases of anaphylaxis, asthma, and hemorrhagic colitis have been reported with use of royal jelly.

Oral high-dose royal jelly for 4 weeks adversely affected the reproductive system of pubescent male rats. The severity of these effects lessened after stopping royal jelly administration.