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

How It Works

Evidence on royal jelly in humans is limited, with no clear evidence of benefit on markers of diabetes or risk factors for heart disease.

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. Laboratory and animal studies suggest royal jelly may reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and inflammation. However, studies in humans are quite limited and do not provide adequate evidence of benefit.

Because laboratory studies identified some estrogenic activity with royal jelly, it should not be used by patients with hormone-sensitive cancer.

Purported Uses

  • Cholesterol management
    Some research suggests benefit, but evidence is very limited.
  • Diabetes
    A few small studies suggest it may improve some markers of type 2 diabetes, but a meta-analysis determined it does not improve glucose levels, and quality of evidence has been cited as low.
  • Menopausal symptoms
    In a small uncontrolled prospective study, royal jelly improved symptoms in postmenopausal women.
  • Mucositis
    In patients receiving radiotherapy and chemotherapy, royal jelly along with standard mouthwash therapy improved symptoms of oral mouth sores and healing time. Confirmatory studies are needed.

Do Not Take If

  • You have estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer: Laboratory studies showed that royal jelly can stimulate growth of cancer cells.
  • You are taking blood thinners such as warfarin: A case report suggests that royal jelly can enhance its effects and possibly increase bleeding.

Side Effects

  • Anecdotal weight gain, facial rash and gastrointestinal discomfort.
  • Several cases of allergic reaction, asthma, and bloody diarrhea.