At TheHealthBoard, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
For years, royal jelly, a jelly-like secretion produced by bees, has been used as a treatment for dozens of ailments. Some of the side effects of royal jelly include allergic reactions that could cause rashes or hives, or even lead to death. Research has not been able to show that the jelly actually works to treat any ailments, creating potentially dangerous false hopes by people affected by some illnesses. It also can become contaminated with a wide range of chemicals and bacteria.
One of the main potential royal jelly side effects is an allergic reaction. In many cases, the reaction is predicated by a person's allergy to certain pollens. If the reaction is mild, a person may only have difficulty breathing or develop hives. A more severe reaction, however, could lead to anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal.
Some people also experience gastrointestinal reactions, including abdominal pain and, in some cases, bleeding in the colon. As a result, the person also may experience bloody diarrhea.
Reports have indicated that some side effects of royal jelly may be experienced if it is applied directly to the skin. Lotions that contain this ingredient might cause a skin rash. In addition, if a person suffers from a skin ailment, such as dermatitis, royal jelly may increase inflammation.
People who tout the benefits of royal jelly believe that it will improve athletic performance, fight aging, increase the metabolism, prevent allergies, fight infections, and reduce the likelihood of cancer. These claims have not been backed up by scientific research, so individuals who use it may be relying on a homeopathic remedy that might not work. This reliance could be dangerous, particularly if it is used to fight infection or cancer instead of seeking medical treatment.
In addition, since royal jelly is processed and sold commercially, there have been issues regarding contamination of the products. Even if a person isn't negatively affected by royal jelly, he might experience side effects from the contaminants.
Because the side effects of royal jelly are still being studied, it is important that women who are pregnant or nursing do not use the product or products containing it. In addition, people with certain conditions, such as breast cancer, should avoid this substance, as it mimics estrogen. As with any homeopathic remedy, a medical professional should be consulted before using royal jelly.