Allergic Reactions to Bee Pollen

How to safely take bee pollen, prevent allergic reactions and how to know if you've had one

by Angela Van Alten, Nutritionist and Beekeeper's Daughter

Just yesterday I received the following email about having an allergic reaction to bee pollen. Here is the main part of the email:

"I bought some pollen here in the mountains of central Arizona. After arriving home I tried the pollen (under a teaspoon) and soon there after my breathing felt somewhat compressed. I was not able to accomplish what felt like a full lung of air. This only lasted a few minutes. I am aware of some of the reactions from bee stings but have never had any issues throughout my life with bee, wasp or any insect stings like the aforementioned.

Do you think this is an allergic reaction to bee pollen I had and my body was reacting to the pollens?"

Without question, yes. You had a mild allergic reaction to bee pollen.

For someone who had not taken bee pollen before, taking even a teaspoon of bee pollen can cause problems for someone who is sensitive to pollens.

In my experience, you likely have an allergy to pollens and by exposing yourself to a large quantity of pollens all at once like you did without desensitizing yourself first caused your body to have a mild allergic reaction.

So what are you to do if and when you have a mild reaction to bee pollen?  Don't worry - you'll likely be able to consume this amazing superfood and experience all of the wonderful benefits it has to offer in time.

What you need to do first is take my tolerance test.

Tolerance Test

Follow these guidelines to determine your sensitivity to the pollens. Although bee pollen is not a drug, it is possible you could be sensitive to it so it's best that you're cautious the first time you take it.

1) Place one raw bee pollen kernel under your tongue.

2) Let it dissolve completely. It is absorbing rapidly through what is called your mucous membrane directly into your blood stream.

3) If you experience no reaction, place two granules under your tongue.

4) Continue increasing the number of granules under your tongue until you feel confident that you will not experience an allergic reaction.

What to do if You Are Sensitive to Bee Pollen

Signs and symptoms that you may be sensitive to pollen include:

  • An itchy throat 
  • Runny nose 
  • Headache 
  • Sweating 
  • Tearing eyes
  • Respiratory issues 
  • Stomach/bowel distress

If you experience one or all of these symptoms, the most important thing to do is to stop taking the bee pollen for the time being.   If you have had a severe reaction you should see your doctor.

But consider this if your reaction is more mild.  There are some experts out there who feel that with continued exposure, you'll develop a tolerance or re-balancing of your immune system and over time will be able to tolerate pollen very well. As always, if you feel weird or unsure, check with your doctor first.

Simply cut back your dose (error on the side of caution) and slowly up it until you experience no symptoms at all. When you reach this point, you'll know that your immune system has adapted to the pollens. This is the first step in treating your allergies. 

Recommended Bee Pollen Products

There are many bee pollen products on the market, many of which are very poor quality with very suspect ingredients from suspect countries.  I regularly get solicited by companies from all over the world selling cheap, low grade bee pollen that is not fit for human consumption.  I use and recommend Dutchman's Gold Bee Pollen.  You can find Dutchman's Gold bee pollen products here.

Explore the Many Health Benefits of Bee Pollen

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.

Disclaimer: The information on Bee is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Angela Ysseldyk and her community. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified heath care professional.

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