Royal jelly is a milky-white and gelatinous food that’s produced by nurse bees and fed to their queens to stimulate the queen’s growth and development. This allows the queen to live five to seven years as opposed to seven to eight weeks as the other bees do, according to Flora Health. Ginseng is a root that’s been used for thousands of years to boost health, physical and mental performance and immunity. Ginseng and royal jelly have synergistic activity when used together, says “Healthy Healing” author Linda Page.
Royal jelly and ginseng are both adaptogens, say Annie Padden Jubb and David Jubb in the book, “Secrets of an Alkaline Body.” An adaptogen helps your body cope with physical as well as mental stress, advise the experts at University of Maryland Medical Center. The nutrients and phytochemicals in royal jelly and ginseng boost your immune system and enhance function of the other systems in your body, such as improving digestion and nutrient assimilation, say the Jubbs.
Royal jelly and ginseng exhibit antioxidant activity. This means they can help rid your body of free radicals. These damage DNA and may increase risk for diabetes, heart disease and other conditions. Royal jelly is a source of numerous nutrients, including the antioxidant vitamins A, C and E, according to Flora Health. UMMC reports that ginseng also has antioxidant effects, and may improve heart disease symptoms. Ginseng might also decrease "bad" LDL cholesterol levels while raising "good" HDL cholesterol levels. Clinical studies also indicate royal jelly lowers cholesterol, though researchers did not understand why as of 2010, reports the Sloan-Kettering Memorial Cancer Center in New York.
Royal jelly and ginseng both have anticancer activity. Royal jelly has antitumor activity that is attributed to its fatty acid 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid, says Hiroshi Izuta, lead author for a study published in the October 2007 Evidence Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. Asian ginseng also inhibits tumor growth. However, as of 2010 researchers did not know why and were not sure how well this would work in humans, according to UMMC. Ginseng may reduce cancer risk as well, UMMC reports, though research on this effect is not conclusive.
Royal jelly and ginseng may benefit you if you suffer from menopausal symptoms. Royal jelly is potentially an alternative to hormone therapy to treat menopausal symptoms, says D.B. Georgiev, lead author for a study in Medscape General Medicine, though he notes no firm conclusions can be drawn until larger, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trials are performed. Well-designed double-blind, placebo-controlled studies on ginseng’s effect on menopausal symptoms have produce mixed results, notes UMMC. Royal Jelly has estrogenic effects, so if you have estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer you need to avoid royal jelly products, according to SKMCC. Ginseng, in contrast, may help protect against breast cancer due to its phytoestrogen content, says Linda G. Rector-Page in “Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone.” Phytoestrogens can produce either estrogenic or antiestrogenic effects, note Sharon K. Krueger and David E. Williams, researchers at Oregon State University. Phytoestrogens in soy, for example, are linked with decreased breast cancer risk.
Royal Jelly and ginseng can interact with various drugs. Ginseng decreases effectiveness of blood-thinning drugs like warfarin and may inhibit platelet activity so should not be used along with aspirin, advise the experts at UMMC. There’s also a possible interaction between royal jelly and warfarin, according to a case report published in Pharmacotherapy by N.J. Lee and J.D. Fermo. Royal jelly also may have interactions with cholesterol-lowering medicines as well, reports SKMCC. Ginseng can interact with blood pressure medicines, calcium channel blockers, diabetes medicines, stimulants including caffeine, monoamine oxidase inhibitors and morphine, say the experts at UMMC.
Royal jelly can cause allergic reactions. You should avoid it if you are allergic to bee venom, according to Flora Health.
- Oxford Journals: “Evidence Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine;” 10-Hydroxy-2-decenoic Acid, a Major Fatty Acid from Royal Jelly, Inhibits VEGF-induced Angiogenesis in Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells; Hiroshi Izuta et al.; 2007
- “Secrets of an Alkaline Body;” Annie Padden Jubb and David Jubb; 2004
- PubMed: “Medscape General Medicine;” Effects of an herbal medication containing bee products on menopausal symptoms and cardiovascular risk markers: results of a pilot open-uncontrolled trial; D.B. Georgiev; 2004
- PubMed: “Pharmacotherapy;” Warfarin and Royal Jelly Interaction; by N.J. Lee and J.D. Fermo; 2006