Is Bee Pollen a Remedy for this Common Complication of Menopause
Hot flashes occur when a part of the brain called the hypothalamus cannot determine whether the body is hot or cold. A variety of nutritional supplements are claimed to relieve hot flashes, including:
- Bee pollen,
- Chickweed tincture,
- Citrus bioflavonoids,
- Dong quai,
- Evening primrose oil,
- Ginseng (Korean ginseng or American ginseng, but not eleuthero), and
- Vitamin E.
Is there any scientific evidence that any of these remedies work?
A Scientific Study on Bee Pollen for Hot Flashes
There has been a study of bee pollen for hot flashes in Denmark. Scientists at the University Hospital of Copenhagen recruited middle aged women who had hot flashes to try treatment with Femal, a bee pollen pill. Half of the women took a placebo twice a day for three months, and half of the women took bee pollen twice a day for three months.
We can't tell you that bee pollen completely cured hot flashes. We can tell you that taking this relatively low dosage of Femal reduced the number of hot flashes the women experienced by a little less than 25%. Whether the women would have gotten more relief by taking more bee pollen than just two pills a day, we really don't know, although many women report getting good results when they take at least 2 grams (2,000 mg) of bee pollen daily.
If you take bee pollen with the other remedies listed above and your hot flashes go away, you won't know for sure which supplement worked, or whether you needed all of them. But if your hot flashes go away, do you really care?
We suggest trying bee pollen and dong quai and then adding other supplements to see if you get better and better results. It may take up to 3 months to get consistent results, but most women do experience some relief from hot flashes in just a few weeks.
- Winther K, Rein E, Hedman C. Femal, a herbal remedy made from pollen extracts, reduces hot flushes and improves quality of life in menopausal women: a randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel study. Climacteric. 2005 Jun;8(2):162-70.