Pollen, a substance collected from the flowers of various plants, contains carbohydrates, fat, protein, and some vitamins and minerals.1
Most noncultivated plants produce pollen. Commercial pollen is collected from bees returning to their hives (bee pollen) or may be directly harvested with machines (flower pollen). It is not clear which plants produce the most effective pollens. Some of the most common pollens used are timothy grass, corn, rye, and pine.
Pollen has been used in connection with the following conditions (refer to the individual health concern for complete information):
|Science Ratings||Health Concerns|
Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support and/or minimal health benefit.
Since pollen is not an essential bodily constituent, deficiencies do not occur.
The optimal intake of pollen is unknown. Some doctors recommend using 500 mg two to three times per day. Research on the proprietary rye pollen extract has used three to six tablets, or four capsules, per day.
Many people have allergies to inhaled pollens. Allergic reactions to ingested pollen (some of them quite serious) have also been reported.2 3 4 Otherwise, no significant adverse effects have been reported.
At the time of writing, there were no well-known drug interactions with Pollen.
1. Stanley RG, Liskens HF. Pollens. Springer-Verlag: New York, 1974.
2. Cohen SH, Yunginger JW, Rosenberg N, Fink JN. Acute allergic reaction after composite pollen ingestion. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1979;64:270.
3. Mansfield LE, Goldstein GB. Anaphylactic reaction after ingestion of local bee pollen. Ann Allergy 1981;47:154–6.
4. Noyes JH, Boyd GK, Settipane GA. Anaphylaxis to sunflower seed. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1979;63:242–4.
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The information presented in Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires September 2008.