Swedish Flower Pollen
The Uses Of Swedish Flower Pollen
There are a significant number of claims being made for Swedish flower pollen, as an aid in treating certain disorders, and as a healthy food item or supplement. Swedish flower pollen sounds a bit more exotic than does flower pollen, or just plain old pollen, which we find coating our cars some spring mornings, or experience as something that makes us sneeze or our eyes water. Pollen is required for the propagation of plants and enables plants to set fruit, so we recognize its value in the plant world. We wouldn't have the variety of plants we have without it. Since pollen isn't really a factor in the human diet, it's fair to ask what the all the fuss is about when it comes to Swedish flower pollen.
Tiny But Nutritious - A grain of flower pollen contains a number of valuable nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, protein, and carbohydrates to name a few. It could be said a grain of pollen is as nutritious as the same weight in vegetable. However, since a grain of pollen varies in size from microscopic to barely visible, it would take a truly huge number of grains to give us anywhere near the nutrients we need on a daily basis. Even if we were to harvest pollen for food, the individual grains are covered with a very hard layer of cellulose, which our system cannot digest. If we ate raw pollen it would simply go in one end and out the other.
European scientists, starting with a Swedish scientist, figured out a way to get at these nutrients, basically by a process of fermenting the pollen grains which enabled the hard shell to be opened, and the nutrients to be accessed. Since the time that was first accomplished, there have been numerous studies and tests to determine where the now accessible ingredients of flower pollen could be put to use. There are several areas in which the use of flower pollen, or more exactly flower pollen extract, have been shown to be of benefit. Three areas of interest are in the treatment of prostrate problems, urinary problems, and for women, treatment of PMS. It should be noted that treatment, and not cure, is the subject here. Most claims associated with marketing of Swedish flower pollen are quite good about stating the benefits in terms of treatment, and do not make claims that their products cure any particular ailment.
Bees Contaminate - Emphasis is placed on the term flower pollen, as the pollen used in Swedish flower pollen, and other flower pollens is collected directly from the flowers, before the bees get there. In this way, pollen can be gathered from a specific plant type, whereas bee pollen can come from many different plant types, known and unknown, and the pollen gathered would be inconsistent in terms of its nutritional make-up.
A Few Unknowns - There are a number of unknowns regarding flower pollen extracts in general, and Swedish flower pollen in particular. Ingestion of the pollen or its extracts is not known to cause any harmful side effects, one exception being that some who are allergic to pollen when inhaled, may have an allergic reaction when pollen is ingested. By and large though, it appears quite safe. Just what a safe dosage might be is another unknown. A 500 milligram dose daily appears to be the standard, but whether one could take more, of whether taking more would be of any additional benefit is an unknown. The Food and Drug Administration has not noted any findings of harmful side effects, but the agency has stated that, in their opinion, there is no scientific evidence supporting the various claims that have been made.
Summary - It would seem then, that taking Swedish flower pollen supplements may help in treating or relieving certain disorders, and that in general the risk of unpleasant or dangerous side effects is quite low. It may boil down to how much money one wants to spend on a supplement which may or may not be nothing more than a fad.