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Can Bee Pollen Help with Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Written by Aleksa Ristic, MS (Pharmacy) | Last updated:
Puya Yazdi
Medically reviewed by
Puya Yazdi, MD | Written by Aleksa Ristic, MS (Pharmacy) | Last updated:

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Bee Pollen Coronavirus

Bee pollen is an age-old traditional remedy used for liver protection, immunity, microbial infections, and more. With the ongoing COVID-19 virus outbreak, you’re probably wondering if bee pollen can prevent or treat infections caused by this virus. Let’s find out!

This post is for informational purposes only. The current coronavirus outbreak is an ongoing event, and details may change as new information comes to light. No effective or FDA-approved products are yet available to treat or prevent COVID-19 infection.

Bee Pollen for Immunity

Bees make bee pollen by collecting parts of flower pistils and mixing them with nectar and saliva. People use this nutrient-dense food and traditional remedy to ward off infections, enhance immunity, support the liver, and more [1, 2, 3].

Bee pollen is rich in immune-stimulating polysaccharides, such as glucans and galactans, researched for their potential anti-cancer effects [4, 5, 6].

Preliminary research brings up the potential of BP to combat an array of pathogenic microbes, mostly bacteria [7, 8, 9, 10].

Bee pollen has immune-boosting and antimicrobial properties, but studies haven’t tested it against the new coronavirus.

Bee Pollen for Respiratory Infections

In a small study of 20 professional swimmers, a six-week supplementation with pollen extract significantly reduced “the number of training days missed due to upper respiratory tract infections” (4 days vs. 27 days with placebo) [11].

In mice with lung injuries, bee pollen significantly reduced inflammation and improved lung function [12].

Active components from plant pollen inhibited the spreading of three flu virus subtypes (H1N1, H3N2, and H5N1) in test tubes. Even though the flu virus shares some features with COVID-19, that doesn’t imply the same effects of pollen components on the other one [13].

Limited evidence suggests the potential of bee pollen to prevent respiratory viral infections, but more research is needed.

Dosage and Safety Precautions

Side Effects

In clinical studies, bee pollen-based products haven’t caused any notable side effects. The potential dangers come from contaminated products that may contain illegal substances, mold, bacteria, pesticides, and other toxins [14, 15, 16].

Some people use bee pollen to relieve seasonal allergies, but, in others, it may trigger dangerous allergic reactions. Even though the oral intake is not the same as respiratory exposure or skin test, caution is warranted in people with pollen or bee sting allergies [17, 18, 19].


Clinical trials on bee pollen are few, and they have used different, unstandardized BP extracts (150-300 mg). It’s hard to determine the precise recommended dosage, but traditional uses suggest up to 3-5 teaspoons for adults and 1-2 teaspoons for children [20, 7, 21].

Start with a much lower dose — ¼ teaspoon or just a few grains for children — and observe for the signs of an allergic reaction. If you tolerate BP well, you can gradually increase up to the maximum doses above [15].


Bee pollen is a nutritious bee product used as a dietary supplement and traditional remedy for immunity, microbial infections, liver health, and more.

It has immune-boosting and antimicrobial properties, but studies haven’t tested it against the new coronavirus. Limited evidence suggests the potential of bee pollen to prevent viral respiratory infections, but there’s not enough data to support its use for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 infection.

While researchers work to identify potential treatments, the best protective measures you can take are social distancing, hand washing, and avoiding touching your face.

Buy bee pollen from reputable sources only and gradually increase the dosage up to 3-5 teaspoons a day. People with seasonal and bee sting allergies should consult with their doctor before taking bee pollen, while pregnant and nursing women should avoid it.

About the Author

Aleksa Ristic

Aleksa Ristic

MS (Pharmacy)
Aleksa received his MS in Pharmacy from the University of Belgrade, his master thesis focusing on protein sources in plant-based diets.  
Aleksa is passionate about herbal pharmacy, nutrition, and functional medicine. He found a way to merge his two biggest passions—writing and health—and use them for noble purposes. His mission is to bridge the gap between science and everyday life, helping readers improve their health and feel better.

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