Beeswax

View Slideshow Pictures

What other names is Beeswax known by?

Apic cerana, Apis Mel, Apis mellifera, Apis Mellifica, Bees Wax, Bleached Beeswax, Cera Alba, Cera de Abejas, Cera Flava, Cire d’Abeille, Cire d’Abeille Blanche, Cire d’Abeille Blanchie, Cire d’Abeille Jaune, Cire Blanche, Cire Jaune, White Beeswax, White Wax, Yellow Beeswax, Yellow Wax.

What is Beeswax?

Beeswax is a product made from the honeycomb of the honeybee and other bees. Bees consume about eight times as much honey and fly 150,000 miles to create one pound of beeswax. The mixing of pollen oils into honeycomb wax turns the white wax into a yellow or brown color. Beeswax is generally available as yellow, white, or bleached. Yellow beeswax comes directly from the honeycomb, while white and bleached beeswax come from yellow beeswax. Man-made versions of beeswax have been manufactured to look like natural beeswax.

As medicine, beeswax is used for lowering cholesterol and for relieving pain. It is also used for swelling (inflammation), ulcers, diarrhea, and hiccups.

In foods and beverages, white beeswax and beeswax absolute (yellow beeswax treated with alcohol), are used as stiffening agents.

In manufacturing, yellow and white beeswax are used as thickeners, emulsifiers, and as stiffening agents in cosmetics. Beeswax absolute is used as a fragrance in soaps and perfumes. White beeswax and beeswax absolute are also used to polish pills.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Small tears in the anus (anal fissures). Early research suggests that applying a mixture of beeswax, honey, and olive oil to the affected area for 12 hours reduces pain, bleeding, and itching due to anal fissures.
  • Diaper rash. Early research suggests that applying a mixture of beeswax, honey, and olive oil to the affected area four times daily for 7 days reduces symptoms of diaper rash.
  • Hemorrhoids. Early research suggests that applying a mixture of beeswax, honey, and olive oil to the affected area for 12 hours reduces pain, bleeding, and itching due to hemorrhoids.
  • Ringworm (tinea corporis). Early research suggests that applying a mixture of beeswax, honey, and olive oil to the affected area three times daily for 4 weeks improves ringworm.
  • Jock itch (tinea cruris). Early research suggests that applying a mixture of beeswax, honey, and olive oil to the affected area three times daily for 4 weeks improves jock itch.
  • Fungal skin infection (tinea versicolor). Early research suggests that applying a mixture of beeswax, honey, and olive oil to the affected area three times daily for 4 weeks improves a fungal skin infection called tinea versicolor.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Pain.
  • Ulcers.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Hiccups.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of beeswax for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Quick GuideVitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough?

Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough?

How does Beeswax work?

Beeswax has mild anti-swelling (anti-inflammatory) effects. There is also some evidence that it might help protect the stomach.

Are there safety concerns?

Beeswax is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth as food or as a medicine, or when applied directly to the skin.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking beeswax if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Dosing considerations for Beeswax.

The appropriate dose of beeswax depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for beeswax. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors