Economic Botany

, 51:78 | Cite as

Pollen as food and medicine—A review

  • H. F. Llnskens
  • W. Jorde
Article

Abstract

Pollen, the male gametophyte of flowering plants, is a high energy material, which is collected by insects and stored as food reserve. Pollen has been used traditionally by humans for religious purposes and as supplementary food. Pollen is a concentrated, energy and vitamin rich food that in contemporary times is not only consumed as a dietary component, but also is used in alternative medical treatments. Pollen has potential imporiance as a supplementary and survival food, and for conditioning of athletes. Pollen has been used medically in prostatitis, bleeding stomach ulcers and some infectious diseases, although such use has been questioned by the medical profession. Pollen may also be used for treatment and prevention of the high-altitude-sickness syndrome. Because some individuals are allergic to pollen, and various pollen species contain specific allergens, individual sensitivities must be tested before pollen is used as a treatment or as a supplementary food.

Key Words

pollen supplementary foodstuff allergenicity cross reactions 

Blütenstaub als Lebensmittel und als Heilmittel

Resumen

Die Pollenkorner (d. i. der mehlartige Blütenstaub sind die männlichen Gametophyten der Blütenpflanzen. Der Pollen ist ein energiereiches Material, das nicht nur von Insekten gesammelt und als Reservestoff gelagert wird, sondern er wird auch vom Menschen seit prähistorischen Zeiten als Zusatznahrung und zu religiosen Zwecken verwendet. Die chemische Zusammensetzung zeigt den Pollen als konzentriertes, energie-und vitaminreiches Nahrungsmittel, das heute nicht nur als zusätzliche Diätkomponente Verwendung findet, sondern auch in der alternativen Heilkunde als wirksames Heilmittel gilt. In der Zukunft wird Pollen daher als Zusatznahrungsmittel weiter an Bedeutung gewinnen. Er findet Anwendung beim Überlebenstraining und als Zusatznahrung für Athleten bei der Wett-kampfvorbereitung. Obwohl in der Schulmedizin gewisse Vorbehalte bestehen, wird Pollen auch als Heilmittel verabreicht, so zum Beispiel bei Prostataentzündung, blutenden Magengesch-würen sowie bei einigen Infektionskrankheiten. Pollen wird erfolgreich zur Verhütung und Behandlung von Höhenkrankheiten genutzt. Da ein Teil der menschlichen Bevölkerung allergisch gegenüber Pollen reagiert und die verschiedenen Pollenarten spezifische Allergene enthalten können, muβ vor der Verwendung von Pollen als Lebensoder Heilmittel die allergische Empfindlichkeit der Pollenkonsumenten getestet werden.

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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY 10458 U.S.A 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. F. Llnskens
    • 1
  • W. Jorde
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Experimental Plant EcologyNL-6225 ED University NijmegenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Förderverein AllergieforschungMönchengladbach e.V.MönchengladbachGermany

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