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Beeswax

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • Cerotic acid, D-002, hydroxypalmitate, oleate esters, PEG-6 Beeswax, PEG-8 Beeswax, PEG-20 Beeswax, palmitate, palmitoleate policosanol, propolis, synthetic beeswax, triacontanol, triacontanylpalmitate, very-long-chain fatty alcohols.
  • Brand names that include certified natural beeswax, according to the Natural Products Association: Arch Chemicals®: Natural Facial Cleanser; Aubrey Organics®: Natural Lips Autumn Frost, Silken Earth Translucent Base; Boom®: Wholearth Beauty + Bath Eco-Chic Body Mist & Room Spray, Wholearth Beauty + Bath Grateful Planet Body Mist & Room Spray; Burt's Bees®: Aloe & Witch Hazel Hand Sanitizer, Baby Bee Buttermilk Lotion, Beeswax Lip Balm, Natural Acne Solutions Acne Treatment with Willow Bark Targeted Spot Treatment, Natural Hair Gel for Men, Natural Oral Care Multicare with Cranberry Extract Fluoride Toothpaste, Radiance Eye Creme with Royal Jelly; Highland Laboratories®: Red Red Wine Resveratrol Body Lotion; Nature's Way®: Camocare Soy Cleansing Milk, Camocare Under Eye Therapy; W.S. Badger Company®: Organic Anti-Bug Stick, Organic Aromatic Chest Rub, Organic Cheerful Mind Balm, Organic Cuticle Care, Organic Foot Balm, Organic Ginger and Lemon Lip & Body Balm, Organic Headache Soother, Organic Healing Balm, Organic Highland Mint Lip & Body Balm, Organic Sleep Balm, Organic Sore Joint Rub, Organic Sore Muscle Rub, Organic Cooling Blend Sore Muscle Rub, Organic Stress Soother, Organic Tangerine Breeze Lip & Body Balm.

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Female worker honeybees of the genus Apis produce the natural wax beeswax. Bees consume about eight times as much honey by mass and fly 150,000 miles to yield one pound of beeswax. The female worker bees produce wax through their abdominal gland, according to secondary sources. The incorporation of pollen oils into honeycomb wax turns the white wax into a yellow or brown color. Based on secondary sources, beeswax is generally available as yellow, white, or bleached. Yellow beeswax is taken directly from the honeycomb, while white and bleached beeswax are derived from yellow beeswax. Synthetic versions of beeswax have been manufactured to resemble natural beeswax.
  • Based on secondary sources, beeswax has for centuries been a commonly used ingredient in the manufacturing of candles, cosmetics, and medicinal products. Beeswax is used in cosmetics such as hand and body creams, as it is a natural hydrating agent that increases skin moisture. The wax ester component of beeswax helps bind and emulsify lotions, ointments, and other cosmetics. Beeswax has been used in cosmetics for a variety of reasons, including general healing, softening, and improving the condition and manageability of hair, and as an emollient. Beeswax has been used in healing salves, in formulations for dressing sore areas and burns, and in an ointment for treating chapped hands. It has also been used as an antiseptic in wound healing and in ear candles to remove earwax, according to folk medicine.
  • Beeswax is a food additive that has been incorporated in chewing gum, coffee, tea, surface-treated fresh vegetables, and many other products, according to the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization (FAO/WHO) Food Standards.
  • Clinical evidence indicates that beeswax may be useful for the treatment of skin disorders and skin infections, while its constituent, D-002, may be appropriate for the treatment of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-induced gastric adverse effects (e.g., heartburn, nausea, abdominal pain, and ulcers) (1). Constituents of beeswax are being studied for their potential antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antilipemic properties.

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.