Is Beeswax Digestible? [BEESWAX 101]

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Beeswax is used in a lot of different everyday items, from lip balm, to wood polish to candles! But one question still remains…. is beeswax digestible? Well, it is in lip balm that we might accidentally eat……so it must be right? Well, let’s separate fact from fiction together and discover whether beeswax is in fact digestible.

Beeswax is a natural wax secreted by bees in the process of making their honeycombs, and won’t cause you harm when eaten. However, it can’t be broken down well by the various digestive juices in the human stomach and will often exit our bodies in much the same form it entered. As it can’t be broken down by humans, we won’t get any nutrition from beeswax, so it is classed as not digestible by humans.

Some people may debate the definition of the word digestible, so let’s look into that further…

Collins Dictionary says that the word digestible means ‘Digestible food is food that is easy to digest.’

Merriam Webster says that it means something is capable of being digested or ‘to convert (food) into absorbable form’. goes with something similar, saying that it means something is digested or ‘to convert (food) in the alimentary canal into absorbable form for assimilation into the system’.

From these definitions, it backs up the idea that as Beeswax can’t be broken down or hydralzed in the gut, it merely passes through the human digestive system rather than being absorbed or digested.

Interestingly enough, reckons that ‘Honeycomb also contains beeswax, which provides heart-healthy long-chain fatty acids and alcohols. These compounds may help lower cholesterol levels’. However, if beeswax can’t be digested, you are very unlikely to get any of these benefits, in my humble opinion.

The key takeaway here is that beeswax won’t cause you any harm, and I think that is the main reason people would look up the question ‘is beeswax digestible or edible?’. They probably ate some and then panicked and wanted to find out what the end result might be. So, no worries! Although it is not digestible, it will pass through your system and not cause you any harm or distress. The only time beeswax might be harmful is if your beeswax is not pure and is tainted in some way.

About Grampa Beekeeper

Having spent a lifetime tending to bees, I now want to pass my knowledge onto the next generation of beekeepers. Beekeeping may not be fashionable, but it is my life long passion! From entrance excluders to packaged bee handling, I've got you covered! I'm not the best at writing, though, so bear with me!!

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