Propolis is a resinous substance produced by honey bees to protect the beehive against bacteria and infections.
One of of the most powerful natural antibiotics in nature, components of propolis have been used by and imitated in many modern medicines.
What is Propolis Made Of?
The contents of propolis vary depending on geographical location, type of bee, types of trees and flowers around the hive, and time of year. Bees actually produce a different propolis in winter to protect against the cold and bacteria.
The main ingredients are: Tree and plant resins (50%), wax and fatty acids (25-35%), essential oils (10%), pollen (5%), essential minerals and other organic components (5%).
The high concentration of polyphenols (rutin, quercetin and galangina), phenolic acids, coumarins, amino acids and steroids render propolis extremely beneficial to humans.
Propolis And The Ancient Culture
The health benefits of propolis have been known since ancient times.
The Egyptians believed it held the “secret to health and eternal life”, using propolis in the mummification mixture, just as bees use it to sterilize dead insects to preserve healthy conditions of the hive.
Romans and Greeks used propolis to treat sores, ulcers, and bruises. Roman Legionnaires were known to carry it around to treat war wounds.
Propolis was used by the Incas as an anti-pyretic and early Chinese civilizations to treat toothache and fight infection.
The Health Benefits of Propolis
Bee propolis still remains an unrivaled natural medicine used all over the world. The health benefits of propolis include:
Propolis prevents cold and flu.
Propolis prevents and treats common cold, flu and sore throat thanks to the antibiotic and anti-inflammatory effects.
Propolis treats Candida Albicans infections.
Thanks to its strong anti fungal activity, it helps treating Candidiasis, a yeast-like fungus, that can affect mouth, intestinal tract and vagina.
Propolis Fights Herpes Simplex
Propolis has incredible antiviral properties that help combat oral herpes. According to some studies it can stop Herpes simplex virus and heal quickly the sores.
Propolis can be used to treat asthma
Propolis is a natural immune system booster
Perhaps unsurprisingly, propolis is an excellent immune system booster—popular in European countries in Winter months when cold and flu are going around.
How To Take Propolis
Propolis can be administered orally, topically or inhaled, depending on the purpose:
Oral intake of propolis
Propolis can be taken orally as a tincture, extract, syrup, tablets or throat spray to fight flu, cold and sore throat.
Topical use of propolis
Propolis based ointments and salves can be used on the skin use.
If you look around your health store, you can also find toothpastes, soaps, shampoo and mouthwash (excellent for disinfecting the oral cavity).
Used in the home, propolis diffusers gently heat propolis capsules, allowing it to be directly inhaled into the lungs, exploiting the health properties of the volatile fraction of propolis.
Propolis diffusers help combat harmful effects of pollution and sterilize your immediate surroundings. Scientific studies have shown a 71.3% reduction in microbes after just 3 days of use.
You can find out more in this in depth guide to propolis.