Has antibacterial characteristics known to aid gum healing and controlling infections in the body.
The Honey Bee is one of the most highly organized insect in nature. Honey is a favorite in tea, on oatmeal or to naturally flavor many other foods. Honey, however, is not the only noteworthy product of these amazing insects.
Propolis, also called ‘bee glue,’ is a sticky resin that is found in the bark and buds of certain trees such as evergreens or other conifers. Bees collect this resin and chew it, mixing it with wax flakes in their saliva. This mixture is then made into a tiny ball that that is placed in the pollen baskets near their legs. After filling these tiny baskets, the bee takes the product back to the hive where it is used as insulation- to pack up holes and cracks. It is also used as an antiseptic which lines the walls of the hive, creating a sterile environment. This substance helps protect the hive against disease and infection.
Propolis is composed of around 50-70 percent resin, 30 percent wax, 10 percent oils and 5 percent pollen. It is very rich in amino acids, carotene, vitamins, bioflavonoid, calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.
Used as Antiseptic
In the late 1800s, Propolis was mixed with petroleum jelly to disinfect wounds and protect against infection. In fact, before the discovery of antibiotics, it was often used to fight infections and to promote regeneration of tissue. Along with its antiseptic and antibiotic qualities, it is has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties.
For the Immune System
Propolis contains properties which directly stimulate the immune system, releasing substances that protect against cellular deterioration. It also stimulates the formation of antibodies that build up an immunity to many diseases. It also has powerful anti-aging properties that strengthens cellular defense.
Propolis contains high levels of amino acids that are especially important in healthy immune system function. Other properties of this substance, such as bioflavonoid, also boost the immune system. Bioflavonoid is the same healing agents found in oranges, but Propolis has around 500 times more of them.
Some natural toothpaste is now using honey bee products to promote a healthy mouth and gums. The use of Propolis in toothpaste helps fight bacteria, enhances oral hygiene, fights tooth decay and heals bleeding gums. Propolis is an optimal choice for natural toothpaste because it is completely safe if accidently swallowed, making it ideal for small children.
Propolis can also be found in the form of sprays, which is effective against cuts, burns, viruses, flu and mouth infections. It is also sold as an alternative to traditional cough drops and throat lozenges.
It is also made into creams that can cure acne and heal skin. It has been used to treat burns, shingles, warts, herpes, sunburn and bruises. It can be applied as a topical agent in the form of cream, or can be consumed to heal skin from within.
How to Consume Propolis
It can be taken in supplements, consumed directly or added to fruit juices, milk, honey or water. One to three drops should be sufficient for first time users, in case of allergic reaction. The dosage can gradually be increased based on individual preference.
There has not been sufficient research on the effect of Propolis on pregnant or lactating women. It could also lead to allergic reactions in babies, so pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using Propolis.
People should also use caution when using Propolis due to allergies. As with any supplement, consult your herbalist or health care physician before beginning a regime.