Usually the first thing that comes to mind of people when I mention honeybees is honey. That’s normal, honeybees even got their name because of it. You should know that there are other very healthy products of honeybees as well. Propolis is one of such products and it is a very beneficial substance. What is, and what are the health benefits of propolis?
What is Propolis?
Propolis is resin-like mixture which Honeybees produce by mixing saliva and beeswax together with exudate gathered from tree-buds, sap flows etc. It may be shocking, but Honeybees use it as a glue to fix their hives. They use it to seal any unwanted openings. It’s color varies from it’s biological source. Analysis has shown that propolis contains around 50% of resin, 30% of beeswax, 10% of essential oils, 5% pollen, organic acids, polyphenols and flavinoids. Flavinoids are the most effective substance in this mixture. They are usually found in fruits, vegetables and tree bark. Their function is to protect plants from pathogens in nature. Flavonoids which are present in propolis are: galangin, quercetin, chrysin, kaempferol, apigenin, pinocembrin and pinobanksin.
The Health Benefits of Propolis
Propolis has been used in traditional medicine for over 2.000 years. There are multiple historical sources which testify that it was used by ancient Babylonians, Egyptians, Arabs, Greeks, Romans as well as others.
Practice has shown that Propolis seems to have activity against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Besides having anti-inflammatory properties it is also helpful with healing the wounds. Finally, it is good for atherosclerosis and neurodegenerative diseases.
Recently we started getting medical researches on this topic as well. One such research was conducted 2019 in Basel, Switzerland. It has shown that that propolis has “good pharmacological and pharmaceutical properties“. That “its constituents have a wide application, including wound and skin healing, neurodegenerative disease and atherosclerosis“. Furthermore it concluded that propolis helps in reduction of chronic diseases like: heart diseases, diabetes, hypertension, Alzheimers and Multiple Sclerosis.
Finally, propolis is recomended for boosting immunity, recovery from common cold, normalization of metabolism and various problems in oral cavity. It doesn’t stope there, as propolis helps with Parkinsons disease as well.
Doses and Applications
There are no known side-effects to healthy humans in consuming it. But since some people may be allergic to its components i suggest further investigation before using it. One study recommends a daily concentration of roughly 70 milligrams per day, but this isn’t an FDA recommendation. Ask your doctor if propolis is safe for you before taking any supplements.
Most research shows that rinsing the mouth with a propolis mouth rinse helps heal sores caused by cancer drugs or dentures. Furthermore down this lane, propolis you can use it even to heal cold sores, as well as lesions caused by genital herpes. Applying it 3-4 times a day over period of 10 days, helps heal lesions faster and better than with regular medications. On the other hand, taking propolis orally reduces canker sores outbreaks. Finally, in case of burns, applying propolis to the skin every 3 days might help treat minor burns and prevent infections.
While consuming propolis does not effect level of insulin in blood, it may improve sugar levels in diabetic people. Propolis is helpful for patients that have gingivitis as well as periodontitis (gum diseases). In the end, we may find evidences of people claiming that propolis has helped them in treating tuberculosis, ulcers, nasal mucosa, as well as nose and throat cancer.
In the end, I must say that I personally use propolis and I would suggest all of you to use it as well. If you are not allergic to it’s components i advise not to use it. Patients that have asthma, allergies, bleeding conditions or which recently had surgery should advise themselves with their doctor. Finally, most of propolis which can be found in apothecaries is prepared with alcohol. If you do not consume alcohol or you would like halal or kosher alternative do not worry. Check out the following link. There you have detailed guide for making your own non alcoholic propolis with extra virgin olive oil.
If you liked this article about the health benefits of propolis make sure to check other articles from Remedies category as well.