Propolis is a natural antibiotic that is rapidly gaining popularity in the application of home remedies! It is one of those bee products that truly amaze me with the wonder of nature and amaze me with the ability of the highly organized insect – the honey bee. Now, let me tell you what exactly propolis is.
Some trees and conifers produce sticky resins as part of their immune system to fight off disease. Honey bees collect these substances that ooze from the buds of these plants. After chewing them and mixing them with their saliva and other substances, propolis is formed. This nutrient-rich substance is vitally important for the survival of honey bees in the hive. It is created to sterilize the hive and protect it against diseases and infections. Not only does it help inhibit the spread of bacteria, viruses, and fungi that would otherwise pose a significant threat in close-knit neighborhoods, it also helps fight weather changes like wind and cold. It is also used as “putty” to seal cracks and openings in the hive and to strengthen and repair combs, which is why it is also known as “bee glue”. Another fact that amazes me is that honey bees also use this sticky substance to embalm or “mummify” the carcasses of larger insects that invade the hive. Such intruders are immediately stung to death, but because the defender bees cannot carry such heavy bodies out of the hive, they embalm them rather than allow them to decompose. The ancient Egyptians saw this and used propolis as one of the embalming agents for their exquisite mummies!
Propolis contains approximately 50-70% resins, 30% wax, 10% etheric oils and 5% pollen. It is especially rich in amino acids, important for the functioning of the immune system. It is high in vitamins (vitamin A (carotene), vitamin B1, B2, B3, biotin) and extremely rich in bioflavonoids (vitamin P) which are believed to have numerous immune-boosting properties and health benefits. Bioflavonoids are the natural pigments in fruits and vegetables and are found in abundance in oranges. This bee glue contains almost 500 times more bioflavonoids than those found in oranges! It also contains a variety of albumin, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous. Like royal jelly and bee pollen, it contains a number of unidentified compounds that work together synergistically to create a balanced, nourishing substance.
Propolis can be purchased completely raw and unprocessed, but in its natural state it is sticky and very difficult to handle. Some beekeepers package raw propolis and freeze it in small portions. It can then be added to a coffee grinder in its frozen, ground state for easy consumption. Most manufacturers use a process where the active ingredients are ‘leached’ in water or alcohol, then packaged in liquid form or dried and encapsulated.
Due to its antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects, this precious substance has been used as a healing agent for many centuries. It has the ability to provide protection against infectious invaders, promote tissue healing and regeneration, and provides a superior source of energy and stamina. It has been used as an ointment to heal cuts and wounds and has shown exceptional value for a wide variety of ailments. It is also used as a natural alternative to penicillin and other antibiotics. It is said to be particularly safe and effective and inhibits the effect of building up resistance which is a negative factor with prescription antibiotics. In the former Eastern Bloc countries, antibiotics have never been widely available, but beekeeping is widely practiced. To help prevent many illnesses, hospitals and clinics recommend washing, gargling, or irrigating the sinuses with propolis rinses, as well as taking propolis internally. This bee product is certainly a good weapon against bacteria when used topically. It can clearly prevent infections and can also help cure infections that have already started.
Do you know that now even toothpastes contain natural ingredients related to honey? Propolis has become a healthy alternative to synthetic brands of toothpaste, as it is especially useful for mouth and gum disorders. Our mouth is one of the most sensitive points in our body. This is the place where the synesthesia of the senses begins and the food that we visualize develops all its smell and flavor. The mouth is the starting point for the digestion of food. A healthy oral cavity is undoubtedly one of the elements that contribute to appetite and good humor in general. If the mouth develops sores, canker sores, or gum disease, the entire system is disrupted, resulting in pain and an agonizing sensation. Published clinical research shows that propolis fights bacteria, prevents cavities, improves oral hygiene, heals bleeding gums, and prevents receding gums. Manufacturers of propolis toothpastes and mouth sprays claim that their products leave teeth clean, gums feel healthy, taste great with no artificial ingredients, and have no negative side effects. The salesman of a honey shop to whom he used to frequently explain that propolis toothpaste is very suitable for use by young children, since even if it is accidentally swallowed, it is extremely safe. Such products are easy to apply and have increasingly become part of the daily dental hygiene of people who are especially interested in natural remedies. My latest discovery while shopping for honey products: propolis extract now even comes in the form of sprays and candies. The spray claims to be effective against flu, cuts, burns, gum and mouth infections, sore throats and intestinal complaints, while the candy is sold as a good therapeutic substitute for traditional lozenges. the throat and an aid to cure flu, colds, throat. discomfort, cough and bad breath.
Cautionary note: Propolis is generally non-toxic, although allergic reactions such as rash, swelling, redness, eczema, or fever have been reported. As the effects of propolis during pregnancy and lactation have not been sufficiently evaluated, women should not use it during these periods unless directed by a doctor.