Bee Propolis: Amazing Health Benefits of Bee Products
Do you love honey? Do you love all the benefits that honey provides? Even those people who are familiar with honey, bee pollen, and royal jelly, may not be aware of the possible health benefits of another bee-derived component: bee propolis. Sometimes, bee propolis extract is called “bee glue.” Bee propolis is a natural mixture produced by honey bees from substances collected from trees and plants. It is believed that bee propolis, like organic bee pollen, provides multiple benefits due to its science-backed antioxidative, antimicrobial, anti-ulcer, and anti-tumor properties. Honey and bee lovers have another thing to love about these wonderful creatures.
What is bee propolis?
Not many people have heard about this substance, but the WebMD team gives this definition: it is a resinous mixture produced by honey bees using beeswax and saliva along with exuded substances collected from plants and tree buds.
What is propolis used for in a bee’s natural environment?
Bees use propolis as a natural glue for sealing small cracks and gaps in the hives to protect them from lizards and snakes.
Some scientists claim that bee propolis can be compounded from 300 natural components including essential amino acids, phenolic aldehydes, coumarins, polyphenols, steroids, and sequiterpene quinines. Statistically, raw bee propolis is commonly made of 50% resins, 30% waxes, 10% essential oils, 5% bee pollen, and 5% organic compounds.
Because of the different components, there are many types of propolis. For example, light-colored Manuka propolis, which is considered one of the best medical types of honey, can be found only in Australia and New Zealand. But, commonly bee propolis mixtures are dark brown shades.
Potential propolis benefits for your health
According to Dr. Josh Axe and other nutritionists, bee pollen benefits can be easily beaten with the potential health properties of bee propolis. Read on to find out 6 ways that using bee propolis can benefit your life.
May work as a natural antibiotic
According to a recent study conducted by the University of Heidelberg in Germany, bee propolis demonstrated strong antibiotic properties in the fight against a variety of bacterial diseases.
Can support the oral health
A 2012 study published in the medical journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine claims that due to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiviral and analgesic properties, bee propolis can be beneficial for treating gingivitis and periodontitis, and may work as a preventive measure for cavities and bacterial plaque. Some nutritionists believe that bee propolis can be a natural alternative to fluoride.
May increase the functions of your immune system
A weak immune system can make you more susceptible to many viral infections and bacterial diseases. According to recent Brazilian research held in 2012, propolis can promote cellular regeneration with the support of the immune system thanks to the high number of flavonoids.
Can improve skin evenness and glow
The famous Queen Cleopatra, like many ancient Egyptians, was known to use bee propolis for cleansing her facial skin to achieve its beautiful complexion. Multiple studies have also proven that topical bee propolis can be helpful in reducing symptoms related to burns, psoriasis, skin alopecia, microbial and chronic eczemas, pyoderma, and Trichophyton skin inflammation.
May prevent the spread of respiratory infections
A 2004 study published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine journal claimed that propolis, when combined with Vitamin C and Echinacea, helped in the prevention of respiratory tract infections in children and adolescents.
Can heal cold sores
According to a study conducted by the Biology Department at Chaing Mai University, bee propolis can be beneficial for treating common cold sores, medically known as Herpes Simplex 1 and 2. You may treat cold sores using any topical propolis solutions to reduce the pain and speed the healing process.
Using propolis for treatment
You can buy propolis in many forms including capsules, pills, ointments, creams, powder, sprays, extract, and liquid tinctures. If you want to take this remedy internally for the prevention of certain disorders, you can choose between propolis drops, capsules, powder, pills, and extract. If you need to treat a sore throat with bee propolis, you may use it in a spray. Those people who want to treat some external disorders can choose between propolis creams and ointments.
According to WebMD, it is safe to take bee propolis capsules once or twice throughout the day, with a total dose not higher than 500 milligrams.
When it comes to any bee propolis ointment, it can be preferable to use a 3% ointment for the treatment of skin rashes, second-degree burns, genital lesions, hives, and other skin inflammatory infections.
Bee propolis: possible hazards and precautions
In most cases, bee propolis is completely safe and natural to use. However, according to Mayo Clinic, people who are allergic or hypersensitive to honey, royal jelly, bee pollen supplement and other bee-derived products, should avoid using bee propolis as well. Other potential risks and precautions related to the regular use of bee propolis may include:
- Bee propolis may increase the risk of bleeding for people take blood-thinning medications;
- In some people bee propolis cream may cause burning, swelling, redness, and fever;
- If a person is treating any parasitic infection like giardiasis, bee propolis shouldn’t be used;
- People who have asthma should consider using bee propolis tincture or pills with caution;
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women should be careful when using propolis ointment or pills.
Bee propolis can be bought at health stores or directly from beekeepers. Consider buying 100% organic bee propolis without any artificial components, only from the trusted manufacturers.