Health Benefits of Propolis
by Ruth Tan
and mixing them with their saliva and other substances, propolis is formed. This
nutrient-rich substance is of vital importance for the survival of the honey bees in the
beehive. It is created to sterilize the hive and protect it against diseases and infection.
Not only does it help to inhibit the spread of bacteria, virus, and fungi that would
otherwise pose a significant threat in the closely-knit quarters, it also and help fight
against climatic changes, such as wind and cold. It is also used as a "putty" to seal
cracks and openings in the hive and to strengthen and repair honeycombs, and for
this reason 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 defending bees can't transport such heavy corpse away from the hive,
they embalm them rather than allowing them to decay. The ancient Eygptians
observed 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 immune system function. It
has a high vitamin content (Vitamin A (carotene), Vitamin B1, B2, B3, biotin) and is
extremely rich in bioflavonoids (Vitamin P) which are believed to have numerous
immune building 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 is found in oranges! It also
contains an array of albumin, calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. Like
Royal Jelly and Bee Pollen, it contains a number of unidentified compounds which
work together synergistically to create a balanced, nutritive substance.

Propolis can be purchased completely raw and unprocessed, but it in its natural state
is a sticky substance and is very difficult to handle. Some beekeepers will package
the raw propolis and freeze it in small portions. It can then be added to a coffee
grinder in its frozen state and ground for easy consumption. Most producers utilize a
process where the active ingredients are 'leached' into water or alcohol, then either
packaged in liquid form or dried and capsulated.

Because of 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 healing
and regeneration of tissue, and provides a superior source of energy and stamina. It
has been used as ointments for healing cuts and wounds and shown to have
outstanding value for a wide variety of illnesses. 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 resistance-building effect that is a negative factor with
prescription antibiotics. In the former Eastern Bloc countries, antibiotics have never
been widely available, but beekeeping is widely practised. To help prevent many
diseases, hospitals and clinics recommended 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 heal infections that have already begun.

Do you know that now even toothpastes contain natural ingredients related to honey
bees. Propolis has become a healthy alternative to synthetic brands of toothpastes
as it is especially useful in mouth and gum disorders. Our mouth is one of the most
sensitive spots of our body. This is the place where the synesthesia of senses starts
and the food we visualize develops its full smell and taste. The mouth is the starting
point of the food digestion. A healthy mouth cavity is certainly one of the elements
contributing to the appetite and good mood in general. If the mouth develops sore
spots, thrush or gum disease, it causes the whole system to disrupt, resulting in pain
and tormenting feeling. Published clinical research demonstrates that propolis fights
bacteria, prevents tooth decay, enhances oral hygiene, heals bleeding gums, and
prevents gums receding. Manufacturers of propolis toothpastes and mouth sprays
claim that their products leave teeth clean, gums feeling healthy, taste great without
artificial ingredients, and produce no negative side effects. The salesperson at a
honey shop which I often frequent explained that propolis toothpaste are very
suitable for young children's use as even if it's accidentally swallowed, it's extremely
safe. Such products are easily applied, and have increasingly become part of the
everyday 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 that it is effective against
flu, cuts, burns, gum and mouth infections, throat discomforsts and intestinal
discomfort, while the candy is sold as a good therapeutic substitute to the traditional
throat lozenges and an aid to curing flu, colds, throat discomfort, cough and bad
breath.

Note of Caution: Propolis is generally non-toxic, though allergic reactions such as skin
rashes, swelling, redness, eczema or fever have been reported. As the effects of
propolis during pregnancy and breast-feeding have not been sufficiently evaluated,
women should not use it during these times unless directed to do so by a physician.

Source:
About The Author

R. Tan is the owner of the website benefits-of-honey.com which is a rich honey
resource community specially built for all the honey lovers and fans in this world. She
has packed this website with a wide range of quality contents on honey based on her
knowledge and experience with honey, so as to promote its invaluable benefits which
she believes could bring many positive spin-offs in everyone's daily life.
Propolis is a natural antibiotic that is
fast gaining in popularity in the
application of home remedies! It's
one of those bee products that really
cause me to wow at the wonder of
nature and marvel at the ability of the
highly organised insect - 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 defend themselves against
disease. Honey bees collect these
substances that ooze from the buds
of these plants. After chewing them
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this website is for educational purposes only.  Please consult with your physician before using natural
remedies and before making any drastic changes to your diet or exercise
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