The golden yellow resin propolis (from the Latin “for the people”) is produced by bees from the resinous substance of bark and the buds of various deciduous and coniferous trees. It serves as building material for stabilizing the honeycomb: combined with bees’ saliva, the beeswax and a percentage of pollen, the bees use it to seal the smallest openings and cracks. They also pull it like a thin film from the inside over the whole honeycomb, as it is excellent protection against pathogens due to its highly effective antibiotic content. And even more importantly: in a beehive, many insects live in a tight space with high temperatures and humidity, which greatly promotes the distribution of invading pathogens like bacteria and fungi. Propolis protects the bee colony from pathogens.
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Propolis for Healing
Ingredients: Depending on the source and time of harvest, the number of ingredients varies significantly. Included are flavonoids, phenols (cinnamic acid, coumaric acid and caffeic acid), polysaccharides, pollen, essential oils and carbonic acid.
Main Applications: Use it for cold infections, tonsillitis, sinusitis, laryngitis, bronchitis and pharyngitis. It can also help with burns, skin abrasions, eczema, wound healing, scarring, boils and acne. And it’s used for inflammation of the mucous membranes in the mouth and throat area, periodontitis and mouth ulcers.
Healing Effect: Propolis acts as an antimicrobial, inhibiting cell division and destroying the cell walls of bacteria. It is antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anticonvulsant. It promotes skin healing after injury and strengthens the immune system.
Side Effects: It can lead to severe allergies depending on corresponding sensitivities, especially with contact dermatitis.
Contraindication: Don’t take propolis if you know you’re allergic to it.
Dosage Forms: Tincture, resin, powder, capsules, granules.
Courtesy of Natural Antibiotics & Botanical Treatments by Aruna M. Siewert © 2016 www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.
5 Ways to Use Propolis
DIY Cold + Flu Remedy: Combine propolis with elderberry syrup and take it at the first sign of flu to shorten its duration by 3-4 days.
Bee Propolis Balm: Goop combines beeswax, calendula oil and lavendar oil to make this healing balm.
Homemade Facial Mask: This mask from Humble Bee & Me is great for those of us fighting signs of aging and breakouts.
Homemade Toothpaste: Self Healing Herbs uses propolis to make a whitening toothpaste and antibacterial mouthwash.
DIY Egyptian Magic: If you like Egyptian Magic, you’re going to love this homemade version from xoVain.9