Propolis is a sticky resin made by honey bees. This is to build the defence boundary and seal the cracks and holes around the hive against intruders.
Bees make Propolis by mixing bee’s saliva and beeswax along with the sticky resins from the tree buds, sap and other plant sources.
It is also known as bee glue among the beekeepers.
Propolis has flavonoids. It has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and anti inflammatory properties. Therefore, it is highly beneficial for healing wounds and fighting various diseases.
Propolis usage in the beehive
Bees use Propolis to strengthen their hive structure. They also guard it against any diseases and parasites. It is very essential for the survival of honey bees.
Why Propolis is so useful for humans?
The primary natural ingredients of Propolis are from the trees. Trees have to face and stand stronger against all the environmental enemies such as bacterial, viral, pollution and insects.
To counter these harmful agents. Trees develop their strong immunity by creating defensive chemicals like phenol and bioflavonoid for their defence.
Phenol and bioflavonoid are essential antioxidants. Thus, Propolis includes such a significant substance that is widely used for medicinal purpose.
Uses of Propolis during ancient time
Propolis has been in use since ancient civilization due to its medicinal values. It was the effective wound and tumour healing medicine.
It is also used for embalming mummies so that it can stay for a longer period without getting spoiled.
Composition of Propolis:
- Resins: 50% – 70%
- Pollen: 5% to 10%
- Beeswax: 30% – 50%
- Acids, Sugar and Vitamins (B, C, E) – 5% – 10%
The other core compound that Propolis includes is the flavonoid that is chrysin. It is a strong antioxidant that bees gather from plants.
According to a study Propolis includes over 300 biologically active substances like Vitamins, plant oil, acid, carbohydrate and fragrant chemicals etc.
Harvesting of Propolis
Beekeepers insert a Propolis trapper – a flexible plastic sheet which is perforated (a row of small holes) with hundreds of narrow cut or openings into the beehive.
Honey bees close these small spaces with propolis. Hence the Propolis is collected in a clean sheet. After this, beekeepers remove the trap and keep this in the freezer to harder the Propolis.
Finally, the bee keepers twist this trapper like we twist the ice cubes tray to remove the Propolis. Then this would be packed accordingly for sale.
It is available in different forms:
- Tinctures, extracts and Propolis spray
- Propolis powder comes in capsules
- Propolis in raw form – directly from the hive
- In a syrup mixed with honey
- Ointment, Cream or Gel
- Propolis Shampoo and Toothpaste
Where I can get Propolis?
You can get the Propolis from beekeepers if you have direct access to them. And you can also get it from pharmacies or any health stores or reputed online stores in India like amazon.in.
Benefits of Propolis
1. It can kill bacterial, fungal and viral infections:
Using Propolis orally or when applied on the skin it would kill harmful bacteria, virus, fungi and even parasites.
The Propolis ointment is highly effective in healing the lesions when compared to placebo and antiviral drug such as acyclovir. In the same way, Propolis heals cold sores too.
It may potential fight yeast or other fungi infections by preventing its ability to form the colonies on the body.
Evidently, Propolis helps in several infections. However, do consult your doctor and never replace Propolis with what your doctor recommends for infections.
Propolis benefits for Oral Health:
A clinical trial on adults and healthy children reveals the effect of Propolis for mouthwash. It lowers the oral bacteria and plaque growth.
a) Propolis Toothpaste: One more trial conducted by different dental students, suggest the effective result of herbal toothpaste made from Propolis.
It has given productive result in dental plaque reduction over the commercially available toothpaste.
b) Propolis as chewing gum: A combination of Propolis and Xylitol chew gum help reduces the salivary affect cavities that may cause microbe – streptococcus mutans.
The evidence of using Propolis suggests that it is very effective and beneficial for the purpose of oral health. However, discuss with the doctor before you consider this remedy.
3. for Type 2 Diabetes
A study supports that taking 400 – 1500 gm of Propolis neutralizes the high blood pressure and enhances blood sugar control for diabetes.
This can also speed up the healing process for diabetic foot ulcers when you apply it topically.
This is the natural process of keeping your diabetes in check and healing of ulcers. Do consult a diabetes doctor before the Propolis treatment for diabetes.
4. Antioxidant effect of Propolis
The regular intake of Propolis increases the good cholesterol level and glutathione antioxidant. This is quite potent for lowering the risk of heart diseases.
In Addition, when consuming Propolis powder (50gm a day) controls the oxidative stress among men by about 24% after a month.
5. Propolis cure for Cancer
There were a few studies that suggests that, the treatment of Propolis should be complementary but not as a primary treatment.
It plays a complementary role in curing cancer. This can prevent cancerous cells from their growth. Consequently, It blocks the pathway of cancerous cells where they signal each other for their growth.
The Chinese Propolis is famous and useful as complementary therapy as it has anti tumour effect on breast cancer.
6. Fastens Wound healing
Propolis contains flavonoid that is called Pinocembrin. This works as an antifungal. The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of Propolis aids in the wound healing process.
It also contains antiseptic and antibiotic properties which help in the case of burn injuries and leads to the growth of new healthy skin cells.
7. It is Antiviral – Cures cold sores and herpes
When you apply Propolis ointment for three times a day for cold sores, this would surely cure it.
Also, due to its antiviral properties, Propolis cream helps in reducing the herpes infection and protects the skin against it in the future.
8. Propolis protects the liver
This helps in preventing the risk of liver diseases by stopping the liver scarring and also lowers the risk of liver damage from alcohol use.
9. Propolis for healthy Bone
Propolis intake can help in strengthening and increasing the bone density, especially after injuries.
A study conducted on rats, proves that it helps in speeding up the new bone formation as well.
10. Skin Care
Propolis contains anti bacterial and anti fungal values which are quite useful in cosmetic applications.
In addition, because of its antioxidant activities, Propolis offers a great benefit on tissue regeneration and also in its renovation. It protects against bacteria and fights against blemish skin.
11. Supports Immune system
People rely on Propolis for boosting their immune system. This gives them a full resistance from common cold and speedy recovery.
Due to its antioxidant properties, it is widely in use for health benefits and to keep any potential diseases away.
Dosage and side effects
It depends upon the usage of users. Though we find specific method of dosage from the supplement manufacturers but there is no established dosage of Propolis.
So, you can start consuming it with little dosage first by keeping an eye on how your body reacts to it. Then you can increase the dosage slowly in moderation for a better result.
However, in a clinical research regarding the dosage, one can consume it between 50 – 1500mg with reports of no side effects.
Mostly Propolis is safe to consume except for the users who are vulnerable to bee and bee products allergies.
You can use this bee product as a supplement but not downplaying or replacing the importance of doctors prescribed medicines.
We always advise you to consult a doctor before considering the bee product like Propolis as a supplement for various ailments.