By C.L. Davis
The benefits of bee propolis have been well-known for a long time but, as with many natural remedies, some of this knowledge has been obscured in recent times. Using natural substances to cure various ailments is something that our ancestors did with much success. Many people are now re-discovering the benefits of using natural remedies, such as propolis.
About Bee Propolis
Honeybees collect more than just pollen when they are buzzing around the yard. Resins are collected from various plants and trees, mixed with beeswax and amino acids and used to form structures within the hive, similar to the way that we use cement. Bees need to protect themselves from disease just like we do and propolis is their solution. As the bees travel through the hive, they rub against the propolis and receive the benefits of the natural antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antiviral properties from their building materials.
Active Ingredients & Uses
Propolis has antibiotic and anti-microbial properties. Because propolis is high in the vitamin B complex vitamins, has significant amounts of vitamin C, and contains vitamin E, it naturally boosts the immune system. High levels of antioxidants are also found in propolis and these also give our natural immune system functions a boost, as well as doing the same for the bees! Because of its ability to enhance the function of the immune system, Propolis is a great treatment for cold and flu symptoms and even food poisioning. It can be taken in the form of capsules or as a tincture and is easy to obtain.
Bee propolis also promotes wound healing, making it very useful in topical treatments such as ointments and creams. It is easy for burns, abrasions and lacerations to become infected, but when treated with a strong antibacterial agent the body has a chance to heal quickly and with less chance of scarring. Studies conducted in several different countries show that bee propolis has strong antibacterial and anti-microbial properties. As an anti-inflammatory, bee propolis has been shown to be very effective. This is another way in which propolis can be useful as a topical treatment for wounds.
Taken internally, it can also reduce the damaging effects of inflammation in the body. Inflammation is the cause of many diseases, including heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, some bone diseases, pelvic inflammatory disease and arthritis. Autoimmune diseases such as endometriosis have also been shown to respond well to treatments that include the use of propolis.
The anti-viral property of bee propolis is another one of its well-known benefits. Viruses such as herpes can cause painful and embarrassing canker sores but relief has been found by using bee propolis. It can be taken internally to inhibit the action of the virus and used topically to treat blisters and canker sores. The antiviral properties of bee propolis are also what make it so effective in treating colds and the flu. Warts, which are thought to be caused by viruses or deficiencies in the immune system, have also been treated successfully with propolis.
Rats were shown to produce less histamine when given propolis, indicating that it has the potential to be effective in providing allergy relief.
Propolis’ antifungal property is another one of its benefits. Common fungal infections include yeast infections of the mouth and vagina, foot fungus and jock-itch. Propolis has been shown to be an effective antifungal agent in a variety of studies. It can be used in the form of a topical treatment, as a tincture or in capsule form. Its effectiveness is due in part to enhancement of the immune system, and in part to its natural antifungal properties.
Cancer & Chemotherapy Relief
In some studies, propolis has also been shown to be effective against cancer cells. Propolis was applied as a tincture to cancerous prostate and colon cells, among others and caused significant rates of cancer cell death. Healthy cells were not destroyed, which is what happens in chemotherapy. Studies of the benefits of propolis in treating cancer are ongoing, but show that there is a possibility that some of the devastating effects of chemotherapy could be reduced by making use of bee propolis.
How To Use
Bee propolis is available in a number of forms, such as ointments, lotions, tinctures and capsules. It can be used to heal burns and other wounds, clear up infections, reduce the impact of inflammatory diseases and fight viruses. Some studies have even indicated that bee propolis can be used to treat cancer. Its antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antiviral properties have been known to humankind for ages and proven effective in numerous scientific studies the world over.