Propolis, Propelling You to Greater Health , 1 Comment

The first article in our series on bee products (the use of which as healing remedies is called apitherapy) is propolis – it is, essentially, what holds the hive together and keeps predators (including microscopic bacteria) at bay. A compound produced from the sap of trees and the bees’ own bodily excretions, it is employed in the building of panels in the hive, sealing fissures or holes, and as a general disinfecting agent. To the bees, it is simply multi-functional. But this incredible product has a wide range of uses, medicinal and beautifying, for humans. What luck!

For starters, it is anti-microbial, anti-septic, and anti-bacterial. The ancient Greeks used it to treat abscesses, and the ancient Egyptians used it to embalm the dead. These properties make propolis quite adept in aiding the reparation of skin, and studies have shown that it speeds the healing process of wounds (natural Neosporin, anyone?) It is also notable for being just as effective as silver sulfadiazine (a drug) in the treatment of second-degree burns. With all of these disinfecting capabilities, it is a wonder that this bee product is still so little known.

Propolis, like many other bee products, is also a wonderful, all-natural immune system booster. Perhaps due to the fact that it can contain up to 300 natural compounds (only 17 of which have been identified in chemical analyses to date), it can raise the effectiveness of the body’s own defenses. Many people, besides noticing a marked difference in immune system function, have also reported higher levels of sustainable energy while taking propolis internally. And the benefits don’t stop there. This “bee glue” has also been reported an impressive dental aide, treating conditions such as periodontitis and gingivitis, and inhibiting the growth of bacterial plaque, thusly limiting cavities.

But where to find this incredible contrivance of the nimble honeybee? It goes without saying that the less refined and processed, the better, so your ideal source would be to obtain propolis straight from a beekeeper. However, for those of us without hive-mongering friends, it can be found in health food stores, in various forms. It is available in capsules, as a cream, or as a topical liquid.  

- Maria Vasylivna