Honeybees collect plant resins and bring these back to the hive. They add beeswax, a little honey and enzymes to the resins and this substance then becomes propolis.
Propolis contains over 180 different compounds – the most important of these are the flavonoids which come from the plant resins. Flavonoids are an important and essential part of the plant’s immune system. They have been studied extensively and have been shown to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-tumour, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and immune stimulating effects.
How do bees use propolis?
Propolis is used by the bees to protect the hive from disease as it has strong antibiotic properties. Propolis can inhibit both bacteria and viruses.
Honeybees construct a doormat made of propolis at the entrance to their hive. As the bee returns from the hive she crosses over this propolis doormat – thereby ensuring that the hive remains free of disease.
Prior to the Queen bee laying an egg into a honeycomb cell a Worker bee will apply a thin layer of propolis on the walls of the cell – thereby providing a sterile environment for the baby bee to develop in.
Benefits of propolis:
Relieves upper respiratory diseases
Propolis is an effective treatment if you suffer from upper respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, laryngitis, throat inflammation and inflammation of the nasal membranes. Propolis kills the bacteria ad viruses associated with these conditions. Propolis aids in the recovery from influenza, reducing symptoms and shortening the recovery time.
Relieves the discomfort of ulcers
Propolis has a significant anesthetic effect. It has been used for centuries in the treatment of mouth sores, ulcers and sore throats. In addition to the anesthetic effect which reduces the discomfort of mouth ulcers, propolis will also cover the ulcer with a thin protective layer which provides further relief.
How can you use propolis?
To support the immune system take 1 propolis capsule daily with meals.
For the relief of mouth ulcers place 10 drops of propolis tincture into a small glass of water and use this to rinse the mouth – it is perfectly safe to swallow.