What is propolis?
Propolis has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties, but how exactly is it made and what does it do?
Honey bees collect a resinous substance from different types of plants, tree buds and tree saps. This resin is called propolis, also known as “bee glue”. This glue-like material is used by bees to build their hives and fix any cracks and tears that may occur, but also to create an even and hard surface inside the beehive. This keeps the elements and any predators out of their home. Furthermore, it creates an environment free from harmful bacteria and other microorganisms; the perfect place to make some honey.
What are the benefits?
Propolis can have many benefits for humans too and is used for the maintenance of good health. It contains antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-yeast properties.
In Herbal Medicine propolis is mainly used to maintain optimal oral health. Your mouth is a great place for bacteria to grow excessively, which can cause a lot of unpleasant issues. The antibacterial properties that are present in propolis will help fight throat infections and relieve a sore throat and mouth. It can even help to speed up the healing process of surgical wounds.
Histamines are your body’s natural bodyguard. Produced by your immune system, it will help fight off anything your body sees as bad. Normally this is great, but when coming into contact with something you’re allergic to, such as pollen, it can trigger an overreaction. This is what causes your allergy symptoms. Where does propolis come into play? Propolis inhibits histamine release. This will ease your allergy symptoms and you’ll be able to smell the spring flowers again!
Have you been struggling with bacterial acne? The anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that are found in propolis will assist in soothing and healing your red and inflamed skin. Propolis can even speed up the healing process of your sunburn on a hot summer day. No wonder it shows up in more and more beauty products!
Propolis from different regions can have a different composition. Therefore, the health benefits can vary depending on where the resin was produced and which types of plants, tree buds and tree saps the honey bees had access to.