Learn About Bee Propolis
Often referred to as “bee glue”, propolis is a natural resin material produced by bees, used to protect and repair the hive. Bee propolis has been used as medicine since ancient times in a variety of applications.
How is it made?
Honey bees collect sap from various nearby plants and mix it with saliva and beeswax to create propolis. Propolis is very sticky, then becomes slightly waxy as it dries. Honey bees use propolis to seal any holes or cracks in the hive to protect them from the elements and intruders.
Beekeepers will encourage propolis production using specialized propolis mats that contain many small holes. The mats are placed in the hive (they typically replace the inner cover) and are removed again once the honey bees have covered it with propolis. The mat is then frozen to make the propolis more brittle and easier to remove.
Raw propolis is unsuitable for most human applications due to the presence of wax. Therefore, the next step in creating a usable bee propolis product is to dissolve the raw propolis and remove any wax. Any debris (plant matter, bee parts, etc) is also removed at this stage.
The dissolved extract can now be used in a tincture or throat spray, or added to a variety of other products like salves or soaps.
Bee propolis has long been used for its healing benefits. Its ease of use make propolis popular for a variety of applications. Propolis can be consumed orally or applied topically.
- Bee propolis shows potential in helping to manage type 2 diabetes
- Propolis may reduce glycemic load, insulin resistance, and pro-inflammatory markers in individuals with diabetes.
Microbial Infection & Oral Health
The antimicrobial properties of propolis have shown to be effective in managing oral health and helping to heal microbial infections. Propolis used as mouthwash can kill bacterial infections causing plaque buildup and gingivitis. Propolis used as mouthwash has shown to be effective on Candida infections causing oral mucositis. Propolis extracts have also shown to be effective at helping to manage cold & flu symptoms.
- Studies have found that propolis extracts are effective at lessening cold sores and genital herpes
Much like other honey bee products, bee propolis may improve overall immune function with continued regular use. Bee propolis is an antioxidant and may reduce inflammation.
- Propolis may help with cardiovascular health
Used topically, bee propolis may be effective in treating skin conditions, particularly acne. It may also help to restore dry or irritated skin and may improve the symptoms of conditions like psoriasis.
Open Wound and Burn Treatment
The naturally antibacterial effects of bee propolis can be utilized in topical applications on the skin to treat wounds and burns. Propolis promotes tissue regeneration and may prevent infections in open wounds.
- Propolis assists in treating diabetic foot ulcers for faster healing