Bee Propolis is made up of approximately 50% resins, 30% waxes, 10% essential oils, 5% pollen and 5% various organic compounds. The exact composition of propolis can vary depending on where in the world it is from as bees have access to different plants. Propolis is also known as bee glue as bees use it as a crack filler/glue to close any gaps in their hives keeping the hive clean and hygienic whist at the same time protecting if from intruders and bad weather. It contains over 500 bioactive molecules that can provide a wide array of health benefits to humans offering a more natural treatment for many different ailments.
The use of propolis in medicine goes back to ancient times, but new studies are still emerging all the time. One of the most researched benefits of propolis is how it can benefit the immune system. Studies show that propolis has immunomodulatory effects, meaning that it can enhance the immune system making it more effective. This is mainly due to the high content of polyphenols (phenols) that it contains. Polyphenols are a category of compounds found in plants that have powerful antioxidants and can regulate cell activity in the body, fighting off free radicals that can lead to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress happens when there is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body, this can cause inflammation and damage to cells resulting in illness.
Macro and Micronutrients
Propolis is packed full of macro and micronutrients including flavonoids, amino acids, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, and zinc along with other trace minerals. It has all the essential nutrients needed to support the immune system and can stimulate and increase the number of immune cells that are needed to defend the body. It has proven antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antioxidant properties aiding the immune system in fighting off illness.
With the properties mentioned above, there is a wide array of illnesses that propolis can benefit. It can work alongside synthetic medications and in some circumstances is the more effective treatment when it comes to drug-resistant superbugs or cold sores. Propolis is an excellent natural alternative for wound/burn healing, helping prevent certain cancers and oral health and reducing the risk of chronic illness caused by oxidative stress. It can, fortunately, be found in many different forms from tinctures, capsules, throat sprays, lozenges, and mouthwashes to topical ointments. If you are allergic to bees please speak to your doctor before trying any bee-related products. If you have an illness or taking medication please speak to your doctor before you start using propolis.