Firstly what is propolis? Propolis is made from resinous substances of plants, bee saliva and bees wax. Bees use it as a crack filler 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. Propolis contains over 500 bioactive molecules can offer many health benefits to humans as it is full of macro and micronutrients including flavonoids, amino acids, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, zinc along with other trace minerals. It has everything needed to support the immune system and can stimulate and increase the number of immune cells that are needed to defend the body, whilst at the same time its anti bacterial, anti viral, anti inflammatory properties are available to help fight off illnesses.
Flavonoids are the main active ingredient found in propolis. But what are they? Flavonoids are compounds that are found in many plant products and have excellent antioxidant properties. They are important in regulating cell activity in the body and fighting off free radicals that can lead to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress results in inflammation and damage to cells resulting in illness. The flavonoids in propolis can reduce the production of enzymes that cause inflammation in the body which can be caused by the immune systems response to toxins, allergies, and germs.
The flavonoids in propolis are beneficial in treating and preventing a broad range of illnesses whilst being a natural alternative to synthetic medications. Propolis has been shown to be beneficial in treating the drug resistance superbug MRSA and being just as effective if not more than the synthetic drug for cold sores. It may also play a role in how effective certain cancer treatments like chemotherapy are. The flavonoids in propolis may work along side existing medications, and helping improve their efficiency and recovery time.
Studies of the different flavonoids found in propolis have been going on for many years and have shown the amount and type of flavonoids in propolis can vary depending on where in the world the propolis is from and the time of year it is collected. This is because the bees have access to different plants and this can play an important factor in choosing which propolis product is right for you.
Propolis can be taken orally in the form of sprays, lozenges, tinctures, and tablet/capsules, and externally in ointments and creams. Remember to always speak to your Doctor before starting a new supplement, especially if you are taking existing medication or have an illness.
Do not taking propolis or any other bee related products if you are allergic to bees.