Bee-utiful Ingredient: Propolis!

Propolis is a resinous mixture that honey bees collect from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. It is used as a sealant for unwanted open spaces in the hive.   It is known to prevent diseases and parasites from entering the hive, and to inhibit bacterial growth.  The composition of propolis varies from hive to hive, from district to district, and from season to season.  The biological role of resin in trees is to seal wounds and defend against bacteria, fungi and insects.

resins in hive

Propolis is used in traditional medicine.  Use of propolis for healing dates back to the time of Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.)  Natural medicine practitioners use propolis for the relief of various conditions, including inflammations, viral diseases, ulcers, superficial burns or scalds.  It is also thought to promote heart health and strengthen the immune system.  Propolis may cause severe allergic reactions if the user is sensitive to bees or bee products.

Propolis has been shown to have powerful local antimicrobial, antibiotic and antifungal properties.  It has emollient properties and may be effective in treating skin burns.  The healing properties of Propolis make it ideal for those with eczema or psoriasis. Propolis soothes inflamed and irritated skin. Depending on it’s source, propolis may include Vitamins A, C, E, and the B complex, linoleic acid and various minerals and a rich supply of amino acids.  It has 150 components, with the flavonoid components accounting for a significant percentage of it’s weight.

 

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