Similar to royal jelly, “propolis” is also a substance that is directly and naturally produced by the bee insects. It is actually a resinous and gummy type of liquid used by the bees for their construction purposes. Specifically, the honey bees uses it to strengthen and maintain the stability of their hive.
The use of propolis into their hive also prevents the wind and water from getting through inside. They actually use it to seal small cracks and gaps. In most cases, the honeybees often combine propolis to beeswax making it a lot more effective and best for sealing larger gaps.
Aside from sealing cracks, the insects use it in building panels in their hive. And, it also serve as an antiseptic barrier protecting the hive from contamination brought by any unsuspecting creature that invades their hive such as snakes, lizards, mice and etc… Researchers have also proven that the bees who spends most of their time inside their hive have lower bacteria in their body and have stronger immune system.
At above room temperature of around 20oC, this gummy substance will turn into sticky liquid while at low temperatures, it will turn hard and brittle.
When it comes to its color, it actually depends on the insects’ own botanical source. But most commonly, the color is brown.
Discovery of the Healing Benefits of the Bee Propolis
The healing benefits of the bee propolis has been long discovered since the time of Aristotle dating back to 350 B.C. People on this age already found its medicinal advantages where they used it as a regimen to heal sores, wounds, acne, cancer, osteoporosis, tuberculosis, fight infections ulcers (both internal and external) and etc…
Greeks actually used propolis as an effective cure for abscesses. The Assyrians used it for healing their wounds and tumors. And, the Egyptians used it for the mummification of their dead. Today, many scientists have conducted further research on this miraculous substance revealing a long lists of medicinal and cosmetic benefits.
Common Health Benefits of the Bee Propolis
We will end up with a very long discussion if we are going to discuss every possible healing benefits of the bee propolis. Thus, let us just stick to those that are common and already proven by medical organization.
1. Speed Up Wound Healing Process
Propolis is completely rich with antibacterial properties which include potent anti-fungal and anti-viral components. Due to these properties, some experts claim that the fast healing effect of propolis in treating wounds might be correlated to them.
Bee propolis is also a very effective treatment for burns. A certain group of scientist actually performed a test comparison between this natural bee substance against a common prescription cream used for treating burns. As a result, the propolis has proven just as effective as the prescription product. In addition to this, the scientist have discovered that propolis offer a more soothing form of treatment for minor burns than the conventional medication.
Aside from wounds and burns, propolis is also an effective cure for infections. Majority of medical experts claims that this natural bee product is quite effective in curing ear infection (middle-ear infection) and nail infections.
2. Boosts the Immune System
A recent study was made about the bee propolis where they published their findings on Phytotheraphy Research, August 2010 edition. It was found out that this kind of bee substance contains proteins and compounds that are capable of altering and regulating the immune system.
Apart from boosting the immune system, there are many other vitamins and minerals that medical researchers had found. They actually discovered that propolis can provide up to 60 traces of minerals. There are also varying amount of calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, phosphorus, cobalt and 16 types of amino acids. As for the vitamins, it contains vitamin A (carotene), B1, B2 and B3. In short, propolis has an overall multivitamin supplement which is even much better than those processed tablets because it’s all natural.
3. Perfect for Dental Care
Since the ancient period of the Greeks and Romans, they had discovered that bee propolis is an effective mouth disinfectant. Then at this modern age, medical experts in the field of dentistry have performed several studies showing that it may be an effective cure for periodontitis and gingivitis. Further studies also shows that it can help generate dental pulp, damage bone tissue and cartilage.
4. Possible Cure for Cancer
One of the greatest health benefits of bee propolis is its capability to fight cancer. According to the American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology that was published in February 2004 edition, this bee product contains therapeutic compounds that can kill MCF-7 (breast carcinoma cell).
A group of medical researchers actually performed an actual experiment where they gathered interested volunteers who have cancers. They were given propolis extract and then the researchers observed the number of their cancer cells in 24 hour period of time. As a result, 13 percent of the cancers cells in all of the volunteers were eliminated.
Medical studies have found that propolis offers a good source of antioxidants which are needed by your body to combat free radicals. These free radicals that circulates around your body can actually damage your cells leading to cancer and many other degenerative diseases.
6. Inhibit Blood Sugar
People who are suffering from diabetes are often treated with life-long treatment measures such as insulin injections and various pharmaceutical medications. Fortunately, modern studies have shown that propolis can inhibit enzymes responsible in increasing blood sugar.
7. Anti-Aging Benefits
Consuming any type of food rich with antioxidants like propolis, royal jelly, honey and etc… provides anti-aging benefits.
Moreover, bee propolis is unfortunately not for everyone particularly for those who are allergic to bees. Common side effects includes swelling, burning, eczema and fever. If you are not sure if you are allergic to this substance then it is always best to test it in small amount.
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