Bee Propolis: The Health Benefits and How to Use It
When it comes to natural remedies, you would be hard-pressed to find a substance as versatile and potent as propolis - a mixture used by honeybees to protect their hives from invaders. Apart from keeping nature intact thanks to their immense pollination efforts, the little miracle workers have figured out how to make a concoction that acts as an incredibly potent anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-cancer, and immune booster.
This has been long known by our ancestors. For thousands of years, ancient cultures used propolis as a staple in their medicinal practices. In the Baltic region, it was regarded as a miraculous medicine. Its effectiveness in treating viral diseases used to be common knowledge, passed down by generations. Amongst other applications, Egyptians used to embalm mummies with this substance, the renowned Greek physician Hippocrates hailed it as a cure for ulcers, and Roman mythology considered it a divinely inspired healing agent. The recent upsurge of natural remedies has brought propolis back into the spotlight, and it is well deserved. After all, it is not just popular in folk medicine. The pharmaceutical industry has been using the substance extensively to aid patients with a wide variety of conditions.
So What is Propolis Exactly?
Propolis is a sticky mixture composed of mostly tree resin and sometimes beeswax or pollen. Elder honeybees collect it, mix it with their saliva and then use it as a coating to protect their hives from pathogens, unwanted invaders, and harsh winds. It helps to create a sterile environment to hatch eggs in, keeps out harmful parasites, and seal gaps so that intense weather conditions do not wreck the inside of the hive. When bees pass over the sticky mixture, bacteria get trapped and killed so they do not get the chance to infect the entire colony. If a rodent ever attacks the hive, bees will sting it to death and then embalm the body with propolis to ensure it does not rot.
The Health Benefits of Propolis
According to researchers, there are over 300 compounds in propolis. While it contains a plethora of important nutrients, the major health benefits come from its flavonoids. These will effectively block the formations of prostaglandins, which cause fever, pains, and gum disease. They also help increase the production of interferon in white blood cells. This compound is instrumental in cancer treatment, and it greatly raises one’s resistance to infections.
On top of that, propolis contains high levels of serotonin and histamine. The combination of these compounds is known to be very effective in curing allergies. That is achieved by blocking the acids which break into the cells to cause allergic reactions. Overall, the potent anti-fungal and antiviral properties of propolis are known to be excellent in treating cold sores, healing wounds, helping fight various forms of cancer, and overall strengthening the immune system.
How to Use Propolis
For issues such as mouth ulcers and sore throats, it is recommended to suck on a small piece of propolis on a daily basis. Topical ailments like infections, cold or sore throat can be soothed with a propolis spray, by applying it directly to the affected area on the skin. If you are after a general immune boost, then simply add five drops of a propolis extract to your beverage of choice, and drink it several times a day.
Bee Baltic Honey
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