Propolis benefits: what is propolis and how to make propolis tincture?

Bee propolis has been used in medical practice since ancient timesIt is a natural remedy full of antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties. It carries wide variety of benefits. What’s more important, is that propolis has an antioxidant effect, so it’s a real enemy of ageing!

Raw pieces of natural bee propolis.

What is propolis?

Propolis is a fresh, pleasantly strong-smelling and biologically active product that can retain its healing properties for up to 10 years. It has distinctive, bitter and pungent tasting. Its colour ranges from yellowish to dark brown, grey or sometime even greenish. The older the propolis, the darker the colour. Bees collect propolis from sticky buds, shoots of trees (poplars, pines, birches, etc.). It is also well known as bee glue because bees use it as a building material to glue cracks in the hive, to cap honey and even use it to embalm perishable foreign bodies that cannot be removed from the hive. Due to the same preservative properties, being air and moisture tight product, it prevents the spoilage of other bee products like bee bread, pollen, royal jelly and raw honey.

Natural bee propolis is solid at a room temperature while heated to 30-40°C becomes sticky like glue, and melts only at 80-104°C. It can only loose its natural healing properties when melted. Moreover it dissolves well in strong alcohol infusing the alcohol with antibacterial, anti-fungal and healing properties. 

Raw propolis as a natural remedy

The spectrum of propolis benefits is impressively wide. It fights fungi, viruses, has anti-inflammatory, bio-active and antioxidant properties. In medieval times it has been well known for its local anaesthetic function. The benefits of propolis have been known for a long time. Since ancient times, people knew that propolis eliminates bad breath, reduces or completely suppresses pain or swelling and helps heal wounds. In folk medicine, it was mainly used as an external medicine.  It used to be warmed to softness, spread in a thin layer, and placed on a wart, scab or wound. It was even used to tackle tuberculosis. 

In later times people realised that bee glue can be made into propolis tincture by dissolving in a strong alcohol. This way people started to treat internal health problems too. The antibacterial properties of propolis extract disinfect internally and starts a healing process. Therefore it is very good to treat stomach ulcers, tonsillitis or dental gums. 

Propolis on a hive frame in a beehive

Bee propolis for children too

Nowadays, it is also possible to get Propolis Spray bottles with water-based propolis extract. As natural propolis is not easily soluble in water, special equipment is used to extract all the healing minerals and enzymes into water. Once extracted it is mixed with raw honey to make propolis throat spray children friendly too. Raw honey also helps to stimulate the blood flow and to absorb all the antibacterial properties faster. This way propolis benefits those who can't tolerate alcohol and children too. In addition propolis spray is perfect for day to day use to protect ourselves from any viral diseases.

Propolis has an activating effect on the immune system, regulates the production of antibodies, participates in blood circulation processes. Therefore it is perfect to be used on a regular basis as an immunity booster. Especially during the colder months of autumn and winter when we are more prone to viruses.

Moreover bee propolis is recommended for the people who are more prone to frequent respiratory issues, cold and flu. This is also very good natural remedy to be used after surgeries to stimulate healing and body regeneration.

How to make propolis tincture yourself?

Propolis tincture can be used to treat fungal skin diseases, abscesses, long-lasting wounds, as well as trophic leg ulcers. While propolis cream can heal eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, burns and frostbite. However to make the cream, first you have to make the extract with a strong alcohol. This will make propolis liquid which can later be used on its own or in making various skin creams.

Propolis tincture and propolis lip balm with ointment in a one hand by Bee Baltic

To start you will need: 

  1. 30g of Raw Propolis - SHOP NOW
  2. 60g of alcohol spirit (70%)
  3. 2 empty glass jars (recycle raw honey jars)
  4. Cheese cloth

Put all the bits of raw propolis into an empty jar and pour all of the strong alcohol spirit (it would be best to have as strong as 70%). Close the jar and place it in a warm and dark location. Best temperature to keep the mixture would be at around 30°C. We found that a cupboard above the oven or stove is one of the better locations due to the constant heat. The mixture should be kept for 3 weeks. Once in a while shake the jar to stir the contents.

After 3 weeks, place the cheese cloth on the jar opening and pour all the contents into an empty jar. The cheese cloth will filter the mixture and will lead to a clear propolis liquid. You can now can use propolis tincture as an antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral and bio-active agent full with antioxidants.


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