What is Propolis?

When we think bee products, we mostly think of honey. But did you know that bees create other amazing things like propolis? What is it? By combining sap from the buds of conifer trees with their own enzymes and beeswax, it creates a sort of glue that allows them to glue the materials of their hives together. Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians were aware of the healing properties of propolis and made extensive use of it as a medicine.

It has become quite popular in natural medicines and health food stores. Propolis is reputed to have antiseptic, antibacterial, antimycotic, astringent, spasmolytic, anti-inflammatory, anaesthetic, antioxidant, antitumoural, antifungal, antiulcer, anticancer, and immunomodulatory effects. That’s pretty amazing; although small in size, propolis sure packs a punch!

propolisStudies have shown that by applying a propolis solution to wounds helped to speed healing in rats with diabetes. Propolis also helps with inflammation and is effective in improving oral health. I personally know some people to ingest a teaspoonful of propolis daily as it gives them an energy boost.

Have you used propolis as a supplement before? Will you start? Let me know how it’s worked out for you!

Ghedira, K., Goetz, P., & Jeune, R. (2009). Propolis. Phytothérapie, 7(2), 100-105.

Mclennan, S., Bonner, J., Milne, S., Lo, L., Charlton, A., Kurup, S., . . . Twigg, S. (2008). The anti-inflammatory agent Propolis improves wound healing in a rodent model of experimental diabetes. Wound Repair and Regeneration, 16(5), 706-713.

Propolis: Alternative Medicine for the Treatment of Oral Microbial Diseases by Vagner Rodrigues Santos (2012).