Bees Make More than Honey: The Health Benefits of Propolis
April 12th, 2013
By Donna Baxter
Beekeepers know propolis as the resin that bees use to seal their hives. But propolis is gathered from beehives by wildcrafters to use as a natural supplement. In fact, old-school beekeepers are aware of one of its medicinal benefits; they chew on a piece to relieve a sore throat.
Whether taken as capsules, in its raw form, or as an active ingredient in gum, regular use of propolis can have a significant impact on your general health.
It is particularly effective at treating infections and soothing pain, and has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Propolis is used on serious cuts, bruises, sore throats, stomach complaints, and athlete’s foot. When used regularly, propolis can help with chronic health problems and persistent allergies.
When rubbed onto the skin, or swallowed, propolis soothes inflammations, and reduces pain in affected areas. It can be chewed to combat gum infections and plaque, and persistent pain from dentures or cavities. Propolis is particularly effective in gum form for treating oral yeast.
Boosting Your Blood
Propolis has powerful antioxidant properties. When swallowed in supplements, the antioxidants in propolis help to eradicate free radicals from the blood stream. Free radicals are caused by corrupted molecules in the blood, and can lead to long term problems with blood flow as well as increased susceptibility to disease. Antioxidants help to repair corrupted molecules, with the aim of balancing out the oxygen content and healthy flow of the blood.
Other Conditions Treated with Propolis
When rubbed into the skin, propolis works well to treat skin ulcers, burns, and other skin conditions. It’s been used to treat sore joints and rheumatism with its flavonoids, and is particularly effective during the colder months of the year. The same pain relieving properties can work to help with osteolytic bone diseases and bone loss.
Propolis is used to kill bacteria and relieve pain after food poisoning, and is particularly effective at tackling staphylococcus auereus
Other conditions where propolis has been used for a natural treatment include:
As a pain reliever in cancer treatments
To lower cholesterol
Ease the outward appearance of hepatitis
A reliable treatment for endometriosis in the uterus.
Be careful, however, to use propolis in moderation. Like other honey and bee-based remedies, propolis should be used in small doses due to its high sugar content. Try to think of propolis as a targeted way of easing existing conditions, rather than a cure, and try a few different types before you settle on one. You can take propolis as a supplement in the form of gum, or crushed up.
Tinctures of different strengths are also available, and are often mixed with small amounts of alcohol or water for a milder taste. Unprocessed propolis can be chewed, but can lead to side effects such as stained teeth. If you experience any negative side effects from propolis, make sure that you check with a doctor, and don’t use it if you’ve had any allergy problems in the past with honey.
Donna Baxter is freelance copywriter with a keen interest in health and beauty and the merits of natural remedies. She is currently investigating what remedies help you stay healthy over the winter months. Source Living Green Magazine
Published: Zarai Media Team