Bees apart from honey, also make the so-called propolis. It is a kind of glue that the bee collects from the buds of trees and that makes it the only natural antibiotic in the world. There are studies that show that it has anticancer properties.
Bees make propolis by gathering pine resin and other evergreens. They mix these resins with wax flakes and pollen, and use the resulting sticky mass to patch holes, seal cracks, and build panels in the hive.
But propolis does much more than architectural agent. It acts as an antiseptic barrier to protect the hive from contamination and from external invaders such as mice, snakes and lizards. In fact, the name propolis comes from the Greek and means "defense of the city."
The antimicrobial properties of propolis serve to protect the hive from viruses and bacteria. The researchers found that bees that live in beehives coated with propolis have a "calmer" immune system.
Propolis does not only benefit bees. For thousands of years, practitioners of folk medicine have used bee propolis to treat and heal wounds as well as fight infections.
Recent studies confirm a long list of benefits offered by propolis for health. Here we show you some of them.
1. Anti-microbial action
Propolis has antibacterial properties, as well as anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. In an experiment done with animals, applying a solution of propolis to wounds, the propolis helped accelerate the healing of these. It also helps prevent respiratory tract infections, as long as we take propolis regularly.
2. Heals burns
There are studies that show that propolis helps the healing of minor burns. In the studies, the researchers compared a skin cream made from propolis with a silver sulfadiazine cream, a drug used to treat burns. The results of the study showed that propolis was as effective as the medication for treating burns.
3. Prevents tooth decay
Greek and Roman doctors used propolis as a disinfectant for the mouth. Modern studies show that it can be effective in the treatment of periodontitis and gingivitis. It is very effective in reducing tooth decay.
Other studies show that propolis can even help regenerate the dental pulp, as well as the bone and cartilage tissues.
4. It is used to treat parasites
Laboratory tests have shown that propolis can eliminate parasites. In the trial, people who took propolis had a parasite clearance rate of between 52-60 percent.
5. Removal of warts
In a propolis treatment for 3 months, 135 patients with different types of warts received oral propolis. The results were published in the International Journal of Dermatology. Patients with common warts achieved a cure rate of 75 percent.
6. Genital Herpes
Propolis is more effective than a common medicine for the treatment of genital herpes, according to a study published in Phytomedicine.
For 10 days, 30 men and women with genital herpes applied a cream containing propolis flavonoids, four times a day.
At the end of the study, 24 of the 30 patients treated with propolis had healed Herpes.
Like honey, the composition of propolis will vary depending on the trees and area from where the bees extract it. The extracts or tinctures of propolis are easier to use. They are usually the most popular for the stimulation of the immune system, for its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-microbial properties.