Propolis – The natural all-rounder for your health
Propolis is a sticky mass produced by bees itself that protects the hive from germs, bacteria and fungi. This mass is also referred to as bee putty or bee resin. People can benefit from the antibiotic effect of this natural remedy. Learn more about the origin and use of Propolis and why the all-rounder should always be available in your home pharmacy in the following article.
Manufacture of Propolis
Certain bees, which are exclusively responsible for the extraction of propolis, collect several times a day up to 10 grams of resin per excursion of different plants and bring it into the hive. There, the resin is further processed. The bees mix it with beeswax, saliva and pollen oil. The well-kneaded mass is called propolis. Their consistency is very sticky and the color varies from yellowish-brown to black. Depending on which plants the propolis comes from, the taste ranges from sweet to sharp-bitter. Depending on the size of the bee population and the weather conditions, up to 500 grams of propolis can be produced per year.
The composition is approximately in this ratio:
- 50 percent resin
- 30 percent beeswax
- 10 percent essential oil
- 10 percent pollen and organic matter
The resin comes from the plants that are located near the beestick. In addition to the poplar as the main supplier for propolis, the bees also collect resin chunks from the following plants:
Ingredients of Propolis
The composition of Propolis combines up to 200 different ingredients. About 2 percent of these substances are the following important trace elements, minerals and vitamins:
- Vitamins (A,B1,B3,E)
- phytochemicals (flavonoids and phenols)
- Amino acids
Use of Propolis in the hive
Propolis is vital for bees. The hard-working insects live with up to 50,000 species in their bee stick in the smallest space. Pathogens would find optimal living conditions there at a normal temperature of around 35 degrees Celsius and a humidity of 40 percent. This is why the bees protect their cane from invading pests and pathogens with the help of propolis. Propolis acts there similar to Manuka honey or Manuka oil antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial. To ensure protection, bees cover all honeycombs with a thin layer of propolis. If they did not do so, fungi, bacteria and germs could quickly settle and spread in the hive. However, the layer of propolis forms an insurmountable barrier and does not provide a breeding ground for pathogens. Thus, the brood of state-forming insects is always protected.
In the same way, bees protect their bee stick from decaying invaders. For example, if a small rodent gets into the stick, the bees sting on it until it dies. However, since they cannot remove the dead body, it soon begins to decay and forms a basis for pathogens. Therefore, the bees also cover the dead rodent with propolis and thereby prevent germs and bacteria from settling.
Discovery of Propolis by man
Propolis has long been known in human history. In the Roman Empire, wounds and war wounds were already treated with Propolis. Aristotle and Hippocrates also used propolis as a cure. The Incas estimated the healing effect of feverish infections. Propolis was even used as a means of embedding corpses in Egypt during the time of Tutankhamun.
Effective and gentle extraction of Propolis
It would be quite tedious if the beekeepers had to scrape the propolis out of the honeycombs of the bee stick. In addition, they would harm the bees with this approach, since the places where the propolis is taken are no longer protected from pathogens until the bees have repaired the areas with new bee putty. Therefore, beekeepers hang fine grids in the hive, which can be removed at any time. The bees consider the fine-meshed lattices as foreign bodies and cover it with a layer of propolis. Beekeepers can then remove the grille and cool it down. At a temperature below 15 degrees Celsius, the propolis begins to peel off. Since it is a natural product, there may still be small foreign bodies in the Propolis mass. Beekeepers therefore dissolve the resin in high-percentage alcohol and then filter the liquid. This creates a pure Propolis product.
This is how Propolis works
Propolis is also referred to as natural antibiotics. It works against fungi, bacteria and viruses. Unlike many chemical antibiotics, pathogens against propolis do not develop resistance.
In addition, Propolis has an analgesic, detoxifying and supportive effect in recovery from injuries and illnesses. The combination of the minerals, trace elements and vitamins contained can activate your body, strengthen the immune system,as well as promote blood circulation and healing processes. Propolis can be used internally and externally. This results in many possible applications, for which you can choose the appropriate dosage form of the propolis.
Practical dosage forms
Basically, you can use Propolis in its resin-like origin form. Depending on the application, however, other dosage forms are easier to use and can thus achieve a better effect with Propolis.
Please note that at the beginning of the use of preparations with Propolis, you should check the compatibility. Allergic reactions or sensitivities to additives cannot be ruled out in principle.
Allergic reactions may also occur against Propolis itself. Depending on the location of the hive from which the propolis originates, resins from different plants and in varying amounts are contained. In some end products, propolis resins from several hives may also have been mixed. In addition, various pollen scans are included, so as a pollen allergy sufferer you should first use only small doses. You may not experience allergic reactions with one product and not with another product. Caution should also be exercised if you have already been allergic to insect bites. Pregnant women should abstain from propolis.
Please also refer to the package leaflet of your preparation and discuss the procedure with your doctor if in doubt. In case of unusual reactions of your body to Propolis, you should first stop the application and also consult your doctor.
Dosage forms for external application:
Propolis dissolved in high-percentage alcohol results in a liquid, which they can apply selectively and accordingly sparingly to the affected areas.
Tip: Make sure that the tincture does not get on your clothes, as it leaves stains that are difficult to remove.
Cream and ointment:
Both propolis preparations are applied to the skin and massaged in until they are absorbed. They are suitable for the treatment of wounds, eczema or fungus-infested skin areas. The ointment is slightly more fatty than the cream and best supports dry skin.
If you prefer a daily use, make sure that the ointment is suitable for your skin type. Too fatty ointments can weigh the skin and promote acne.
Dosage forms for internal application:
Because of the high alcohol content, you should use Propolis as a tincture only diluted. Usually, the daily dose is one drop per kilogram of your body weight. This daily dose can be spread over 3 to 4 single doses per day. Stirred into a drink, the tincture affects your stomach. But it is also suitable for gurgling.
Tablets and capsules:
Propolis powder filled in gelatin capsules or pressed in tablet form can be practically dosed and taken along the way. These dosage forms unfold their effect directly in the gastrointestinal area.
If you find it difficult to swallow tablets or capsules, you can also take Propolis in powder form. To do this, stir in the required amount into a drink, yoghurt or spread and eat the food directly. This way, the propolis enters the stomach and can work there.
For example, spray the propolis spray on inflamed mucous membranes in the mouth and neck area. They effectively reach hard-to-reach areas with a spray.
Regardless of the dosage form when purchasing the product, make sure what amount of propolis is actually containedso that you can benefit from an effect. Some products are sold expensively, but contain so little propolis that it has no effect. The information about the salary can be found on the packaging or ask the seller.
Concrete areas of application
Prevention and strengthening of defences
For example, if you regularly eat a few drops of propolis, this can have a positive effect on strengthening your immune system. With a strong immune system, you can better fight off cold viruses and other pathogens. Even an initial cold can be relieved faster, so that it does not completely break out.
Acne, impure skin
Although the cause of acne should also be treated in principle, Propolis can also improve the skin’s image, because bacteria no longer find a breeding ground. Dilute the tincture and apply it to the affected areas of the skin. Do not use ointments with propolis, as the fat contained could further clog the pores.
Neurodermatitis, eczema and abscesses
All inflammatory skin diseases can be treated with ointments, creams or a tincture. If you do not observe any early improvement after treatments with Propolis, you should consult a doctor, as large abscesses can lead to blood poisoning at worst. Also, the treatment of chronic diseases, such as neurodermatitis, should be discussed with the doctor.
You can treat herpes viruses with propolis at the first itchy signs. In this way, you can relieve the itching and prevent the formation of a bubble if necessary.
The anti-fungal effect of Propolis effectively combats foot fungus and other skin fungal diseases. Apply the Propolis product regularly, even if the symptoms have already subsided.
The causes of itching can be manifold. Depending on the strength and duration of the itching and accompanying skin changes, you should first have a diagnosis made by the doctor in order to treat the cause. The itching itself is a symptom that you can alleviate with Propolis.
Thorn warts and chicken eyes
Chicken eyes are pressure points and thorn warts are caused by viruses. Both occur on the feet and can become very painful. Treat the places early with Propolis. You should continue to treat the thorn wart after it has subsided, as it will reappear quickly.
Sunburn and other burns
The cell-renewing effect of Propolis helps the skin to regenerate faster after sunburn or other burns.
You can protect the wound with Propolis from bacteria and germs. The protective film of the propolis tincture forms a protective barrier on the skin. In addition, cell renewal is stimulated.
Diseases in the eye
Treat conjunctivitis and barley grains with a compress soaked with propolis. Close your eyes and let the compress work for a few minutes. If necessary, repeat the process several times a day. Do not drop the tincture directly into the eye, otherwise the eye will be irritated too much. If there is no improvement, be sure to consult a doctor to prevent permanent damage from bacteria in the eye.
The vascular enlargements occur at the intestinal exit and can lead to itchy or painful discomfort. You can alleviate these symptoms with Propolis. However, depending on the size of hemorrhoids, you should consult a doctor.
Slight bruises will fade off faster if you rub the affected area with propolis. The healing process is stimulated.
Inflammation of the mucous membranes in the nasal and pharynx areas can be relieved with propolis. Irritation of the mucous membranes, but also viral and bacterial inflammation can subside with a treatment with propolis in the form of spray, capsules, diluted tincture. With the first signs of a cold, treatment with propolis can at best reduce the growth of the pathogens to such an extent that there is no real outbreak of the disease. However, you should also be gentle and drink enough. If you already have a more severe infection, see a doctor.
Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the bronchi. Taking Propolis can help to relieve inflammation. Depending on the severity of the disease, you should seek advice from a lung specialist.
You should treat cystitis quickly and consistently so that there is no spread of the bacteria, which can lead to kidney pelvic inflammation. If you are prone to cystitis, taking Propolis can prevent you from taking it.
Mild gastrointestinal discomfort
If you have mild discomfort, such as bloating, feeling full or slight abdominal pain, you can help with taking Propolis. The bee resin has a antispasmodic effect and stimulates digestion.
Safe purchase of products with Propolis
If possible, buy your products from one of your local beekeepers. These can explain the exact ingredients to you and you are most likely to purchase non-polluting products there. In many cases, these beekeepers have a certificate of animal-friendly beekeeping. In addition, this purchase will support local retailers.
Unfortunately, due to legal regulations, it is not possible to purchase Propolis from the beekeeper in every state. Alternatively, a purchase in the Reformhaus or in the pharmacy is offered. On the Internet you will find a very wide range of products with Propolis. Here, however, it is more difficult to find out whether the products are free of pesticides and other toxins. Also the species-appropriate beekeeping is often not recognizable.
Scientific studies prove the effect of Propolis
Several unconfirmed studies are already expected to provide results on the positive effect of propolis in various applications, such as the treatment of allergies, wound healing and the strengthening of the immune system.
In 1980, for example, Prof. Dr. Chauvin was able to prove in a study at Sorbonne University in France that Propolis can significantly relieve hay fever. For this purpose, study participants who suffered from hay fever took 8 capsules of propolis per day. After just one week, participants did not experience any complaints for a long period of time. The following year, participants took a lower dose and were completely free of symptoms.
In Poland, a study was carried out on wound healing on the open leg. A group of 28 patients was treated with an ointment containing 7 percent propolis. After 6 weeks, the healing in the patients was so advanced that the legs were no longer open. The comparison group of 28 patients also received treatment with other active substances. Here the healing process lasted 16 weeks.
Some anti-germ-, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and immunostimulating effects of propolis were documented in the Berlin working group.
Propolis is useful for the supportive treatment of numerous diseases. In addition, Propolis can help strengthen your defenses. You can also use it preventively during the cold season and protectively in skin care. For this purpose, you will receive Propolis in the appropriate dosage forms for ingestion or external use. You use Propolis with a clear conscience that you resort to a natural natural product, the effectiveness of which has been proven in some cases by various studies. However, be aware that allergic reactions to Propolis ingredients are possible and that you should check with the manufacturer before purchasing the circumstances of propolis production and the exact ingredients.