5 Benefits of Propolis – Defense of the City

5 Benefits of Propolis – Defense of the City

Propolis is a sticky thick resin produced by honeybees which is made up of wax, bee saliva, pollen and other natural resins. It is derived from cone shaped trees such as evergreens and once mixed into its glue-like form is used to coat and build their hives. It has been used by various cultures for thousands of years to treat a variety of ailments making it a highly sought after remedy. The word itself is derived from ancient Greece meaning, ‘defense of the city.’

These 5 benefits of propolis are a handful of the many applications you may be able to use for some of your specific health challenges. Do not take bee propolis if you are allergic to bees or anything derived from bees such as honey or bee pollen. Talk to your doctor to see if using be propolis is safe for you.

Chock Full of Good Stuff

Bees harvest pollen from vast amounts of different plant species which is probably why their by-products such as honey, bee pollen and propolis are full of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and much more.

Propolis alone contains upwards of 300 different active, healing compounds including,

“Vitamin A (carotene), vitamin B1, B2, B3, biotin. It contains an array of bioflavonoids, albumin, calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus…Except for vitamin K, Propolis contains all known vitamins and has fourteen of the 15 minerals that the human body requires for normal function.” (The Natural Shopper)

Cancer Warrior

Bees continue to amaze, once again validating their delicate yet essential existence. Due to a local source of cone trees only some bees coat their hive with propolis. This is not just to strengthen hive structure, but to also protect from pathogens. It turns out that bees living in a propolis coated hive carry less bacteria and have less taxed immune systems than bees that don’t. This promoted researchers to apply propolis to cancer research.

Green Med Info reports that components in bee propolis,

  • Prevent the growth of new blood vessels that feed cancer cells (anti-angiogenesis)
  • Prevent the spread or metastasis of cancer from one organ to another
  • Halts cancer cell division
  • Induces apoptosis or programmed cell death

Propolis Gets Hairy

It may seem unbelievable but when this sticky substance was applied to the shaved backs of mice it was found that hair growth ensued. Japanese researchers published their study, ‘Stimulatory Effect of Brazilian Propolis on Hair Growth through Proliferation of Keratinocytes in Mice’ in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (2014 pp 11854–11861) concluding that,

“Organotypic culture of skin containing anagen stage HFs [hair follicles] revealed significant stimulation of hair matrix keratinocyte proliferation by propolis. Furthermore, propolis facilitated the proliferation of epidermal keratinocytes. These results indicate that propolis stimulates hair growth by inducing hair keratinocyte proliferation.”

STD Reliever

The herpes virus is a chronic sexually transmitted disease that remains in the host for a lifetime. It sporadically presents around the mouth or genitals as a painful “fever blister” outbreak which can last up to two weeks before subsiding.

Propolis applications to the herpes simplex virus were studied by researchers at the Department of Virology, Hygiene Institute, University of Heidelberg, Germany with published results in Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmocology (2/10) stating that,

“…propolis extracts exhibited high levels of antiviral activity against HSV-2 [herpes simplex virus type 2] in viral suspension tests, infectivity was significantly reduced by >99%…thus propolis extracts might be suitable for topical therapy in recurrent herpetic infection.”

Dental Dynamo

Propolis has been used for centuries, particularly amongst the Greeks and Romans as a mouth disinfectant. Some suggest coating the top of teeth with propolis to avoid cavities as well as rinsing for periodontitis and gingivitis prevention.

A study published in the Indian Journal of Dental Research concluded that,

“Subgingival irrigation with propolis extract as an adjuvant to periodontal treatment was more effective than scaling and root planing as assessed by clinical and microbiological parameters.”

Also, The North American Journal of Medical Sciences (6/14) published findings from another Indian research study that stated,

“Propolis-based preparations have a wide range of applications in various specialties of dentistry. Bee glue has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and many other applications.”

There are a wide range of healing applications beyond these 5 benefits of propolis. Others include wound and burn healing, ear infections, wart removal and parasite treatment. Talk to your medical physician and/or naturopathic doctor about using propolis for your continued health.