During the entire history propolis was used for treating all kinds of illness. Old Greeks used it to treat wounds, and Greek doctor Hippocrates in the 5th century BC used it from treating ulcers. Because of that its name comes from Greek words: pro, meaning infront and polis, which means city and in antique times it was a synonym for defense. Propolis even for bees represents a certain type of defense: with that sticky and hard residue they patch up cracks in the hive, close combs to preserve honey or to protect eggs, prevent entrance of cold and insects in the hive or coat dead insects. Propolis protects from infections so bees use it for disinfection of combs.
Bees make propolis from herbal residues collected from tree buds, that plants use as a natural protection of buds, keeping them from drying. Herbal residue contains certain antibacterial qualities that bees include in propolis-mix residue with pollen grains, bees wax and saliva. The color of propolis depends on the origin of residue. If the redisue comes from chestnut it is reddish in color, if it comes from birch it is gray. Making propolis is quite simple: beekeeper can remove it from a wooden parts of the hive. For getting a higher yield, inside the hive a net is placed that is a foreign body for the bees so they coat it with propolis. Single hive can provide annually around 100 kg of propolis, but beekeeper cannot take it all at once, just a part of it because it would jeopardize the life of the hive.
What propolis contains
Propolis contains over 200 ingredinets, of which 50% of propolis consists out of herbal residue. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, and trace elements, and contains numerous amino acids. Of minerals, propolis contains mostly zinc and manganese, and from vitamins contains lots of vitamin B. propolis contains high concentration of bioflavonoids which is its most efficient ingredient and has a anti inflammatory effect. Thanks to these qualities, propolis is today a highly regarded natural healing substance that is being used for treating wide variety of illness.
Propolis: cure and preventive
Propolis can be also used preventively because it regular intake boosts defense mechanisms of the organism. Special quality of propolis is the fact that bacteria do not get resilient to it and that it has no harmful side effect which is often the case with traditional medications. Apart from having antibacterial and fungicidal properties due to which it acts as a natural antibiotic, propolis increases the effect of certain medications up to 100 times.
Only persons that suffer from allergies to pollen must consult the doctor before using propolis. Maybe they will have to give up using propolis, but not necessarily, because in some cases with preventive intake of propolis pollen allergy can be cured.
Healing properties and application of propolis
- Mouth cavity: Propolis reduces inflammation of mucosa of the mouth and gums, and helps with toothache, caries and periodontal disease.
- Respiratory pathways: Propolis helps with cough, throat pain, flu, sinusitis, bronchitis, and asthma.
- Blood vessels: Propolis instigates blood circulation, reduces high blood pressure, and helps with broken capillaries, varicose veins, arthrosclerosis and hemorrhoids.
- Stomach: Propolis reduces inflammation of mucosa of the stomach and help with stomach ulcer.
- Intestine: Propolis helps with constipation, peptic ulcer in the intestine and duodenum.
- Kidneys and blader: Propolis helps with inflammation of kidneys, bladder and urinary canals.
- Bones and joints: Propolis alleviates pain and helps with rheumatism and arthritis.
- Female illness: Propolis helps with inflammation of uterus and ovaries.
- Skin: Propolis stops bleeding from smaller wounds, instigates healing and helps with acne, pus and carbuncles, herpes, fungus, psoriasis, seborrhea and burns.