Bee Happy, Bee Healthy: Bee Propolis
Honey bees provide us with so many natural remedies and benefits for our wellness?it’s nothing short of amazing.
Maybe you’re already familiar with a few?the way honey can fight off allergies, how bee pollen can serve as an anti-inflammatory, or how royal jelly can give your immune system a boost.
But not a lot of people know about the incredible health benefits of bee propolis, despite its ancient roots in medical history. We’re going to share a look at where this wonder-compound comes from, and why it should have a place as part of your wellness routine.
So just what is bee propolis?
Simply put, bee propolis is a sort of glue that bees make to help seal up tiny gaps in their hives. If beeswax is a brick, bee propolis is the mortar.
Like honey, the exact recipe for bee propolis depends on where it’s made. But it generally involves a mix of resins, wax, essential oils, and pollen. The bee gathers up the necessary ingredients from its surroundings, chews it all up into a sticky glue, and gets to work fixing up the hive.
And it’s an incredible mixture. It’s resinous properties make it water resistant, and it dries to form a rather excellent sealant. It’s also naturally antimicrobial, which helps bees fend off funguses and rot in their hives.
And humans have known about its uses for thousands of years?bee propolis was used in Egyptian embalming practices, and as a way to treat wounds in ancient Greece. In large quantities, it can function like a paint-on bandage: when the propolis dries, it seals off the wound with a germ-fighting shield.
But bee propolis can also have benefits in small doses. Here are a few of our favorites.
Soothes Sore Throats
Because of its resinous consistency, soothing essential oils, and natural antibacterial nature, bee propolis is an excellent way to treat a sore throat.
A few drops of propolis are all it takes to coat your throat in a refreshing, natural barrier. Unlike cough drops, propolis takes effect almost instantly. Its essential oils cool your aching throat, while the resinous shield helps protect against further irritation from swallowing. Propolis doesn’t just hide the discomfort of a sore throat?it’s been shown to help you kick the cold altogether and get better faster.
Daily use helps boost your immune system to keep you healthy. And since most people enjoy bee propolis’s woodsy, herbal flavor, it’s easy to make it part of your daily routine.
Fights off Fungal Infections, Combat Cold Sores
As we’ve mentioned before, bee propolis is famous for its ability to seal off an area and fight against infections. This makes it extremely useful in treating topical fungal infections, like athlete’s foot, ringworm, and candida, and it’s been effective as a treatment for cold sores caused by the herpes virus.
In fact, you may have already been using bee propolis and not even realized it, as it’s often used as an ingredient in lip balms. But why add all those chemicals to something that already works effectively?
Bee propolis helps you get rid of common fungal infections and cold sores, 100% naturally.
Helps Fight Against Cancer
Obviously, cancer-fighting claims are hard to make for any natural remedy. There are so many types of cancer out there, and so many studies yet to be done. But the effectiveness of propolis as a cancer-fighting agent is a topic that’s being actively studied, and the indications are promising.
Remember earlier when we said that, like honey, bee propolis is different depending on where it’s from? One strain of propolis from Thailand was found to suppress cancer cells, to the point that researchers were comfortable calling it “a naturally obtained agent extremely useful in cancer treatment.” When it comes to cancer research, that’s about as ringing an endorsement as you’ll find.
As studies continue, we expect other strains of propolis will show similar anti-cancer properties, as well as additional benefits to our health.
A Healthy Future
While science continues to investigate more specific properties of bee propolis, one thing remains certain: we don’t yet know the full range of benefits to this amazing natural compound. Our best advice is to start working bee propolis into your regular wellness regimen, and to feel the effects for yourself.
And don’t worry about the bees?collecting propolis is a standard part of beekeeping and doesn’t cause any permanent harm to the bees or their hives. They’re more than happy to keep cranking out more of this miracle material, and we should all be more than happy to keep taking it for our health.