Propolis and its extracts have numerous applications in treating various diseases due to its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antimycotic, antifungal, antiulcer, anticancer, and immunomodulatory properties.
What exactly Propolis is?
Propolis is a natural resinous mixture produced by honey bees from substances collected from parts of plants, buds, and exudates. Bees gather propolis from different plants, in the temperate climate zone mainly from poplar. Current antimicrobial applications of propolis include formulations for cold syndrome (upper respiratory tract infections, common cold, and flu-like infections), wound healing, treatment of burns, acne, herpes simplex and genitalis, and neurodermatitis.
Propolis – Interesting Facts
Due to its waxy nature and mechanical properties, bees use propolis in the construction and repair of their hives for sealing openings and cracks and smoothing out the internal walls and as a protective barrier against external invaders like snakes, lizards, and so on, or against weathering threats like wind and rain.
Propolis – Chemical Composition
When gathered from the beehive propolis is sticky, yellow to brown, soft mass. It has a nice and strong aroma – mixture of beeswax, resin, honey, essential oils. It tastes sharp and bitter. Stored in cool temperature it becomes hard and just like the plasticine clay it gets softer after only few minutes in your hands.
The most common way to use propolis is having few drops propolis tincture. It is a liquid version of the propolis, made using pure alcohol to extract the resins.
Propolis contains a great variety of elements with a unique composition:
Flavonoids – flavones, flavonols, flavanones, flavanonols, chalcones, dihydrochalcones, isoflavones, isodihydroflavones, flavans, isoflavans, neoflavonoids and flavonoid glycosides;
Phenolic acids, tannins, stilbenes, curcuminoids, coumarins and quinines;
Terpens – acyclic, monocyclic, dicyclic monoterpenes are isolated from propolis;
Minerals – calcium, magnesium, aluminium, carbon, iron, manganese, nickel, and zinc;
Hydrocarbons, Aminoacids, Vitamins (В₁, В₂, В₆, А, Е, С) and many other elements.
When do we use it?
Improving immune response;
Nose and throat infections;
Stomach and intestinal disorders;
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection;
Painful mouth sores and inflammation (oral mucositis);
Thrush (oropharyngeal candidiasis);
Upper respiratory tract infections;
Vaginal swelling (vaginitis);
Also used in many cosmetic products for skin.
How do we use it?
For internal usage:
The most popular and easy way to use propolis is taking 30% extraction in pure alcohol – Propolis tincture.
For adults – 20-30 drops a day in some water, juice or warm (not hot) tea. Take it before meal.
For children – the number of the drops depends on the age of the child. For a 4 years old children you give 8 drops, for 5 years – 10 (number of drops double the years).
During a cold, flue or some infection a more intense course is recommended. The number of drops stays the same but you can take them 3 to 5 times a day (for 5-7 days).
If you take propolis for the first time, we recommend taking just a couple of drops in the beginning so you can make an allergy test. If there is no allergy reaction (some kind of rash) in 30 minutes, you can continue with the regular daily dose.
For external use:
In its natural form, propolis should be warmed up until it gets soft (one minute in your palm would be enough). Once it is soft, you can chop a small piece, make a thin fingerprint and put it over the problem spot with a bandage. It is very good for any type of callosity, wounds or burnings. You can change the bandage in couple of days until healing.
Propolis tincture is also good for different skin inflammations and acne. It should be applied directly on the problem spot.
Propolis ointment – with propolis (10-30 grams), vaseline and lanolin or beeswax. This cream is great for all kind of skin issues – skin lichens, wounds, burnings, frostbites, skin chaps, haemorrchoids, herpes, etc.