- 1 What is bee propolis?
- 2 How to Use Propolis
- 3 Top Health Benefits of Bee Propolis
- 3.1 Benefit 1: Fights carcinogens
- 3.2 Benefit 2: Great antibiotic
- 3.3 Benefit 3: Can be used to treat minor burns
- 3.4 Benefit 4: Helps regulate blood sugar
- 3.5 Benefit 5: Promotes oral health
- 3.6 Benefit 6: Can be used to treat nail infections
- 3.7 Benefit 7: Natural antimicrobial
- 3.8 Benefit 8: Can be used to treat yeast infections
- 3.9 Benefit 9: Can be used to treat ear infections
- 4 Other Uses of Bee Propolis
- 5 Potential Side Effects
- 6 Where to Buy Propolis
What is bee propolis?
Apart from honey and beeswax, bees also make bee propolis, a substance with amazing health benefits.Bees use propolis to glue their hives together and seal small gaps on their hives. It is a mixture of beeswax and a number of bee secretions, and contains resins from Poplar and Confer trees. The compounds present in bee propolis vary from one region to another depending on the flowers that the bees feed on. The color and consistency of bee propolis also varies depending on the compounds it contains, but it is usually dark brown. There are several health benefits of bee propolis.
How to Use Propolis
Bee propolis can be taken orally or applied topically. It is available in various forms including capsule, powder, tablet, and liquid extract. It is also available in spray form, and this is perfect for treating throat infections. You can also find propolis cream or ointment for topical application. There are also toothpastes and other oral products that contain propolis instead of fluoride. Experts recommend no more than 500 milligrams of propolis per day if you are ingesting it. However, it is highly recommended to follow the specific instructions given on the labels to ensure that you are using the right quantity of propolis. Again, remember that the concentration of propolis varies from one product to another, so it is important to follow the instructions to avoid any adverse side effects.
Top Health Benefits of Bee Propolis
Benefit 1: Fights carcinogens
Since time immemorial, bee propolis has been used to slow down the growth of tumors. There are more than 300 articles and scientific studies on the use of propolis in cancer treatment. A lot of research has been done on the topic, and the results reveal that bee propolis contains some carcinogen-fighting compounds. It has particularly been shown to slow down the growth of cancer cells in individuals with prostate and cervical cancer. While it does not kill the cancer cells (like other treatment options such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy), hampering their growth slows down the progress of the cancer and increases the patient’s chances of surviving.
Benefit 2: Great antibiotic
Abuse of antibiotics has led to many strains of bacteria which could easily be treated becoming resistant to drugs. This is a great challenge in the medicinal industry today. Another problem caused by overusing antibiotics is the elimination of good bacteria (which is needed in the body). Doctors, therefore, advise people using antibiotics to use probiotics to preserve the good bacteria. Bee propolis has been shown to be a great antibiotic that can be used instead of the conventional drugs which have become less effective and can cause several other complications.
Benefit 3: Can be used to treat minor burns
A study was done where patient with minor burns was treated with bee propolis instead of a prescription cream. The study revealed that the effect of bee propolis on minor burns are quite similar to that of conventional prescription creams. Bee propolis was also found to cause less pain and discomfort to the burn victim. It is, therefore, a great alternative to conventional prescription creams, and since it is a natural substance, the possibility of allergic reactions or other adverse side effects is greatly minimized.
Benefit 4: Helps regulate blood sugar
Bee propolis is a natural inhibitor to some enzymes that increase level of blood sugar in the body. This is due to the antioxidant compounds it contains. Bee propolis is, therefore, a great alternative to insulin and other expensive pharmaceutical drugs used to treat diabetes. By stabilizing blood sugar in the body, propolis eliminates the need for these expensive alternatives whose effects are temporary and have to be used every day to keep one’s blood sugar levels in check. Accordingly, it saves diabetics a lot of financial and emotional turmoil.
Benefit 5: Promotes oral health
Propolis has been shown be good for oral health, and the fact that it is a natural substance makes it better than most synthetic products available in the market. Its anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties make it a great alternative to chemical substances such as fluoride, which has several adverse effects including increasing the risk of developing arthritis, lowering fertility rates in both males and females, and heightening the risk of developing kidney disease among others. Propolis is also an enamel hardener, and therefore improves dental health. Oral health contributes a great deal to a person’s overall well being. Therefore, the benefits of using bee propolis go far beyond promoting oral health.
Benefit 6: Can be used to treat nail infections
Fungal nail infections are not uncommon, especially among adults. Since these infections are usually caused by different fungi, conventional prescription creams may not always be effective against them. In fact, in a past study, some commonly-prescribed creams were tested against different fungi, and some of the fungi were found to be resistant to the creams. However, when bee propolis was used instead, it was found to very effective against all the fungi. It is, therefore, a better option than conventional prescription creams for the treatment of fungal nail infections. Its anti-inflammatory properties also ease the pain and discomfort associated with fungal nail infections.
Benefit 7: Natural antimicrobial
A lot of research has been done on bee propolis and the results suggest that it is a powerful antimicrobial that can fight even the most aggressive bacteria. This is probably because it contains a variety of flavonoids as bees feed on fruits and nectar from different plants. These flavonoids have numerous health benefits including fighting dangerous microbes. Bee propolis is, therefore, great for fighting various infections in the body, such as common cold and sore throats.
Benefit 8: Can be used to treat yeast infections
Medics have been trying to find a suitable remedy for pathogenic Candida albicans in vain. While 40-60% of healthy adults have Candida albicans in their guts and mouths, it can become a health threat to individuals with low immunity. It can cause yeast overgrowth in the mouth and in the female genitalia. In worse cases, the infection can spread to vital body organs such as the heart and brain. It is for such people that a remedy is needed. Bee propolis, which is known to have powerful antifungal properties, was tested against Candida albicans and found to be a very effective remedy for it. This is because it prevents overgrowth of candida and triggers the body to produce antibodies to fight infections caused by Candida albicans.
Benefit 9: Can be used to treat ear infections
The use of bee propolis to treat ear infections is still being tested, but it has been shown to contain a compound known as caffeic acid phenethyl ester which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and can be of great help in treating ear infections. Ear infections are very common among children and a good number of adults also suffer from them. If not treated in good time, they can lead to further complications such as hearing loss, albeit temporary, among others. Many people suffering from ear infections will thus benefit from the use of bee propolis.
Other Uses of Bee Propolis
Bee propolis can be used as a fertility treatment for women suffering from endometriosis. It has also been used as a remedy for acne, osteoporosis, and tuberculosis for a long time. It is effective in the treatment of oral herpes infections (also known as cold sores),genital herpes, and Candidiasis.
Potential Side Effects
Bee propolis is highly hypoallergenic but this does not mean that it cannot cause allergic reactions. While a good number of people have used it without any adverse effects, some people may still react to it. If you are prone to allergies, especially bee and bee product allergies, it is advisable to consult with your doctor before using propolis. If you are given the go-ahead, you should start by using a small amount to see if you will have any adverse reaction. Bee propolis can also cause mouth ulcers when taken orally. Bee propolis contains a certain compound that inhibits the enzymes that help in blood clotting. Therefore, if you have a bleeding condition or have just undergone surgery, it might not be a good idea to use propolis. Propolis also contains some compounds that are thought to worsen asthma. It is, therefore, best to avoid it if you have asthma. All in all, if you heed your doctor’s advice and follow the directions for use to the letter, propolis should not cause any adverse reactions.It is safe for use by both children and adults.
Where to Buy Propolis
Bee propolis is widely available and you can easily find it in your local drug store. You can also find it on various websites online. Consider the store’s reputation when deciding whether or not to buy propolis from a certain place. Read customer reviews to determine whether the products they sell are legitimate. You should also opt for a store with a wide variety of propolis products.