What Are The Benefits of Propolis?

Various products derived from the beehive have been studied and propolis has proved to be a product having beneficial results for human health.

Propolis (Pro-before, Polis-city = defense of the city), is the resinous substance that bees gather from the leaf buds of trees and certain vegetables.

The bee gathers this and transforms it in order to disinfect the beehive, seal cracks, build panels, as well as using it as a microbiocidal agent, disinfectant and also for embalming intruders otherwise difficult to expel due to their size.

If you want to learn more about propolis, click here to read Everything You Should Know About Bee Propolis (I Started Taking It Daily).

Propolis, thus, is directly responsible for guaranteeing the asepsis of the beehives, locations prone to developing viruses and bacteria, given their conditions of temperature and humidity.

Due to the great number of active ingredients present, tincture (alcoholic extract) of propolis is well known and used for its therapeutic properties, principally for its stimulant action on the organism’s defense system. Notable amongst its properties are its antioxidant and anti-microbial action, its activity as a stimulant and its healing, analgesic, anesthetic and anti-inflammatory activity.   

To date, in the literature consulted, no antioxidant capacity values have been found greater than those obtained for propolis, for any of the products/foods analyzed, using this type of methodology.

Dr. Mercola’s comments:

Bees, by pollinating trees and crops, are true sustainers of life on earth. Without their tireless service, we simply would not be able to feed ourselves. At the same time, they also create a wide variety of other useful products, including:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/11/17/this-bee-product-has-enormous-benefits-for-your-health.aspx

The Many Uses of Bee Propolis

As described above, propolis extract has a number of well known therapeutic properties, including potent antioxidant and anti-microbial action, and healing, analgesic, anesthetic, and anti-inflammatory properties.  It’s been used for thousands of years in folk medicine.

bee propolis has been found to prevent the formation of dental plaque by inhibiting the activity of certain enzymes that synthesize glucans from sucrose. Propolis, along with other bee products, has also been studied for its potential to control tumor growth, with some success.

Uses of Propolis tincture

Propolis is a resin-like material from the buds of poplar and cone-bearing trees. Propolis is rarely available in its pure form. It is usually obtained from beehives and contains bee products.

Propolis has a long history of medicinal use, dating back to 350 B.C., the time of Aristotle. Greeks have used propolis for abscesses; Assyrians have used it for healing wounds and tumors; and Egyptians have used it for mummification. It still has many medicinal uses today, although its effectiveness has only been shown for a couple of them.


Propolis is used for canker sores and infections caused by bacteria (including tuberculosis), by viruses, by fungus, and by single-celled organisms called protozoans. Propolis is also used for cancer of the nose and throat; for boosting the immune system; and for treating gastrointestinal (GI) problems including Helicobacter pylori infection in peptic ulcer disease. Propolis is also used as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.

People sometimes apply propolis directly to the skin for wound cleansing, genital herpes and cold sores; as a mouth rinse for speeding healing following oral surgery; and for the treatment of minor burns.

In manufacturing, propolis is used as an ingredient in cosmetics.

How does it work?

Propolis seems to have activity against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It might also have anti-inflammatory effects and help skin heal.

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-390-propolis.aspx?activeingredientid=390&

Did you know that honey isn’t the only thing that bees make? Bees also produce a compound called propolis from the sap on needle-leaved trees or evergreens. When they combine the sap with their own discharges and beeswax, they create a sticky, greenish-brown product that is used as a coating to build their hives. This is propolis.

Thousands of years ago, ancient civilizations used propolis for its medicinal properties. Greeks used it to treat abscesses. Assyrians put it on wounds and tumors to fight infection and help the healing process. Egyptians used it embalm mummies.

The composition of propolis can vary depending on the location of the bees and what trees and flowers they have access to. For example, propolis from Europe won’t have the same chemical makeup as propolis from Brazil. This can make it difficult for researchers to come to general conclusions about its health benefits.

Where to Get Propolis Today

One of the reasons behind propolis’ popularity is that it’s thought to have antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. Propolis has been suggested to have a role in treating certain cancers as well.

Today, propolis is an ingredient in many manufactured beauty and skin care products. The compound is still used for medical purposes, which include:

  • fighting infections
  • boosting the immune system
  • healing genital herpes and cold sores
  • treating skin injuries
  • helping the mouth heal after dental surgery

It can be purchased in pharmacies or health food stores. Topical forms include creams, ointments, and lotions. Propolis can also be taken orally and comes in tablet, liquid extract, and capsule form. Currently there is no medically recommended dose because more research is needed. Manufacturers may suggest a dose on the product label.

What the Research Says

  • Despite its many uses, scientific research on propolis is still limited. Researchers aren’t exactly sure how it works, but the bee product does appear to provide protection from some bacteria, viruses, and fungi. One study found that applying a propolis solution to wounds helped to speed healing in rats with diabetes. These findings are encouraging, but still need further research.
  • According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), propolis is “possibly effective” for treating cold sores, genital herpes outbreaks, and improving the healing process after mouth surgery.
  • Ointments that contain 3 percent propolis, such as Herstat or Coldsore-FX, may help speed healing time and reduce symptoms in both cold sores and sores from genital herpes. A recent study also suggests that propolis extracts might be a good treatment option for the herpes virus.
  • There is not yet enough evidence to determine whether or not propolis products are safe, but they’re not considered high-risk. People typically take in some propolis when they eat honey. However, if you have an allergy to honey or bees, you will also have a reaction to products containing propolis. Propolis may also cause its own allergic reaction when used for a long period of time. Talk to your doctor before adding propolis to your treatment plan, especially if you have existing allergies or asthma.
  • As modern medicine continues to study this ancient compound, more of its reported healing properties and uses may be proven effective.

http://www.healthline.com/health/propolis-an-ancient-healer#2

Science Looks To Food

Growing concerns about health has caused the scientific community to focus their interest on investigating functional foods which contribute to boosting the prevention and reduction of the risk of suffering from certain illnesses. The benefits of this product lies in its composition and, thus, its study, identification and subsequent extraction provides a useful tool which enables making high added-value products, given their high concentration of biologically active compounds.

Over the past 5 years, Neiker-Tecnalia, in collaboration with the Fundación Kalitatea, apicultural associations in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, honey producing plants and Basque governmental bodies, has undertaken R+D projects associated with the beekeeping sector. Various products derived from the beehive have been studied and propolis has proved to be a product having beneficial results for human health.

Propolis (Pro-before, Polis-city = defense of the city), is the resinous substance that bees gather from the leaf buds of trees and certain vegetables. The bee gathers this and transforms it in order to disinfect the beehive, seal cracks, build panels, as well as using it as a microbiocidal agent, disinfectant and also for embalming intruders otherwise difficult to expel due to their size. Propolis is, thus, directly responsible for guaranteeing the asepsis of the beehives, locations prone to developing viruses and bacteria, given their conditions of temperature and humidity.

Although the precise composition of propolis depends on the zone of beehive activity (climate, surrounding vegetation, and so on), as a rough guide, we can mention the following: resins and balsams (50-60%), waxes (20-25%), essential oils (5-10%), pollen (5%), others (minerals, enzymes, etc. 5%).

The fraction of resins and balsams is the one that contains most of the biologically active compounds, mainly phenolic ones derived from the vegetable kingdom and having proven pharmacological abilities. Due to the great number of active ingredients present, tincture (alcoholic extract) of propolis is well-known and used for its therapeutic properties, principally for its stimulant action on the organism’s defense system. Notable amongst its properties are its antioxidant and anti-microbial action, its activity as a stimulant and its healing, analgesic, anesthetic and anti-inflammatory activity.

The study of the biological activity of this product was undertaken following two lines of work: (a) a study of the antioxidant activity and (b) a study of the anti-microbial action.

Antioxidant properties

The antioxidant activity trials provided knowledge about the capacity of the product under study (propolis) for neutralizing free radicals. These radicals represent damaged molecules, generated both in endogenous and exogenous ways, capable of causing damage at cell level, and causing the onset of future degenerative illnesses, such as cancer, Alzeheimer, and so on.

A diet rich in antioxidants minimizes the risk of the onset of this kind of illness, and so the evaluation of the antioxidant activity of a product when establishing its preventative potential is of great interest.

This type of trial involves the artificial generation of free radicals in the laboratory and which are subsequently made to react with the sample to which the antioxidant properties are attributed, in order to estimate their capacity for neutralization. To this end, three spectrophotometric techniques were applied.

Antimicrobial properties

The test for anti-microbial action enables the evaluation of the inhibition exercised on the growth of certain microorganisms by the product under study. The MIC (Minimum Inhibitory Concentration) methodology involved the diffusion of the substance under study in a medium in which the growth of the microorganisms is optimum. If the substance diffused has a capacity to impede the growth of the chosen microorganism, a halo will appear around the central point where the product has been deposited. Otherwise, the medium will remain unaltered.

To carry out this trial the strains were activated in an optimum medium containing the necessary nutrients for the growth/development of the microorganism. When growth reached the Macfarlane index, close to 0.5, agar was added and seeded in rectangular plaques. Once solidified, the plaques were drilled and, by means of templates, various concentrations of propolis (0.1-50%) were deposited.

All the concentrations were tested in triplicate. The plaques were incubated at 37 ºC and, after this, the presence/absence of the halos of inhibition was detected and which provided a visualized measurement of the inhibition exercised by the propolis on the growth of the microorganism used. These halos of inhibition were measured with calibers and the values obtained were extrapolated using as a template a plaque seeded with various concentrations of phenol (1-10%), which has a powerful biocide activity.

The MIC trials were undertaken with the following microorganisms:

  • Streptococcus mutans (dental caries)
  • Candida albicans (vaginal infections)
  • Salmonella tiphy (salmonellosis)
  • Helicobacter pylori (stomach ulcer)
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae (opportunistic role in asepsis of Aids sufferers, leukemia…)

The microorganisms selected were bacteria, yeasts and fungi responsible for common and very heterogeneous complaints.

Antioxidant capacity

The antioxidant activity trials were carried out dissolving propolis in two types of solvent: 70% ethanol and propylenglycol.

The results coincided with what was expected, as this product has a high quantity of biologically active components, outstanding amongst these being the flavonoids (known for their high antioxidant power).

The flavonoids are in fact most responsible for all the medicinal properties attributable to propolis: antibacterial, antimitotic, antifungal, antiviral, antitubercular, cytostatic, anticleric, antioxidant, antitoxic, hypotensor, homeostatic, immunogenic and antiparasitical.

The prepared ethanol extracts showed a high inhibition of the radicals employed. The values were within the established ranges. Although there were significant differences between them, these may have been due to the location of the hives as well as the degree of impurities present in the same.

As can be seen from the results, there were small differences between the different extracts (ethanol and propylenglycol), although these were not significant. The values fluctuate and, in the case of propylenglycol, they were less, but this variation did not appear to affect the composition of the final product in any drastic manner.

To date, in the literature consulted, no antioxidant capacity values have been found greater than those obtained for propolis, for any of the products/foods analyzed, using this type of methodology.

Antimicrobial capacity

The development and growth of all these microorganisms studied were seen to be inhibited in the presence of different concentrations of propolis. The minimum inhibitory concentrations were produced at very low concentrations of the product, thus corroborating the high antimicrobial potential of the product. These results show that propolis is made up of compounds with high antimicrobiological activity, probably derived from its high content of phenolic, flavonoid compounds … originating from the vegetable kingdom.

English translation by: WORDLAN wordlan2012@gmail.com; 615740862.

http://www.basqueresearch.com/new/propolis-has-proved-to-be-a-product-with-ability-to-have-beneficial-effects-for-health

1 thought on “What Are The Benefits of Propolis?”

  1. Received the honey today Monday Feb 22 in a timely manner as promised. The package was nicely boxed and wrapped. Once I opened the honey container and tasted, I knew the quality of the product flavor was fantastic. Highly recommend Allison’s Apiaries for their product and delivery. I will purchase honey from them again most certainly.

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