Propolis is a resinous substance produced by bees and rich in properties. Among the benefits that characterize it there are good antibacterial and antiviral qualities, anti-inflammatory and regenerative abilities towards the skin. Here are the properties of propolis.
From the fascinating world of bees comes propolis, a resinous product very useful for our health. It is in fact a substance with strong antiviral and antibacterial qualities that can be used in different situations and that should never be missing in our natural first aid kit.
The production of propolis by these precious insects is a bit laborious. After having collected the resin from the trees, in fact, the bees work it through their digestive enzymes and then enrich it with pollen and wax in such a way as to create an ad hoc substance that can serve to defend their hive from external agents and that has also disinfectant power.
In the end what you get is a natural product rich in precious substances such as minerals, vitamins but above all flavonoids, substances with antioxidant power. But how can we use pure propolis?
Since it is not particularly water-soluble, to make the most of the properties of this substance, it is often chosen to dilute it in ethyl alcohol, thus creating alcoholic solutions that are easier to use and ready to use.
Propolis: properties and benefits
The benefits of propolis are mainly antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and useful in strengthening the immune system, but not only. Let’s now discover all the properties of propolis.
✓ It is antibacterial and antiviral
Bees produce propolis to defend their hive from external agents and it is no coincidence that, once the composition of this substance has been analyzed, it has been found to be effective against viruses, bacteria and fungi. This ability is certainly among the most appreciated benefits of propolis and for which it is more often chosen and used as a natural remedy on various occasions, for example against cold sores or genital herpes. In this regard, according to some researchers, topically applied propolis helps to cure cold sores faster than many other treatments and reduces the occurrence of relapses.
✓ Useful in wound healing
Among the benefits of propolis there is also its anti-inflammatory power and the ability to regenerate the skin, promoting wound healing. This virtue is mainly given by a molecule called pinocembrin, a flavonoid that acts as an antifungal and anti- inflammatory. It is precisely this substance that makes propolis useful in wound healing. One study showed that propolis may also help people who have suffered minor burns heal faster by accelerating the growth of new healthy cells.
✓ Strengthens the immune system
Among the properties of propolis there is also that of helping the immune system to strengthen itself. This is possible thanks to the presence of antioxidants such as flavonoids that are found in its composition. It is therefore useful to take propolis in periods when there is a greater need to defend oneself, for example in the autumn-winter season, when flu and colds are more frequent.
✓ Counteracts the ulcer
According to some preliminary evidence, propolis seems to be able to effectively counteract some types of intestinal disorders, in particular ulcerative colitis and ulcers. According to the researchers, this property is conferred by the presence of some substances that effectively eliminate pathogens, including Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that can cause ulcers and gastritis. However, further studies are needed to prove this property.
✓ Against sore throat
The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial power of propolis make it one of the best allies for fighting sore throats. For this purpose, as we will see later, it is used in the form of a spray to be applied locally.
✓ Can help in pollen allergies
It can be useful to take propolis in case of allergic rhinitis. For this purpose, this substance is used as a sort of natural vaccine, propolis in fact is itself potentially allergenic (also given the presence of pollen) but by accustoming the body to small doses and in time with respect to the real period of allergies, it is possible in some cases to mitigate the annoying symptoms. If you want to try this route, it is better to always hear the opinion of your doctor who will have to balance the therapy well with the degree of allergy in progress and thus avoid worsening the situation.
Propolis: how to use it
Propolis exists on the market in different forms: sprays, dry extract, mother tincture to be used in drops, cream, tablets or pure propolis (to be purchased directly from beekeepers) with which to make a hydroalcoholic solution, creams, ointments through DIY. or other.
There are also many products that see it, in ready-made formulations in pharmacies or herbalists, combined with other natural substances (plants, flowers, etc.) to treat the most common health problems. There is also propolis for children that does not contain alcohol.
1. Propolis against sore throats
In case of sore throat it can be particularly useful to get propolis spray. This solution, in fact, is much more comfortable and practical to easily reach the place where irritation has been created precisely in the throat or trachea. On the packs you will find indications of how many sprays to do and how many times a day. Alternatively, you can dissolve 20 drops of propolis in a glass of water and use the mixture to rinse or gargle a couple of times a day.
2. Use propolis against colds and flu
At the first symptoms of colds and flu, to avoid that these are unleashed in all their power, you can act by using propolis in mother tincture. Usually 20 to 30 drops are recommended, depending on the case, 2 or 3 times a day. The taste is not very good and therefore to sweeten it a little it is possible to dilute the propolis in a spoonful of honey which will also help to soothe any inflammation of the trachea. In this regard, we remind you that there is also honey with propolis, with excellent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities.
3. Against sinusitis and rhinitis
A good way to treat allergic-type sinusitis and rhinitis is to use propolis drops to make aerosol. You need 30-40 and can be used both pure and diluted in distilled water. The only drawback is the propolis will stain the cruet a little.
4. Disinfect small wounds with propolis
Given its antibacterial power, propolis can be useful in case of small wounds or cuts when another type of disinfectant is not available. One or two drops are enough depending on the size of the torn area, take a deep breath but because it burns!
5. Using propolis on canker sores
In case of canker sores, pure propolis drops can be used directly on the areas of the lips affected by the problem and repeat the application several times a day. If there are canker sores inside the mouth, you can also use the mouthwash indicated above based on water and propolis with which to rinse as needed.
6. Propolis to treat herpes and mycosis
Given the antibacterial, antiviral but also antifungal power, a few drops of propolis mother tincture (or a propolis cream) can be useful for dealing with problems such as herpes and nail fungus, accelerating healing. However, the application must be done consistently several times a day for a few days.
Contraindications of propolis
Like all natural products, propolis is also a good solution if used wisely respecting the right doses and methods of intake. To be avoided in children under the age of 3 and in all subjects suffering from allergies to bees and to the substances that these insects produce. In pregnancy, to evaluate or not the possibility of taking it, it is advisable to rely on the opinion of the attending physician.
Propolis: where to buy
Propolis is generally found on the market in the form of sprays, mother tincture, creams or tablets. You can buy it in pharmacies, drugstores, herbalists or online, in specialized stores. Depending on the use we want to make of it, we will have to choose one type rather than another. For example, propolis spray or in tablets is very effective against sore throats or, for the treatment of herpes or burns, a cream or mother tincture for local applications is preferable. The price of propolis is very variable according to the chosen product. If you have any doubts, ask your doctor for advice or ask your pharmacist or herbalist for advice on which product is most suitable for you.