Propolis is a natural antibiotic. It is an aromatic resinous substance, collected by bees from the flower buds of various plants – poplar, chestnut, birch, willow, spruce, pine and fir. With the addition of digestive ferments, pollen and wax, propolis is processed in the digestive organs of bees by lactic acid fermentation. It is different in color and chemical composition, depending from which plant bees collected it. At higher temperatures it is sticky and at low temperatures it is brittle and crumbles at the fracture.
Bees are collecting propolis on various tree resins. They use it for pressing cracks formed by contraction and spread of wood hives, because they need constant body temperature. They embalm dead intruders with it (flies and ants that ran into the hive), to protect themselves from infection due to intruders bodies decomposing. Furthermore, in winter, when they can not fly from the hive, propolis protects them against infection, because it contains essential oils and vapor.
In general, propolis contains 5 flavonoids, about 30 minerals (minerals promote life-activity of the organism), vitamins B1, B2, B6, A, C, E,… it contains various aromatic organic acids, caffeine acid, cinnamic acid, antibiotic compounds and others. It has from 8 to 17 amino acids including several essentials. It also includes material from the secretions of saliva from the glands of bees. Such materials include some unsaturated fatty acids, which are potent antioxidants.
Numerous medical reports prove that propolis inhibits the growth of bacterias or even destroys them, promotes healing and helps in the treatment of inflammation. Its antibiotic activity is very important, since it affects not only the bacterias but also different viruses. Scientists found that propolis affects the certain types of fungi too. It is often used in rheumatic diseases and for strengthening the immune system. Furthermore, it also acts as an antioxidant, which is used in food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. In particular, it is used in treating anemia, respiratory diseases and with inflammation of the gums and mouth. It helps in inflammation of the gastric mucosa and in inflammation of the colon.
Propolis collected from the hive is not immediately useful – it has to be processed with 60-70 % alcohol solution. It is used in form of various ointments, in the form of alcohol-ether tinctures, as well as candles.
So, if you are not allergic to honey, try this wondrous natural medicine. I bet you will experience several positive effects too!