Propolis – nutritional information and facts
Propolis is a nutrient-rich substance made by honey bees. (WIKI Propolis) It is a resinous substance gathered from deciduous tree bark and leaves. Used as a healing agent for many centuries it has the ability to provide protection against infectious invaders, promote healing and regeneration of tissue, and provides a superior source of energy and stamina.
Honeybees create propolis to sterilize the hive and to protect it against outside intruders and infection. It is also used to seal cracks in the hive, and for this reason is often termed ‘bee glue’.
Propolis, to a greater extent than the other bee products, is used externally as well is ingested. It is often applied to skin irritations, cuts, rashes and bruises to sterilize and disinfect the wound. It is used in tincture form as a natural alternative to penicillin and other antibiotics. Used as an antibiotic it is said to be particularly safe and effective and inhibits the resistance-building effect that is a negative factor with prescription antibiotics.
The fact that viruses and bacteria are unable to build tolerances against propolis is particularly significant to the medical field. In an age where prescription antibiotics are commonly over prescribed, it is becoming more difficult for scientists to remain one step ahead when creating antibiotics to treat viral/bacterial conditions. When antibiotics are taken too frequently, the harmful bacteria that they are designed to eliminate begin to build a resistance to the antibiotic, rendering it impotent.
The anti resistance-building properties of propolis have been clinically verified under controlled conditions.
Prominent Danish scientist, Dr. K. Lund Aagaard has conducted many tests into the properties of propolis and believes that in propolis he has found a substance with the greatest efficiency against the greatest number of diseases. More research into propolis
What is the chemical composition of propolis?
Propolis contains approximately 50-70% resins, 30% wax, 10% etheric oils and 5% pollen.
Propolis is especially rich in amino acids, important for immune system function.
It has a high vitamin content and is extremely rich in bioflavonoids (Vitamin P). Bioflavonoids are reported to have numerous immune building properties and health benefits. Bioflavonoids are the natural pigments in fruits and vegetables and are found in abundance in oranges.
Propolis contains almost 500 times more bioflavonoids than is found in oranges!
According to researcher undertaken at the Second Leningrad Scientific Conference on the Application of Apiculture (bee culture) in Medicine, Bee Propolis is found to be rich in: Vitamin A (carotene), Vitamin B1, B2, B3, biotin. It contains an array of bioflavonoids, albumin, calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.
Except for vitamin K, Propolis contains all known vitamins and has fourteen of the 15 minerals that the human body requires for normal function. (it does not contain sulfur).
Like Royal Jelly and Bee Pollen, Propolis also contains a number of unidentified compounds which work together synergistically to create a balanced, nutritive substance.
Propolis and our health:- Propolis is commonly applied externally in treating cuts and skin irritations, where its natural antibiotic properties are shown to be effective.
“The field of influence of Propolis is extremely broad. It includes cancer, infection of the urinary tract, swelling of the throat, gout, open wounds, sinus congestion, colds, influenza, bronchitis, gastritis, diseases, of the ears, periodontal disease, intestinal infections, ulcers, eczema eruptions, pneumonia, arthritis, lung disease, stomach virus, headaches, Parkinson’s disease, bile infections, sclerosis, circulation deficiencies, warts, conjunctivitis and hoarseness.” Dr. K. Lund Aagaard
Dr. John Diamond, President of the International Academy of Preventative Medicine says: “Our life energy is the source of our physical and mental well-being, of glowing health, of the joy of living…” “I have never seen a patient with chronic degenerative illness who did not have an underactive thymus gland. I believe it is the thymus weakness or underactivity that is the original cause of the illness…..of all the natural supplements I have tested the one that seems to be the most strengthening to the thymus, and hence the life energy, is bee resin or bee propolis…”
Rich in bioflavonoids, propolis may help in healing and mending blood vessels and resisting the release of histamine. Bioflavonoids are researched as having particular benefit to high blood pressure, respiratory infections and liver conditions. More recently, research has shown that propolis may prevent or retard the growth of certain types of cancerous cells in the human body. (research at Columbia University)
Propolis is commonly associated with the following:
• natural antibiotic
• sore throats
• colds / coughs /flu
• respiratory / sinus
• acne and skin disorders including shingles
• Skin cuts, burns, rashes, infections.
• Dental Care, cavities and mouth ulcers.
The Vitamin A content of propolis has proven of interest in more recent times. Vitamin A was the first fat-soluble vitamin to be discovered. The body acquires some of its vitamins A and C through animal fats and beta-carotene and other carotenoids abundant in many fruits and vegetables.??Vitamin A is commonly taken as a dietary health supplement to help promote healthy eyesight and to help resist infection.
Vitamins boost immunity by enhancing the infection-fighting actions of the white blood cells called lymphocytes. They are also vital to the growth of bones, skin and hair and may ease the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease and ulcers.
Frenchman, P. Lavie, has been studying and writing about the antibacterial properties of bee products and propolis. His work represents many years of trying to unfold the many claims relating to the benefits of bee products, and working to add scientific substance to the claims. One example of his studies revealed that adding hot water or hot alcohol to propolis created an antibiotic extract that remained stable for many months when refrigerated.
He also found that propolis proved effective as a fungicide, being the only product from the hive to have this property. His work lead to the conclusion that propolis is created primarily to maintain a healthy and illness-free environment within the beehive. Considering the densely populated work area, the occasional outside intruder and the many forms of bacteria that must be combated, this is quite an achievement.
Oral Health and Propolis
Recent studies into the medicinal properties of propolis have shown it to be effective in dental hygiene and the reduction of cavities. To this end, we are beginning to see the emergence of propolis-based toothpaste and dental hygiene products.
Medical studies have also indicated that an ethanolic extract of propolis has a similar effect to the commercial drug novocaine. It may be these properties that give propolis its powerful ability to reduce the pain from sore throats.
Propolis and Cancer
Clinical studies on mice and rats have shown that propolis has properties which might reduce the size of tumors, and prevent the development of cancerous cells. [learn more here]
This particular property of propolis is connected to its strong antioxidant capability and the activity of the compound CAPE.
Several new studies into the potential benefits of propolis in treating/inhibiting certain types of cancer are underway and the projected outcomes look very promising.
How is propolis processed for human consumption?
Propolis can be purchased completely raw and unprocessed, but it in its natural state is a sticky substance and is very difficult to handle. Some beekeepers will package the raw propolis and freeze it in small portions. It can then be added to a coffee grinder in its frozen state and ground for easy consumption.
Most producers utilize a process where the active ingredients are ‘leached’ into water or alcohol, then either packaged in liquid form or dried and capsulated.
Propolis has great potential in the medical field as a natural antibiotic with non-resistance building properties.
A versatile substance, propolis can be applied externally to good effect and internally for boosting immunity and destroying harmful toxins and ‘free radicals’.
With modern research capabilities, I am certain that we will see an upsurge in propolis related products, and that before long the FDA will issue much needed guidelines into the effective daily dosages and scope of uses for propolis.