How Propolis Might Benefit Your Health
For many years, Propolis was looked upon as being just a material bees used to repair their hives. Subsequent research has shown that the benefits of Propolis reach much further than being merely a glue or cement.
Propolis is formed from a residue of plant material that bees have gathered. Usually, they choose sap from a tree, buds, or resin from tree bark, and return to the hive whereupon it is put to good use. Once in place, the sap or resin is mixed with pollen, wax, bee bread, and nectar to form Propolis.
It is odd that the ancient Romans and Greeks understood some of the valuable properties of this substance, but knowledge of its benefits seem to have been lost for many centuries. Fortunately, interest in natural healing substances has brought about a renewal in the interest of Propolis as a healing agent.
Far from being only a cementing agent, Propolis performs a number of valuable functions for the hive. Fungal infections can destroy a colony, as can bacterial ones, but the substance helps to prevent these infections and keep the hive clean and sanitary. Simply by rubbing against the Propolis, the bees help to protect themselves against infection from the external elements, but also help to spread the inhibitory qualities throughout the hive.
It has long been valued for treating burns and minor skin wounds and infections. In this case, it would be applied topically where not only will it act as a bactericide, but its anti inflammatory properties may help to reduce swelling and irritation. Even more healing power may be obtained by taking it as an oral supplement, as it contains many vitamins and minerals which may help with the efficiency of the immune system.
A veritable scourge of modern society is herpes. This is a viral infection for which there is no recognized cure – once you have herpes it will be with you throughout your life. This is a painful and sometimes debilitating disease that often does not respond to conventional medicines. Propolis has been shown to have a powerful antiviral effect both in the petri dish and in the test subject. The substance seems to interfere with the ability of the Herpes virus to enter the cell in order to infect it. These properties seem to operate both before a Herpes infection has occurred and afterwards.
Yeast infections can be persistent and recurring. They can be almost impossible to extinguish, especially if your immune system is not functioning well. Most yeast infections occur in the mouth or vagina, although they can be systems-wide or occur on the skin surface. While many of these infections resist a conventional course of treatment, Propolis has qualities that might work to help stop most yeast infections naturally. As it works to protect the bee colony from fungi, so it might help to eliminate yeast infections in humans and prevent their recurrence. It has also been found to be very effective against the oral yeast infections which haunt denture wearers
Endometriosis is an autoimmune disease affecting up to 30% of women. The symptoms of this condition can range from mild pain during menstruation to infertility. While there are drugs designed to treat endometriosis available, their side effects can be serious. However, it has been proven that some endometriosis caused infertility can be corrected by using a Propolis supplement. Happily, there were no side effects reported from the study, so the women participating experienced no problems with high blood pressure or depression associated with hormonal treatments. And, perhaps the best result of all was that 60% of the women with endometriosis - associated infertility were able to become pregnant after taking the product regularly. This compared most favorably with the 20% pregnancy rate of the control group that took a placebo.
Propolis has also shown its worth in treating that most dreaded of diseases – cancer. Both in the laboratory and in clinical trials, it has shown anti-cancer abilities that may hold out hope for those suffering from this condition. While human testing is just beginning, patients have had the blood supply to the tumor restricted and the growth of the tumor has been stopped. Besides acting directly on the tumor, it may also help to rally the immune system so that the body can more effectively fight against this life-threatening disease.
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