17 Nov 4 FACTS OF BEE PROPOLIS
What is Bee Propolis?
Bee Propolis is a resinous mixture produced by the honeybees by mixing saliva and beeswax with exudate gathered from tree buds, sap, flowers, and other botanical sources. Within the hive propolis is used to seal unwanted openings and sterilization.
The word propolis is derived from the Greek language meaning “before the polis” (before the city)
1 Bee Use propolis to control microorganisms growth
In addition to its protective role within the hive, propolis also stimulates high level expressions of the immune system responding effectively in bees challenged with microorganisms. Whether this increase translates into improved disease control will require laboratory and field tests with pathogens. But the challenge is there and it’s very promising! Propolis is proving to be a complementary and alternative agent that promises to achieve a more effective immune system when the immune response is not sufficient to control a specific infection.
Its colour varies depending on its botanical source, with dark brown being more common. Propolis is sticky at and above 20 degrees Celsius (68 F) while at low temperatures it becomes hard and brittle.
2 Bee propolis is rich in natural flavonoids.
While foraging, worker bees primarily harvest pollen and nectar, while also collecting water and plant resin necessary to produce propolis. The chemical composition and nature of propolis depends on environmental conditions and harvested resources.
The main components of propolis are resin (50%-70%) oil and wax (30%-50%) pollen (5%-10%) and other chemical compounds including amino acids, minerals, sugars, vitamins B, C and E flavonoids, phenol, as well as aromatic compounds.
3 Propolis were used from ancient times.
The ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians were very much aware of the healing properties of propolis, and it was used extensively. Propolis was carried out to war and used in the healing of wounds in the battlefield. In the last century scientists have been able to prove that propolis is as active and as important as our forefathers thought. Chemical composition of propolis started at the beginning of WW2 and with advances in chromatographic analytical methods etc we were able to separate and extract several components in propolis. At least 180 different compounds have been identified so far. Its antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and aesthetic compounds have excited the scientific world.
4 Propolis health benefits
Propolis is our hope for the future! It’s reported health benefits stand alone in improving the immune system, lowering blood pressure, treating allergies, and skin conditions. Further trials are being conducted to see how effective propolis and its constituents having a wide application, including wound and skin healing, neurodegenerative disease and atherosclerosis. There is certainly an interest in the health properties of propolis and the subsequent growth in publication history since 1990. An interesting avenue and possible future commercial direction for cardiovascular health makes propolis an outstanding health and beauty compound!