Did you know that bees give us more than honey? You may already know that honey has many immune-boosting benefits. However, you may be surprised to learn that bees also give us something called Propolis.
In fact, bee propolis hosts a whole other list of superfood properties that you should know about!
Propolis may also be referred to as “bee glue” because it is actually used to line the walls of the hive. It is collected from parts of plants and buds, but has a waxy texture that helps with the construction of the hive. In fact, the name propolis comes from the greek words “pro”, meaning “at the entrance”, and “polis”, standing for “city” or “community" (1).Today, we mainly use propolis for its antimicrobial properties, for everything from colds to wound treatments, and even skin repair. Historically, it has even been used by ancient Egyptians to embalm cadavers, and Greeks and Romans used it as a mouth disinfectant and an antiseptic in wound treatments (1). Propolis also acts as a potent anti-inflammatory because of its naturally-occurring components, including: Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3 and B7, amino acids, fatty acids, and minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium, and sodium, etc. (1).
So how can bee propolis help us in our daily lives?
1. Colds and throat infections
At Organika, many of us swear by a few sprays of our Bee Propolis Throat Spray to ward off the first signs of a cold. With both antioxidant and antimicrobial benefits, Bee Propolis can help to boost immunity. This lets us fight off colds a little easier and possibly keep us from catching it altogether! Alongside this, propolis is composed of a compound called caffeic acid phenyl ester (CAPE) (1), which shows anti-inflammatory properties. With a cold, this inflammation can show up as a puffy face, stuffy nose, and irritated throat.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you may think that there is no hope. Sure spring flowers are beautiful, but a runny nose and watery eyes don’t feel so great. While there hasn’t been a lot of scientific research around this, many people find that bee propolis, honey and pollen are beneficial for allergies. By incorporating locally harvested honey, or bee propolis (Organika’s comes from the Okanagan in British Columbia!), you can expose yourself to some of the things that cause seasonal allergies to start with. You can also help to prepare your immune system for when allergy season hits.
3. Oral Health
Our mouths are actually pretty gross. While it does a pretty good job on its own to clean everything out, bacteria and infections can be stronger than we think. This is especially important if our immune system is down. Bacteria can cause issues like halitosis (a nicer way of saying “bad breath”), gingivitis, and can create infection if you have any type of surgical procedures on your teeth or gums. Due to the antimicrobrial and antibacterial properties of propolis, it can help reduce our risk of mouth diseases and infections.
4. Wound Healing
Bee propolis has long been used in skin care products. It has been used in both first-aid treatments and in our beauty care. With high levels of antioxidants, it works against free-radical activity that occurs in wounds, ultimately assisting with healing. There have also been studies that have shown propolis’ role in assisting with collagen production in the wound (2). There is still significant research to be done around the use of propolis to truly understand its various benefits. However, looking back on our history can give us a few clues like they have above.