Why is Bee Propolis great for immunity?
Bee propolis is a natural healing remedy that goes as far back as ancient Greece. The word propolis broken down stands for pro, meaning defence, and polis, meaning the city. Translated as ‘defence of the city’, this substances name describes how bees use propolis to protect their hives. Treatments with propolis include wound healing, reducing swelling/inflammation, and more! Many also use bee propolis for immunity support against certain types of bacteria, fungus and viruses.
Ever hear of flavonoids? They are chemical compounds found in fruits, vegetables and, yep, propolis (1)! They are a big part of the reason plants aid in keeping us healthy. Flavonoids protect us by acting as an antioxidant.
Antioxidants ‘mop up’ unstable compounds that can cause damage around the body, known as free radicals. When you fill your body with rich sources of antioxidants such as bee propolis, it will work to help get rid of these free radicals and prevent this damage from occurring.
This antioxidant property is also what decreases inflammation. Inflammation is a natural distress response in the body. At times, inflammation can be uncomfortable (think swelling, heat and pain) and at other times it may not be overtly noticeable, but may still be causing irritation internally. Bee propolis has been shown to reduce inflammation and decrease the associated discomfort (2).
Antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal
Flavonoids also have promising antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Bee propolis, in particular, has a complex combination of different types of flavonoids. These flavonoids work in balance together to produce these antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal effects (3). The way in which bee propolis can do this is by slowing down the ability of the virus, bacteria or fungus to replicate. When the replication process slows down, our immune system has a better opportunity to fight back, heal and repair.
Bees use nature to create this amazing remedy, and due to different geographical origins, the ingredient list in each batch may vary slightly depending on where the bee is located and where it may have ventured to that particular day. Although slightly different, most, if not all bee propolis offers the amazing therapeutic effects listed above.
When it comes to the long history, as well as the present use for bee propolis, the applications are truly endless. From oral wound healing, of things like canker sores, to treatment of allergies, propolis is copious in what it is capable of healing. Isn’t it amazing how much this one little insect contributes to our big world?
Bee healthy, bee happy!
- Wagh VD. Propolis: a wonder bees product and its pharmacological potentials. Advances in pharmacological sciences. 2013;2013.
- Campos JF, Santos UP, Rocha PD, Damião MJ, Balestieri JB, Cardoso CA, Paredes-Gamero EJ, Estevinho LM, de Picoli Souza K, Santos EL. Antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cytotoxic activities of propolis from the stingless bee Tetragonisca fiebrigi (Jataí). Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2015;2015.
- Cushnie TT, Lamb AJ. Antimicrobial activity of flavonoids. International journal of antimicrobial agents. 2005 Nov 1;26(5):343-56.