Bees gather gum and resins from trees and mix them with their own exudates such as saliva, pollen, wax and digestive enzymes to form propolis; a dark, resinous gum with a strong anti-septic smell. It is not soluble in water and only dissolves in pure alcohol. In cold weather it is very hard but it becomes sticky when heated. Bees use propolis as ‘cement’ in the hive environment, as well as keep the insides of their hives sterile and keep themselves free from diseases. Propolis is rich in vitamins, bioflavonoids, enzymes and trace elements.
The main chemical classes found in propolis are flavonoids, phenolics and terpenes. The flavonoids include quercetin, apegenin, galangin, kaempferol, luteolin, pinocembrin, pinostrobin and pinobanksin. Galangin is one of the most effective antibiotics we have, and it is a natural substance! The phenolic ester (caffeic acid phenethyl ester or CAPE) present in propolis is receiving much attention by medical researchers because of its potential for the treatment of a number of disorders, including spinal cord injury as well as immunomodulatory, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and antiviral activities.
Propolis also has anaesthetizing properties and instantly stops the pain from a bee sting. It has a powerful anti-inflammatory action and may be helpful for arthritic conditions. This is due to caffeic acid phenethyl ester ( CAPE) that inhibits the lipoxygenase pathway of arachidonic acid, that causes inflammation.
What can bee propolis be used for?
Topical treatment: Medical studies have shown that topical application of propolis in tinctures or ointments helps against genital herpes, cold sores, dental caries, periodontal disease, and rheumatoid arthritis, eczemas, scars, psoriasis and fungal infections like ringworm and athlete’s foot. The tincture applied to beestings gives instant pain relief and reduction of swelling. Propolis remedies are also good for ear ache or infections of the outer ear. Propolis preparations can be applied to cuts, scratches and surgical wounds. Propolis tincture made from alcohol can be used directly for bee stings, or diluted with a little water or hand lotion for other applications.
Taking propolis for health and vitality: Several studies suggest that propolis taken as a tincture or in tablet form is useful in treating the common cold, influenza, microbes, parasites, stomach ulcers and respiratory problems.
Respiratory complaints: Very effective if taken as a tincture for: colds, influenza, catarrh, rhinitis, sinusitis, laryngitis and sore throats. Doctors can support therapy for: asthma, chronic pneumonia and tuberculosis with propolis.
Stomach and digestive disorders: Stomach ulcers from helicobacter pylori infections. Effective in large, frequent doses for gastritis, dysentery, diarrhoea, and leaky gut syndrome caused by parasites, worm and fluke infestations.
Take 2 – 5 drops in 50ml warm water, or ½ teaspoon of honey twice a day is the average serving for adults as a health supplement. For more effective treatment take 5 – 10 drops of propolis tincture 3x a day. Make your own propolis honey by placing 100ml of honey in a jar and stir in the tincture you need: 5ml(1 teaspoon) of tincture = 100 drops: this will mean 1 drop in each 1ml of honey. Thus a teaspoon of honey will contain 5 drops of tincture. Take the honey as is, or add it to rooibos tea or warm water, so that the alcohol is removed.
Note: Dosage guidelines do not constitute medical advice and professional medical opinion should be obtained for any illness. All information in this post was obtained from the world wide web.
Slabber Apiculture propolis tincture in a 30ml dropper bottle, is manufactured from fresh bee propolis and 90% medicinal alcohol (ethanol). The tincture is prepared with a 40g propolis to 70ml alcohol ratio, to ensure a high quality product.