To understand all of the propolis benefits for humans, we must first take a look at how it is used in the bee kingdom. Propolis is a mixture that honey bees get from sap that flows from trees and from tree buds. The bees use propolis to seal small open spaces in their hives. It resinous characteristic reinforces the hives structure, reduces vibration and seals out disease, parasites and bacterial growth, among other uses. Over the years scientists have tapped into the bee propolis benefits as they relate to humans.
Bee Propolis Benefits the Immune System
Propolis is believed to strengthen the immune systems of some people and might be useful to combine with immune system vitamins. It contains antibiotic as well as anti inflammatory properties. Propolis lozenges are said to alleviate sore throat pain. Honey bee propolis is also sold as a supplement which claims to fight flu symptoms and provide allergy and hay fever relief by regulating histamine and serotonin.
Propolis as an Emollient
One of the many propolis benefits is that it can be used to treat second degree burns. Propolis reduces inflammation in the burnt skin and stimulates cell metabolism and circulation. The substances found in propolis aid in the formation of collagen to heal the skin and help fight infection.
Propolis Benefits to Fertility
Fertility and sexual performance are among the propolis benefits that have been recently discovered. Propolis has been shown to improve sexual performance along with increased physical and intellectual development. In one study, women who were unable to conceive due to endometriosis were given propolis twice a day and saw bee propolis benefits of a 40 percent increase in pregnancies.
Oral Health and Propolis Benefits
Scientific research has uncovered several bee propolis benefits for dental health. Propolis has been shown to protect against gum disease and tooth decay because of the antimicrobial properties it contains. In Brazil, propolis benefits that may be useful in dental procedures like canal debridement and other endodontic procedures are being explored.
Propolis Benefits Other Medical Conditions
The American Journal of biochemistry and Biotechnology released a study that revealed propolis was effective against certain strains of E. coli and MRSA, a potentially deadly bacterium found in hospitals. In addition, propolis has shown a potential to kill breast cancer cells. A long list of other health conditions that respond to propolis benefits include:
- Infections of the ear and throat
- Urinary tract infections
Non Health Related Propolis Benefits
Bee propolis benefits include a wide variety practical uses that are utilized everyday. Propolis enhances the look of certain musical instruments made of wood. Violins played by world renowned Antonio Stradivari are reportedly treated with bee propolis. Chewing gum made with propolis is available in health food stores. Propolis is also a component of some brands of automobile wax since it causes a desired chemical reaction to the oils in the wax.
Bee propolis can be found in health food stores, online and in some retail pharmacies. It is available in pill form, salves and tinctures. Manufactures caution that propolis should not be applied to the area around the eyes. People who are allergic to bee pollen should be especially careful when using bee propolis but for those that are not you might be interested in learning about the bee pollen benefits and about manuka honey benefits.