Another amazing bee product, beside honey and beeswax is propolis. It is a kind of bee produced antibiotic. In a beehive, where up to 60 000 individuals are living on a tiny space, bacteria or fungi could spread easily within a short time and result in the death of the colony. To prevent this from happening, apart from keeping everything as clean as possible the bees coat every surface inside the beehive with a thin layer of propolis. Due to its very sticky nature they also use it as a sealant for small gaps in the beehive cavity to get rid of drafts.
To make Propolis, bees are gathering (beside nectar and pollen) the resin of tree’s bark or their buds and add beeswax, pollen and enzymes from their saliva to it.
Propolis as a natural antibiotic
Propolis is a natural antibiotic which is also efficient against many fungal and virus infections. Because of its lack of side effects, you can use it to help against:
- Acne, eczemas or inflamed pimples
- Small wounds
- Cough, sore throat or cold
- Stomach ache
- Gum inflammation
- Ear infections
- Arthritis or rheumatic diseases
Though keep in mind using propolis is NOT a substitute for the proper medical treatment of serious medical conditions but will achieve a soothing effect and help in the easement of little ailments. Also, some people can be allergic to Propolis, if you are do NOT use it.
How to use this fabulous bee product
Depending on the treatment type, there are different ways to use this amazing bee remedy.
The propolis tincture is the most common way to use propolis. Especially when treating skin problems like acne, you can apply the propolis tincture directly on the affected area with a cotton bud. But be careful and try not to spill, because propolis can cause nasty stains on all surfaces (as it is made from tree resin). The only way to get rid of those stains is alcohol (as it dissolves the propolis but more on that later)
Besides dabbing it onto pimples and sore spots you can also swallow the propolis tincture. Just add a few drops of it on top of a spoonful of honey about three times a day. This will help against stomach ache, a sore throat or a cold.
Make your own propolis tincture
There is no need to buy propolis-tincture, you can make it easily on your own. Everything you need is:
- A clean bottle
- Raw propolis (just ask any beekeeper of your choice – buy local!)
- Drinking alcohol/ethyl alcohol with a min. of 70% alcohol*
Everything you have to do is mix 1 part of raw propolis with 2 parts of alcohol in the bottle. Now store the tincture on a cool and dark place for around 3 weeks and shake it once a day. Raw propolis is nothing else then propolis mixed with beeswax. After three weeks the propolis is dissolved in the alcohol and you can pour the mixture through a filter cloth or coffee filter.
*Make sure the alcohol isn’t denatured, otherwise you can’t use the tincture for oral intake.
Another method to utilize propolis is a propolis vaporizer. This is a device which heats small propolis capsules up and infuses the room air with propolis. Some devices even come with a breathing mask to inhale the vapour directly. This has proven to do wonders against upcoming coughs, but the vaporizers are very expensive.
Other propolis products
There are many forms in which you can buy propolis, like toothpaste with propolis to treat gum infections or cough drops with propolis. When buying those products, you should be careful, often they are really expensive, but contain very little propolis.
Advantages of propolis
- It is a natural antibiotic, which comes with nearly no side effects.
- Good remedy for inflammation
- It is not only effective against bacteria, it is also a remedy for fungal or virus infectionsPropolis is strengthening the organism, in contrary to conventional antibiotics which are weakening the organism
- There are no signs yet of most bacteria developing any resistances against propolis
Risks of propolis
- Some people are allergic to propolis; therefore, you should test yourself for allergic reactions before starting any propolis treatment.
- It is no substitute for any medical treatment of serious medical conditions, in any case listen to the advice of your medical professional.
- When using propolis and you don’t see any improvement, within a few days always seek out a medical professional for advice.