Propolis is a resin-like product produced by bees from coniferous trees and plants from the buds, leaves, stems and secretions by processing them with enzymes that they secrete from their glands.
It uses antioxidant and antimicrobial properties to protect its hives against bacterial and fungal infections such as bees, bacillus larvae, to ensure hygiene of the honeycombs and to prevent other insects and animals from entering the hive.
Also, thanks to propolis, which is used to strengthen honeycombs and repair cracks in the hive, bees enter and exit the hive through a protective channel. Thus, both the bucket and their hygiene are ensured.
Propolis, which is a combination of the words “pro” which means entrance and defense in Greek and “police” which means city, is a kind of resin produced by bees to ensure the safety and hygiene of their hives. Propolis, which is mostly dark brown and has a peculiar smell, has a much richer content different from bee pollen.
Many studies have been done about this product, which has been consumed as a medicine in the treatment of different infections throughout the history, and it continues to be carried out.
These studies, besides the benefit of human health, showed that the content of propolis produced by plants from different regions, produced by bees, is similar when evaluated in terms of basic components and there is no significant difference in the content of propolis produced between seasons.
What is Propolis?
Propolis, also known as preboli or bee gum among beekeepers, is a product used by bees to ensure sterilization of honeycombs in the hive, to protect the hive against external insects, fungi and bacteria, to repair and strengthen honey combs.
In order to produce propolis, bees undergo biochemical changes in their own secretions, especially the coniferous trees, which many plants obtain from their stems, leaves, buds and nectars. Propolis is also used to provide hygiene of the bucket thanks to its antibacterial properties and to strengthen the defense of the bucket with its resin-like feature.
The color of propolis, which is mostly dark brown, can be transparent, red, yellow and green depending on the region it is collected. Comprising a rich content, propolis has been used as a medicine by people throughout history. Today, there are some scientific studies that its use has a positive effect on health.
Approximately 300 different compounds, nearly 150 bioactive components, were found in the content of the commonly used poplar type propolis. Unlike bee pollen, propolis, which contains vitamin B1, B2, C, E, is also rich in minerals such as zinc, copper, iron, calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium.
Propolis, known to help eliminate harmful viruses and bacteria when used by humans, is a natural product that can be used by adults and children to strengthen the immune system.
Propolis, which is also known to be effective against fungi, can also be used to meet antioxidant needs. Unprocessed propolis, however, is mixed with a substance that is difficult to digest, wax-like. It is important to separate the wax-like substance, which makes up about half of the propolis in nature, from the resin-like nutrient part.
Properly separating propolis from wax is extremely important for the digestibility of the product. This process also allows propolis to separate from plant and larvae residues. For this reason, it is not recommended to consume unprocessed products collected by scraping from nature.
What Are the Benefits of Propolis?
It has been determined that propolis, which is formed in 50% resin, 30% wax, 10% essential and aromatic oils, 5% pollen and 5% mineral substance and organic residues, has many positive effects on human health. Propolis is a very rich product in terms of its benefits.
In addition to its antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anti-inflammatory content, it is known to have preventive and therapeutic properties for many different ailments. The ethanol extract (the process of decomposing beneficial ingredients ready for consumption) in the propolis helps strengthen the immune system.
Ethanol extract also has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antioxidant and local anesthetic properties. The caffeic acid phenyl ester and clerodane diterpenoid contained in the propolis content are also thought to prevent the development of cancerous cells and reduce the chances of healthy cells turning into cancerous cells.
It is suggested to play a role in the treatment of breast, skin, larynx, liver, colon, bladder and ovarian cancer. It has also been seen in limited studies that this content protects the liver against harmful substances. It has been determined in the same limited studies that other active ingredients in propolis are effective against viruses such as adenovirus and influenza and play a role in wound healing.
Bioflavonoids in the content of propolis provide effective protection against viruses. Some research shows that propolis helps heal ailments such as colds and flu. Propolis, which is used by adding to toothpaste, is thought to reduce the formation of bacteria in the mouth and help to heal some of the ailments that exist in the gums.
The benefits of propolis to the skin are mostly limited to the healing of wounds and burns. There are limited studies that propolis, which is effective in the faster healing of skin burns, as it accelerates cell growth, protects against ulcerative colitis, ulcers, gastric and intestinal cancers as well as and helps the treatment of these diseases.
The same study shows that propolis effectively destroys pathogens that have a negative impact on health, such as helicobacter pylori. Frequently asked “What are the benefits of Propolis?” The question can be answered in this way.
How to Use Propolis?
It is known that propolis, which is formed by the bees, by collecting the substances collected from trees and plants with their own secretions into biochemical interactions, has positive effects on human health.
Propolis, which is thought to be effective especially in strengthening the immune system and eliminating the discomfort in the mouth and throat, is available in water-soluble drops, tablets, capsules, creams, sprays, syrups and powder forms.
Due to the diversity of its forms, it can be said that the use of propolis in general is applied by applying it on the skin or orally. Damla propolis can be consumed by dropping it in liquid and solid foods for mouth sores and throat infections, as well as gargling.
Tablets and capsules propolis are swallowed with water to strengthen the immune system and eliminate sleep problems; cream propolis is used on the skin for the treatment of minor burns and wounds. Propolis, which is in spray form, is used in the throat to help treat throat infections, and syrup is applied for cough and mouth sores.
It is known that propolis, which is in powder form, is more effective when consumed with honey. It can be consumed by adding to drinks and yogurt. Before using propolis for the treatment of diseases, the physician must be consulted and used in the dose and time determined by the physician.
Things to consider before using propolis
Before using propolis, the instructions for use of the product should be read carefully and the physician should be consulted in case of a situation that makes the person suspicious. Also, people with chronic diseases should consult their physician before using propolis. Some of the things to be aware of before using propolis are:
- Some of the natural components in the content of propolis can slow blood clotting. Therefore, consumption of propolis and other natural, herbal products or drugs should be stopped before a planned operation.
- People who are allergic to honey are not recommended to consume propolis.
- It is extremely important that pregnant and lactating mothers consult a physician before using propolis.
- Propolis should not be used with alcohol.
- People with respiratory conditions such as asthma should seek medical advice before using propolis.
- No natural or herbal product, including propolis, should be consumed in high amounts.
- Prolonged use of propolis can lead to allergic reactions.
As you can see, the benefits of Propolis are huge. We wish you healthy days.