Propolis: an unknown ally for your health.

Propolis is a sticky mixture that bees produce by mixing resin exudate gathered from tree barks with beeswax, pollen, enzymes and other substances. It is used as a disinfectant, as well as a sealant for open spaces in the beehive.

However, propolis is of importance not only for bees but for human as well. Even since the ancient times, when it was known as “black wax”, its healing properties were reputed. Many Mediterranean nations used it as a medicine with effective anti-inflammatory properties; Hippocrates recommended it for the rubbing of ulcers and burns, while Roman soldiers also used it extensively.

Nowadays, research has proven that propolis possesses anti-inflammatory effect and it stimulates the mobility of the macrophages of the immune system. It also suppresses certain enzymes which play a role in the inflammation’s development.

It also possesses antiviral properties, while its potency against viruses can be significantly reinforced when combined with pollen and royal jelly. It has certified effect against viruses, including flu, H1N1 and H1N3.

Its antifungal effect is also certified and proven against Candida albicans, Trichomonas vaginalis, coliform bacteria and other types of bacteria, fungi and parasites. What should be underlined is the fact that long-term use of propolis does not lead to the formation of resistant strains of pathogenic germs; on the contrary, it easily destroys pathogenic microbes which have become resistant in antibiotics.

Furthermore, propolis is famous for its antioxidant properties, which are displayed by its scanning the free radicals of oxygen. At the same time, it protects vitamin C from oxidization. In addition, it reinforces and stimulates both the innate and the adeptive immune system, while it also increases the levels of interferon, causing cellular and chemical immunity. Finally, propolis – especially when combined with pollen -, helps in the cure of allergic symptoms and in the gradual immunization.

The color of propolis varies from yellow-green orange-green to brown and dark brown, depending on the kind of its botanical source and the mixing of wax and pollen. It also depends on how long the propolis has remained inside the beehive.

Finally, propolis possesses a complicated chemical composition (more than 300 chemical bonds have been traced in it), which, as is the case with its natural properties, directly depends on the region’s vegetation; different kinds of plants allow bees to gather different kinds of resin exudate. Propolis mostly consists of resin (50%), beeswax (30%), essential oils (10%) and pollen (5%). The rest of its constituents are aromatic substances, sugars, balsams, terpenes, aliphatic acids and their esters, flavonoids, inorganic compounds, vitamins, trace elements and other known and unknown components