Updated: Mar 30
Propolis comes from the Greek and means Pro - before Polis - City which translates as Defences before the City or Defender of the City. The city here is the city or hive of bees where Propolis plays a vital role both in protecting the colony from invasion from the outside as well as from the spread of infection within.
Propolis provides the bee city with its immune system. This fact which gives some indication of its potential importance today for man, at a time when his own immune system is increasingly unable to cope with so many of the diseases of our time.
The Greeks recognised the healing qualities of Propolis using it for treating wounds as well as “incurable diseases”. Hippocrates himself, the father of modern medicine, prescribed Propolis for the healing of sores and ulcers, both internal and external.
For the Egyptians, the bee had a religious significance, and was a symbol of courage and valour. Propolis was used medically by the Egyptians for a variety of diseases.
The Romans also revered the bee and used Propolis extensively. the Roman God Jupiter, so the legend goes, even transformed the beautiful Mellissa into a bee so that she could produce the miraculous healer - Propolis. Pliny the Roman Historian said of propolis:
What is it?
The largest single ingredient of Propolis (just over half) is resin collected from plants and trees (particularly the poplar tree). The other half is made up of wax (30%) essential oils (10%) and pollen (5%).
You can also find in Propolis a wide variety of additional elements including organic and amino acids, vitamins, minerals and most importantly, bioflavonoids, now believed to be active ingredients in the heeling process. All these ingredients are worked on and mixed with the bees’ own salivary secretions to produce what has been called Bee Glue, that is, Propolis. Propolis is a sticky filler substance which the bee uses to seal up the hive, protecting it from the outside environment. The bees also coat the entire inside surface of the hive with Propolis polishing it to create one of the most sterile environments known to nature.
As well as providing a purely functional role in sealing and reinforcing the hive. Propolis also performs the role of auto-immune system for the hive acting as a combined antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal substance: Truly a defender of the city.
A NATURAL ANTIBIOTIC?
Propolis is being hailed as a natural antibiotic with no known side effect. Recent research at the National Heart and Lung Institute London has shown the bioflavonoids in Propolis are even capable of destroying some bacteria that have now become resistant to modern synthetic antibiotics.
WHAT CAN YOU USE IT FOR?
As a Food Supplement: Propolis can be used as a safe non-toxic food supplement and has been found helpful in protection against colds, coughs, flu and other viruses. It has also been found effective for:
Sore Throats: Take a few drops of the tincture on wholewheat bread or us it as a gargle. A throat spray is also available.
Respiratory Problems: coughs and colds, asthma, bronchitis, blocked sinuses. Take the tincture or 2.0 grams per day.
Sore lips/gums/teeth and other dental problems: Use the tincture as a gargle or drink it with herb tea (add honey if you wish).
Skin Treatment: Swab the area directly with tincture or use the cream. Good for acne. Can be helpful in treating eczema, herpes, psoriasis.