Representing a form of resin used by bees to seal their hives, propolis has extensive health benefits for users. Its sticky composition can be extracted and broken down into a supplement, or mixed with essential oil and waxes for chewing and application to the skin. Propolis can also be extracted and used as an active ingredient in chewing gums and other foods. Some of its key benefits and uses range from its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, as well as from its use to help treat specific conditions. These benefits are expanded on below:
1 – Antibacterial and Antimicrobial Strengths
Propolis is primarily valuable due to it containing antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that help to boost the immune system and treat infections. In this way, propolis can be useful for everything from sore throats to more significant immune system problems. As an antimicrobial agent, propolis works to treat inflammations and infections, with its active properties helping to cleanse and soothe abrasions and upsets. In the same way, the antimicrobial properties of propolis can be used to treat fungal infections and break outs on the skin and feet. As a chewing gum ingredient, propolis similarly helps to fight the build up of plaque on the teeth, and soothes gum problems.
2 – Treating Allergies and Asthma
The antimicrobial and antibacterial properties of propolis, and their stimulation of the body’s immune system, makes it a valuable treatment for some allergies and asthma. In terms of asthma, propolis can soothe and help to clear passages, while also boosting the immune system and allowing it to better fight the effects of particular allergies. When used as a supplement, propolis is consequently useful for general health and wellbeing.
3 – Antioxidants
Propolis is a strong source of antioxidants, which help to protect the body from cell damage, and break down the effect of corrupted oxygen molecules and free radicals. Antioxidants are also recommended for improving the appearance of skin, and for contributing to a balanced and nutritious diet.
4 – Radiation and Cancer Treatments
Some evidence is available that demonstrates that propolis can help to repair the body from the effects of small amount of radiation. The supplement can similarly aid in reducing the risk of cancer in the body by helping to repair cell damage.
5 – Heart Health
The antioxidant and antimicrobial ingredients of propolis can lead to improved heart rates and a reduced risk of disease. Promoting better blood flow, and lowering the build up of cholesterol in the body, propolis can, over time, potentially boost heart health.
6 – Specific Treatments
Propolis can be used as a supplement to help deal with a number of inflammations of the skin, as well as more long term diseases and infections. Particularly recommended for soothing ulcers, burns and scalding, propolis also helps to treat diseases and viruses with outward physical symptoms such as herpes, lesions and hepatitis.
7 – Joints and Bones
Propolis contains flavonoids, an active ingredient that helps to fight the effects of rheumatism on the bones and joints. In this way, propolis is particularly effective at easing the pain of sore joints, and can help to reduce inflammations.
- cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo by blumenbiene: http://flickr.com/photos/blumenbiene/4528489465/
Patrick Hegarty is a professional blogger with a keen interest in natural health care and the benefits of propolis.