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Propolis (Bee Glue) - What It Is And Its Health Benefits

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

Propolis

What Is Propolis or Bee Glue

Propolis is a sticky substance that bees manufacture by transforming the resin, that they collect from leaf buds of trees, by adding bee wax and other secretions.

Propolis is used to not only seal crevices, cracks and holes in the hives but is also used to coat the hives just as paint is used to coat up the walls of the home. This helps to disinfect the hive and keep it sanitized so that hives remain infection-free in spite of the fact that about 50000 bees live in it day in and day out.

Propolis also helps to immobilize and cover larger intruders that cannot be shooed out to prevent infection.

Propolis thus helps to protect and keep the bee hives sanitized thereby preventing bacterial and viral infections which have all the chances to develop easily due to the conducive temperature and humidity conditions prevailing in the beehives.

Propolis also benefits the immune system of the bees and keeps them well though they do not consume propolis.

Propolis has been used in traditional folk medicine since thousands of years to prevent disease and improve health.

Proplolis In Beehive

Constituents of Propolis

Propolis is a mixture of resin, essential oils and waxes. It contains amino acids, minerals, vitamins A, E, B-complex, pollen and flavonoids.

In fact, propolis has been found to contain over 300 compounds, in particular, the flavonoids, phenols and their esters.

General Health Benefits Of Propolis

The pharmacologically active components in propolis are the flavonoids, and phenolic acids and their esters.

Propolis has antimicrobial properties being effective against bacteria, virus and fungus. It also has immunomodulatory activity and anti-inflammatory properties.

It also has antioxidant properties. In fact, as per literature, no other foods/products that were analysed were found to have antioxidant capacity/values that exceeded those for propolis.

Propolis also has stimulating, healing, analgesic, anaesthetic, cardioprotective, radioprotective and antiproliferative properties.

Scraping Propolis

Some Specific Health Benefits of Propolis

  • Kills Warts

Propolis has strong activity against better than those found with Echinacea as reported in the International Journal of Dermatology November 2009 issue.

  • Kills Cancer Cells

Propolis has been found to have high antimicrobial activity because of which it selectively causes the death of colon cancer cells as well as prostate cancer cells leaving the healthy cells unharmed. unlike chemotherapy which kills both cancer and healthy cells.

  • Helps In Allergies

Seasonal allergies are a bane for many people. Propolis has been found to inhibit histamine release thereby giving relief from allergic rhinitis symptoms.

  • Builds & Maintains Health Of Bones

The caffeic acid phenyl ester not only stops but reverses bone diseases like osteoporosis by increasing bone density and strength. It suppresses compounds that cause bone diseases.

  • Lowers Blood Pressure

Nitric oxide helps to relax blood vessels and increases blood flow. Where there is a reduction of nitric oxide blood pressure rises.

An enzyme Tyrosine hydroxylase limits the production of nitric oxide. Propolis reduces tyrosine hydroxylase activity thus aiding nitric oxide production which in turn lowers blood pressure.

  • Protects Against Inflammation

Inflammation is the cause of diseases like arthritis, Alzheimer's, heart disease etc. Because of the anti-inflammatory activity, propolis protects against these and other inflammatory diseases.

By the same yardstick, it helps to prevent the inflammation in the event of teeth getting knocked out accidentally. This helps them to be put back in without the inflammation.

  • Treats Food Poisoning

Because of its antimicrobial activity that helps control the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter faecalis & Campylobacter jejuni, it helps to treat food poisoning cases and can even be taken as a preventive in areas where food/water cleanliness is in doubt.

  • Improves Athletic Performance Even In Heat Stress

The antioxidants in propolis improve performance of athletes by protecting them against fatigue and dehydration and heat stress due to prolonged participation.

  • Kills Bacteria And Viruses

Propolis helps to thus control colds, flu, sore throat and oral infections. It helps treat wounds, burns and abscesses.

In dentistry, it is useful in preventing dental caries and hardens the enamel. It also controls oral fungal infections like candidiasis. It kills the herpes virus and treats genital herpes and also internal parasites.

Propolis reduces infections of the mouth, urinary and reproductive tract, stomach and the intestine.

It reduces acne outbreaks.

  • Lowers Blood Sugar & Cholesterol

A study done in 2005 and published in Pharmacological Research found that propolis helps treat diabetes by reducing blood sugar levels and also lowers cholesterol.

  • Boosts Immunity

Propolis stimulates the body immune system thus raising the body's resistance to infection.

  • Asthma

In studies on patients who were on therapy for asthma incorporation of propolis reduced severity and incidence of asthmatic attacks compared to those who did not get propolis. It also helped improve pulmonary functions.

How Is Propolis Available?

Propolis is used in the manufacture of skin ointments and creams, nasal sprays and throat spray, in mouthwashes and toothpaste, chewing gums and lozenges.

It is also available in many forms including tablets, capsules, powders, extracts and supplements.

Some Possible Side Effects Of Propolis

People who are allergic to honey, bee stings, ragweed or Chrysanthemum should avoid taking propolis.

Side effects may range from itching, rashes to sneezing, headache to nausea and abdominal pain, diarrhoea to breathing difficulty.

Disclaimer

The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.

References

  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3655583/
  • http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=2028
  • http://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/herb/propolis
  • http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/11/17/this-bee-product-has-enormous-benefits-for-your-health.aspx
  • http://www.bee-pollen-buzz.com/health-benefits-of-propolis.html
  • http://altmedicine.about.com/cs/herbsvitaminsa1/a/Bee_propolis.htm
  • http://empoweredsustenance.com/propolis-benefits/
  • http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=21542
  • http://www.raysahelian.com/propolis.html
  • http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0367326X02001855
  • http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00784-006-0090-z#page-1
  • http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1472-8206.2003.00117.x/abstract;jsessionid=D497E20DC8CA310740CC76C7AC04F6CD.f03t02?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false

Some Of My Other Hubs On Healthy Foods

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2014 Rajan Singh Jolly

Comments

Indian Chef from New Delhi India on June 15, 2015:

Rajan, I have never heard of bee glue before. Thanks for sharing this with me. making it useful and voted up. I came to Hubpages after more than a year and i can not find the share button anymore. Have they removed it?

Emily Tack from USA on February 13, 2015:

This is one of the best condensed articles on bee propolis that I have read. If one knew nothing about bee propolis, your article would be a great way for them to get the facts, in a "nutshell".

jandee from Liverpool.U.K on September 10, 2014:

It sounds like a magical cure for many things. I enjoyed your write and I will look for more information about this Bee Propolis. Thank you.

Found you on bubbles...

Eiddwen from Wales on August 01, 2014:

I had never actually heard of Propolis but now thanks to you I know a great deal. Thank you once again Rajan for another interesting lesson.

Eddy.

Dianna Mendez on July 02, 2014:

I am going to look up Propolis on my next trip to the health food store. I like that it helps with allergies and boosts immunity.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on July 02, 2014:

I always enjoy your hubs, Rajan. I have never heard of Propolis or bee glue. I continue to be amazed at the health benefits of things nature provides that we often ignore, or are not aware of. Very interesting!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 30, 2014:

An informative hub and I did not know of such benefits. Voted up and useful and interesting

MG Singh from UAE on June 29, 2014:

Nice info, I didn't know about all this

FlourishAnyway from USA on June 29, 2014:

I had never heard of this. It seems nature has many of the health answers, especially when it comes to potential cancer treatment. Voted up and more.

Lisa VanVorst from New Jersey on June 29, 2014:

Wow I never heard of this before. The benefits to humans medically is amazing. Sometimes when traditional medicine fails, other alternatives need to be explored. Very informative article.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 29, 2014:

This really sounds interesting and worth exploring. I read that first reference source you provided. Up, useful and interesting votes and will pin this to my Health board and also share with my followers.

Ronald Joseph Kule from Florida on June 29, 2014:

My daily lunches, which are often toasted bread spread with a jam and dusted with bee pollen bits, are some of the tastiest meals I use to keep myself alert and fit while writing books full-time.

Good article. I do have a question, though: the brands that you promote with photos... are they affiliates? (I'd like to monetize my own blogs and succeed at that, so any tips would help me.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 29, 2014:

Very helpful information. We are going to raise bees next year, so this was fascinating and quite helpful. Thank you my friend and blessings always.

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