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Propolis (Bee Glue) - What It Is And Its Health Benefits
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 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 inspite 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 bee hives.
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 In Propolis
Propolis is a mixture of resin, essential oils and waxes. It contains aminoacids, minerals, vitamins A, E, Bcomplex, 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 anti microbial 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, anesthetic, cardioprotective, radio protective and antiproliferative properties.
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 may 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 reduction of nitric oxide blood pressure rises.
An enzyme Tyrosine hydroxylase limits production of nitric oxide. Propolis reduces tyrosine hydroxylase activity thus aiding nitric oxide production which in turn lowers 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 antoioxidants 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 candiasis. It kills 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 Pharmological 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.
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 sprays, in mouthwashes and toothpastes, 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, ragweedor Chrysanthemum should avoid taking propolis.
Side effects may range from itching, rashes to sneezing, headache to nausea and abdominal pain, diarrhea to breathing difficulty.
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.
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© 2014 Rajan Singh Jolly