Honey isn’t the only thing that bees make. Bees also produce a compound called propolis from the sap on needle-leaved trees or evergreens. When they combine the sap with their own discharges and beeswax, they create a sticky, greenish-brown product used as a coating to build their hives. This is propolis.
Thousands of years ago, ancient civilizations used propolis for its medicinal properties. Greeks used it to treat abscesses. Assyrians put it on wounds and tumours to fight infection and help the healing process.
The composition of propolis can vary depending on the location of the bees and what trees and flowers they have access to.
Researchers have identified more than 300 compounds in propolis. The majority of these compounds are forms of polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants that fight disease and damage in the body.
Specifically, propolis contains the polyphenols called flavonoids. Flavonoids are produced in plants as a form of protection. They’re commonly found in foods thought to have antioxidant properties, including:
- green tea
- red wine
Propolis is thought to have antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Propolis has a special compound called pinocembrin, a flavonoid that acts as an antifungal. These anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties make propolis helpful in wound healing.
One study found that a topical propolis alcoholic extract was more effective than a steroid cream in reducing mast cells in oral surgery wounds. Mast cells are associated with inflammation and slowed wound healing.
It can also help for cold sores, and is great as a throat spray for a sore throat
This anti-viral, anti-biotic and anti-oxidant throat spray, can be used daily for treatment or prevention. Made from propolis, with it’s healing properties.