Propolis is extracted from bee nests (hives) after the end of honey harvesting, i.e. honey and propolis are harvested almost simultaneously. Propolis is used by bees as an adhesive to adjust the diameter of the mesh (depending on the ambient temperature), to fill cracks (to neutralize drafts), to disinfect, to isolate foreign objects, and to mummify corpses to prevent their decomposition.
Propolis contains a large number of nutrients and has antibacterial properties. The main function of propolis in the hive is to kill bacteria. It has been proven that propolis in the human body is characterized by antitoxic, anticancer, and antibacterial activity.
Propolis is a natural antibiotic
Propolis contains flavonoids, which have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect in diseases of the joints, mucous membranes, and skin. Substances help to strengthen the walls of blood vessels, make connective tissue stronger, prevent the breakdown of ascorbic acid, and reduce the activity of enzymes that cause the breakdown of cartilage and intercellular tissue.
Propolis contains the following vitamins: A, B1, and B2, H, B6, E, C, and P. The properties of propolis are also determined by the presence of the following minerals and trace elements: aluminum, vanadium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, iron, manganese, phosphorus, copper, sulfur, tin, cobalt, chromium, silicon, fluorine and selenium.
The use of propolis in various forms increases immunity and microcirculation in tissues. Once in the human body, propolis lowers blood cholesterol levels, cleanses cell membranes, normalizes cellular respiration and restores affected tissues. The role of propolis in oncology is significant due to its neutralization of pathological cells and antioxidant effect. Propolis improves the body’s resistance to ionizing radiation and has a favorable psychophysical and tonic effect in neutralizing depressive moods.
The most common use of propolis is in the following ailments
- inflammatory processes of the oral cavity (application of propolis in the form of plates and rinsing with an aqueous solution, an alcoholic tincture of propolis can also be used);
- inflammation of the upper respiratory tract, as well as discomfort in the throat (mainly propolis on alcohol is used – the application is similar to the previous one);
- damage to the mucous surface of the stomach in gastritis (treatment with propolis of the stomach is carried out by ingestion).
You can chew pure propolis in the following cases:
- In case of respiratory tract diseases of infectious origin (sore throat, flu), you need to chew propolis constantly throughout the day. The daily rate of propolis is about 5 g.
- Usually, significant relief occurs in 3-5 hours. Then you can chew less often. If you start treatment at the first symptoms, sometimes 2 days are enough for recovery.
- The first manifestations of a cold can be easily overcome by chewing propolis (1-2 g) once before bed. In the morning, you should feel much better.
Propolis is also used for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, especially ulcers, and gastritis. 5 g of propolis (the daily allowance) is divided into 2-3 doses. Pieces of the substance are thoroughly chewed and then swallowed.
- Chewing bee glue is also useful for those who have frequent dental problems or toothache. If you chew 1-2 grams of propolis every day, it will relieve problems with caries and sore gums, remove infections, and restore whiteness to your teeth. The course of treatment is 1 month.
- If you feel tired, it is enough to chew a small piece of propolis in the morning to regain your cheerful mood.
Can propolis be chewed by children and pregnant women?
Chewing propolis improves the immune system and helps to cope with colds. Therefore, the question arises as to how safe it is for children and pregnant women. Expectant mothers are allowed to chew the “honey glue”, but only without excessive zeal. Only 1-2 grams per day will be enough, and preferably not every day. After all, propolis is saturated with biologically active components that can provoke an allergic reaction. Given that many medications are contraindicated for pregnant women, this natural “balm” can be the only means for them to boost immunity and treatment.
In children under 5 years of age, the immune system is still quite weak and they are more likely to get colds. However, a child is just as likely to develop an allergy, especially to bee products. However, intolerance to bee glue is extremely rare in children. Thus, kids can chew propolis at the discretion of their parents, but only after consulting a doctor. It is best to give this product after dissolving it in warm milk.
Contraindications for the use of propolis
Propolis can cause allergies due to its allergenic properties, so it should be used with caution. Caffeic acid esters, which propolis contains mainly, determine contraindications to its use. Such esters can lead to contact dermatitis.