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Bee Propolis Benefits
Bee propolis benefits have long been noted for their antibiotic, antimicrobial, emollient and antiseptic properties.
Bee propolis is a resinous material produced by bees through glands in their abdomen used primarily to seal unwanted open spaces in their beehives and thus keep it together. It is composed of beeswax and other bee secretions, mixed with resins derived by bees from tree buds, saps and other botanical sources. The result is a dark brown, sticky material that usually hardens and turns brittle at colder temperatures.
Nowadays, bee propolis has been marketed as a dietary supplement due to its healthy properties. It is now available commercially in the form of gelcaps, capsules, tinctures, and sprays.
The chemical composition of bee propolis allows it to help increase the structural integrity of the beehive while at the same time making it resistant to unwanted entry or invasion by foreign objects. It has also been shown to inhibit bacterial growth within the beehive. An assessment of bee propolis collected from northern regions has found that the typical composition includes:
- resins and balsams
- essential oils
It should be noted that the properties of bee propolis depend on the exact sources used in each individual hive. As such, its composition may vary between regions, as well as between vegetations.
Bee propolis collected from northern colder regions tends to be rich in resins from such trees as poplars and conifers. On the other hand, those collected from more tropical climes tend to include floral resins that typically attract pollinators. Botanical materials from these sources yield the bee propolis benefits when taken by individuals. For instance, an evaluation of bee propolis collected from China yielded such compounds as sinapinic acid, isoferulic acid and caffeic acid which all have anti-bacterial qualities.
Bee propolis also typically contains the following health food nutrients which are similarly derived from the botanical materials that compose it:
- beta carotene
- vitamin B1
- vitamin B2
Individuals with hypersensitivity to bee stings and bee products should exercise caution in using bee propolis as it may result in allergic reactions.
The following are the bee propolis benefits that are believed to be helpful to overall health and well-being in humans:
Bee propolis may help strengthen the immune system and fight ailments caused by viruses and bacteria.
Bee propolis may help fight inflammations.
Bee propolis, used topically, may help in the treatment of minor burns, wounds and infections.
Bee propolis may be helpful against ulcers.
Bee propolis may help promote heart and cardiovascular health.
Bee propolis may have beneficial properties in fighting the growth of tumors and cancer. Research done in Japan has yielded results that suggest bee propolis may help induce cell cycle arrest and death of cancer cells.
Bee propolis has been used as a remedy for sore throat.
Bee propolis may help fight certain oral and dental problems like canker sores and the like, due to its antibacterial properties.
Bee propolis may help fight certain allergies.
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