When bees spew out saliva and beeswax, it blends the secretions that it gathers from flowers and other plant sources, resulting in bee glue or propolis. Bees use this as a seal for any open spaces in the beehive.
The structure of bee propolis often depends on where the bees are located and the foliage they can access when they travel. It was used in the past to treat wounds and embalm mummies, but what benefits can it provide to the people of the modern world?
What Does Propolis Do for Bees?
As was mentioned before, bees use propolis to serve as a sealant for unwanted spaces in the hive. Bees also use it to line the colony’s inner surface, controlling the temperature within 35 degrees Celsius, while ensuring the beehive is protected against weathering or stopping predators from entering its domain. It also strengthens the cell wall and turns the inside of the hive into a hygienic area.
When it comes to bee products, propolis is an essential ingredient made up of resin, wax, oils, and pollen. It has twelve flavonoids that include acadetin, luteolin, and pinocembrin.
The Benefits of Propolis
- For cuts and lacerations
Pinocembrin is an active component of propolis, and it is a flavonoid that is antifungal. Propolis also has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial elements that assist in the healing of cuts or lacerations.
- For lesions and herpes
Certain medicines have propolis ingredients that decrease the healing time and eliminate the symptoms of lesions and sores from herpes.
Propolis may also help in treating minor burns, and may also be used as an anti-inflammatory supplement.
- For cavities and oral health
An active ingredient of propolis helps stop streptococcus mutans, a bacterium found in the mouth known to increase cavities’ development. Propolis is also seen to prevent bacterial-like plaque from developing and pathogens that may cause periodontitis.
It was also seen to help treat halitosis, a mouth disease that causes terrible breath due to poor hygiene.
How is Propolis Processed?
Hive scraping is the simplest way to collect propolis, but the problem here is that the collected ingredient may include pieces of wood. Collectors may cleanse the collected propolis by letting it pass through several drenches to have the wood and other contaminants float to the top so they can be removed.
Trapping is another way to collect propolis, where a bit of plastic is used on the hive, and cuts are placed strategically. These cuts are where the bees can place propolis, and when enough is collected, it needs to be cooled so the bee propolis can be obtained.
Bee propolis can be made into tablets, capsules, powders, extracts, and as a lozenge, it may also be used as an ingredient in creams or other personal care items.
Propolis can be bought from online stores and pharmacies. It can be purchased in skincare forms such as creams or lotions. If you decide to take it orally, it can come in tablet, capsule, or liquid forms.
Always remember to read the label for supplements before taking them so you can be fully aware of what you are ingesting.
Erica Jones is a freelance writer and a GOT fan. Apart from writing Technologies, she likes to read & write fiction. More than anything, she loves to spend her time with her family, explaining technologies to the elders.