What Makes Propolis Special?
Propolis is thicker than honey but not as thick as beeswax. Because it’s made from different ingredients, its chemical composition and consequential nutrition are unique among bee products. Bee propolis contains more than 300 identifies chemical compounds. Propolis is rich in polyphenols, chemicals found in plants that possess a certain structure of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Many polyphenols are antioxidants, and some also act as pigments. Polyphenols protect plants from insects. Flavonoids are antioxidant polyphenols and are found in abundance in bee propolis.
The chemicals in propolis vary by geography, as different plants live in different parts of the world. Bees use whatever is available. Propolis is far superior to pharmaceutical antibiotics by virtue of these variances: bacteria can’t readily adapt to the differences in propolis to develop resistance. Antibiotic resistance is becoming a global health concern as common drugs become less and less effective. Therefor, propolis and other bee products play a large role in curing infections without contributing to antibiotic resistance.
When propolis is warm, it is thick and sticky; when cool, it’s brittle. In addition to being the glue that helps keep the hive’s structure sound, the antiseptic qualities of propolis keep any micro-organisms from taking up residence and infecting the colony.
19 Ways to Use Bee Propolis
Find out what is propolis used for by reading on!
1. Tonsillitis Remedy
Propolis has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. Flavonoids pinocembrin and galanin have been found particularly effective against Streptococcus bacteria, responsible for strep throat. (5) Topical application of propolis can ease the discomfort and swelling of tonsillitis.
- Two parts (by weight) propolis
- 9 parts 75 proof vodka
- Mix together in a lidded container, such as a canning jar.
- Store in a dark place.
- Shake two to three times a day for one to two weeks.
- Strain through a cheesecloth or and transfer in an amber dropper bottle in your medicine cabinet or pantry. Refrigerate and store used propolis in the cheesecloth to use once more.
Honey Propolis Throat Spray
Mix three tbsp of propolis tincture (see recipe above) with two tbsp of raw local honey and one tbsp of warm water in a spray bottle. Open mouth wide and spray 2-4 pumps at the back of the throat.