9. Cold Sore Treatment
Cold sores are caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV-1). Propolis arrests the growth of the HSV-1 virus and promotes rapid healing. The flavonoids chrysin and kaempferol, found in propolis, stop the spread of the virus and quercetin reduces the chances of becoming infected. (20) A 3-5% propolis ointment applied to the cold sore up to 5 times a day will eradicate a cold sore in a matter of a few days. Use the recipe above for propolis ointment for genital herpes.
10. Heal Herpes
Genital herpes also responds to bee propolis. Herpes is caused by HSV-1 and/or HSV-2 is a common sexually transmitted virus. Sores in the genital area can cause itching and pain. The fluid in herpes blisters contains the virus but it can also be spread through skin contact. Some symptoms of herpes include flu-like body aches, fever, and swollen glands. Very often, there are no symptoms at all and you can have herpes without knowing it. HSV can remain in your body indefinitely; one of the many benefits of bee propolis is that the odds of outbreak recurrence are minimized, as it treats the cause.
The flavonoids in propolis have been found more effective in healing genital herpes lesions than popular prescription medication acyclovir. (21) Honey tested against the same medication was over 50% more effective than the drug. (22) Mixing propolis with honey soothes genital sores and exponentially increases nutrition and healing properties. Propolis is also effective in treating shingles, another potentially chronic malady caused by a different strain of the virus, herpes zoster.
Simple Herpes Salve
Using the recipe for Propolis Balm above: substitute the same volume of raw, unfiltered honey for the beeswax and coconut oil for the lavender oil. Mix well. Apply as needed to open sores to reduce itching and get rid of them quickly.
11. Wound Salve
Bees tend to make propolis from poplar, willow, birch, elm, alder, beech, conifer, and horse chestnut trees, depending on what’s in the neighborhood. The antioxidants in bee propolis come from the metabolism of plant matter and the plants themselves.
Thanks to these healing compounds, propolis counteracts free radicals on the skin, speeding wound repair and stimulating the growth of healthy new tissue. The antibiotic and anti-inflammatory agents in propolis applied to a cut or scrape will kill germs, coat the area to protect further infection, and promote healing faster than without its use. With the first topical application, propolis was found to increase healing of deep diabetic wounds and foot ulcers. (23)
“Propolis dressings provided for a moist wound environment, facilitated autolytic debridement and healthy granulation tissue formation; were painless and easy to use and to remove without trauma to the wound. In conclusion, propolis dressings were effective, safe and inexpensive to treat poor healing diabetic wounds. It should be noted that in the U.S.A the costs of treatment of diabetic foot ulcers totaled almost $40 billion in 2007,” wrote one study. (24)
Propolis can even inhibit abnormal cell growth and promote healthy cell growth, accounting for the speed with which it heals.
- o.3 oz. (10 grams) propolis
- 6.7 fl oz. (200 ml) olive or coconut oil
- Mix the propolis and olive oil together in the top of a double boiler.
- Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature and heat the oil to no higher than 122 degrees F.
- Stir and heat for about 10 minutes. Don’t worry, the propolis will not all dissolve.
- Strain this mixture through a coffee filter. Freeze the leftover propolis and use again to make more oil!
- Store it in a sealed jar in a dark place.
12. Heal Burns
The same bee propolis benefits for skin that lend themselves to healing wounds go for burns, too.
“Propolis treatment accelerated the process of tissue repair and led to decreased local inflammation, which indicates that treatment with propolis was successful in the initial period (7 days) and stimulated the production of collagen fiber (assessed by morphometry) in all the periods evaluated (14 and 21 days)…These treatments offer new therapeutic strategies for treating severe skin burns; these strategies may allow the minimization of scar formation, a more rapid return of function and, ultimately, a better quality of life for burn patients,” writes Burns: the Journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries. (25)