Propolis: An Age-Old Medicine

Propolis not only protects beehives, it fights cancer as well.

| March/April 1998

At first glance, bee propolis may seem out of place in a column on herbal chemistry. But tests show that propolis retains the therapeutic compounds of tree resins, which bees use to make propolis, so calling it a medicinal plant product makes sense.

Bees collect and manufacture propolis resins from tree buds, twigs, and barks, using it as putty to seal cracks in the hive and strengthen and repair honeycombs. They also use it to “mummify” larger animals that have invaded the hive. Researchers believe propolis inhibits microbes that constantly threaten the humid, close quarters of a beehive.

Most propolis research focuses on resins from forests where bees collect mainly from the poplar (Populus) genus, and, to a lesser extent, beech, chestnut, birch, and conifer trees. Chemical analyses indicate that the bees’ propolis is almost chemically identical to these tree resins and is similar to medicinal gums such as boswellia and myrrh (for more about boswellia, see “Inside plants” on page 20 of the January/February 1998 issue of Herbs for Health). The biblical Balm of Gilead is nearly indistinguishable from propolis; Balm of Gilead is made of resin from various poplars, including P. balsamifera, P. nigra, and P. gileadensis.

Propolis is useful medicine

Propolis has been used to clean wounds, kill microbes, and fight inflammation for more than 2,000 years. European, Asian, and Middle Eastern cultures have used it to heal festering wounds, such as bedsores, diabetic ulcers, and battlefield slashes from jagged bayonets.



Modern researchers have confirmed these traditional uses and found support for more modern ones. Propolis compounds are making a strong showing as antioxidants and cancer preventives. The effectiveness of antibiotics such as tetracycline and penicillin has been increased ten to 100 times when combined with propolis extract. Propolis is also used in antibacterial mouthwashes, and evidence shows that it combats staph and strep infections.

Many compounds in propolis are antioxidants, but in cell culture studies conducted in 1995 and 1996, caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) came out as its strongest antioxidant overall. CAPE also inhibits two enzymes that are involved in the creation of eico­s­anoids, a family of hormones and “signaling” biochemicals. Eicosanoids are vital to health, but if their production is excessive or unbalanced, they make certain conditions worse, including tendinitis, arthritis, asthma, psoriasis, and allergies.

Jonh
7/29/2016 4:15:08 AM

Quickbooks Support Number @ http://www.quickbooks.intuit-techsupport.com/ Quickbooks Support Phone Number @ http://www.quickbooks.support-phonenumber.com/ Quicken Support Phone Number @ http://www.quicken.support-phonenumber.com/ Quicken Support Number @ http://www.quicken.intuit-techsupport.com/ Sage Support Phone Number @ http://www.sage.support-phonenumber.com/




Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Get the latest on Natural Health and Sustainable Living with Mother Earth News!

Mother Earth News

Your friends at Mother Earth Living are committed to natural health and sustainable living. Unfortunately, the financial impact of COVID-19 has challenged us to find a more economical way to achieve this mission. We welcome you to our sister publication Mother Earth News. What you sought in the pages of Mother Earth Living can be found in Mother Earth News. For over 50 years, “The Original Guide to Living Wisely” has focused on organic gardening, herbal medicine, real food recipes, and sustainability. We look forward to going on this new journey with you and providing solutions for better health and self-sufficiency.

The impact of this crisis has no doubt affected every aspect of our daily lives. We will strive to be a useful and inspiring resource during this critical time and for years to come.

Best wishes,
Your friends at Mother Earth Living and Mother Earth News

Save Money & a Few Trees!

By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of Mother Earth News for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Classifieds