Everyone knows bees make honey, and most people know that honey has various health benefits for humans. But, did you know honey isn't the only substance bees produce with health benefits for humans? Propolis is a substance bees produce to glue their hives together. It's made from a combination of beeswax, the resins, or sap, of poplar and conifer tree buds and their own secretions. Centuries ago, humans began to discover the many varied and powerful health properties of bee propolis, leading it to become one of the most trusted natural herbal supplements today. Read on to discover the many ways bee propolis can benefit your health.
Helps Heal Wounds
Propolis is a natural germicide with powerful antiseptic and antibiotic properties, making it effective in helping to heal from wounds and combat conditions ranging from itching and acne to osteoporosis and tuberculosis. Scientists also believe propolis may have anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects, both of which can also help in healing from injuries and infections.
Relatedly, studies have found propolis effective in alleviating infections, burns, dental pain, and inflammation-related diseases. As such, you can often find bee propolis as an essential active ingredient in many topical and oral health care products and treatments alike, like creams, ointments, lozenges, chewing gums, cosmetics, tooth-enamel hardeners, and dental sealants.
Many treatments for cold sores and genital herpes also contain propolis to diminish symptoms and accelerate healing time. What's more, after reducing the number of herpes virus cells present in an infected person, propolis can go on to protect that person against future breakouts.
Packed With Nutrients
Propolis is also an abundant source of nutrients, containing over 300 beneficial compounds, most of them polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that combats injury and illness. Of the polyphenols in propolis, most are flavonoids, which plants produce to protect themselves from damage and disease.
Can Help Regulate Blood Sugar
Several studies have found propolis to have regulating effects on glucose metabolism, namely both direct and indirect hypoglycemic effects, that can make it useful in helping people to manage type-2 diabetes. Clinical trials also found propolis to help modulate the metabolism of lipids and get them within normal range as well as improve serum insulin levels and sensitivity to insulin. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28285617)
May Fight Cancer
Propolis has many properties that may make it beneficial in combatting certain types of cancer. Such anti-cancer properties of propolis preventing the multiplying of cancer cells, blocking paths cancer cells use to signal one another, and lowering the odds non-cancerous cells will turn cancerous. In one propolis study, researchers found that its anti-tumor properties made it a potentially-helpful complementary therapy to treat breast cancer.