Carly Stein, founder of Beekeeper’s Naturals, gives us the low down on why propolis is creating such a buzz
Not just for the bees
Propolis is more than just that sticky substance that makes it difficult to move your frames – it plays a crucial role in a hive’s health and even has benefits for humans too!
My experience with propolis has been organic to say the least. I wasn’t looking for the hottest new superfood or even planning to start my own propolis company (Beekeeper’s Naturals), I was a student studying abroad, and burning the candle at both ends a little too often. As a result I would get run down and my immunity would be compromised.
Like a lot of people, I was always looking for some game-changing health elixir but ended up wasting a lot of money on over-the-counter, synthetically made, immune boosting products that didn’t work. Finding propolis was a lifesaver and drastically improved my health.
So I’m here today to share a little bit about this amazing bee-made health food and how it may just be what you’re looking for!
Let’s start at the beginning.
What exactly IS propolis?
Propolis is a resinous substance that bees collect from tree and plant resins (it looks like red pollen baskets on their hind legs). The bees use this sweet mixture to protect their hive and keep it germ free.
Bees even use the powerful antibacterial benefits of propolis to embalm any hive intruders that the little bees can’t remove on their own. If, for example, a mouse snuck into the hive, the bees would mummify it with propolis to ensure that it doesn’t spread its germs and stink up their home!
Propolis through history
Humans have used propolis for centuries dating back to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians. The Greeks used it to treat wounds and abscesses, the Assyrians used it to fight tumors and the Incans drank it to help reduce fever. The legendary Aristotle was into it and is credited by many for coining the term ‘propolis’.
Propolis has been used by many different cultures for diverse reasons throughout history and today many people use propolis to fight colds and sore throats, improve their oral health, prevent inflammation and maintain good health. Ointment containing propolis is also considered by some to be effective in treating herpes or shingles.
So, how can it help?
You know that feeling of a scratchy sore throat? The kind that makes speaking painful and enjoying food a no-go? So do I. But there is hope!
Many use propolis to relieve sore throats and to boost the immune system. For that annoying sore throat, the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activities of propolis can play an important role in soothing the affected area.
When it comes to cold and flu, propolis can help support the immune system.
These are the powerful effects that motivated me to start Beekeeper’s Naturals and create a propolis spraythat’s perfect for those who want to get healthy on the go!
Ever lean in for the kiss and get the cheek? You can better your odds of getting some lip service with the help of bee propolis!
Unlike gum, which acts as a cover up, the antibacterial and antifungal properties of propolis get to the root of the problem and fight halitosis (bad breath causing bacteria). In fact, propolis has also been shown to be an effective secondary treatment for gingivitis and plaque.
Many of the large oral care companies have taken note of the effects of propolis on oral health and even launched toothpastes with propolis as a key ingredient!
Antioxidants are on a lot of people’s minds these days. There is some evidence that active free radical and oxidative stress can contribute to the development of chronic and degenerative diseases.
Propolis contains bioflavonoids and polyphenols, compounds with antioxidant properties that scavenge those pesky free radicals and have an anti-inflammatory affect on the entire body.
Propolis is one of the strongest natural antioxidants out there scoring very high on the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) index, which is often used to compare the antioxidant activity of different foods.
To get your antioxidants from propolis, any form will work from our propolis spray to dried propolis capsules…just don’t go eating propolis toothpaste!
Propolis is deservedly making its way into the medicine cabinet of international consumers. Check out this natural health helper brought to us by the bees to keep you feeling your best all year round!