A lot of people don’t know about propolis but it turns out bees don’t just make honey. Propolis, which bees produce to make their hives both more stable and more secure from odors and disease, was already being used by the ancient Egyptians to embalm mummies! Today though, we know that it can aid in a wide range of situations. It comes in various consistencies and colors, light to dark brown.
Propolis consists of tree resin, essential oils, pollen, wax, and — not as gross as it might sound — bee saliva. It’s full of nutrients, vitamins, amino acids, and natural sugar.
Traditional and alternative medicine usage suggests that propolis is an anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, anti-depressant, antioxidant — AND it fosters the immune system as well as wound healing processes. That’s why people use it against bronchitis, pharyngitis, lung, ear, and sinus bugs, tonsillitis, and even cases of herpes or the flu. It can also help with dental problems, digestive issues, and gynecological infections.
For medicinal purposes, people usually use a 10% solution which you can often get at your local pharmacy. But you can also make one yourself.
With sinusitis, tonsillitis, and other ear-nose-and-throat conditions, as well as dental problems, mix propolis in a 1:10 ratio with salt. Mix with water and gargle the solution, or dab it on a cotton pad and then on the affected part of your body. With children’s ear infections, dilute the solution 1:1 with warm water.
You can treat respiratory problems by mixing one drop of propolis with one teaspoon salt, dissolving it in water, pouring the combination into an inhaler, and breathing it in.
For your immune system generally, dissolve 15 to 20 drops in 1/3 cup milk or water and drink it half an hour before a meal.
If you suffer from stomach ailments or other digestive issues, drink 15 to 20 drops of propolis mixed in 1/3 cup of warm water, also half an hour before eating.
For herpes, cuts, fungal infections or other skin conditions you can pour a few drops of your straight propolis solution on a cotton pad and apply it to the affected area.
Before using propolis, you should always talk to a doctor about your condition to check whether it needs more conventional treatment. Important to know, too: it’s not suitable for use on children under the age of three, who may react allergically to propolis. And anyone allergic to beeswax should avoid it as well.
But for the rest of us, it’s a beautiful, simple way to take advantage of one of nature’s own best remedies!