What you need to know: We are pretty much in love with anything and everything created by bees. From Manuka and raw honey to bee pollen and royal jelly, each has profound health benefits – which is why we have recently added bee propolis to our superfood hit list. Propolis is made by bees from beeswax and other secretions, and is mixed with tree resins to be used as a sealant for the beehive. Much like a coat of armor, it protects the hive from infection due to its potent antibiotic, antiviral, and antifungal properties. It functions in a very similar manner when it comes to humans, stimulating the thymus gland (the master of the immune system) and enhancing resistance against infection of all kinds. In particular, propolis can be effective for respiratory issues such as a sore throat and cough, as well as oral issues such as canker sores and dental pain.
Why you should try it: Propolis is the bee’s knees: rich in bioflavonoids, amino acids, as well as a good source of trace minerals, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene. It has a wide range of healing properties, with research showing promise in its ability to increase recovery time and accelerate new cell growth. It is used as a topical healing agent for burns, minor wounds, infections- even skin cancers and melanomas. Propolis may even be effective in lowering high blood pressure, reducing arteriosclerosis and lowering the risk for heart disease. One other interesting use of propolis? It is commonly used among holistic practitioners for its ability to successfully clear stubborn acne – even the cystic variety.
Let’s get together: Propolis is not something that can be eaten straight, but can easily be consumed in supplement form. It can be added to your choice of liquid when taking a tincture, or is available as a lozenge or capsule. The lozenges are best used for immediate relief from issues of the oral cavity or throat, while the tincture or capsules are better used for internal benefit or conditions of the skin. Our favorite supplement is Propolis Complex by Premier Research Labs.