Propolis, also called bee glue, is a resin-like mixture that honey bees make out of their saliva, plant sap and parts, and beeswax, and pollen. Bees use this glue-like material to build their hives and seal open areas of the hive to keep away intruders and pathogens [R] [R].
Propolis contains flavonoids, such as chrysin that are considered potent antioxidants that bees extract from various plants. Honey and passion flowers are also natural sources of chrysin [R].
Propolis has antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic properties. They are effective against oral bacteria and can be used either as an oral or topical medication. Propolis from Europe and Brazil are two of the most studied varieties. In one study involving 30 children, a mouth wash with Brazilian propolis proved to be effective in getting rid of oral bacteria [R] [R] [R] [R].
Bee propolis also contains flavonoids and potent antioxidants. A clinical trial involving 67 individuals showed that 15 drops of a propolis solution called Beepolis twice a day had strong antioxidant effects. It also increased glutathione and HDL (good cholesterol) levels. After a 3-month supplementation, it greatly lowered the risk of cardiovascular diseases [R].
In another clinical trial involving 47 individuals, 50 mg per day of flavonoids derived from powdered propolis was found to have a 23% reduction of oxidative stress in males after a month of supplementation [R].
Bee propolis was also found to help with the management of type 2 diabetes. A daily dose of 900 mg Brazilian green propolis was found to lower blood sugar levels after 18 weeks, as shown in a trial with type 2 diabetic individuals [R].
Propolis is also a good natural fungal nail infection treatment. A study was conducted with 707 individuals with a fungal nail infection, and propolis extract applied topically on the nails cured more than 50% of the infections after 6-month treatment. It acts by penetrating the nails and effectively destroying fungal biofilms, which often develop resistance to drugs and treatment [R].
Another disease propolis is good for is hypertension. In a study with 35 individuals, a twice-daily dose of propolis reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure after 3-month treatment [R].
Bee propolis is generally considered safe, but people with a bee allergy should avoid using it [R].
We strongly advise you to have regular check-ups with your doctor and lab tests (blood, kidney, and liver) at least once every six months if you decide to take any herbal medicine or supplements for long-term.
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