Propolis – The antibiotic of nature
What is propolis ?
Propolis is a product of the bee that results from the processing of resinous juices from the bark and buds of certain plants along with special enzymes produced by the bee itself and the addition, possibly, of pollen and wax residues. The cell has a closed environment, a lot of heat (35) and humidity, a lot of sugar and a lot of inputs-outputs from it (1,000,000 per day, when the weather is good), that is, a lot of traffic. So it is a microbial culture soup. Propolis is a strong antimicrobial and antiviral and is used to sterilize and protect the cell from any germs.
Propolis is used by bees for many purposes, but there are two main ones. The first of these is to create a paste, which will “fill” all the openings, holes, cracks through which foreign to the bee body can enter. This could be water, dust or some organic residue from the outside environment or even a foreign organism such as a butterfly, a wasp, a snail or even a mouse. We could liken the use of propolis to an antimicrobial bactericidal waterproof putty with which the bee repairs its home.
The second and most important reason is to allow the bee to “embalm” the corpse of any invader that manages to enter Delissi. The invader is sure to be killed by the guard bees, but it is impossible to transport his body out of Delissi. The inside of the beehive is, and should be kept more sterile than the operating room, and for this reason the decomposition of the corpse and the spread of the germs that it carries must be prevented.
It is typical that a corpse embalmed with propolis can be kept for a long time in the order of 3-5 years, maybe more !! Other reasons are the grinding of pointed lumps inside the Delissi, or as a protective, antibacterial coating in the cells where the queen will lay her eggs.
Plants that give propolis.
Unfortunately, the bee can not make propolis from any plant or tree. All species of white, birch, willow, willow, oak, elm, beech, horse chestnut, eucalyptus, all conifers, but also other trees and plants produce resins that are used for the preparation of propolis by the bee.
It is known that the use of propolis has been done since antiquity. It takes its name from the ancient Greeks and states that this substance is used by bees to carry out their “fortification works”. We have reports about propolis from Hippocrates, Aristotle, Galen, Pliny the Elder and others. It seems that in antiquity it was highly valued and was one of the most basic therapeutic “weapons”. We have reports of propolis from other peoples of Africa, Russia and beyond. Reference to propolis is also found in the texts of the Bible, where it is referred to as the “balm of Gilead”.
Physical properties of propolis.
Propolis is a resinous, sticky eraser with a color that varies from yellow-green, orange-green to brown and dark brown. Its color depends on the plant of its origin, on the impurities of wax and pollen but also on the time of its stay in Delissi. At low temperatures below 15o C propolis is glazed and therefore very hard. At higher temperatures than 30o C it begins to acquire plasticity and becomes increasingly a sticky, filling substance. Typically, propolis melts at 60-70o C and has a density of about 1.12gr / ml. It is completely insoluble in water and dissolves in ethyl alcohol, glycol and other organic solvents.
Chemical composition of propolis.
The exact chemical composition of propolis is still unknown, and therefore can not be prepared in the laboratory. Generally, propolis contains about 50% flavonoids and other substances such as resins, phenolic acids and esters, wax, volatile oils, proteins, several minerals, ketones, quinones, steroids, etc.
Collection of propolis
The plant resins needed for the preparation of propolis are collected by a specialized group of bees, which are called propolis collectors.
The factors that affect when bees will collect propolis are still unknown. Generally, propolis is harvested from the beginning of spring or summer until the beginning of winter. The collection of propolis by the beekeeper, therefore, takes place during that period. The correct way, in which we extract propolis from the hive is with the use of special crates, which are inserted in the hive. These crates have gaps, which the bee fills with propolis.
In general, the bee “paves” the inner surfaces and the various holes of the bee with propolis. The beekeeper can scrape these surfaces with a scraper and collect the propolis. This tactic is not correct, and the propolis collected in this way is of inferior quality and sometimes unsuitable for the manufacture of preparations. The appropriate way to collect propolis today is to place a plastic curtain on the frames under the lid of the hive where the bees as a foreign body will pre-populate it.
The types of propolis
It makes sense for propolis to have different properties depending on the plants from which it comes. According to research, it seems that:
• Brown propolis works best for bacteria and fungi.
• Red propolis works best for viruses
• Brazilian green propolis works best for Cancer
Propolis may be commercially available in the form of crude solid propolis or in the form of propolis formulations. Such are propolis powder, pastes, ointments, propolis emulsions, alcoholic or glycolic sutures and propolis extracts, propolis syrups, propolis ointments, propolis oils, propolis pills and tablets etc. Also, propolis formulations can be combined with other bee products, such as pollen and honey, or even with other herbal preparations.
Therapeutic value of propolis.
In general, propolis can be used as a means of treating pulmonary, autoimmune and degenerative diseases, in gynecological, dermatological, gastroenterological, otolaryngological diseases, in diseases and infections of the oral cavity, in surgery or surgery, in surgery, surgery or surgery. . It is also used in other diseases, inflammations, infections, viruses, etc. The range of use of propolis is huge and is still under investigation.
In particular, propolis has the following therapeutic properties / actions:
It stimulates the motility of macrophage immune cells and suppresses some enzymes, which allow an inflammation to develop.
Antiseptic – antibacterial action.
Propolis has a very wide range of microbicides.
Propolis has a broad spectrum of anti-viral spectrum, while its activity against viruses is significantly enhanced in combination with pollen and royal jelly. It has certified activity against viruses, including influenza, H1N1 and H1N3. Cuban red propolis, in in vitro studies, kills all cancer cells and the HIV virus (AIDS), while it seems to have an action against the HPV (warts) virus. Antifungal properties
The antifungal action of propolis has been confirmed in practice against Candida albicans, Trichomonas vaginalis, coliforms and other bacteria, fungi and parasites. At the same time, with all the above, it has been shown that the long-term use of propolis does not lead to the creation of resistant strains of pathogenic microorganisms, while at the same time it destroys just as easily pathogenic microorganisms that have become resistant to antibiotics.
This property of propolis is manifested by the scanning of oxygen free radicals. At the same time, it protects vitamin C from oxidation.
Anti-hepatotoxic and hepatoprotective action.
Analgesic, Anesthetic action
Some propolis flavonoids have been shown to have a similar effect to certain analgesic drugs.
Propolis has a cytotoxic effect against fibrosarcoma in the large intestine, delays the progression of skin cancer, causes apoptosis of liver cancer cells and, in general, inhibits the respiration of cancer cells. The combination of propolis with bee venom has a 100% greater ability to destroy cancer cells and tumors. Antihistamine action
Propolis, in combination with pollen, helps to alleviate the symptoms of allergies and to gradually immunize.
Practically … that we use propolis in everyday life. ?
• Immune system shielding
One can use propolis tincture internally to strengthen and immunize the body against viruses, colds and allergies and to maintain a strong immune system. At the same time, it can be used during a virus, accelerating recovery and alleviating symptoms. It has direct effects on influenza virus, poultry, H1N1 and H1N3. •
Fast wound healing.
It can be used on springs, cuts, bruises, bruises, swellings, swellings, wounds and infections of any type on the skin or in the oral cavity. Propolis causes antiseptic and rapid healing, while protecting against germs and bacteria. At the same time, it adheres to the wound or swelling and makes it waterproof.
• Fighting skin problems.
It can be used to treat common skin problems, bites, inflammations, spots, acne but also to combat more serious skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis and more. Propolis is the only treatment for some types of psoriasis, such as post-traumatic psoriasis. At the same time, we can use soaps, shower gel, ointments and toothpastes that contain propolis for body care. How is propolis taken?
It can be taken internally in the form of an alcohol, possibly in solid form in the form of a powder or tablet and, possibly, in the form of another edible or oral preparation containing propolis.
In none of the cases mentioned in this article is a prescription for using the product without a doctor’s advice.