Bee Propolis as Cold Sore Remedy and other Health Benefits
Organic Bee Propolis
Used part: Organic Bee Propolis
Bee propolis is a brown protective substance that bees make from a mixture of beeswax, resins, sap, botanical compounds, and their own saliva. Its name comes from the Greek pro meaning “in defense of” and polis meaning “city” — making its literal meaning “in defense of the city” (or hive). In the hive, it is a protective substance that is vital to honey bee survival. It helps protect the bee hive against the elements, strengthens the internal structure, guard’s disease and parasites and even is used to mummify intruders that the bees can’t remove. Essentially, it is vital to the survival of the hive, and it can benefit humans in many ways as well!
Like all bee products, propolis offers a variety of health benefits to humans. It exhibits natural antibacterial properties and antimicrobial activity, making it a great first line of defense against any mild illnesses or sore throats that creep up. But this humble substance has also been studied for its biological activity against more serious matters like cancer cells in lab tests.
Researchers looked closely at the chemical composition and found hundreds of beneficial natural compounds including polyphenols like caffeic acid phenethyl ester, amino acids, coumarins, and even natural steroids. Due to the botanical compounds propolis also contains up to 10% essential oils and 5% bee pollen which have immune-boosting benefits on their own. These compounds help explain its anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, and cancer-fighting properties.
Propolis is thought to have antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. But scientific research on propolis is limited. Researchers aren’t exactly sure why, but the bee product appears to provide protection from some bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
Propolis has a special compound called pinocembrin, a flavonoid that acts as an antifungal. These anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties make propolis helpful in wound healing. One study found that propolis can help people who have had traumatic burns heal faster by speeding up new healthy cell growth. Another study found that a topical propolis alcoholic extract was more effective than a steroid cream in reducing mast cells in oral surgery wounds. Mast cells are associated with inflammation and slowed wound healing.
Ointments that contain 3 percent propolis may help speed healing time and reduce symptoms in both cold sores and sores from genital herpes. One study found when topical propolis was applied three times a day, it helped to heal cold sores faster than no treatment. The researchers found the propolis cream not only reduced the amount of herpes virus present in a person’s body, but also protected the body against future cold sore breakouts.
Propolis has been suggested to have a role in treating certain cancers as well. According to one study, some of the anti-cancerous effects of the substance include: keeping cancerous cells from multiplying, reducing the likelihood cells will become cancerous, blocking pathways that keep cancer cells from signaling to each other. The study also suggested that propolis could be a complementary therapy — but not a sole treatment — for cancer. Another study found that taking Chinese propolis could be a helpful complementary therapy in treating breast cancer due to its anti-tumor effects on breast cancer cells.
- Boosts the immune system
- Fights inflammation
- Soothes and protects skin
- Stop warts
- For cold sores
- Eczema and psoriasis
- Calming allergies
- Battling cancer
- Internal use: Can be used to drink or gargle, 4-5 drops in half a glass of warm liquid once or twice a day.
- External use: Apply to the skin where necessary using a cotton bud or piece of linen moistened with liquid.
May stain. Do not exceed stated dose if you are pregnant.
It is always important to talk to a doctor before using this or any other remedy. Those with allergic reactions to bees or bee products should avoid propolis. There is some evidence that those with asthma should avoid it or check with a doctor before use.
Additionally, propolis may slightly thin the blood. This makes it potentially beneficial for those with high blood pressure, but it should be avoided by anyone with bleeding disorders or who is taking blood thinners.