Propolis is a resinous, gummy substance that honey bees naturally produce to help in construction and maintenance of their hives. It’s commonly known as “bee glue” but is also referred to as propolis resin, propolis wax and propolis balsam. Bees collect substances from plants, flowers and tree buds then mix this with their own saliva to produce a waxy paste.4 Propolis is critically important for been survival as it binds the hive materials, seals cracks to keep out invaders and protect them from nature’s elements like rain, wind and heat.3 Propolis is dark brown, light honey color or sometimes nearly black. Propolis is composed of 50 percent resins, 30 percent waxes, 10 percent essential oils, 5 percent pollen and 5 percent various other organic compounds.
Propolis health benefits including containing amino acid, minerals, ethanol, vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin E and the highly active ingredients known as flavonoids and bioflavonoids.2 4 Modern science recognizes propolis health benefits as having strong anti-infection, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial action. Propolis health benefits also include being an excellent analgesic and anesthetic.3 Medicinal propolis uses have traditionally been for wound treatment, fighting infections, helping cardiac issues and quelling tumors. Propolis for skin is also as well-known natural treatment.2 Other propolis uses for health include:
Persons with known allergies to bee stings or bee products like honey, royal jelly and bee pollen should not risk taking this product as is may cause propolis side effects such as allergic reactions.1 Propolis side effects may also include increasing the risk of bleeding in people who are taking blood-thinning medications. Propolis side effects may also occur in those taking blood thinning medications or undergoing surgery as it is known to slow blood clotting.2