Propolis (bee glue) is a valuable product that bees produce during their life. Along with such valuable bee products donated to humanity as honey, royal jelly and pollen, propolis has no less useful properties. This product has another name - bond. The bond is a resinous mass of dark color, with the help of which the bees cover the cracks and disinfect the cells, protecting them from bad weather and drafts.
The name "propolis" came from the combination of the Latin word "pro" (ahead) and the Greek word "polis" (fortress, city). With the help of this product, bees cover up holes, strengthen honeycombs, polish the walls of the hives and use it as an antiseptic for bee colonies.
Propolis is a resinous substance that bees collect in spring from buds on trees and bushes, and then process with their enzymes. After collecting nectar and pollen for honey from herbs (approximately in October), the bees begin intensive preparation for the winter period. To do this, worker bees begin to collect a resinous substance from the buds and bark of trees.
There is still no consensus on the origin of propolis. Researchers of the theory of the external origin of the substance are of the opinion that bees extract it from the secretions of the resinous mass of the buds and bark of birch and poplar trees. According to this theory, the process of collecting propolis occurs as follows: the bees take the resin, as they do when collecting pollen, and fly into the hive to give the substance to other bees for processing. The balm obtained after processing in the hive is an integral part of bee glue. Researchers of another theory believe that there are special propolis bees that process pollen. As a result of such processing with the addition of third-party impurities, propolis is obtained as the result of a whole complex of substances.
The bee glue performs the following tasks in the hive:
- clogs the combs with bark;
- sterilize cells;
- embalms potentially dangerous foreign objects in cells;
- covers cracks from moisture and drafts;
- polishes combs before laying eggs;
- serves as an antiseptic material.
Propolis has a pleasant aroma of needles, honey, buds, wax and vanilla. It varies in color from grayish green to dark brown. Propolis tastes bitter. During combustion, the ouza releases valuable aromatic resins. Each bee family collects about 40-50 grams of bee glue. It is worth noting that the famous mummy is a product of wild bees that live in mountainous areas. This mummy has more pronounced medicinal properties, which has a natural pattern: wild products are more useful than homemade ones.
Thanks to bee glue, the bees themselves protect themselves from all kinds of bacteria and viruses. To date, six natural antibiotics produced by bees are known:
- royal jelly;
- bee venom;
With a large crowding of bees, these natural bee antibiotics are necessary for their normal life.
Bee glue is a resinous substance with a complex chemical composition and varying consistency. The consistency of bee glue depends on the temperature:
- viscous consistency at a temperature of 20 to 40°C;
- dense consistency below 20°C.
Propolis melts at 80°C. In ethyl alcohol it dissolves by 40-70%. Many researchers showed interest in the chemical composition of propolis. It consists of 16 classes of organic substances. The product consists of fragrant resin (about 50-60% of the total mass), which includes amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates and balsams. Also, bee glue contains enzymes, antibiotics, vitamins A, C, B1, B2, E, PP, fatty oils, trace elements, flavones, flavonoids, pollen (up to 5% of the total mass), and wax (up to 30% of the total mass). Such a set of useful and medicinal components is obtained as a result of bee digestive secrets. These secrets are able to release medicinal substances obtained from the resinous substances from the harvested trees.
It is known that bees collect about 50 kg of pollen per year.
The pollen contained in propolis is a unique energy substance of natural origin. It contains more nutrients than honey. Pollen contains 7-30% of proteins, which is much more than in cereals. It is interesting to note that one bee flies out fifty times a day, collecting pollen from 600 flowers.
Benign propolis has a yellow or reddish-brown color, as well as various shades. Old bee glue is usually dark in color.
Due to its chemical properties, bee glue dissolves in ethyl alcohol, fatty oils, medical ether and other organic solvents. Up to 10% of propolis dissolves in hot water, and up to 65% in cold water. This is because propolis is heavier than water and at temperatures below 15°C it becomes hard and brittle. At room temperature, it dissolves in alcohol up to 70% of the total mass.
Propolis has a variety of medicinal properties. Bee glue, which is purified from third-party impurities, has a wide range of medicinal properties, thanks to its chemical and biological components. It includes the following medicinal properties:
- wound healing.
Propolis has a detrimental effect on tubercle bacillus, which is important for the treatment of tuberculosis patients without the use of antibiotics. Also, this bee product has a strong analgesic effect, which is greater than that of cocaine.
In addition, it promotes regenerative processes in the body, stimulates blood circulation, prevents the appearance of scars, accelerates the healing of burns, wounds and inflammation.
The composition of the product is non-toxic. It can be used for a long time without harming the stomach and immune system. Moreover, it strengthens the immune system.
Propolis has been used in folk medicine since ancient times. With it, simple wounds, skin diseases, hemorrhoids, sciatica, tuberculosis, influenza and other diseases are cured. Also, bee glue prevents the formation of blood clots, improving blood circulation.
In terms of the degree of therapeutic effect, the bee product is superior to other antibiotics.
It has been found to be effective in treating rhinitis, pharyngitis and other respiratory diseases.
Due to the content of phytoncides in propolis, it is used for inhalation in the fight against acute bronchitis and tracheitis. Also, bee glue strengthens tooth enamel, so it is added to the composition of toothpaste against caries. Most often, propolis is used for medicinal purposes in the form of an alcoholic extract or an aqueous tincture. Unlike other bee products, propolis can be boiled for more than an hour without losing its healing properties.
Contraindications and side effects
Propolis is not recommended for allergy sufferers.
Correct dosage is the key to successful treatment. It must be remembered that bee glue is difficult to digest in a concentrated state. It has been established that for people suffering from diseases of the kidneys, liver and biliary tract, treatment based on propolis is safe.
Method for determining naturalness
To determine the quality of propolis, there are a number of specific indicators:
- color - yellowish, brownish or dark green;
- smell - fragrant, rich;
- taste - bitter, slightly burning;
- consistency - in a cold state, solid, heterogeneous.
High-quality propolis contains up to 30% wax and up to 20% impurities. It is harvested in the summer, collected from beehives and rolled into small balls of 100 grams. The alcohol solution of propolis is transparent, has a pleasant aroma and brown color.
The use of bee glue was first mentioned in Ancient Egypt, and a little later in Ancient Greece, as written in the writings of famous ancient doctors. In Russia, the use of this product is written in ancient medical books.
Propolis is used as an independent product or together with other components to enhance the therapeutic effect. Popular lollipops, tablets and chewing gums are good for colds, stimulating the protective function of the body. This product has been proven to remove cholesterol, inhibit pathological cells and prevent the development of cancer cells. Also, preparations based on propolis increase the body's resistance to irradiation.
Bee glue is used in briquettes, balls or in a crumbled state.
Propolis ointment is used to treat skin diseases. To obtain the greatest effect, the ointment is applied to the skin in a thick layer, covered with special paper for a couple of days. A month later, a significant positive result is observed.
Propolis is used to treat diseases in children. The product is used as an aerosol in the fight against pharyngitis, tracheitis, chronic pneumonia and bronchial asthma. Useful inhalations in the form of an emulsion in apricot oil and oil rose hips in a ratio of 1:3, 1:2 for 1-5 minutes (20 sessions).
For hair loss, the product is used as an alcohol tincture. A positive result can be observed after daily rubbing of the tincture into the scalp.
The use of propolis in its pure form will help to alleviate the condition of psoriasis as much as possible. To do this, you need to take it every day 2-3 times after meals for several months. At the same time, dressings with 10% propolis ointment in vegetable oil should be applied. To consolidate the effect, it is recommended to take 50 grams of honey and bee bread before going to bed.
The product effectively helps in the treatment of purulent wounds, acute eczema and fungal skin diseases. During treatment, pain and itching completely disappear, after which a gradual recovery occurs.
Inflammation of the middle ear is effectively treated with 30% propolis tincture in 70% alcohol. A swab soaked in the solution is inserted into the ear and changed every day for two weeks. If the inflammatory process with the release of pus, then use a 20% tincture of 96% alcohol.
Stomatitis, candidiasis and gingivitis are cured with concentrated propolis. For treatment, purified propolis is poured with 70% alcohol, insisted for up to 10 days and applied to sore spots.
Preparations containing bee glue are used to treat gynecological diseases. It is also useful to use the product during pregnancy as a drink with rose hips. However, it is highly recommended to consult a doctor.
Propolis tincture is used for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, tumors and other ailments.
To obtain a tincture, you must first grate the frozen ouza and pour cold water over it. Then it is necessary to drain the water with the floating components and dry it. To prepare 10% tincture, pour 70% alcohol into a glass container and pour 10 grams of prepared propolis. Leave for 2 weeks in a dark place, shaking twice a day. After 2 weeks, the tincture should be filtered and used for medicinal purposes.
The tincture is used in the treatment of:
- the skeletal system;
- nervous system;
- cardiovascular system;
- digestive system;
- respiratory system;
- reproductive system;
- integumentary system.
It is necessary to take the tincture depending on the disease and stage of treatment. Application is possible both externally and internally. The average duration of treatment is about one month.
For people who are contraindicated in drinking alcohol, it is necessary to take an aqueous solution of propolis. To prepare it, it is necessary to pour boiled water into a glass container and add prepared propolis in a ratio of 2:1. Then heat the solution in a water bath and let it brew for six hours.
Honey with propolis
To obtain an enhanced effect, propolis is combined with honey. The therapeutic mixture is taken in a teaspoon orally or as an inhalation. You can also add to milk or tea. The healing course lasts no more than 2 months.
Milk with propolis
Milk with propolis is good for colds. This tool is useful for both children and adults. It is also recommended to drink it for prevention in the autumn-spring period. In addition, milk with propolis, drunk before bedtime, helps to get rid of insomnia and sleep well.
Fresh propolis, when properly stored, does not lose its valuable properties. The product is stored in a dry place at a temperature not exceeding 25°C.