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Propolis Is Healing

For more than 2,000 years, propolis has been used as an antiseptic, antimicrobial and detoxifier, treating both humans and livestock.

The reports of the healing qualities of propolis are so numerous and convincing that researchers have formally investigated propolis to a greater extent than either bee-pollen or royal jelly. Most modern research has been conducted on propolis originating from temperate and northern-temperate mixed deciduous and conifer forests.

Chemical analyses of propolis has informed researchers that a chemical "fingerprint" consistently appears in the propolis of specific locales. This fingerprint is often a precise match to resin beads collected from local trees. Bees are apparently exceedingly selective. Among the hundreds of chemical compounds of propolis identified in propolis samples, researchers have found a subset of compounds that display a recurrent pattern of antiseptic, antibiotic and antifungal properties. Most of the compounds in this subset have been identified in other medicinal plants as well.

It's important to understand that propolis research is limited to the fraction that is soluble in common laboratory solvents. The majority of the resin is not soluble; therefore, whole propolis products may have additional benefits or synergies that are not apparent in the soluble products.

Extracts and whole propolis capsules or tablets are both available, and both have their advantages and disadvantages. One disadvantage of commercial alcohol and water tinctures relates to the fact that they contain only the soluble fraction propolis, not whole propolis material. The advantage is that the soluble portion is more likely to be absorbed.

The consistency of propolis is a bit waxy. It is thick enough to stick to your teeth and gums. A good way to take it is to stir a glass of lukewarm water creating a funnel in the water. Drop the tincture dosage directly into this funnel and drink the mixture immediately.

Propolis phytochemicals are thought to prevent cancer development because of their antioxidant, detoxifying and antimutagenic activities. The component, CAPE has strongly inhibited the growth of skin and colon cancers in cell cultures. Propolis may help prevent cancer and may lessen the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment, but cannot be expected to effectively treat existing cancers.

In addition to preventing infection, propolis is believed to stimulate the growth of new tissue. Wounds heal faster and cleaner when treated with propolis salves than without. Propolis tincture has been used as a digestive aid for centuries. Propolis tincture has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and has been reported in treating arthritis, boils, acne, asthma, ulcers and irritable bowel diverticulitis.

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