Propolis in the Hive Protect and Defend: Tree Resin used by Bees and Humans to aid Health
Tree sap has a similar function in trees as blood does in humans. It contains nutrients vital to the life and health of the tree and functions to transport these nutrients throughout the tree’s body. Sap contains vitamins, minerals, sugars, hormones and enzymes. Historically, tree sap or resin was used by the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Chinese and other traditional cultures for its ability to help heal the body. It was and is used to treat skin issues, infections, cancer, wounds, issues of the liver, lungs, intestines and stomach, arthritis, rheumatism and other inflammatory conditions. It has also been used to make concentrated sugar syrups and fermented beverages.
Honeybees use tree resins as a health aid too!
The bees collect various exudates and secretions from trees and shrubs, plus add leaf bud coating and digestive secretions with a little wax to create their own hive antibiotic called propolis. Chemically speaking, propolis is a very complex mixture. Many flavonols contribute to propolis. Other components include cinnamic acid, cinnamyl alcohol, vanillin, caffeic acid, tetochrysin, isalpinin, pinocembrin, chrysin, galangin, and ferulic acid. Colors range from golden brown to brownish green to reddish brown to blackish brown.
Propolis forms a hard substance outside the hive but inside the hive, it is a viscous liquid covering all the surfaces and a bioactive gaseous vapor that suffuses the hive. The bees use propolis to “glue” and bind the hive together. It is their anti-septic for every surface within the hive. It is used to shape and restrict entrances, as a way to trap contaminants from entering the hive, as a sterile container for contamination, to disinfect brood cells before eggs are laid and for general hygiene and hive health.
Propolis is another medicinal marvel from the beehive. It is a broad-spectrum remedy with a wide variety of applications. Research shows it offers antiseptic, antibiotic, antibacterial, antifungal, and even antiviral properties. Propolis is Nature's premiere preventive. It is so powerful in action; it is often called Russian penicillin in acknowledgement of the extensive research the Russians have mounted on this wonder worker from the bees. It is a biological response modifier, improving the bodies overall ability to respond to imbalances of any kind.
It has also been found to be helpful in the following situations:
Propolis is a hallmark remedy for gastric ulcers, colitis, and diverticulitis
Skin and tissue conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, hemorrhoids, wounds and burns respond well to propolis mixed with honey
The liver is a signature organ for propolis. Positive results have been found with treatments of cirrhosis, hepatitis B & C, liver atrophy
Propolis improves the immune response. Research has shown it directly attacks cancer cells and can diminish the growth rate of cancer cells. Using propolis during radiation can minimize non-cancerous tissue damage.
It is antibacterial and can be used to treat gingivitis, periodontal infections, ear, eye, sinus infections, and UTIs.
It is antiparasitic and can be used for intestinal parasites and Lyme Disease.
Propolis is an antiviral and helps with cold sores, colds, flu and shingles.
Propolis supplements can be found in many forms. Commonly used in creams and lotions, it can also be found in extracts, throat sprays, tinctures and as a powder.
Commonly used Tree Saps Maple tree: used to make maple syrup Ash tree: used to make manna, which was used to flush toxins and as a gentle laxative and purgative Birch tree: used to makes beverages in northern European counties antiseptic, anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory Sangre de Grado(South America): creates a red sap called blood of the dragon and used for wound healing and digestive distress Pine tree: resin chewed by Native Peoples to alleviate joint pain Spruce sap: a traditional cold remedy Guggui tree (India): helps to control cholesterol and aid detoxification Myrrh tree (Middle East): used to preserve mummies and a remedy for infections, stomach and lung disorders Frankincense tree (Middle East): well known aromatic and healing properties, used for skin ailments such as wounds, burns, arthritis Mastic tree: resin called Arabic gum, and used for dental issues, digestive issues and infections Terabinth tree: resin was used in ancient Egyptian medicine and found to have antioxidant properties