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What Is Propolis?

What Is Propolis? When you think of bees what is the first thing that comes to mind? For most people that thing will be Honey. What about propolis? While the actual source of propolis is from cone-bearing trees, we don’t harvest it from the trees themselves. Rather we let the bees do that work, and then we harvest it from the bees. While most people may not be familiar with the term, its use has been documented as early as 350 B.C. Various cultures used the substance for different reasons and some of those reasons are still valid today. So what are some of the uses for this gift from bees?

  Uses and Benefits

Researchers believe that it has incredible healing qualities. There are lots of studies that support its use in treating cold sores, Genital Herpes, and for aiding in healing after oral surgeries. It has also been used to treat canker sores, thrush, giardiasis, respiratory issues, and vaginal swelling. In many of the studies currently being done researchers have found it helps in recovery times, reduces swelling, and can reduce pain. Our pollinating little friends are not just a great source for sweetener, it seems they are also producing medicine. Was there any doubt to their fabulous abilities.

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  Side Effects

It is easy to assume that natural means harmless. There are some concerns that users should be aware of. Because it is a product that is produce by bees, people with allergies are likely to have a reaction to it. For similar reasons people with asthma should avoid using the product. Other cautions include avoiding use in pregnancy or during breastfeeding. There is also reason to believe that propolis produces a chemical that slows blood clotting. Given this people should be wary of taking it before or after surgeries. 

 Experts Views

Propolis is not new, and it is certainly not a trend. Anyone curious about it will find a busy world full of researchers and advocates. One of the leading experts is Prof. Vassya S. Bankova from Bulgaria who is head of the lab “Chemistry of natural substances”. Her research on the topic is incredibly detailed. Looking into her work you’ll find studies ranging from treating influenza, to its history of use in Bulgaria. Recently even she was a speaker at a propolis conference in Glasgow. Her research supports the current uses of propolis but it also suggests that we aren’t using it to its full potential. There is no doubt from her dedication that she supports the medicinal qualities of propolis. She’s not alone either.

Anton De Groot who teaches at the University of Groningen, has conducted research that shows propolis contains anti-bacterial properties and other positive attributes. Other supporters include the American Contact Dermatitis Society. Not to mention a flurry of natural-savvy bloggers gushing about their experiences with propolis.

In a world where people are becoming more and more interested in natural approaches. It is no wonder that propolis has gained interest. So while this might be the first time you have heard of it, It will not be the last.

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