What is Propolis? A Guide to the Health Benefits of Propolis

Most people know about the health benefits of honey, but have you considered using other bee products such as royal jelly or propolis as a health supplement?

An increasing number of people in New Zealand are becoming aware of the powerful medicinal properties of propolis and how it can benefit health when consumed regularly. If you’d like to learn more about this amazing natural health product, read on.

What is Propolis?

Propolis is a natural substance produced by bees, combining tree resin with digestive secretions, beeswax, and pollen. Propolis is extracted from a beehive using a special mesh that is placed inside the hive and collected in the summer months.

Bees use propolis inside their hives as an insulating material, and to protect the hive and larvae from bacteria and infections. As propolis has disinfectant and antiviral properties, it is effective at killing germs that may enter the hive.

The powerful properties of propolis come mainly from the tree resin that makes up its bulk. Resin is a tree’s natural protection against infection and parasites. When the bark of a tree is damaged, it oozes resin to seal the wound and prevent fungus or protection from entering. Trees also produce resin as a response to parasitic infection, as it can kill attacking insects and their larvae.

The digestive secretions produced by bees when they harvest the resin further enhance these healing properties. These break down the chemical structure of the resin to release a high concentration of vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids, and make them more bioavailable to animals. The bees then combine the processed resin with beeswax and pollen to form propolis.

The exact makeup of propolis depends on the type of tree resin and flower pollen harvested by bees, and the time of year.

What are the Health Benefits of Propolis?

Propolis is high in vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin B1, B2, B6, C, E, and P, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and zinc. It also contains a high concentration of flavonoids, which contribute beneficial amino acids and other compounds.

Some of the benefits it offers when consumed or used by humans include:

Its anti-inflammatory properties reduce inflammation throughout the body, improving overall health, and reducing the symptoms of chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Its antiviral properties help the body to fend off and recover from viruses more quickly.

Its fungicidal properties prevent and help the body to heal from fungal infections such as candida albicans which is the most common type of fungal infection. 

As an anti-parasitic, it can help the body to fight and recover from invasion by parasites.

It can help wounds to heal and prevents infection and scarring.

It’s a powerful antioxidant, helping to protect your body against the effects of free radicals, which are associated with ageing and many health conditions.

It supports and stimulates the immune system, raising the body’s natural resistance to bacteria and infections.

Propolis produced from the resin of New Zealand manuka trees is particularly powerful due to its enhanced medicinal properties.

How Should You Take a Propolis Supplement?

You can take propolis as a supplement in several different ways. We sell propolis in capsule-form, as softgels, in a concentrated Manuka South Propolis extract, Manuka Honey Drops and as a throat spray. You can also buy soaps, creams and ointments infused with propolis for skincare, and propolis toothpaste to improve oral health and help prevent cavities.

If you want to benefit from the health advantages of propolis daily, consuming it in the form of capsules or softgels is the most convenient way to do so. These supplements contain propolis in varying concentrations so that you can tailor your intake to your personal needs. Smaller doses are suitable for those who want to boost and support their overall health in the long-term, while more concentrated supplements like our Manuka South Black Reserve Propolis can be used to target specific health problems.

Softgels and capsules are both swallowed whole with water, and both absorbed quickly into the body. Some people find softgels slightly easier to swallow, and they can also be more concentrated than normal capsules. This means if you want to take a high dosage of propolis, you may prefer to take a single concentrated softgel rather than swallowing several capsules.

Propolis extract is in a liquid form, and so can be easily mixed with water or applied directly to the skin. Our propolis throat spray is handy to keep in your purse or desk and can be sprayed directly at the back of the throat to help ward off colds, flu, and respiratory infections.

No one with a bee allergy should take propolis. Check with your doctor first if you suffer from asthma or other allergies. Have any other questions or concerns? Feel free to contact us for further advice.

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