Mixing together the digestive enzyme of bees with resinous substances produced by plants creates an adhesive substance called propolis. Bees need propolis to protect themselves and to clean their hives and honeycombs, whilst humans can use it for medicinal purposes.
Despite the fact that propolis has been known to us for millennia, modern medicine is still in the process of uncovering its useful properties. It can be consumed in the most varied ways: it can be chewed, added to milk (this is a great way to relieve cough symptoms), or used in the form of an external or internal tincture.
Oral consumption of a propolis tincture helps to strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation, and also functions as an antioxidant. The range of benefits is still wider when propolis is used externally: it can disinfect and heal wounds, regenerate skin, anesthetize, and kill fungal infections.
Doctors prescribe propolis for many different conditions and illnesses, including to help treat tonsillitis, pharyngitis, sinusitis, otitis, tracheitis, bronchitis, and pneumonia, and to remove numerous viral infections (influenza, herpes). It’s also used for all kinds of dental problems, in gynecology, and even to help overcome gastric diseases.
A 10% propolis tincture is most often applied for medicinal purposes. It can be bought for very little from drug stores (a small 25 ml bottle lasts for a long time), but you can also prepare it yourself.
Remember that you should always consult a doctor beforehand in order to get a precise diagnosis of any illness and correct advice on using propolis to treat it.
Propolis should not be used by people who are allergic to products produced by bees. Children, pregnant women, and drivers should avoid oral use of alcohol-based propolis tinctures (they should only be used externally in these cases). Propolis-based products should not be given to children under three due to the high risk of an allergic reaction.
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