It is a resinous sticky substance, usually brown in color, produced and used by bees to close holes, shorten the entrance of the hive, cover dead bodies of animal-insects invading the hive and can not move, sterilize the cells etc.
Propolis Pre-city, which means forward (pre) from the city-city (city) of the hive, meaning its defensive property.
Another name came from the ancient Greeks, making the messy way of keeping their city (with ditches, propellas, bastions, guardians) with that of the bee hive. Thus ancient Greek beekeepers, watching this brown substance placed by the bees at the entrance of the hive (propylaea), christened it as propolis. In practice, however, besides dealing with natural bee enemies and weather conditions, it also protects the hive with its antimicrobial and fungicidal action. It is worth mentioning that a honeybee of 60000-70000 people crammed in an almost sealed area survives with humidity of 90% and a temperature of 35 degrees Celsius.
Its medical ability had been discovered in antiquity by the Greeks (Hippocrates) and later by the peoples of the Mediterranean.
Physical properties. Propolis is collected by the bees from the edges of tender buds and leaves, from pines, poplars, chestnut trees, hazelnuts, oak trees etc. The color of propolis varies from yellowish-green, orange-brown to brown and depends on the plant of origin. At temperatures below 15 ° C the propolis is particularly hard, and at temperatures of 30 ° C it becomes elastic and sticky. It melts at 60-70 ° C. It is completely insoluble in water and dissolves in ethyl alcohol and other organic solvents.
Chemical composition. It depends on the plants in the area where bees have created propolis. More than 300 chemical compounds have been reported in propolis. Mostly, it consists of 50% resin, 30% wax, 10% essential oils, 5% pollen. The remaining 5% consists of sugars, flavorings, balsam, aliphatic acids, flavones, minerals, vitamins, trace elements and other unknown ingredients.
Pharmaceutical properties. Propolis has been known for its pharmaceutical activity for 4,000 years. Today it is used as a whole or as an ingredient in other packages. The action of propolis is wide. It is known to be used by many and to treat incurable diseases without its scientific effectiveness being proven. Thus, we must confine ourselves to the research substantiated propolis properties, which are mainly the following:
Anti-inflammatory properties. It stimulates the mobility of the immune macrophage cells and suppresses some enzymes, which allow an inflammation to develop.
Antiviral properties. Propolis has a broad antiviral spectrum, while its antiviral activity is significantly enhanced in combination with pollen and royal jelly. It has certified anti-virus activity, including H1N1 and H1N3 influenza.
Antifungal properties. The antifungal activity of propolis has been confirmed and practically against Candida albicans, Trichomonas vaginalis, coliforms and other bacteria, fungi and parasites. It has also been shown that long-term use of propolis does not lead to the creation of resistant strains of pathogenic microorganisms, while at the same time it easily destroys pathogenic microorganisms that have become antibiotic-resistant.
Antioxidant properties. This property of propolis is manifested by the scanning of free radicals of oxygen. At the same time, it protects the vitamin from oxidation.
Immune properties. Propolis has been shown to stimulate and enhance the general and specific immune system, while also increasing interferon, causing cellular and chemical immunity.
Antihistaminic properties. Propolis in combination with pollen helps alleviate the symptoms of allergies and progressive immunization.
Thus, in particular, propolis can be used in cuts, scratches, pimples, bumps, small scale first and second burns, warts, to prevent digestive tract inflammation, to treat prostate diseases as a tonic as an adjuvant , cold, sore throat, stomach, gingivitis, stomach or bowel disease, increased antibiotic efficacy, virus-induced or antibiotic-resistant germs (eg, hospital infections, tuberculosis, certain fungal infections), etc.
Without believing that propolis heals everything, we still have in our hands a wonderful material that constantly reveals new qualities to the scientists studying it.