Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Nature's Antibiotic - Bee Propolis
Wouldn't it be great if there were a natural antibiotic that would not cause antibiotic resistance? Wouldn't it also be great if you could take this natural antibiotic and get other health benefits, without having to worry about some of the nasty side effects of prescription antibiotics? And if you could get antiviral benefits, that would be really great, wouldn't it?
Ladies and gentlemen, introducing...bee propolis!
Bee propolis is the product is not exactly a biological product of bees. They collect a resinous tree sap and mix it with honey back at the hive, and that's propolis. They use it to seal their homes, the way we would use a caulking gun to seal ours.
You may never have heard of bee propolis, but it has long been known to provide significant health benefits. The most important of these benefits may be propolis' use as an antibiotic.
Why would bees need to make antibiotics?
We know bees are among the most efficient creatures on earth. They use everything they make, and they don't make anything they don't need. So why would they need antibiotics?
While this is not household knowledge, any beekeeper can tell you that bees are very, very vulnerable to infections, both bacterial and viral. Entire hives can be destroyed by an infection running rampant. To survive, bees must create an antibiotic, antiviral substance to protect themselves.
Most people need to be convinced of the effectiveness of bee propolis, and there are several studies, on various aspects of bee propolis' healing properties, which back up the claims of bee product supporters.
In a Chinese study, researchers found that propolis, specifically the sinapic, isoferulic, and cafeeic acides it contains, inhibied the growth of W. aureus. In Europe, ethanol extracts from bee propolis had a "marked synergistic effect" on the anti-staph effectiveness of streptomycin and cloxacyllin and a less marked but still noticeable effect on several other antibiotics.
The antiviral properties of propolis are its greatest strength, and remarkable in terms of health, because viruses are completely unaffected by antibiotics, and can cause severe illness which are treatable, medically, only by a few prescription antivirals which are reserved for extreme cases. Sufferers of the common cold and the flu may find bee propolis very beneficial in shortening the duration of their symptoms and relieving their illness.
Bee propolis has a lot of functions in wellness, in addition to its antibiotic and antiviral properties. Some of its elements are free-radical scavengers. It has anti-inflammatory properties. It can prevent blood clots, and is helpful with allergies.
Bee propolis is an important heatlh supplement which can fight infections, reduce allergic reactions, and generally promote a healthy body and immune system. It is no wonder, considering how hard bees work, that they would create one of the most remarkable health supplements known, but we, as humans, are lucky to have bees inhabiting our world. Though they are of course making their own world better, and don't even think about us unless we bother them, they are good neighbors. And the honey is delicious.
Todd Alexander is health writer for Earthturns.com.EarthTurns Copyright 2006
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