Questions and answers about propolis
What is propolis used for in the beehive?
Propolis is a resinous, usually dark brown mass that protects the hive from fungal infestation, bacteria and all kinds of intruders. Bees produce them from regional plant resins, essential oils and the body's own enzymes.
What is propolis made of?
Propolis consists of resins, essential oils, waxes, pollen, minerals and organic substances. The exact composition depends largely on the flora and fauna of the region. For example, propolis from Brazil contains a high proportion of flavonoids and is green. To date, studies have identified more than 300 chemical components in propolis, including various minerals and vitamins such as iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium, selenium and vitamins A, B1, B3 & E.
What is the effect of propolis?
Propolis shows anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal effects. Modern research even suggests that propolis provides healing support for minor wounds, oral hygiene, inflammation and cold sores. Propolis has traditionally been used by people and in alternative medicine for centuries in other areas, including inflammation of the gums, strengthening the immune system, flu infections and sore throats. Propolis has only been scientifically studied since the last century and its effect has not yet been fully proven by studies.
When should you be careful when using propolis?
Like other natural substances, propolis can trigger allergic reactions that manifest themselves in the form of redness, itching and swelling. People who have a known allergy to bee stings should avoid using propolis. In addition, propolis should not be taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding due to insufficient research.
Can I take propolis if I have a pollen allergy?
Basically, the answer to this question depends on various factors. On the one hand, taking propolis can help against hay fever due to its antioxidant and immunomodulating effects and support the body during the hay fever season. A well-known study has shown that propolis acts as a natural histamine reducer. On the other hand, propolis also contains a small amount of pollen, which can trigger an allergic reaction in people with pollen allergies, and should therefore be taken with caution.
How can I test if I am allergic to propolis?
If you want to know whether you are allergic to propolis or other bee products, you can have yourself examined by a dermatologist. Alternatively, you can carry out a skin test yourself. To do this, apply the tincture or solution to an inconspicuous, robust area of skin and observe the area for at least two hours.
When taking a propolis tincture for the first time, make sure to take a lower dosage than that recommended by the manufacturer and only slowly increase it to the recommended dosage over several days.