It was a late afternoon when my father brought me a honeycomb from our beehive so I could make my first homemade propolis! Since I was a little girl, my grandmother produced her own propolis that healed our entire family. Up until today, it has remained my favourite and only medicine I use; I use it for any aches, pains or illnesses and it always works miracles. This is why I have decided to share my knowledge and advice on this magic medicine:
What is propolis?
Bees collect flower pollen, which they break down into simple sugars and store it in honeycombs, then through the evaporation process, liquid honey is produced. Besides flower nectar and pollen, bees can also collect resins from pine needle sap. They combine it with their own discharge and wax, resulting in a sticky propolis. It is completely sterile; thus, bees use it to seal their hives to protect themselves from invaders, microbes and the cold.
The properties of propolis vary according to the environment surrounding the hive. Thus, Latin American propolis will differ from European propolis. Moreover, when we make propolis naturally with an open heart and a deep connection to nature its properties will be different than when it is mass produced in a factory. Thus, it is advisable to buy propolis from local bee-keepers.
In general, propolis has a composition of 50 % tree resin, 25–35 % beeswax, 10 % essentіаl oils, 5 % flower pollen and 5 % various organic materials (wood, plants, and minerals). All ingredients are 100 % natural, there are no additives or chemicals added. It is incredible, how a little bee can create such an incredible and strong elixir!
How old is the tradition of using propolis?
Its first use is documented as early as 350 B.C when it was used to heal tumours, wounds, and abscesses. In ancient Egypt, it was also used for mummification.
Due to the 300+ compounds, found in propolis, of which most are polyphenols, propolis has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. It considerably stimulates the immune system, so it is considered a natural antibiotic, with no side effects on the kidneys, liver, or intestinal flora.
I use propolis drops (propolis soaked in alcohol) in herbal teas before the start of every season to support my immune system. I also apply directly to disinfect and heal wounds. Propolis has helped me greatly with my cold sores, making them appear less often. Whenever I have a cold or the flu, there is nothing better than a warm herbal tea (thyme with echinacea or lungwort) with a spoon of home-made honey, 10 drops of propolis and lemon from our winter garden. However, please make sure you do not add honey, propolis or lemon directly into boiling hot tea! Wait until it cools down to drinking temperature and if possible use a wooden spoon to mix, otherwise your drink will lose most of its healing properties. Keep in mind, every medicine works much better if you set the intention or visualise how you would like to feel before you take it.
It has been claimed that propolis has been successfully used to heal or prevent cancer, tumours, and many other diseases. This itself is more than a reason to try it.