Monday, February 26, 2018

Can a substance created by bees help you avoid antibiotics?

Meet 'bee glue' the natural treatment everyone's buzzing about — for good reason

Meagan Morris, Published: February 22, 2018

If you’re like most people, you make a beeline to the doctor for an antibiotic when you start sniffling and sneezing, but fans of propolis say you should consult a few bees instead. But wait, what is propolis?

What is propolis?

What is propolis exactly? Propolis — also known as “bee glue” — is a sticky, brownish substance that occurs when bees combine sap from evergreen trees and their own discharges and beeswax. The substance is then used as a coating when they build their hives.

And it’s also shown to have a number of antifungal, antiviral and antibiotic uses.

How propolis works

“Propolis is really the OG antibiotic,” Beekeeper’s Naturals founder Carly Stein told Well + Good.

“The word ‘propolis’ was coined by Aristotle and means ‘the defender of the city” and dates back to 300 BC when people used it like the antibiotics of today,” according to Stein. The Greeks and Assyrians used it to treat abcesses, tumors, wounds and infections, while Egyptians used it to embalm mummies.

The exact nutrient content of propolis is hard to pin down because the 300-plus components found inside differ depending on the country — like propolis from bees in the United States will likely have a different makeup than the propolis made by bees in Brazil. However, it’s believed that antioxidants known as flavonoids and polyphenols are what gives the propolis its antibacterial and antifungal properties.

And the science seems to back it up...

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