Another superfood to add to your pantry: 9 Surprising benefits of bee propolis

Bees are one of the greatest gifts to mankind. They don’t just play a crucial role in pollination, they also produce various nutrient-rich substances such as honey and the lesser known bee propolis. The latter, which is also called bee glue, results from the metabolism of a resin secreted by trees. This process produces a substance, which is composed of 30 percent beeswax, 55 percent resin, and 10 percent aromatic oils and ethers, that can produce a safe and sterile environment inside the beehive.

When bee propolis is isolated from the hive, it retains the majority of its properties that contribute to its potential therapeutic applications. These properties can be attributed to the presence of more than 300 compounds in bee propolis, which include various forms of polyphenols. The most abundant among all these compounds are the flavonoids that are commonly produced by plants for their protective properties. These compounds also exhibit potent antioxidant properties that are beneficial for preventing many chronic diseases.

There are many benefits that you can enjoy from bee propolis. Some of these include the following:

  1. Promoting healthier bones — Bee propolis contains caffeic acid phenethyl ester which prevents unnecessary inflammation that triggers bone deterioration. Moreover, it encourages the building and regeneration of bone tissue.
  2. Alleviating symptoms of food poisoning — This superfood is known for its potent antimicrobial property. Studies have shown that bee propolis is effective against microorganisms that cause food poisoning, which include Campylobacter jejuni, Staphylococcus aureus, and Enterobacter faecalis.
  3. Reducing inflammation — Bee propolis is an effective remedy against inflammation and infection associated with oral health problems like gingivitis and periodontitis. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory properties of this superfood also improve symptoms of arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease.
  4. Lowering blood pressure — The enzyme called tyrosine hydroxylase interferes with the production of nitric oxide, which maintains heart health by stimulating the relaxation of blood vessels and promoting blood flow. The ability of bee propolis to reduce the production of this enzyme leads to better blood pressure and prevents the development of other cardiovascular diseases.
  5. Removing warts — Some benefits of bee propolis can be enjoyed without eating it. For example, topical application of this substance daily for two weeks helps get rid of plantar warts.
  6. Relieving allergies — If you’re suffering from allergy symptoms like a runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, or blotchy skin then bee propolis can help you find relief. This benefit is due to the presence of the flavonoid quercetin, which inhibits histamine release.
  7. Protecting against heat stress — The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties of bee propolis have a synergistic effect that protects people from heat exhaustion. This effect is especially beneficial for athletes since it improves their performance in hot temperatures.
  8. Fighting off infections and colds — Bee propolis boosts the immune system with its antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties, which effectively get rid of microorganisms associated with infectious diseases like the flu and common colds.
  9. Inducing cancer cell death — Numerous studies have shown that bee propolis is effective against different types of cancer, including prostate and colon cancer. It works by specifically targeting cancer cells and then triggering their death and necrosis. Moreover, propolis interferes with signaling pathways used by cancer cells to communicate with each other. (Related: Bee propolis found to be effective at slowing the spread of colon cancer, study finds.)

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