Propolis is a compound that bees use to seal and stabilize their hives. It also protects the hives from bacterial and fungal infections. Bees also use Propolis to mummify carcasses of small mammals and reptiles when they are too large to carry out of the hive. The bodies of these animals are preserved, preventing rotting and disease. Pretty incredible, right? It’s all thanks to the antibiotic nature of Propolis. Bees manufacture this compound by collecting resins on trees and flowers, as opposed to collecting pollen for honey production.
The exact composition of Propolis differs depending on the location of the hive and the source of the resin. If the hive is located in a natural environment among resinous trees, the Propolis has specific medicinal properties such as speeding up healing of wounds and burns. In fact, Brazilian Propolis has been found to be superior to silver sulfadiazine, which is the standard medical treatment for burns in hospitals.
Propolis is also excellent for maintaining oral hygiene. Propolis infused chewing gum will protect against cavities and other forms of infectious oral disease.
Finally, and perhaps most incredibly, Propolis has been linked to cancer treatment and prevention. In vitro and mice studies show that Propolis inhibits the transformation of healthy cells to cancer cells. It also stops cells from dividing and growing. Since cancers exhibit uncontrollable division and growth, this could prove to be very useful for cancer prevention and treatment. Propolis may also sensitize cancer cells to chemotherapy — another one of its wondrous purposes.