Author: P.G. Glynn
So is bee propolis a natural antibiotic? Here's some research to help you judge for yourself!
Did you know that propolis is used so extensively in Russia that it has been labelled the 'Russian Penicillin'? I certainly didn't, until very recently. But I was aware that knowledge about the antibiotic and healing properties of propolis dates back over 2000 years.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, used it as a salve to treat wounds, while during the days of Aristotle propolis was taken internally to relieve ulcers. In his classic 'Natural History', Pliny wrote about the healing powers of propolis.
So what is propolis? It's a resinous substance that bees gather from leaf buds and the bark of trees such as poplars. After adding their own glandular substance, they use it as a kind of cement to seal and tighten the hive to protect it. Any invader that wanders in is encased in the resin, so the bees avoid contamination.
Perhaps this insight seems uninspiring in terms of how it might help our health! Yet propolis has been revealed to be a natural antibiotic for man - and beneficial to the immune system against the onslaught of infectious disorders.
To quote Dr Arnold Pike D.C, Director of the Academy of Nutritional Sciences and member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Task Force on Nutrition:
'Nature has given bees a natural antibacterial substance in the form of the sap-like propolis to keep their hives free of infection. No strain of bacteria has developed immunity to it. Propolis is resistant even to bacteria that are immune to antibiotic drugs.'
And Soviet doctors A.I. Tichonov and D.P. Salvo, in 'The Healing Properties of Propolis' reported on their successful use of propolis in more than 70 different studies over 20 years in Russia.
Highlighting the beneficial effects of propolis on the thymus gland, they stated: 'When propolis is taken internally, the rate of metabolism is increased and the resistance of the organism is raised. Propolis, in contrast to antibiotics, intensifies the whole immunological reactive capability of the macro-organism.'
Dr Reny Chauvin, of the Sorbonne in Paris, a European researcher studying propolis, had this final word to say on the subject:
'Scientists have long believed that nature has an answer for every disease. It is just a matter of finding it. Bee propolis boosts your powers of resistance and even immunity against such problems as viral infections, colds, flu, coughs, tonsillitis and cystitis. It works by a unique method, raising your body's natural resistance to infection by stimulating your own immune system.'
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