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Archive for July, 2010

Bees have for thousands of years been hailed as something to worship and value. It’s said that Napoleon regarded the bee kingdom as the ideal structure of a nation and thus had a bee on his badge whilst a roman myth had the God Of Love applying honey to his arrow.

Whilst people have been consuming royal jelly and honey for many years, it’s only recently that other bee products, bee pollen and propolis, have been used as excellent products for a healthy lifestyle.

Bee on flower

Bee propolis is not the first thing we think of when we think bees. It’s actually a resin secreted by trees which is harvested by the bees and metabolised by them to line their hives and protect them from germs. It’s said the inside of a beehive is more sterile than any operating theatre. Bee Propolis is nature’s antibiotic and also has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic properties.

Whist there’s a lot more research required into the extent of it’s efficacy, trials carried out so far have been very promising. A recent study in Cuba found it significantly inhibited the growth of human breast cancer cells.

Bee propolis is found in many products and it’s worth taking time to reserach the best supply. One excellent use of bee propolis is in the Forever Bright Toothgel. Proposlis has proved very successful for a variety of dental and mouth problems including plaque, gum disease and ulcers. Brushing daily with toothgel and added propolis can signficantly reduce plaque formation, as well as having an anti-inflammatory effect.

Skin problems are another area that react very well to bee propolis, when applied topically, due to it’s anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. A recent client of mine used Aloe Vera Cream with Bee Propolis to help reduce uticaria, an itchy rash, on her arms to great effect. A recent 3 month trial of 135 patients with warts showed by that those using bee propolis had a greater cure rate that those using a placebo.

I also read this week that bee propolis was used in a study of 40 women with infertilty and mild endometriosis. Amongst those taking 500mg twice a day for six month, there was a 60% pregnancy rate compared with 20 per cent in those taking a placebo. A lot more research is required into this use of propolis but it’s thought that it has a positive effect on oestrogen metabolism. As a specialist in pre-natal and pregnancy reflexology, this is of great interest to me.

It’s also worth taking propolis supplements during the cold and flu season. In fact, taking it before will give your immune system a boost but if you do succumb to a cold then the duration can be up to 3 days less than without supplementation. If you are going into hospital for a stay, then it’s worth taking the bee propolis for it’s anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antibiotic properties and early studies have shown that it’s effective against MRSA.

Bee propolis is also commonly used for the treatment of digestive problems such as ulcers and ulcerative colitis. It is thought the anti-inflammatory properties have a healing effect on the stomach and intestines.

As mentioned above, make sure you do your research into reputable brands as some companies mix the propolis with other ingredients thus possibly lessening its effects. I personally recommend Forever Living’s Bee Propolis. In fact I’ve been taken it regularly for the last few months but on those occasions when I haven’t taken it (I forgot to take it on holiday!) I haven noticed my sore throat due to hayfever comes back with avengence but goes immediatley I start taking it.

One last note of caution – if you are allergic to other bee products then it is not recommended you take propolis. Also, if you are pregnant or breast-feeding then do speak with your qualified GP before taking a supplement as there is not enough information in this area at present.

Image: Christian Meyn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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