Propolis is produced by bees.
Bees are extraordinary animals which are essential to human life.
They are in fact able to transform a huge number of simple raw materials like for instance pollen and nectar into highly complex substances like royal jelly and honey.
Propolis, plants and defence.
For ages plants have developed defence systems in order to protect themselves from challenges of the outside world (atmospheric agents and microorgani- sms).
Resins have a crucial role in preserving the health and life of the plants. They represent in fact the immune defences of plants: if a tree is cut or damaged, it starts secreting resins to repair the damage.
The antibacterical side of Propolis
Man has been studying plants over the years and he has learnt to make the most out of the
antibacterical properties of resins.
Bees also, know the numerous biological activities of resins produced by plants. In fact, they gather resins secreted by plants and they work them out with their own salivary enzymes to obtain propolis.
Why do bees produce Propolis?
To give an answer to this question, we have to introduce you to the world of bees: the beehive.
The beehive is actually a town with approximately 50.000 members, a humidity of 90% and an internal temperature of about 37°C.
These are usually perfect conditions for the development of bacteria and the spread of diseases. Despite these extremely adverse conditions, the beehive is one of the most sterilized environments in nature. This is due to the presence of Propolis which is able to create an aseptic environment to preserve the health of the members who live in it including the most helpless and sensitive ones i.e. larvae.
In addition, Propolis is used as a sealing material to close any possible openings of the beehive to the external environment and to cover the remains of predators like lizards or small mice for instance, which entered the beehive to steal honey but they are tooheavy to be brought outside once killed.
The conditions in the beehive reflect the ones in human body.
The immune system is the mechanism of defence in human beings while for bees it is propolis.
Man and Propolis. An ancient story.
Since dawn of time man has been using the products offered by nature to heal and survive.
Bee products, especially honey and Propolis, have found for centuries a widespread use in traditional medicine.
Egyptians used Propolis to stop the decomposition of bodies during the mummification process.
Greeks were the first to transform beekeeping into farming. Propolis and bees were studied by Aristotele and Hippocrates used to prescribe Propolis to heal ulcers and disorders of various kinds both internal and external.
Romans were also fascinated by the world of bees. It was in fact Plinio in his Natural History to coin the name Propolis: PRO=before + POLIS=town.
The amazing properties of bee products were highly recognized for centuries in Arab cultures and they are even mentioned in several verses of the Koran.
Propolis in modern medicine.
With the advent of modern medicine and the synthesis of antibiotics, Propolis is set aside…
…the renewed interest in Propolis comes at a time when the hyper-prescription of antibiotics has led the antibiotic resistance to become a global problem.
Bacteria are smarter than man.
Bacteria are constantly evolving to ensure their survival. They adapt to the environment, the weather and also the tools put in place by man to eradicate them.
Nature that fights nature.
Propolis contains more than 300 active molecules that carry out a synergistic action in the inhibition of bacterial growth of many pathogenic strains.
The high number of molecules that work in synergy does not allow bacteria to develop defence mechanisms.