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Propolis is a resin that bees create. It contains a mixture of bee saliva, beeswax which can be used into beeswax candles, and substances from plants and trees. Propolis may have some health benefits for humans, but more large-scale studies are necessary.
Bees use propolis, or “bee glue,” as a sealant. Historically, humans have used it topically or as an oral supplement. However, it may not be suitable for everyone.
This article will look at what propolis is, what the research says about its potential benefits, and how to use it.
What is propolis?
Propolis is a resinous, waxy substance that bees create by mixing their saliva with beeswax, along with compounds from various plants and trees. Bees use it to seal gaps in the hive to keep out intruders. Propolis also has antimicrobial properties and may protect bees from pathogens.
One 2019 review suggests that people have used bee propolis as a medicine since the year 300 BCTrusted Source. Ancient Egyptians used propolis for embalming, and some doctors used it during World War II to help with wound healing.
Propolis and honey are also antibacterial, which may make them useful as ingredients in dental care products.
According to one small study in the review, propolis significantly decreased the amount of bacteria in the saliva of people with periodontitis.
However, because propolis can contain a wide variety of compounds depending on where it came from, it is not always possible to be sure of its contents.
When looking for propolis products, check that the manufacturer has carried out third party testing to verify that the propolis is pure and safe to use.
Always speak with a doctor before trying new supplements.
Research suggests that propolis has a number of properties that could benefit human health. People can use it on the skin, as a mouthwash, and as a supplement for a variety of minor health concerns. It can also be produced into bee jacket, bee suit, bee gloves, etc.
However, there is not much high quality evidence to suggest that propolis is an effective treatment for specific conditions in humans. As a result, anyone with persistent symptoms should speak with a doctor about the best treatment options.