Propolis is a resin obtained from the buds of some trees and flowers. This sap is rich in such nutrients as minerals and the B vitamins. Bees collect it along with pollen. Propolis is thought to contain a natural antibiotic, called galangin, and is used in a variety of remedies to treat or prevent low-grade infections, especially in people who do not want to take antibiotics. Many people have described to me positive results from using propolis products. Bees spread the propolis around their hives to protect them from bacteria and viruses. (The name “propolis” comes from Greek words meaning “defenses before a town.”) Other theories suggest that propolis improves energy and endurance and helps immunity by stimulating thymus activity. All of these claims must be helpful in potentizing the placebo effect, but more research needs to be done before propolis is readily adopted by the scientific community.

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Written by Elson M. Haas MD

Explore Wellness in 2021