Propolis is a natural protective shield for the Human Being. This defense exists due to the bees because these small insects are responsible for the creation of a magical substance with antibiotic and fungicide powers.
At the beginning of an organized work by the bees, for a new beehive, there are a number of bees that are subdivided into seven groups, each one having the responsibility of collecting a different resin. When reaching the hive, each group deposits the resin collected on the periphery of the hive, as if it was a skin, thus creating a protective waistline against potential enemies. All animals know, regardless of the location of the beehive (located in a tall tree or near the earth) that if they exceed this barrier, they will be expelled by the bees.
The beekeeper, also to get to honeycombs, the first thing he does is removing that protective waist. Propolis is thus composed of seven types of different resins whose tones may be green, red or dark gray (the most traditional), the odor and its consistency depend on the plants that the bees find in the vicinity of the hive.
Propolis, which contains 250 chemical compounds already tested in the laboratory (flavonoids, aromatic acids, terpenoids, aldehydes, aliphatic acids and esters, amino acids, steroids, sugars, etc.) is then worked in the laboratory to be used by the Human Being as a natural antibiotic. The consumption of propolis strengthens the immune system, combats throat infections and wounds, among many other situations.
Test to know if you are allergic
There are many people who are allergic to propolis, so before consuming do a little test. Put a drop of propolis on each wrist and if after 30 minutes it drools, then you are allergic, so do not consume propolis.
The use of propolis leaves a yellow and sticky coloration that can be withdrawn with alcohol or disappears naturally within the next days.
The propolis consumption comes from the Chinese, Tibetan, Egyptian and Greco-Roman civilizations. There are ancient writings of these civilizations on medicine, in which hundreds of recipes with honey, propolis, bee larvae and sometimes the bees themselves are highlighted, to cure or prevent diseases. Nowadays, propolis lotion, besides being recognized for its effectiveness in the therapeutic and prophylactic use, is also used by the cosmetic industry, due to properties such as soothing, moisturizing, healing or anti-aging.
A miracle at extinction risk
Propolis is a miracle that is due exclusively to bees, although humans don’t worry much about its existence. However, it should be remembered that, as Albert Einstein would have said, “if the bees disappear from the earth, mankind will only have four years to exist.” It is important to stress that without bees there is no pollination, without flora there are no animals, without animals there will be no human race.
The extinction of bees is not yet a reality, but there are worrying signs. The truth is that in September 2016, the US Fish and Wildlife Service first introduced seven species of bees into the list of endangered animals. An alert that emerged after the USA and Europe saw sharp decreases in the number of hives (in the United States, they lost 44% of the colony of bees in 2015).
Right now there are about 25,000 bee species cataloged worldwide, and in Portugal the global swarm is around 600,000 and propolis continues to be easily found in natural products stores.
However, it is important to be aware that insecticides in agriculture, deforestation and excessive consumption of honey (the beekeeper withdraws the honey, the bees’ food, to sell), besides the consumption of propolis, they are contributing to the bees extinction.
This text is an awareness. Check before consuming if you are allergic. According to the season of the year and the moment in which you are, it is up to each one to feel whether to consume propolis. The dosage and frequency depends on the nature and physical condition of each Human Being.