PROPOLIS

Propolis 

Part/s Used:  Resin  
Energetics:  Warming, sweet, pungent, acrid, bitter
Actions: Anti microbial, immunostimulant, anti inflammatory  
Constituents:  Resins, waxes, essential oils, pollen

Medicinal Preparations:

Tincture:  Dry (ratio & % alcohol):  1:5 95%
Drops: 30-60 in water  Times a day: 4x

Habitat: 

Propolis is a highly aromatic, rich, dark and sticky resin is made from the honeybees using buds of poplar, conifer trees, beeswax, botanical sources and other bee secretions.  The composition of propolis can vary depending on the environment and harvested resources.  Bees make propolis and use it to build hives, reduce vibration, as an adhesive to seal openings, prevent diseases and parasites from entering the hive, inhibit fungal and bacteria growth and embalm dead invaders. Normally propolis is brown in color but it can be found in green, red, black and white depending on the sources of the resin .The medicinal use of bee products is called apitherapy.  

Medicinal Uses:

Propolis is an incredible anti-microbial and immunostimulant.  Use at the first signs of a cold/flu and combines nicely with elderberry.  Propolis is great for a dry, scratchy sore throat by anesthetizing the throat, decreasing pain and inflammation. This can be used for people who have inflammation from laryngitis or inflammation from overuse like public speakers and singers as well.  Propolis is an expectorant and combines nicely with other aromatic herbs or other immune stimulating herbs.  Great for upper and lower respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia.  Its antitussive actions are good for asthmatics, acute asthma attacks and wheezing as it deepens respiration.  Propolis is a great mouthwash reducing pain from abscesses, canker sores and cold sores.  

External Use:  Topical anti-inflammatory and disinfectant.  Seals wounds, coats broken skin (cover, can be sticky) and a mild anti-fungal that kills microbes from staph infections and infected wounds. 

Harvesting: 

Bee propolis can be collected by catching the hive scraping when cleaning out the honey supers or during honey harvest.  Autumn is peak time for propolis production (honeybees begin preparing hives in anticipation of winter) but you can also use propolis traps for year around collection.  Once the propolis trap is filled, put it in the freezer for a few hours.  Once frozen, the propolis breaks like glass.  Collect the shards immediately for processing. Use a food grade alcohol that is at least 130 proof or 65% alcohol.  Once the extract is ready, strain using a very fine strainer.  The finished product should be clear, free of particles and dark in color.

Contraindications:

Do not use if you have bee allergies.  Propolis contain chemicals that can worsen asthma and should consult with a health care provider before using.  Propolis may interact with other antimicrobials.  In some individuals the resins in propolis can cause dull ache, irritating the kidneys.  Use throat spray or minimal amounts of propolis for individuals with weak or compromised kidneys.

 

Sources:
Northwest School for Botanical Studies by Christa Sinadinos 
Beginning Beekeeping HSU by Garrett Brinton
Advanced Beekeeping Dick LaForge