We asked Cristina Pietrunti, Chartered Naturopath to talk about her favorite supplement to naturally boost the immune system; the Propolis.
Translated from the Greek words ‘Pro’ and ‘Polis’, ‘before or in defense’ and ‘the city’ which would refer to its use for protecting the hives from external invaders or contaminents, i.e, wild life such as snakes ,mice, etc...
Propolis (bee-glue) is a resinous material from Poplar and conifer buds collected by honeybees.
Published studies and benefits
While PubMed has well over 1800 studies on propolis, let’s take a quick glance on how propolis should be a star go-to remedy in your home pharmacy for the little ones in your family to adults of all ages.
From wart removal(10), healing burns, preventing dental cavities (6) to beating genital herpes (4) and parasitic infections (9). This hive protector has demonstrated immunostimulatory effects specifically in a study involving 430 children (5) and for children presenting with a history of recurrent acute otitis (8).
Its remarkable healing properties are linked to its stimulating effect on tissue growth which in turn show positive results in the use of propolis against inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat (6) (7).
Properties and mecanism of action
Flavanoid such pinocembrin, galangin and pinobanksin contained in propolis are responsible for supressing the formation of free radicals, better known as an antioxydant property. Propolis as a whole is known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties by decreasing prostaglanding and leukotrienes involved in the inflammatory cascade and by supressing the lipoxygenase pathway of arachidonic acid metabolism.
To conclude, it is important to know that allergic reactions to propolis have been reported, patients who are allergic to bee venom, chrysanthemum, ragweed or honey should avoid the use.
Be sure to know if the propolis you are choosing is from bee colonies that are from multi flowers source; much healthier for the environment than mono-agricultural bee colonies and that the material is from 100% pure bee propolis resin, NO tree resin. Lastly, choose from manufactures that DO NOT use antibiotics for the bee colonies so your propolis is absolutely antibiotic residue free!
Propolis can also be found in capsules form, easy to take everyday.
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1- https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-c... style="font-size: 9pt; font-family: Bahnschrift; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">2- https://www.huhs.edu/literatur... style="font-size: 9pt; font-family: Bahnschrift; color: rgb(34, 34, 34);">3- Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2010 Apr-Jun;23(2):567-75. PMID: 20646352
4- Vynograd N, Vynograd I, Sosnowski Z. "A comparative multi-centre study of the efficacy of propolis, acyclovir and placebo in the treatment of genital herpes (HSV)." Phytomedicine. 2000 Mar;7(1):1-6.
5- Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2004 Mar;158(3):217-21. PMID: 14993078 6- https://www.hindawi.com/journa... style="font-size: 9pt; font-family: Bahnschrift; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">7- J Int Acad Periodontol. 2005 Jul;7(3):90-6. PMID: 16022025 8- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/p... style="font-size: 9pt; font-family: Bahnschrift; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">9 - http://europepmc.org/abstract/... class="Apple-converted-space"> 10- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20064186