Propolis is a natural substance found in nature. It is made up of two fatty acids, stearic acid and oleic acid. Stearic acid and oleic acid are both naturally occurring fatty acids which have been shown to possess many health benefits such as being anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antimicrobial, antioxidant and immune system booster. They have also been linked with skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
The main benefit of using propolis is its ability to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. There are several studies that show that it can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Propolis has also been shown to decrease hyperpigmentation (darkening) of the skin. It has also been reported that it reduces sun damage and protects against melanoma, one of the most deadly forms of cancer.
There are various uses for propolis. Some of them include:
1. Anti-aging – Propolis has been shown to increase collagen production in the skin, which helps to prevent wrinkles and age spots.
2. Skin whitening – It is believed that propolis works by increasing melanin production in the skin, thereby improving pigmentation and preventing dark spots from appearing on your face.
3. Wound healing – It has been used for burns, wound healing, skin ulcers and surgical incisions to promote quick healing and scarring.
4. Anti-inflammatory – It is believed that propolis helps to reduce swelling and redness in the skin.
5. Antioxidant properties – Antioxidants prevent free radical damage in the skin.
Free radicals are unstable molecules that attack healthy molecules in the skin, causing premature aging.
6. Antimicrobial properties – It has been proven to be an effective antimicrobial agent for a wide range of bacteria, yeast and fungi.
7. Treating cold sores – propolis has been shown to be an effective treatment for the painful blistering sores associated with the herpes virus.
How to use propolis?
There are several ways in which you can incorporate propolis into your daily skin care routine.
1. Using a propolis based face mask – Face masks are a great way to rejuvenate the skin and remove dirt, oil and dead skin from the surface.
They can also help to reduce redness, inflammation and kill bacteria that causes acne.
2. Using a propolis serum – SERUM is a concentrated form of an active ingredient.
It helps to boost the effectiveness of the active ingredient and allows you to use less of it, so it will last longer.
3. Using a propolis face oil – Oil is great for moisturizing the skin and keeping it soft, supple and wrinkle free.
4. Drinking propolis tea – You can brew some propolis tea by pouring a cup of hot water over 1-2 propolis tablets and let it steep for 10 minutes.
Strain the liquid and drink 3 times a day.
Propolis for hair care
There are several ways in which you can use propolis to improve the quality of your hair and treat various hair conditions.
1. Shampoo – You can add 2-3 propolis capsules to your shampoo bottle and massage into wet hair, lather and rinse.
2. Conditioner – You can condition your hair using the same method as above.
3. Hair loss cream – Massage 5-10 propolis capsules into your scalp at bedtime, cover with a shower cap to prevent the capsules from leaking and wash out in the morning.
4. Dandruff treatment – Massage 5-10 propolis capsules into your scalp at bedtime and wash out in the morning.
5. Hair growth serum – Massage 2-5 propolis capsules into your scalp at bedtime and wash out in the morning.
Salve is a topical ointment that is used for the treatment of minor skin wounds, burns and irritations. It can also be used as a lip balm or skin moisturizer. It will soothe and protect your skin from drying out.
What you’ll need:
1. 1/4 cup coconut oil
2. 1/4 cup beeswax (pastilles)
3. 2 tablets of propolis (grind them up to make them easier to blend)
4. 20 drops of lavender essential oil or peppermint essential oil (optional)
5. Glass jar
1. Place the coconut oil and beeswax in a heatproof glass jar (put the jar in a saucepan of water and heat it over medium heat, stirring constantly until the beeswax is melted)
2. Add the ground up propolis and essential oils (if using) and stir well.
3. Allow to cool until it thickens, then pour into tins or jars.
4. Apply a small amount to your face and rub in gently before you go to sleep.
You can make a natural toothpaste that will not only clean your teeth and mouth but will also protect them from plaque, calculus and other dental issues.
Sources & references used in this article:
Honey, propolis, and royal jelly: a comprehensive review of their biological actions and health benefits by VR Pasupuleti, L Sammugam, N Ramesh… – Oxidative medicine and …, 2017 – hindawi.com
Evidence on the health benefits of supplemental propolis by A Braakhuis – Nutrients, 2019 – mdpi.com
Benefits of use of propolis and related flavonoids against the toxicity of chemotherapeutic agents by N Oršolić, A Horvat Knežević, V Benković… – … of the use of propolis in …, 2008 – bib.irb.hr
Health from the hive: potential uses of propolis in general health by E Shruthi, BS Suma – 2012 – scirp.org
Propolis and bee health: the natural history and significance of resin use by honey bees by M Simone-Finstrom, M Spivak – Apidologie, 2010 – Springer
Propolis, an old remedy used in modern medicine by S Castaldo, F Capasso – Fitoterapia, 2002 – Elsevier