Q. Dear Terry, “I use a little bit of honey to help my immune system. I’ve read that other bee products, like propolis, can also be good for the immune system. What is propolis and should I be taking it as well?”– Elias M., Springdale, AK
A. Dear Elias, There’s little doubt that most people have heard about the health benefits of honey – immune and DNA protection are just two of them – but I think fewer people are probably familiar with propolis. Propolis is one of my favorite ingredients for fighting off pathogens – whether bacterial, viral, or fungal.
Propolis is a substance that is a collaborative effort between plants and bees. Bees gather the resins produced by trees and other plants, then modify this material with their own enzymes.
The main compounds in propolis typically include polyphenols, vitamins (including vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, and E), minerals (including magnesium, potassium, zinc, and calcium), enzymes, and antifungal and antibacterial flavonoids. Additionally, propolis also includes pinene and other essential oils occurring naturally in tree and plant resins.
With its variety of healthy compounds, it’s no wonder that propolis has such broad-reaching effects in the body. Propolis has been studied for its antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and even anti-tumor effects.
Make sure you use propolis that is purified and contains no beeswax. For daily support, I would suggest 200-400 mg of propolis.
Terry . . . Naturally
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