Immunity, i.e., the ability of our body to defend itself against antigens that come from the external environment, is a highly individual matter. While some parents have been dealing with their children's weak immune systems and higher susceptibility to disease since they were born, others indulge themselves in a healthier diet and more frequent exercising in cold weather in autumn and it is enough for them. We cannot influence what immune system we have been endowed with, but even weaker immunity can be constantly strengthened and consolidated, for example using propolis.
Propolis is a resinous material that people have been using since the time when they started keeping bees. It stimulates the activity of the body's defence mechanisms, has antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anaesthetic, and disinfectant effects. It helps significantly against influenza because a number of virus strains are sensitive to it.
Propolis has significant antibiotic effects as well, it has both bacteriostatic, when it stops the growth of certain bacterial strains, and bactericidal properties, when it kills bacteria directly. Propolis can also be combined very well with antibiotics as it increases their effectiveness.1
Beekeepers and bee product lovers have been noted its extraordinary effects for centuries, and in the last one, many scientists have documented, described, and confirmed them:
- Turkish scientists investigated the antiviral effects of propolis against herpes viruses HSV-1 and HSV-2, which cause infections. With the use of propolis, the spread of viruses was greatly reduced.2
- Ukrainian epidemiologists studied propolis in the treatment of HSV. Participants who were treated with propolis tincture recovered faster. Already on the 10th day, 24 participants out of 30 were healthy.3
- Researchers from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences investigated what role the geographical place of origin of propolis plays. They found that no matter where the propolis comes from, it contains substances that work against bacteria, fungi, and viruses.4
- • A Brazilian group of scientists examined the effects of propolis on the immune system and confirmed that propolis increased the activity of NK cells – Natural Killer cells that fight cancer cells. At the same time propolis stimulated higher production of antibodies, so they suggest its use in vaccination as a kind of support for the whole treatment process and its acceleration.5
We follow all scientific studies and research on propolis closely and are pleased to see that propolis shows very promising effects in each of them. At the same time, we are very glad that many scientists around the world are researching propolis and uncovering secrets that we – beekeepers understand rather intuitively and have experience with them from our own years of practice.
A group of Florida and Brazilian researchers led by A. A. Berretta published a very interesting scientific study on propolis and its potential against SARS-CoV-2 and coronavirus infection6. The authors of this new study perceive that the coronavirus pandemic has led to a renewed global interest in propolis, so they decided to publish on its effects in relation to coronavirus.
SARS-CoV-2 is one of the large, enveloped viruses whose genome consists of so-called ssRNA, which enters the cell, binds to the ribosome, and begins to be transcribed. Subsequently, it causes a series of biological reactions that eventually lead to inflammation, fibrosis, and suppression of immune system functions.
Propolis has shown an inhibitory effect, which means that it can reduce enzyme activity. At the same time, it has proven effects in preventing the so-called cytokine storm, which is the leading cause of mortality due to coronavirus, according to the study.
Seen by scientists, propolis also has a great potential in treating severe coronavirus patients with conditions such as respiratory problems, hypertension, diabetes, or cancer. They perceive propolis as a promising and relevant therapeutic way and believe it can be administered as a natural dietary supplement during treatment and prevention.
Propolis is certainly not a cure for coronavirus, but it is a good natural remedy that can significantly strengthen immunity, help with mild and severe illnesses, or strengthen us during autumn and winter days against other diseases.
For the curious: The aforementioned research group also found that some compounds contained in propolis can potentially interact with SARS-CoV-2 Mpro. To help find cures, potential targets for the virus, or to mitigate its effects, scientists have studied the genetic code of coronavirus and the mechanisms by which it causes harm. The Mpro protease (main protease, a cysteine enzyme similar to 3-chymotrypsin) is essential for coronavirus life cycle, which is why they focused their search for potential drugs on it. They searched for various natural compounds and tried to find various treatment options using so-called molecular docking.
Potential antiviral drugs have included caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), galangin, chrysin and caffeic acid - interestingly enough, these substances are found in several different types of propolis around the world. At present, researchers expect that caffeic acid phenethyl ester will interact with SARS-CoV-2 Mpro. So far, in silico laboratory tests (i.e., computer simulations of behaviour of the substances) have confirmed the researchers' assumptions, but everything still needs to be verified by actual in vitro tests (i.e., in laboratory glass containers and test tubes), which are currently underway.
How does nature solve acute problems?
In healthcare, physicians adhere to a fair amount of standardisation, which is certainly necessary and beneficial, as it guarantees certain treatment outcomes in many different patients. However, because of this, the individual factor often disappears from our medical care. Nature approaches the healing process in a completely different way than we do. It knows no standardization and therefore can respond very well to actual problems and difficulties.
For example, bees mix exactly such propolis they need at that time according to what is currently happening in their hive, in their habitat, and in nature in general. They can respond very well and almost immediately to the current situation. And paradoxically, it helps us humans too. Because the composition of propolis is slightly different each time, one cannot build up a resistance to propolis.
For example, if you take antibiotics frequently, your body will get used to them, build up resistance and they won't be as effective as when you first took them. This cannot happen with propolis. Even if you get every batch of it from the same hive, it will be a little different each time.
What kind of propolis help do we use?
„I work from home, but I still run a lot of errands every week – I have to go shopping, sometimes I need to meet someone for work-related reasons, and I also pick up my kids from nursery school. I don't use public transport, but I still meet a lot of people and I have to touch at least the handle of the nursery school door and the trolley in the supermarket, so I carry a hand cleansing spray with propolis in my backpack. We've had it on offer since the spring and our customers are excited about it. Unlike many other disinfectants, your hands don't smell weird for two days afterwards yet. We all have to get used to frequent hand sanitizing; we do it for ourselves and our loved ones, so why not use a spray that smells nice and is very effective.“
And what experience have our customers had with the Propolis Hand Cleansing Spray?
„Because I know very well how important prevention is, I exploit the power of propolis every day. I like to eat a spoonful of propolis in honey every morning or during forenoon, it's amazingly simple and it's also very yummy :-). When I don't have propolis in honey on hand, I drip about 5 drops of propolis tincture into a spoonful of honey, sometimes just into water or on a piece of bread, simply depending on my mood, taste, and situation.“
And what do our customers say about Propolis in honey?
„I have never particularly suffered from viruses, tonsillitis, or flu. Maybe I was endowed with good health thanks to my parents, but I would guess that bee products have a big influence on it. Among other things, as a preventive measure, I have introduced a little evening propolis ritual, when I rinse my mouth and throat. Depending on the time and mood, I choose either propolis drops - I instil a few drops into water, rinse, and then swallow, or if a quicker solution is needed, I use the proven Mouth Spray with Propolis.“
And how do our customers rate our Mouth Spray with Propolis?
If you would like to learn more about propolis, read the article What is propolis?, where you will find more about its properties, effects, and uses. We wish you robust health and much optimism even in viral, cold, and difficult times.
1 Czech publication: Josef A. Zentrich: Apiterapie: Přírodní léčba včelími produkty; Eminent, 2003, p. 35-37 Back
2 Nizami Duran: Antiviral Activity of Hatay Propolis Against Replication of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 and Type 2. [online]; 2016 Back
3 N. Vynograd,I. Vynograd,Z. Sosnowski: A comparative multi-centre study of the efficacy of propolis, acyclovir and placebo in the treatment of genital herpes (HSV). [online]; Elsevier ; 2000 Back
4 Kujumgiev A. a kol.: Antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral aktivity of propolis of different geographic origin. [online]; Journal of Ethnopharmacology; 1999 Back
6 Berretta, A., Silveira, M., Cóndor Capcha, J., & De Jong, D.: Propolis and its potential against SARS-CoV-2 infection mechanisms and COVID-19 disease.; Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 131, 2020, 110622 Back