Psalms from the Hive, by Jeannie Saum

What are the things propolis can do

While protecting healthy processes, too?

Don’t want a cure if it’s worse than the ill.

Can propolis be better than taking a pill?

Clover, Bee, and Revery

Reverie (revery) –(n.) state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing; a fantastic, visionary, or impractical idea

Another question recently came to us after a propolis presentation at a Beekeepers Club Meeting.  The question was whether propolis was safe to take every day and specifically what effect it had on gut bacteria.  So, back to the research sites I go.

Propolis has a complex chemical composition.   Researchers  found between 104 and 149  different chemicals from samples of propolis collected from around the world. These compounds are grouped  in seven categories: aliphatic acids, aromatic acids, esters, di- and triterpenes, flavonoids, sugars and miscellaneous.  It is not surprising that propolis has anti-microbial properties.

The question is,  if it can inhibit the growth of gastric pathogens like H. pylori, what effect would it have on the normal intestinal microflora or probiotics taken for therapeutic reasons.  The aim of one research project was to grow two typical intestinal/probiotic bacteria, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium infantis, in milk .  Different concentrations of propolis were added to the milk to test whether propolis would affect their growth and/or metabolism.

The bacteria in milk in the presence of propolis may not reflect their reaction in the intestine, but at least the tests might indicate if medicines containing propolis could effect the intestinal flora or  probiotics.

Six concentrations of propolis were used – 0, 100, 200, 400, 600 and 800 mg/100 ml of milk. (A scant tsp. of 10% propolis tincture provides 333 mg of propolis).  The impact of propolis on both bacteria was concentration dependent. The propolis extract had an adverse effect on the growth of Bif. infantis but was stimulatory to L. acidophilus. The strong antibacterial properties of propolis appear to have affected Bif. infantis more than L. acidophilus. at even at 100 mg of propolis.

Although propolis had an adverse effect on the growth of the bifidobacteria, it did have a desirable influence on the release of beneficial fatty acids. In humans, these fatty acids play an essential role in maintaining the healthy status of the GI tract. A low concentration of propolis (1.0 mg/ml) stimulated a dramatic secretion of these acids.  Thus, patients using propolis might, (despite a possible decline in bifidobacteria), be getting considerable benefit from this increase of fatty acids.

It is not known if propolis ingested, reaches the lower GI tract but it is feasible, if 2-3 g is taken for periods longer than 2 weeks. If one took propolis for  two weeks, then any fall in the population of bifidobacteria would probably pass unnoticed by the patient. But it would interesting to know whether loose stools or mild diarrhea accompanies long term usage of propolis extracts. One could remedy this by eating a yogurt containing a high count of  Bifidobacterium.

Propolis is highly regarded as a medicine with anti-bacterial properties and this study indicates that it could have a positive impact on the intestinal microflora.  The fact that there could be a further benefit for those taking propolis to cure a disease is an attractive prospect.  The full research article can be found at: Propolis stimulating to good gut bacteria.

Another study, done on rats, showed that propolis had a significant protective effect on ileal mucosa (lining of part of the small intestine) and reduced the leaking of bacteria through the intestinal wall to other organs.  This study can be found at:  Propolis – GI issues .

Four generations of our family take propolis – some daily, some three times a day when treating an illness – and not of us have experienced the worsening of gastrointestinal issues.  In some cases, gastro issues have improved.  Many believe propolis and other natural products are safer for our intestinal flora while treating harmful germs, than taking pharmaceuticals, that are known to destroy many good gut bacteria.

Health- Powered by bees!

Psalm 145

I will exalt you, my God the King; 

I will praise your name for ever and ever.

Every day I will praise you 

and extol your name for ever and ever.

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another;
    they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
    and I will meditate on your wonderful works.[b]
They tell of the power of your awesome works—
    and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
    and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

 

 

 

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