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Psalms from the Hive, by Jeannie Saum

Propolis to help our skin! Another great use, we find.

From eczema and psoriasis, Herpes 1 and 2,

To wounds and burns, Even wrinkles, too.

Pass this on, If you’d be so kind!

Clover, Bee, and Revery

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

 

Whether your skin is unblemished and beautiful and you just want to keep it that way – or you have a bothersome skin condition, PROPOLIS could be the answer for you!  We’ve studied the research, tried it ourselves and want others to reap the benefits from this amazing substance made by the honeybees!

In  our first years as beekeepers, we found that honey was becoming more widely known for its antimicrobial properties and its benefit for a healing dressing on wounds and burns.  It was also being used more readily in treatment of skin conditions like pityriasis, tinea, seborrhea, dandruff, diaper dermatitis, psoriasis, and  hemorrhoids.  In cosmetics  it was known for moisturizing, softening, soothing, and hair conditioning effects,  helping keep the skin young-looking and slowing wrinkle formation, regulating pH and preventing infections.  All this had been known for decades, but honey had not been used widely in the US until recently.

We were excited to learn about these benefits of the honey our bees make.   But, we have found that honey is hard to keep in-solution in all natural cosmetic products without adding a chemical emulsifier to keep it mixed with the oils (honey is water based).  It tends to separate out of balms and ointments, and we just didn’t want to add artificial chemicals to our products.

Fortunately, we quickly found a solution!  We discovered something just as effective, or maybe even better that the bee’s honey – PROPOLIS, the sticky tree resin-based goo the bees make to seal and sterilize their hive.  It can be used to help with many conditions and health ailments, both inside and out, in ourselves and our animals.  And we find it  easier to keep it mixed in our skin care products.  We’ve used it ourselves for three years, and are truly amazed at what it can do!

As we have noted many times in our blog, over 50 years of research has proven that propolis contains flavonoids and plant esters that have  antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. (see previous blogs about propolis for additional research we have reported on.)   One study from 2011  found that poplar bud extract significantly regulated genes involved in antioxidant defenses, inflammatory response and cell renewal, processes involved in skin aging. Poplar bud resin is the main component of bee propolis. The  antioxidant properties  suggest potential anti-aging properties in propolis which could be utilized in cosmetic and nutraceutical formulations. (Stéphanie Dudonné, Pascal Poupard, Philippe Coutière, Marion Woillez, Tristan Richard, Jean-Michel Mérillon, Xavier Vitrac)

Beyond just the daily use of propolis in normal skin care routine, research has shown that propolis can be effective in treating many bothersome skin conditions.  In a 2013 study, propolis was used as a topical treatment for psoriasis.  While testing was done on mice, the conclusion was that propolis extract could possibly  treat psoriatic lesions by reducing the inflammatory cells without any

toxic effect.  (Fitoterapia)

From livestrong.com, in a 2013 article by Carol Sarao,  it was reported that propolis is being used by naturopathic healers and herbalists to treat eczema.  Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin condition which causes inflammation and itching. Symptoms include red or grayish patches, thickened, scaly skin and small raised bumps which may ooze and then crust over.   Eczema is usually treated with steroids, antihistamines and antibiotics, which often have undesirable side effects.  Propolis treats the infection and inflammation without these bothersome side effects. Our daughter, Sarah, who has had eczema all her life, has found skin balm, with propolis, helps her eczema outbreaks.

A clinical study published in 1993, in an issue of the journal “Drugs Under Experimental and Clinical Research,”  propolis was reported to be a potent anti-inflammatory agent.  It suppressed production of histamines and prostaglandins in animal tissue. Drugs.com states that both oral and topical applications of propolis can improve wound healing.   The University of Maryland Medical Center says that propolis is rich in antioxidant flavonoids, which help enhance the immune system, and notes that it may heal lesions from the HSV-1 virus more effectively than Zovirax, an antiviral ointment.

Propolis has shown to be an effective antimicrobial agent against many microorganisms including Staphylococcus aureus strains and Candida tropicalis, even those resistant to antibiotics!  (A Ugur, M Barlas, N Ceyhan, V Turkmen, 2000) This study can be found at greenmedinfo.com (see Blog Roll for link)  In a study on humans, propolis was found to be an effective treatment for cutaneous warts. In patients with plane and common warts treated

with Propolis, cure was achieved in 75% and 73% of patients, respectively.  (Hatem Zedan, Eman R M Hofny, Sahar A Ismail, 2009, Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Andrology, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt.) Found at greenmedinfo.com

A study reported in 2009 showed that Propolis extracts might be suitable for topical application against herpes infection.  (Paul Schnitzler, Annett Neuner, Silke Nolkemper, Christine Zundel, Hans Nowack, Karl Heinz Sensch, Jürgen Reichling) greenmedinfo.com  Another study reported in 2009 showed its effectiveness against HSV-2, the genital herpes virus that causes recurring outbreaks. It stated that propolis extracts might be suitable for topical therapy in recurrent herpetic infection.  (Silke Nolkemper, Jürgen Reichling, Karl Heinz Sensch, Paul Schnitzler)

A study reported in 1988 reported that propolis was an effective treatment for Herpes Zoster, the virus that causes Shingles.  (Silke Nolkemper, Jürgen Reichling, Karl Heinz Sench, Paul Schnitzler)  In a more recent study, Propolis  Ointment was applied topically to the Shingles blisters  of study patients, 4 times a day.  Those in the propolis test group showed faster healing than the other medication tested, and the placebo group. (Vynograd et al., 2000).

Propolis continues to amaze us, as a nature-made, God-Inspired substance that borders on the miraculous.  Nowhere have we ever seen one substance that can do so many things.  For healthy skin and bothersome skin conditions, it can have positive and safe results!  We encourage you to see for yourself.

We include  propolis for these possible benefits, in all our skin care products.  We use skin benefitting oils and butters that soften and moisturize and infuse them with herbs known for beneficial skin effects.

For Propolis Products go to :     mkt.com/beepothecary

PROPOLIS FOR HEALTHY SKIN – POWERED BY BEES

Song of Songs 4

9 You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes,   with one jewel of your necklace.
10 How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride!  How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume     more than any spice!
11 Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride;  milk and honey are under your tongue. The fragrance of your garments  is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
12 You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.
13 Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates  with choice fruits, with henna and nard,
14 nard and saffron,  calamus and cinnamon,   with every kind of incense tree,  with myrrh and aloes  and all the finest spices.
15 You are[b] a garden fountain,   a well of flowing water     streaming down from Lebanon.

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Honey for Healing – Powered by Bees!

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Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

Honey, natural, gold and pure,

Yes, we love its sweet allure.

But did you know, there’s more for you

Coming from this sticky goo?

Not only is it tasty to devour

It can also heal cuts, sores and wounds

With its power.

 

Clover, Bee, and Revery

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

 

Honey, one of the valuable gifts from the beehive, is being used for more than just a yummy sweetener in food.  With two nurses in the family, I had heard my daughters talk about using honey- treated dressings on wounds and bedsores in hospitals and nursing homes here in Ohio. As I cared for my mother in her last days,  I asked every nurse and wound care specialist, in Kansas, if they were using medicinal honey. They all confirmed that yes, they were! Though none of them knew about the even more amazing benefits of propolis from the beehive, I was encouraged to hear that the natural healer, honey, was now widely accepted in the medical field. I’d like to share some information with you, documented with reliable research, on the medicinal uses of honey. I have paraphrased this information to be a little more understandable to us laypeople!   The entire article, “Understanding how honey impacts on wounds: an update on recent research findings”, by Abdul Seckam and Rose, complete with references to the research and a bibliography, is available at: http://www.woundsinternational.com

Wounds International Logo

Understanding how honey impacts on wounds: an update on recent research findings

Honey has been used for centuries in wound care as a topical antimicrobial agent. Licensed wound care products containing medical-grade honey first became available in 1999 and are now widely used. Honey’s therapeutic properties come from its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Laboratory evidence published in the past 5 years is helping the medical community understand how honey works to heal wounds and is now being integrated into modern medical practice. A range of medical honey products are available from several manufacturers for use on traumatic wounds, surgical incision sites, burns, sloughy wounds, and pressure ulcers.

Some researchers have criticised that clinical evidence to support the use of honey in the treatment of superficial wounds and burns was of low quality. By contrast, a review of 19 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with a total of 2554 participants suggested that honey improved healing times in mild to moderate superficial and partial thickness burns when compared to conventional dressings. Another recent review of 33 RCTs noted that participants using honey had increased from 1965 in 2006 to 3556 in 2011, with a broadening in the range of wound types included, the choice of dressings available to clinicians, and the types of honey employed. Clinicians suggest that the effectiveness of different types of honey dressings used on similar wounds, be studied to test and compare the healing effectiveness of each.

Therapeutic properties of honey

Research has shown that honey has the following qualities: antimicrobial activity, deodorizing action, debriding action and osmotic effect, anti-inflammatory activity, antioxidant activity, and enhanced rate of healing. Essentially, honey can be regarded as an antimicrobial agent with the ability to promote wound healing.
Chemically honey is a complex substance whose antimicrobial components have been well established but , all honeys are not equal. Methylglyoxal was shown to contribute to the antibacterial activity of manuka honey, frequently used medicinally. Many honeys generate hydrogen peroxide on dilution, but manuka honey does not produce detectable levels and, as such, has been called a non-peroxide honey.

Honey has a broad spectrum of activity against bacteria and fungi. Gram-positive bacteria are

often involved in wound infection. Staphylococcus aureus – the most common cause of wound infection – has been shown to be inhibited by relatively low concentrations of honey. Antibiotic resistant strains, such as methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-sensitive and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VSE and VRE) have shown to be inhibited by honey. A recent study showed that the growth of 15 cultures of Streptococcus species isolated from wounds were inhibited by honey.

Of Gram-negative bacteria commonly implicated in wound infection, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, enteric bacteria, Stenotrophomonas species, and Acinetobacter baumannii, have been shown to be susceptible to honey in vitro. Honey works in several ways to inhibit bacteria including: interrupting cell division, causing cell walls to break down, and damaging the bacteria’s DNA.

Patients with infected or highly exuding wounds may experience wound malodor. Honey has been shown to have a deodorizing effect in patients with malodorous wounds, which is probably due to the inhibition of bacteria. This trait is most notable within 24 hours of the application of honey to the wounds

Antimicrobial resistance to honey

With the introduction of new antimicrobials into clinical practice, the emergence of resistant strains of bacteria normally follows at some point. But experiments in which bacteria were exposed to low concentrations of manuka honey failed to select for honey-resistant strains. While these findings do not prove that bacterial strains won’t become resistant to honey in the future, they do suggest that the possibility is slight.

Debriding action of honey and osmotic effect

The role of honey in wound debridement ( the removal of dead tissue) has been described in research. Manuka honey was demonstrated to promote improved debridement, compared to a hydrogel.  Manuka honey reduces the PH in the wound, preventing the formation of nonviable tissue.
The osmotic effect (ability to attract and hold water) of honey has been thought to encourage lymphatic flow to devitalized tissue, while reducing bacterial load This promotes debridement by allowing substances to form in the wound that lower the quantity of nonviable tissue .

Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity of honey

Wounds that do not progress through the usual phases of healing persist in a chronic inflammatory state caused by damaging chemicals and reactions in the wound. One way to interrupt this chronic inflammatory cycle is to remove free radicals with antioxidants and honey is known to contain antioxidants that scavenge free radicals. Although the anti-inflammatory effects of antioxidants in honey have been demonstrated in animal models, clinical studies are scarce, but it may be that these effects explain the benefits seen in treating burns with honey.

The future

The use of honey in modern wound care is still met with some skepticism. Since the advent of evidence-based medicine, changing clinical practice depends on providing clinicians with appropriate levels of evidence of clinical efficacy. Although honey has become a first-line intervention in some wound care clinics, larger and better designed studies are needed to cement the role of honey in modern wound care.

I have witnessed the healing effects of honey and propolis on wounds and sores. Honey and/or propolis have replaced triple antibiotic, burn ointment and other wound treatments in our family medicine cabinet, and they can in yours, too! Hopefully, research will continue to be done in this country, so Americans can further benefit from these natural treasures! Meanwhile, jump in and try out the healing resources – powered by bees!

Honey

 

 

 

 

 

Isaiah 45

3I will give you hidden treasures,   riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord,  the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen, I summon you by name  and bestow on you a title of honor, though you do not acknowledge me.

I am the Lord, and there is no other;  apart from me there is no God.  I will strengthen you,  though you have not acknowledged me,
so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting people may know there is none besides me.    I am the Lord, and there is no other.

Using Propolis Oil and Tincture

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Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

Is it just malarkey or old wives tales?

Filling bottles with tincture

Filling bottles with tincture

Curing from” bee glue”? Sounds like this would fail.

But, still, we tried it and now we’re sold!

Bring on the healing! This stuff is like gold!

Clover, Bee, and Revery

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

 

Two weeks ago, Laurie and I mixed up batches of propolis we had harvested from our hives with olive oil and with (cheap) vodka. (See previous entry – How We make Propolis Oil and Tincture)  After letting our propolis oil infusion  and alcohol tincture sit for 2 weeks, it was ready to bottle up for use.  We strained it through a coffee filter and used a tiny funnel to put it into 1 ounce dropper bottles.

Propolis tincture after 2 weeks of infusing in alcohol (yellow liquid), strained, then poured into bottles.

Propolis tincture after 2 weeks of infusing in alcohol (yellow liquid), strained, then poured into bottles.

Now our propolis was ready to use for  its health and soothing benefits!

We’ve done lots of research about propolis and are amazed at what we  found, so we started making our own oil infusions and alcohol tinctures to try for our own health  purposes.  Let me tell you, after trying this stuff out for a year, WE ARE BELIEVERS!!

Here are some ways we and our friends and family have been using it. We have found that we like both the oil and the alcohol based propolis tincture, each for different applications.

The first thing I found successful was using  propolis oil on my mouth canker sores.  For some reason, I have a mouthful of sores in the winter that are painful and annoying.  Propolis takes the pain away instantly and helps them clear up in just a few days.  This is one of the documented, proven uses for propolis cited on the National Institute of Health’s website.  It is great for mouth sores and  gum infections. You can use the oil or tincture straight, or mix with water and use as a mouthwash/gargle.  You can even buy propolis toothpaste at Trader Joe’s!

We use the tincture in a small spray bottle and spray it in our throats for a dry, irritated throat.  It has a pain deadening effect, and soothes and moisturizes an irritated throat.  Propolis is a  good source of flavonoids which are documented to be  antifungal, antiviral, antibiotic, and antimicrobial.  For research documenting this, go to the National Institutes of Health website – nih.gov – and search “propolis”.

raw propolis shavings

raw propolis shavings

Propolis oil infusion is great used topically on cuts, rashes, burns, sores,   etc . The oil is better for these, since the alcohol tincture would burn!  We also mix it in with hand lotion to use on dry chapped hands or those painful winter-split finger tips.   I use the alcohol tincture on blemishes, since I have oily skin and don’t want to add more oil!  Laurie’s 20 something daughter swears by propolis for her face breakouts.

Last summer, my doubting, adult son had an another ear infection that have plagued him since he was little.  I took him some propolis oil, warmed it up under hot water from the faucet, and put 3-5 drops in his ear.  He got instant pain relief, continued using the drops for several days, and the ear ache went away!

Peter Dotson had bronchitis that turned into pneumonia last fall,  had done 2 rounds of antibiotics and was still not better.  We gave him some propolis oil and he started taking 1/2 dropperful in a spoonful of honey 3 times a day, and symptoms abated within a few days!

Every one in our family has started using propolis orally when they feel like they are getting sick.  We mix the oil in a spoonful of honey.   Our asthmatic adult daughter and my asthmatic husband always end up with bronchitis and an asthma flare up when they get a cold and chest congestion.  For the last year, they both start taking propolis orally,  3 times a day   (about 1/2 a dropper full) when they start feeling under the weather.  Neither one have had bronchitis, an asthma flare or pneumonia in a year.

Recent research I have read, found that taking propolis orally daily, improved  breathing and lessened asthma flare-ups and the need for rescue inhalers in asthmatics.

While I was caring for my terminally ill mother last winter, I mixed propolis oil into the barrier cream they were using on her bedsores.  It cleared up her skin overnight!

Laurie likes using the tincture and puts 1/2 dropperful in her coffee in the morning, as a dietary  supplement/preventative.  I started  use the propolis oil as nose drops for the sinus congestion that keeps me coughing all night.  But I found the oil took a long time to go down and was kind of strong, so I mixed up some saline and mixed the oil with that.  Now I have propolis saline nose drops!  They work great to break up congestion and stuffiness.   I am also trying  propolis oil on my years-long nail fungus.  I have taken the dangerous, oral medication for this, twice over the years, and it keeps coming back.  So, I’m trying propolis.  I’ve read that nail fungus is difficult to eradicate and takes a while, so I’ll keep rubbing the oil on my nails and see if it eventually helps!

We have friends using propolis in all these ways as well.  Some are using the oil as a rub for sore muscles and one person took some to her massage therapist to use for the massage.  The therapist said it was the best stuff she’s used, and her hands felt great afterwards!!

All in all, the extended families of the Saums and the Dotsons and many friends have had the healthiest year in a very long time with fewer trips to the doctor; fewer colds, viruses, and infections; and quick clearing sores and blemishes.  That AMAZING PROPOLIS has saved us  a ton in medical bills!  And it’s from God’s amazing creation!

(See previous blog Amazing Propolis for information, research, and other ways to use.)

Romans 11

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord,     or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Or who has given a gift to him     that he might be repaid?”

36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen