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Propolis for Prevention

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Psalms from the Hive, by Jeannie Saum

Chill in the air

Trees and birds prepare

For winter’s freeze.

Germs abound, 

Inside and out.

Wise ones use

An ounce of prevention!

Clover, Bee, and Revery

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

Fall is upon us with its cool, crisp and refreshing weather, beautiful changing leaves, and many chance for outdoor fun.  But it also means colder air, dampness, and shutting ourselves indoors at times, with dry, heated and stale air.  It’s a time when germs and viruses seem to populate and insert themselves into our previously healthy bodies.  Kids get exposed to all kinds of germs at school.  We bring home germs from work. No matter what precautions we take, inevitably, someone in the family gets sick.  And once one person is sick, it seems to make its rounds to everyone!  What’s a parent to do?

The good news is, the honeybees make something wonderful that can be used as a preventative dietary supplement to keep your family healthy!  Propolis is a sticky substance the bees make from tree resin.  In the trees, this resin keeps the bud from getting viruses,

propolis on top of frames

propolis on top of frames

fungus, and bacteria.  Once mixed in the bees’ bodies and used to coat every surface inside the hive, bee propolis keeps bacteria, viruses and fungus molds and yeasts from growing in and infecting the hive.  In the fall, the bees continue to add layers of propolis to keep the hive germ-free, seal cracks and insulate for winter.  An experiment done by researchers at The University of Minnesota found that bees housed in a nest box coated with propolis had lower bacterial loads in their body and also ‘quieter’ immune systems compared to the colonies with no propolis coating. Seventy years of research on bee propolis indicates that this substance can also do the same for us!  Propolis can boost our immune system and overall wellness, as well as kill many bacteria and viruses.

Propolis provides general immune system support.   Propolis actually stimulates the immune system and raises the body’s natural resistance. Its antimicrobial properties suppress harmful bacteria and infections.  This powerhouse substance contains 500 times more bioflavonoids than is found in oranges. Flavonoids have strong antioxidant properties and help to protect cells from free radicals and cell mutations.  Propolis contains all the known vitamins, except vitamin K.   Propolis contains 13 of the 14 minerals our bodies reauire, with the exception of sulfur.  You don’t have to swallow a whole handful of vitamins and minerals.  Instead, you can use about 10 drops( about a half-dropperful) of 10% propolis oil or tincture, daily,  to strengthen your immune system and supply your body with ample antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.  And kill those nasty germs before they get established in your body!

 

 Our four  generations of family members and close friends (ages 5-84)  have diligently taken daily propolis during the cold months,  for over four years now.  We can honestly tell you that there have been only 2 visits to the doctor, in these four years, for common ailments among over twenty friends and family.  We triple our dose to three times a day, if we feel like an illness is coming on, and typically symptoms are gone in 1-2 days.  We have staved off upper respiratory infections, sinus infections, migranes, ear infections, colds, cough, and sore throats.
But don’t just take our word for it.  There is much research about propolis as an immune system booster and on its effectiveness against staff, strep, rhinovirus (common cold), upper respiratory infections, chronic ear infections, and many other illnesses.
Here are some links to this research.  To get the general gyst of the articles, read the abstract at the beginning and the summary at the end!

Psalm 132

13 For the Lord has chosen Zion;  he has desired it for his dwelling place:
14 “This is my resting place forever;  here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
15 I will abundantly bless her provisions;  I will satisfy her poor with bread.
16 Her priests I will clothe with salvation,  and her saints will shout for joy.
17 There I will make a horn to sprout for David; I have prepared a lamp for my anointed.
18 His enemies I will clothe with shame, but on him his crown will shine.”

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.