Bees also produce a compound called propolis from the sap on needle-leaved trees or evergreens. When they combine the sap with their own discharges and beeswax, they create a sticky, greenish-brown product used as a coating to build their hives. This is propolis.
The composition of propolis can vary depending on the location of the bees and what trees and flowers they have access to. For example, propolis from Europe won’t have the same chemical makeup as propolis from Brazil. This can make it difficult for researchers to come to general conclusions about its health benefits.
- Propolis has a special compound called pinocembrin, a flavonoid that acts as an antifungal. These anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties make propolis helpful in wound healing. One found that propolis can help people who have had traumatic burns heal faster by speeding up new healthy cell growth.
- Ointments that contain 3 percent propolis, such as Herstat or Coldsore-FX, may help speed healing time and reduce symptoms in both cold sores and sores from genital herpes.
- Propolis has been suggested to have a role in treating certain cancers as well. According to one , some of the anti-cancerous effects of the substance include: keeping cancerous cells from multiplying, reducing the likelihood cells will become cancerous, blocking pathways that keep cancer cells from signaling to each other