The Benefits and Uses of Propolis


Mind & Body Nutrition
The Benefits and Uses of Propolis

Propolis (bee glue) is a sticky substance produced by bees. It is a resinous mixture produced when bees combine their saliva with beeswax and the sap they collect from needle-leaved trees or evergreens. This creates a sticky, greenish-brown compound which is used as a coating to seal small gaps during the construction of bee hives.

Research has identified more than 300 compounds present in propolis – including polyphenols (mainly flavonoids and phenolic acids), phenolic aldehydes, coumarins, amino acids, sequiterpene-quinones, steroids and inorganic compounds. Propolis is one of the most abundant sources of polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants that fight damage and disease in the body. Flavonoids (a type of polyphenol) are produced in plants as a form of protection and are found in foods thought to have antioxidant properties e.g. fruit/green tea/red wine/vegetables. Overall propolis comprises 50% resins, 10% essential oils, 30% waxes, 5% organic compounds and 5% pollen.

Propolis exhibits a spectrum of beneficial properties namely: antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antiulcer, hepatoprotective, cardioprotective, and neuroprotective. It can help treat and prevent various health conditions, including bacterial/viral/fungal infections, parasites, wounds, burns and dental cavities. Polyphenols found in fruits and vegetables play a vital role in protecting neural cells from oxidative stress and neuroinflammation associated with aging and chronic diseases.

Historically propolis has been used for its medicinal properties. Greeks used it to treat abscesses. Assyrians applied it to minor wounds to counteract infection and speed up healing. The ancient Egyptians used it to embalm mummies.

Avoid using propolis if you have an allergy to honey, royal jelly, or bee pollen.

Research shows that propolis:

  • Can prevent dental cavities, gingivitis and periodontitis
  • Decreases dental cavities and limits bacterial plaque
  • May help regenerate bone tissue, cartilage, and dental pulp

Grants Propolis Toothpaste is a great natural toothpaste option as it reduces plaque, dental cavities and inflammation associated with gingivitis. It is not tested on animals and contains no genetically modified ingredients or microbeads.

The ingredients in your toothpaste enter your mouth and gums, which is the gateway to every system in the body. Therefore, you need to be cautious when choosing a toothpaste.

Harmful ingredients found in generic toothpastes:

  • Triclosan, sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS)
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Fluoride
  • Diethanolamine (DEA)
  • Propylene Glycol- Microbeads

Maintaining good oral and dental hygiene can help prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. Research shows that poor oral hygiene, and especially gum disease, may increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes and preterm labour. The condition of your mouth provides a “window” into your overall health. The Academy of General Dentistry states that more than 90% of all systemic diseases produce early oral signs and symptoms!

Saliva provides defence against bacteria, viruses and fungi. Poor oral hygiene leads to plaque accumulation and subsequently gingivitis. If left untreated gingivitis can progress to periodontitis and acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis. Over 500 species of bacteria are present in your mouth! Saliva is a helpful diagnostic tool. Routine saliva testing measures environmental toxins, hormones and antibodies. In the future, saliva testing may replace blood testing as a means of diagnosing and monitoring diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson's disease, cirrhosis and many infectious diseases.

REFERENCES:
Grants of Australia. 2018. Australian Cinnamon Toothpaste - natural, vegan, fluoride free – Grants of Australia. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.grantsofaustralia.com.au/collections/oral-care/products/propolis-toothpaste-110g. [Accessed 28 May 2018].
Healthline. 2018. Propolis: Benefits, Uses, and More. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/propolis-an-ancient-healer. [Accessed 28 May 2018].
Bee Propolis: Key Facts and Amazing Health Benefits. 2018. Bee Propolis: Key Facts and Amazing Health Benefits. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.doctorshealthpress.com/health-articles/bee-propolis-facts-health-benefits/amp/. [Accessed 28 May 2018].
Mercola.com. 2018. Toxic Toothpaste Ingredients You Need to Avoid . [ONLINE] Available at: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/09/09/toxic-toothpaste-ingredients.aspx. [Accessed 28 May 2018].
Oral Health And Overall Health: Why A Healthy Mouth Is Good For Your Body. 2018. Oral Health And Overall Health: Why A Healthy Mouth Is Good For Your Body. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.colgateprofessional.com/education/patient-education/topics/systemic/why-a-healthy-mouth-is-good-for-your-body. [Accessed 28 May 2018].
. 2018. Oral health: A window to your overall health - Mayo Clinic . [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475. [Accessed 28 May 2018].

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