Bees are best known for their sting and for their delicious honey. But they produce a number of other beneficial substances.
Propolis is one of them. Relatively few people know what it is, and it’s often confused with bee pollen and royal jelly, which also have potential medicinal benefits.
Honey Bee Propolis Benefits
(This post contains affiliate links, and if you purchase anything I receive a commission, at no extra cost to you.)
But, back to the propolis. This is the gluey material that helps keep a hive together. It’s a combination of tree resin and a compound made by bees. Natural bee propolis has been used for centuries as a very effective folk remedy.
Brazilian Red Bee Propolis
Traditionally, bee propolis has had a number of uses. Ancient healers once used it for abscessed or infected skin. (Modern researchers now know propolis contains infection-fighting agents.)
According to other published reports, this natural substance was also used to treat cancer, back in the days before pharmaceuticals edged out folk remedies. As people search for more holistic means to alleviate illness, there’s renewed interest in honey bee propolis and its potential to fight tumors.
Although it’s unlikely the pharmaceutical industry will jump on the propolis bandwagon, as this natural material can’t be patented and turned into a drug, the few studies on propolis and cancer are highly encouraging. However, I also need to stress that I’m not suggesting bee propolis is a cure for cancer, and should be used as a stand-along cancer treatment.
One study published by researchers at the University of Chicago Medicine showed that an extract of bee propolis known as CAPE, an acronym for caffeic acid phenethyl ester, stopped the growth of tumor cells in mice. When the mice stopped eating this compound, the malignancies began to grow again.
It would be interesting to see a study using whole propolis, which contains many more potentially beneficial compounds. Most herbalists do not agree with the practice of using laboratory extracted isolates. They believe this reduces the effectiveness of a remedy.
Red Bee Propolis Benefits
Please understand I am not claiming that bee propolis can cure cancer or any other condition. Also, since I’m not a doctor, this article is not intended as medical advice. I’m simply sharing what we know, so far, about this centuries old natural remedy.
Red bee propolis is packed with nutrients and antioxidants. It’s very rich in minerals, including some of the trace minerals that we don’t get enough of if we eat processed and chemically farmed foods.
Other research has shown that propolis can bolster the immune system, reduce inflammation and help repair wounds.
Brazilian Red Bee Propolis Benefits
Although the drug-focused mainstream medical industry is often quick to discount herbal remedies, propolis is becoming difficult to ignore. Red bee propolis, in particular, is gaining a lot of attention.
This is collected from hives in Brazil, which have plants that excrete a red resin. Red propolis has been widely studied, and found to contain an extremely high level of antioxidants, much more than regular propolis. Antioxidants counter the free radicals that damage our cells and promote cancer.
In another study, researchers found that red propolis killed 100 percent of pancreatic cancer cells observed. This type of cancer is notoriously difficult to eradicate using treatment methods.
Red Propolis for Health
If there’s anything I’ve learned in my own experience with a crippling and “incurable” nerve disease is that many natural remedies exist outside of mainstream medical circles, which are used to support the body and allow for healing. Conventional doctors are trained to prescribe drugs. Drugs can mask the symptoms, but they don’t usually lead to a cure.
We are living in very stressful times, which can trigger chronic health problems. Our environment is polluted, and we’re exposed to countless toxins. However, we also have access to an amazing array of natural remedies from all over the world, including red bee propolis.
These remedies can potentially be used as part of an overall protocol designed to restore health. Herbal remedies work best when used as part of a treatment plan that includes lifestyle changes, such as a clean diet filled with whole foods.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. People with health concerns should discuss them with a doctor. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use herbal remedies, unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional. Anyone who is allergic to bees should not take propolis supplements.
I’m not a healthcare professional, so all of the above statements are my personal opinion, and are not intended as medical advice.