In the autumn-winter season, the hours of natural light decrease, the temperatures drop, environmental pollution increases and so too does the risk of contracting a cold. Certain natural nutritional components, and propolis in particular, facilitate the body’s adaptation to the winter season and strengthen its immune system.
Propolis, for immunity
From the beginning of spring until late summer, the most experienced worker bees collect propolis to promote cell solidity, provide an internal lining, guarantee defence against enemies, maintain microclimate conditioning and ensure the health of the hive. The mastication and salivary secretions of bees transform the resin with wax and pollen collected from the trees to create propolis, a genuine plant alchemy.
The word propolis is derived from the Greek ‘pro’, which means ‘in favour of’ and polis, ‘city’, indicating the use of this apparently raw mix to protect the hive against intrusions and repair any damage sustained. In the Greek world, Hippocrates, Aristotle and Pliny extolled the virtues of propolis, which in ancient Roman times was more expensive than honey. The Roman legionaries carried it in their saddlebag, together with yarrow, to treat wounds. In the 19th century, propolis was the great popular anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, soothing and healing remedy for topical use, especially in Eastern countries and in Germany.
Nowadays propolis is used both to prevent and treat seasonal ailments of an episodic or epidemic nature, and to restore the integrity of the mucous membranes and the immune system, protecting the entryway from potential aggressors posing a threat to safety. Propolis is in fact a powerful antiseptic, containing antiviral, antibiotic and antifungal properties. The benefits of propolis are also owing to its anti-inflammatory, balsamic, healing and immunostimulating properties.
The most active part is comprised of polyphenols which protect against the damage of free radicals and heavy metals. A recent study has shown how the polyphenols of propolis (flavonoids and phenolic acids) promote the formation of antibodies, increasing the secretion of interferon and interleukins, thus strengthening immune activity.
Dewaxed and purified propolis
A complete range of products based on purified and dewaxed propolis are commercially available, used to prevent allergic reactions and combat seasonal ailments (Propolis tablets, bars, spray, syrup, aqueous extract, glycolic extract, mouthwash, lollies).