By Luzia Barclay DBTh MIRCH
A few days ago a friend showed me a research paper with the title “Propolis and its potential against SARS-CoV-2 infection mechanisms and COVID-19 disease.”
Here is the link in case you would like to study the paper in more detail: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0753332220308155
The writers explain that honey bees collect resinous plant exudates, for example from poplar trees, take these back to their hive and process them into propolis. In essence propolis is a plant resin processed by bees. In the hive it is used for many purposes to keep the bee colony intact and healthy.
Humans have used propolis for thousands of years. There is a huge amount of anecdotal evidence and historical knowledge available about this amazing substance. Many scientific papers have been written about the properties and benefits of propolis. A third international conference is being organised to take place this year in Istanbul where scientists and other folks from all over the world will share their knowledge and experiences.
The above mentioned paper details how active constituents of propolis can help to prevent a SARS-CoV-2 infection by reducing ACE2 anchorage to inhibit the virus from entering human cells: Phytochemical compounds that show promise for the inhibition of coronavirus entry into humans include quercetin, myricetin and caffeic acid, all components of propolis.”
However in case one gets infected by this virus, propolis can inactivate RAC, consequently inhibiting PAK1 which potentially attenuates a more severe form of COVID-19 disease. It helps to prevent lung fibrosis and to restore a normal immune response. The paper goes into a lot more technical detail about these processes.
Propolis harvested from different countries have slight variations depending on the different plant resins the local bees collect. The essence of the bee product propolis however is unique: it inhibits harmful viruses from entering into cells, it reduces the severity of the viral disease and it supports the immune system.
How do we use propolis?
Since it is a resinous substance it does not dissolve in water. When I prepare propolis tincture I dissolve ground propolis powder in 70% organic alcohol, leave it to infuse in a warm place for several months, filter it and pour the liquid into small dropper bottles. Usually 4 to 8 drops are used several times a day but for very severe symptoms up to 30 drops can be used in a small amount of water.
Using a bee product like propolis requires respect for the creatures that collect and process it: the honey bees. As we know bees (like many other insects) are having a very hard time, mainly because of the chemicals which are used when growing foods. Glyphosate found in round-up and neonicotinoids are particularly harmful and must be banned. They are toxic to insects and toxic to humans. They are toxic to nature.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have relating to this article.
Luzia Barclay DBTh MIRCH Registered Medical Herbalist
07716 872 756 or 01722 330663.