Propolis is a sticky, microbially active resinous substance produced by plants to protect their leaf or flower buds during development & is also secreted around plant wounds for protection from bacteria & fungi.
Honey bees gather propolis from trees & plants & use it to seal cracks & crevices in the hives. The propolis protects the hive from bacteria & fungi similar to how it protects the plants.
We use propolis traps on our hives to harvest clean propolis (rather than scraping it from the wooden hive bodies or frames that house wax). After collecting the propolis, we carefully sort out & filter by hand any physical impurities (such as plant material & beeswax). The propolis is raw & unprocessed in any other way. We then use food-grade grain alcohol to extract its properties.
Among a variety of valuable attributes, propolis is thought to be anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, & anti-inflammatory. It has a long history as a healer: for thousand of years, it has been used as an antiseptic, an anesthetic, & a wound-healer, among many other things.
This tincture can be used as an ingredient in your homemade treatments: added to lotions, creams, & salves, it has restorative capabilities for the skin.
Some ingest propolis tincture as a dietary supplement to help boost the immune system & to ward off illnesses, allergies, skin issues, joint pain, & more. Some take the tincture internally by daily adding a few drops (approximately 5-15 drops or a fraction of a teaspoon, although suggested amounts vary greatly & according to the intended purpose of the treatment) to water, tea, juice, a spoon of honey, or a piece of bread.
Propolis tincture is also thought to help with oral care including cold sores, inflamed tonsils, toothaches, sore throats, & dental plaque.
In our home, we most commonly use it topically to ward off dry hands from harsh winter weather or long days in the garden.
Long a folk remedy, to date no government-regulated agency has accepted propolis as an approved method for the treatment or prevention of any condition. Raw propolis has not been evaluated by the FDA, & we cannot claim to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Enjoy working with this wonderfully scented, natural, and amazing product provided by our bees!