Propolis is a type of glue made by bees from the resins of trees, such as poplar, birch and horse chestnut. Bees gather the resins, mix it with a nectar they secrete, and take it back to the hive, where it is used to sterilize the hive and seal it from invaders. Bee propolis decontaminates the hive, making the vulnerable bees resistant to viruses and bacteria that cause infection and disease.
Propolis contains many minerals, including magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and potassium, as well as beta carotene, bioflavonoids, vitamins B1 and B2. As a concentrated source of bioflavonoids, (it contains more bioflavonoids than oranges) propolis may help strengthen capillary walls and connective tissue, enhance absorption of vitamin C, and play a supportive role in reducing respiratory infections, bleeding gums, varicose veins and many other ailments. Many who take propolis regularly report fewer colds, flus, infections along with greater stamina and energy.
If applied topically, bee propolis may be helpful for minor burns, cuts, scrapes and bruises. It can also be useful for sore and inflamed throats if used as a mouthwash.