Propolis is a resinous mixture that honey bees collect from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. It is used as a sealant for unwanted open spaces in the hive. Propolis is used for small gaps (approximately 6 millimeters (0.2 in) or less), while larger spaces are usually filled with beeswax. Its color varies depending on its botanical source, the most common being dark brown. Propolis is sticky at and above room temperature. At lower temperatures it becomes hard and very brittle.
Medical usesPropolis is marketed by health food stores as a traditional medicine, and for its claimed beneficial effect on human health.
Natural medicine practitioners use propolis for the relief of various conditions, including inflammations, viral diseases, ulcers, superficial burns or scalds.Propolis is also believed to promote heart health, strengthen the immune system and reduce the chances of cataracts. Old beekeepers recommend a piece of propolis kept in the mouth as a remedy for a sore throat. Propolis lozenges and tinctures can be bought in many countries. Though claims have been made for its use in treating allergies, propolis may cause severe allergic reactions if the user is sensitive to bees or bee products.
Some of these claims are being clinically investigated and several studies are published in the biomedical literature. Since the chemical composition of propolis varies depending on season, bee species and geographic location, caution must be applied in extrapolating results (as above).
As an antimicrobialDepending upon its composition, propolis may show powerful local antibiotic and antifungal properties.As an emollientStudies also indicate that it may be effective in treating skin burns.
As an immunomodulatorPropolis also exhibits immunomodulatory effects.
As a dental antiplaque agentPropolis is a subject of recent dentistry research, since there is some evidence that propolis may actively protect against caries and other forms of oral disease, due to its antimicrobial properties. Propolis can also be used to treat canker sores. Its use in canal debridement for endodontic procedures has been explored in Brazil.
As an antitumor growth agentPropolis' use in inhibiting tumorigenesis has been studied in mice in Japan.(wikipedia )
The extraction of propolis is made easely and very quickly, whitout the help of heat. You just need a pure alcohol, water prevent the extraction. When diluted in water, propolis gives a white coloration alike Macis. The taste is good.