Propolis – The Natural Antibiotic for MRSA, Candida, and More

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TERRY’S BOTTOM LINE:

Bacterial infections have become extremely difficult to treat because of the over-prescription of antibiotics. This has led to resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, H. pylori, and other dangerous bacteria. Finding an answer to synthetic antibiotics is a must. One of the best answers is propolis. This bioflavonoid-rich nutrient provides strong defense against bacteria, viruses, and many other health challenges. The properties of this natural wonder have been wellstudied around the world for many health concern and conditions:

  • Stops harmful, resistant bacteria, including MRSA and Candida
  • Fights viral infection
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Stops free radical damage

Propolis – Defends the City, Stops Invaders  

There’s little doubt that most people have heard  about the health benefits of honey – immune  and DNA protection are just two of them –  but I think fewer people are probably familiar  with propolis.  

Propolis is made from the resins gathered from  trees and other plants and then modified by  the bees’ own enzymes as they process the material, mix it with beeswax, and make it into  a protective antibacterial glue and sealant. It’s  not surprising that the word “propolis” means  “defender of the city” in Greek.   

Propolis was used as a medicinal ingredient  in the ancient world, and continues to be intensively studied and recommended today.    

Propolis Provides Powerful Nutrients

The color and natural properties of propolis vary depending on geography. While many bees tend to use resins from trees (poplars and conifers are a favorite) as a source, other flowers and plants are often part of the mix, too. That’s why you’ll hear propolis referred to as “green”, “red”, “yellow”, or any variety of names. Interestingly, even though the plant sources of propolis can differ around the world, they all supply some benefits though many experts prefer the European variety to provide maximum benefits for fighting pathogens.  

Bees seek out the best resins they need to protect their hives. They instinctively know what works. Tree resins and plant saps perform the same protective functions across species lines. The main compounds in propolis typically include polyphenols, vitamins (including vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, and E), minerals (including magnesium, potassium, zinc, and calcium), enzymes and antifungal and antibacterial flavonoids, plus pinene and other essential oils inherent in tree and plant resins.

Polyphenols, including flavonoids and phenolic acids, are the prime movers of antioxidant activity in propolis. In many areas of the world, Eastern Europe among them, propolis has been extensively researched for antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties as a natural offshoot of both beekeeping and traditional medicine. As antioxidants, the bioflavonoids in propolis work in two ways: they stop the formation of free radicals to begin with, and reduce the potency of existing free radicals. Other propolis research has found that propolis has liver-protecting effects as well.
 
Strong Antibacterial Power to Fight “Superbugs”

The over-prescription of antibiotics has led to dangerous bacterial resistance, creating a class of “superbugs” that synthetic antibiotics can’t stop, including methicillinresistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is especially troublesome following surgery or anytime the immune system is weakened. Fortunately, propolis can stop it. This propolis is taken from a controlled and managed bee population so the material provides consistent levels of bacteria-and-virus fighting compounds.

A study at the University of Heidelberg tested a More… proprietary propolis extract (GH2002) against a variety of disease-causing bacteria, including MRSA, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE), Candida albicans, and Streptococcus pyogenes.

Within six hours, propolis stopped the activity of S. pyogenes, the cause of strep throat and hard-to-stop skin infections. The study also found that it had a high degree of antibacterial activity against all tested MRSA strains, and inhibited Candida as well. While this test did not show an ability to kill off VRE as it did with other dangerous bacteria, it was able to stop it from further growth. Because of these dramatic results, the researchers concluded that the special propolis extract might be used in the development of alternative products for therapy of microbial infections.”

Other studies have found similar results. British research also discovered that propolis shows antibacterial activity, and other work has shown that propolis has strong antifungal abilities, reducing the activity of Candida albicans, and inhibiting dangerous Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli bacteria. The researchers found that it was propolis from Northern and temperate zones (like Europe), that provided the phenolic acids and flavonoids that fight bacteria and fungus.

Laboratory work in Bulgaria found that propolis is a strong inhibitor of many strains of Helicobacter pylori bacteria, known for causing ulcers. In fact, the National Institutes of Health report that H. pylori is the leading cause of peptic ulcers worldwide, and that about two-thirds of the world population is infected with the bacteria. Even though H. pylori doesn’t always develop into an illness, the fact that propolis can defend against it is just one more point in its favor.

Antiviral

Research at the University of Heidelberg pitted a specific propolis extract, GH2002, against herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) and found that it reduced the formation of viral plaques (the areas of cell destruction) by 98%. Interestingly, while the researchers stated that while only two of the analyzed compounds in propolis, galagin and chrysin showed antiviral activity separately, other components of the whole extract, (caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid, benzoic acid, and pinocembrin) showed stronger effects than single constituents.

What to Look for in Propolis

Even though many propolis extracts from around the world have shown similar abilities, some are simply more effective than others, so be selective when you look for your propolis extract.

Found raw in the hive, propolis is often mixed with wax (which doesn’t break down in the body or provide any benefits), dirt, bee’s wings, and other debris. It needs to be purified and clear of beeswax before it can be truly useful. It should also be a clinically-validated variety, so you can start off with a propolis extract that has already shown results. Additionally, the best extracts will be from sources with a more “controlled” environment – that is, from hives that are strategically placed near a stand of specific trees that produce beneficial resins that bees use naturally. That way you’re getting a propolis that provides consistent benefits.  

I recommend this formula:

Concentrated Bee Propolis 100 mg Extract (Free of beeswax)

Reprinted with the kind permission of Terry Lemerond, and Terry Talks Nutrition.

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