Propolis, also called bee glue, is a resin-like substance from tree buds or sap flows. It is usually obtained from beehives. Bees use to reinforce the stability of the hive and to prevent parasites, bacteria or diseases to enter the hive. Above room temperature, propolis is sticky; however, at low temperatures it is hard and brittle. Its color varies depending on the source, but more often it is dark brown.
Propolis has been widely popular among practitioners of traditional medicine since ancient times. Ancient cultures, such as the Greeks and Egyptians, have believed that propolis has powerful medicinal properties and have used it for many different purposes, from treating abscesses to healing wounds.
However, modern medicine did not provide a lot of clinically supported evidence to prove many of the medicinal properties that has been attached to it by ancient cultures and traditional medicine.
Nevertheless, some scientists believe that propilis is a natural antibiotic with preventive effects and that regular intake of moderate amounts of propolis can help in boosting the immunity. Also, it has been used to speed up the process of epithelialization in case of burns, wounds or herpes on the skin.
According to some studies, propolis protects the body from viruses and bacteria and it is recommended in cases of sore throat.
It is also believed that propolis has some compounds which have antioxidant properties and eliminate the free radicals in the body which are one of the main cause for development of cancer.
Some scientists consider propolis to be the elixir of youth since it helps the body in the process of tissue regeneration.