Propolis: what it is for and how to use it for herpes
Propolis is a resin-like material made by bees from the buds of poplar and cone-bearing trees. Propolis is rarely available in its pure form. It is usually obtained from beehives and contains bee products. Bees use propolis to build their hives.
Propolis extract is an excellent natural remedy that helps in wound healing since it has antiviral and regenerative properties, so it will decrease the duration of herpes and facilitate healing of the skin. In addition to this, the extract can be easily bought from drugstores or natural products stores, and should not be used by people with a history of allergy to propolis.
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The Propolis Extract or also called propolis has several uses and can be used to accelerate the regeneration of tissues, helping in the healing process and disinfection of wounds or burns, to dry the pimples, treat sore throat, flu, sinusitis, tonsillitis and help treat respiratory problems such as dry cough or phlegm.
This natural extract has a healing, anti-inflammatory, and bactericidal action, protecting, regenerating and calming the skin, and can be purchased in pharmacies, natural products stores or online stores.
Although few clinical trials have tested the health effects of propolis, there's some evidence that propolis may offer certain benefits. Here's a look at several key findings from the available studies:
Cold Sore Treatment
Preliminary research suggests that topically applying propolis may help heal cold sores. In a study published in Phytotherapy Research in 2010, for example, scientists found that extracts of propolis possess virus-fighting effects that may help knock out against herpes simplex virus type 1, the virus that causes cold sores.
Genital Herpes Treatment
Applying a propolis-based ointment may help treat sores related to genital herpes, according to a study published in Phytomedicine. For the 10-day study, 90 men and women with genital herpes used an ointment containing flavonoids sourced from propolis, an ointment containing acyclovir (a drug used to reduce pain and speed healing of herpes-related sores), or a placebo ointment.
By the study's end, 24 out of the 30 participants in the propolis group had healed (compared to 14 out of 30 in the acyclovir group and 12 out of 30 in the placebo group). Given this finding, the study's authors concluded that an ointment containing flavonoids sourced from propolis may be more effective than both acyclovir and placebo ointments in healing sores related to genital herpes.
Propolis may promote the healing of minor burns, according to a study from the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. For the study, researchers compared the effects of a propolis-based skin cream with those of silver sulfadiazine, a drug commonly used in the treatment of second- and third-degree burns, in patients with second-degree burns.
Study results showed that propolis and silver sulfadiazine were similarly effective in the treatment of burns. What's more, propolis appeared to offer greater anti-inflammatory benefits than silver sulfadiazine did.
Research suggests propolis can help treat gastrointestinal disorders, including ulcerative colitis, gastrointestinal cancers, and ulcers. Components in propolis, including caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), artepillin C, kaempferol, and galangin, have been shown to effectively eliminate pathogens, including H. pylori. The research, however, is limited to animal studies and cell cultures.
Propolis may help fight cavities, a study from Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin shows. In laboratory research, scientists found that compounds found in propolis helped inhibit the growth of Streptococcus mutans, an oral bacteria known to contribute to the development of cavities.
The study suggests that propolis may also help stop Streptococcus mutans from sticking to the teeth.
Findings from animal-based research indicate that propolis may aid in the treatment of diabetes. In a 2005 study published in Pharmacological Research, for example, tests on diabetic rats revealed that treatment with propolis helped lower blood sugar levels and reduce cholesterol. These results have not be replicated in human studies, however.
How to use
The propolis extract must be used according to the problem to be treated, and the dosage will depend on the concentration of the product, the age, the place where it will be applied, among others. For this, the manufacturer's instructions and the doctor's recommendations should be followed.
This extract can be used in several ways such as: applying a drop to the wounds, a few drops can be diluted in a tea, or a few drops can be applied directly to the throat.
Propolis extract should not be confused with other products, which in addition to possessing propolis have other associated substances in their composition, such as honey or ginger, for example. These products usually have specific indications, which are usually mentioned on the product label.
Propolis can be used in children under the pediatrician's indication, however, extracts that do not contain alcohol should be used in these cases, since most can contain this substance.
Possible side effects
Some side effects that can occur with the use of propolis extract can include allergic reactions, presenting symptoms such as swelling, redness, itching or hives on the skin.
Therefore, to avoid serious allergy reactions, it is recommended to do a sensitivity test before using the extract, for which it is necessary to place 2 drops of the extract on the forearm and wait between 20 to 30 minutes and check if itching or redness appears in the skin.
Propolis extract is contraindicated for patients with an allergy to propolis or to any of the components of the drug's formula. In addition to this, propolis extracts containing alcohol are also contraindicated in children under 12 years of age.
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