Propolis has been around for over 45 million years, and has been used by man for thousands of years, both internally and externally, as a healing agent.
The name propolis comes from the Greeks and means Pro, meaning before, and Polis, meaning City. Propolis is translated as defences before the City or Defender of the City. The city is the city of the bees or hive of the bees being protected from the invasion from the outsiders, including the infection. Bees produce propolis and use it to protect themselves and to create a most sterile environment. As well as providing a functional role in sealing and reinforcing the hive, propolis also performs the role of immune system for the hive and acts as antibiotic, anit-viral and anti-fungal system. This sticky, brown resinous substance is collected by honeybees from various plants . As well as sterilizing their home against infection, bees also use Propolis as a multi-purpose cement and varnish. It is believed to be rich in amino acids and also has a high contents of vitamins, including bioflavanoids.
The Greek physician, Hippocrates, prescribed the use of propolis to help heal internal and external sores and ulcers. Ancient Egyptians depicted propolis-making bees on vases and other ornaments, and used the resinous substance to alleviate many ailments. Pliny, the Roman scholar, wrote much on the use of resins such as propolis in his massive book, Natural History. He touts the abilities of propolis to reduce swelling, soothe pain, and heal sores, to name a few. Often called "nature's penicillin," bee propolis has effective antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, antifungal, and antibiotic-properties. These protective and healing properties have been conclusively demonstrated in numerous studies all over the globe.