What is propolis?

Propol-mel products propolis has not been processed beyond what is necessary to form part of the formulations. The propolis we use is organic certified and proceeds from Spanish beekeepers who are bee friendly.
Propolis is a waxy resin, complex in composition and viscous consistency that bees make from resinous particles of different vegetables and which they use in the construction, reparation and protection of the hive. Widely used since ancient times with diverse purposes, nowadays the actions, effects and possible uses of propolis in biology and medicine are being researched, highlighting its use as a dietary supplement and in the pharmaceutical industry.

What’s in the Propolis

In propolis, more than 180 components have been isolated. Resins and balms stand out, which contain flavonoids and phenolic acids or their esters (50%); variable contents of waxes (7.5 – 35%) that will affect the corresponding remaining components; volatile oils (10%); pollen (5%); and impurities (4.4% – 19.5%).

It also contains small quantities of terpenes, tannins, remains of the salivary glands secretions of the bees, and, depending on the origin, possible contaminants. The active compounds are the bioflavonoids which include flavones, flavonols, flavonones and flavononols. Most of the studies focus in

Depending on the geographical location of the hive and the production method used by the beekeeper, the composition of the propolis can vary. Normally propolis is evaluated by a chemical test which determines the total number of phenols, but its known that isolated phenols can’t be compared to the synergetic action of all the nutrients of propolis altogether. Thus, the origin will define the quality of the product.

On one side we have Mediterranean propolis from flower honey making honeycombs which is the one with better balance. On the other side there are the Italian, Swiss and eastern-European propolis, elaborated basically from pine secretions (Pinus Nigra). There are also Chilean, Brazilian and Chinese propolis, elaborated with bees that grow in a different type of vegetation. A normal hive can produce between 80 and 400 grams of propolis a year.

Be free of toxic contaminants.

Contain low percentages of wax, insoluble matter and ashes.

Define its botanic derivation to determine the type of active compounds.

To have high contents of actives.

Contraindications

Propolis is relatively non-poisonous, daily dosages of 1400 mg / kg don’t cause any negative effect in mice, but to chew large quantities of raw propolis can produce nausea and digestive disorders.

Though we have to keep in mind that it always exist that low percentage of the population who can be allergic to one of its components therefore it is necessary a previous test before taking the decision of consuming or externally applying the product.

Benefit

  • Antioxidant that protects from oxidation, oils and serum lipoproteins through free antiradicals activity and inhibitor effect on cuprous ion.
  • Antiviral for its content of phenolics like caffeic and feluric esters.
  • Immunity stimulant via oral ingestion.
  • Antiinflammatory and analgesic also for the action of certain phenols like ethyl phenyl acid, caffeic, or kaempferia.
  • Anti-toxic capable of inhibit the action of the chemotoxicity thanks to the galangin, another flavonoid.
  • Reminalizing dental enamel and anti-cavities.

Processing propolis

Propol-mel products certified organic propolis proceeds from beekeepers, respectful to the hive. The processing is the minimum possible in order to maintain intact the original product. All the propolis we use is certified organic

The first we need is high quality propolis. This is most important. A quality raw matter and a correct processing, will allow getting quality products. Even though in propolis have been isolated more than 180 bioactive compounds, when analyzing a derivative of propolis usually only its total content in polyphenols is evaluated. An extensive comparative analysis of two propolises would be very expensive. So, unfortunately, it is very difficult to assess the quality of processed propolis.

For example, you can use a lot of lower quality propolis to get a dye that, overall, can be compared to one that has been made with a much smaller amount of propolis but with higher quality. Sure you get to have a total content of polyphenols that is equal or bigger, but is very likely to be much poorer in diversity of bioactive compounds than the one that has been made with high quality propolis.

First processing

This is most important. A quality raw matter and a correct processing, will allow getting quality products. Even though in propolis have been isolated more than 180 bioactive compounds, when analyzing a derivative of propolis usually only its total content in polyphenols is evaluated. An extensive comparative analysis of two propolises would be very expensive. So, unfortunately, it is very difficult to assess the quality of processed propolis.

For example, you can use a lot of lower quality propolis to get a dye that, overall, can be compared to one that has been made with a much smaller amount of propolis but with higher quality. Sure you get to have a total content of polyphenols that is equal or bigger, but is very likely to be much poorer in diversity of bioactive compounds than the one that has been made with high quality propolis.

Once we have the chopped propolis, we can move to the next step of its processing.

Making of the tincture

How to make propolis extract? To make our propolis tincture is a rather simple procedure. It is about having propolis and grape alcohol of good quality, and put them in contact during a determined period of time shaking it daily to promote the exchange of compounds from the propolis to the alcohol. The propolis pieces are introduced in a plastic or stainless steel recipient and little by little their compounds dissolve and it loses its integrity. Later it is filtered to obtain clean propolis tincture.

This tincture can be bottled directly to obtain our propolis tincture or it can be used as ingredient for other preparations. The mouth spray, the syrup, the regenerating facial cream, the regenerating hands and feet cream, the regenerating body lotion, the bath gel,the champoo, the soap, and the toothpaste are made with propolis tincture elaborated using this method.

The users of propolis products must know that:

The hydro alcoholic extraction used to be the first product derived from propolis. This extraction, known as tincture, is the one that contains every property of the propolis. Only in this first extraction, the real percentage of pure propolis that was utilized to make it can be known. Also the propolises actives can be extracted only in water or in glycerol but the extraction is smaller in quantities of extracted actives and are only a small part of propolis nutrients which are capable solubilize in half water / glycerol without the presence of alcohol.

It happens that many manufacturers concentrate propolis tinctures to obtain a product called fluid extract. These extracts have been through a strong physical process of evaporation of the alcohol to concentrate the original tincture, having been damaged most of the nutrients of the propolis. With the fluid extracts they produce their products.

There are many propolis products in the market elaborated with fluid extracts. In the product label you can read that they have a very high percentage of propolis, sometimes even up to 70%. In reality what they contain is a high percentage of the propolis fluid extract, of which we don’t know how it was obtained or how much propolis it really contains. Thus this does not means having a high percentage of propolis pure in formula. For example, in the ingredients of a formula is not the same to read “propolis tincture (50%)” than “propolis extract 50%”. In the second case we don’t really know how much tincture the formula contains, which is the same as not knowing how much propolis it has effectively.

In Propol-mel we only use good quality certified organic propolis directly acquired from beekeepers in our country and we transform it ourselves, thus ensuring the minimal processing of propolis used in our formulations

These are two propolis of high quality. Their color oscillates between brown and red. The propolis at the right is a propolis block, as received from the beekeepers.

The second one in the left has been cut using secateurs (which is a difficult task because propolis is a hard resin) and will be utilized to continue its processing and elaborate a base for one of our products.

The third image is of pure propolis low quality. The propolis balls can be collected by hands of a beehive. They are layers and layers of propolis that bees have been deposited on one another and fall off. You can not tell collection date or time has been exposed to the environment.

The fourth image corresponds to low quality propolis, you can see its black color and its homogeneity.

These last two pictures correspond to commercial processed propolis, obtained from a raw matter distributor. Its origin is uncertain and it cannot be proven if the main propolis was of quality or not. The crude propolis was molten to eliminate waxes and then left to solidify on molds. After, the propolis in the left was crushed and the one in the right pulverized and mixed with carob dust to avoid compaction.

CERRAR