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History of Propolis?

Millions of years old
It is said that Propolis is the most natural antibiotic man has ever discovered.
The remarkable thing about this statement is the fact that this discovery took place thousands years ago.

Propolis already exists for milions of years, even from before the dinosaurs dominated the planet.

Througout all those millenea, trees and plants have designed and develloped their own defense mechanisms to protect themself against all sorts of diseases and changing weather conditions.
For millions of years propolis is the natural defense mechanism of plants and trees.

It is the strongest disease-fighter in nature ever discovered!

Also for millions of years the honeybee has been gattering and using this propolis for their own protection.
And it is sinds the time humans began to harvest the honey of these bees, that they also discovered propolis.

Ancient History
Propolis has been around for millions of years and for thousands of years man has been using it both internally and externally as a healing agent.
A lot of people probably haven't even heard about propolis, and yet, ancient herbal books prescribed propolis for numerous complaints.
The anti bactericidal qualities of this medicine have been known since the beginning of written history.

The use of propolis in popular medicine goes back all the way to ancient times. Egyptians, Greeks and Romans reported the use of propolis for its general healing qualities and for the cure of some lesions of the skin.
Even the Inca's knew about the healing proporties of propolis.

The ancient Egyptians observed how bees embalmed the kadavers of larger predators, that died in the hive, with propolis and understood that this substance had strong preservative proporties.
Because of these proporties they used propolis to embalm and mummify their Farao's.

Scientists and antropologists found remains of propolis on the skins and in the bandages of the mummies and came to the conclusion that the oils used in the balming proces contained a certain amount of propolis.
Propolis works very well as a preservative to keep the bodies intact after death.


The Greeks discovered the healing proporties of propolis when they treated wounds and 'incurable deseases'.
Hippocrates, the Greek physician, practised apitherapy by recommending honey and propolis as a treatment.
He prescribed the use of propolis to help heal sores and wounds and internally to heal ulcers.

The Hebrew word for propolis is 'Tzory' or 'Kera', and the therapeutic properties of tzori are mentioned throughout the Old Testament and appears even in the Talmud.
Apparently the Arc of Noach was cemented with propolis to get it watertight.

In Rome propolis was used by physicians in making poultices. Plinius (23-79 n. Chr.) wrote that propolis is generaly used as a replacement for galbanum.
Plinius also said: 'The healers use propolis as a medicin because it helps remove stings and splinters etc. that have lodged itself into the skin. Propolis reduces swelling, softens calluses and muscle pain and heals wounds that do not seem to heal.

Celsus, in the first century, found the best product to drive out deseases is what is called by the Greeks ‘rhypodes’. It containse myrhen, crocus, iris, propolis, bedelium, pomegranate, alum, mistletoe and turpentine or goatfat. Dioscorides wrote 'the yellow bee glue has a pleasant scent and it helps with old stubborn colds and rashes ...'

In our region was, during the Stone Age, birch bark from a resin (pitch) was prepared, which was probably used as a chewing gum to clean the teeth.
König and Dustmann (1988) suggested that propolis may be considered as the successor of this product.
Through dental care and dental hygiene propolis finally found its place in folk medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Middle Ages

Later propolis was mainly used in Germany and Eastern Europe.
In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, all forms of herbal medicine are being used by physicians, pharmacists and lay people.

Since the 12th century in Europe, these folk remedies made sure that propolis got an important place in general medicine and in the preparation of medicines.
Medical records from that period describe compounds in which propolis was used for mouth and throat infections and dental caries, (Krell, 1996).

European interest in propolis showed from "John Gerard's" famous "History of Plants" in 1579.
In this book he referred to propolis, as a substance that offers a quick and effective cure for many conditions.

Last century to the present
During the Second World War Russian hospitals used large amounts of propolis.
Treatment of wounds with a propolisextract stimulates tissue regeneration with accelerated healing as a result.

Even today, Eastern European doctors officially prescribe propolis as treatment.

With the rise of synthetic medicines based on chemicals the natural resources of the beehive are sadly slipping into oblivion.
Unfortunately, because unlike many synthetics medicines, everything that bees can offer to people, is without any adverse side effects.
And that's why a large number of critical medical professionals in the sixties started to look again at what nature has to offer.
The beginning of a worldwide movement of "Back to Nature ".

With the result that at the end of the last century the scientific evidence of the working of propolis was on the table.
Once the bee products made a comeback as a food supplement, especially in the sports world, it was the medical communities turn to make the effect of honey, pollen, royal jelly and propolis known to the world with scientifically substantiated studies.
Prominent among the substances from the beehive was: propolis.
Dr. Guido Majno from Harvard University wrote in his book The Healing Hand extensively about the effects of propolis