Albert Einstein hypothesized that the existence of human life is contingent on the existence of bees. These divine insects pollinate more than 100 types of crops in the US and facilitate the reproduction of vital vegetation to feed our livestock. Without bees, our agriculture and ecosystem would surely suffer, with our economy and health following close behind. But in addition to these circuitous effects, bees also provide direct benefits, yielding a variety of bi-products that boast powerful medicinal and esthetic qualities. From hive to health, here are the most buzz-worthy remedies.
Propolis is resin-like substance that bees collect from tree buds. It contains antioxidants called flavonoids, similar to those found in wine and superfruits like pomegranate, which help to fight off free radicals in the body. Additionally, it has exhibited anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and anti-oxidant characteristics that support its use as a natural remedy for wound infection and illness. Some studies suggest it may be active against bacteria and viruses when applied topically.
Bee pollen has often been referred to as a “perfect food” because it contains a wide array of vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, enzymes, and essential amino acids. It has been touted as an effective rejuvenator or tonic, particularly for athletes looking to increase their stamina and recover from physical exertion.
Royal Jelly is secreted from the salivary glands of bees and is called such because it is used for the nourishment of the Queen Bee. Like propolis, it is considered to have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that could have both internal and external benefits. Take advantage of Royal Jelly’s anti-aging benefits by applying it to the skin; it contains healthy fats and vitamins to improve skin’s tone and texture and make fine lines less noticeable.
Derived from New Zealand, this potent honey has a greater concentration of antibacterial activity that makes it an ideal healing salve for minor cuts, acne or skin conditions. It can also be used as a conditioning mask to moisturize the skin or hair. Use it internally with your morning tea or toast for a good dose of vitamins and amino acids.
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