The beekeeping industry’s revenue growth in New Zealand has been altered from an increase of 4% to 10.8% in 2020-2021, as growing consumer health consciousness uplifts demand for health food products. In New Zealand, there are about 6,700 registered beekeepers, who possessed higher than 600,000 hives in above 42,000 apiaries. The beekeepers produce pollen, beeswax, and propolis, out of which the demand for bee propolis extract looks to be rising over the years.
Propolis is a resin-like substance collected by the bees from specific tree species and promoted as a dietary supplement. Engrossment in dietary supplements persists, and market demand for bee propolis is becoming intense, particularly in New Zealand. Pure bee propolis extract is separated and processed from beeswax and impurities or contaminants. The increase in the domestic demand for propolis extract has in turn increased the processing of bee products like propolis extract.
Bee propolis is a multi-purpose remedy that one can use for a very long time. One can also use it as a natural healthcare remedy. Recent studies show that it is effective against burns, inflammatory problems, skin problems, and herpes. Below are the health benefits of propolis extract.
1. Helps fight cancer
One of the benefits of the bee propolis is that it has anti-cancer and anti-tumoral properties. Scientific studies are focusing on cancer treatment and propolis. Two propolis polyphenols in specific appear to be the most-effective and powerful antitumour agents. Scientists consider that propolis’ potential to obstruct cancer from growing in both human cell and animal models is probably the outcome of its capability to prevent DNA synthesis in tumour cells and its ability to persuade apoptosis of tumour cells.
2. Gastrointestinal disorder
The infestations caused by parasites usually occur in association with an infected area. The symptoms of the gastrointestinal tract infection consist of diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal pain, and bloating. Propolis has various advantages involving anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Some studies reported that the clinical usage of bee propolis helps in treating viral infections. Research showed it to obstruct adherence and development of trophozoites. It prompted the separation of these parasitic structures.
3. Oral health
Excessive bacterial microflora is present in the oral cavity, and enormous bacterial growth can lead to various oral diseases. Several studies have found that propolis restricts periodontitis-causing pathogens and bacterial-plaque growth owing to its antibacterial activities. Bee propolis extract utilizes a selectively lesser cytotoxic work on human gum fibroblasts. It also helps in healing surgical injuries or wounds. Propolis extract also plays a vital role as a therapeutic agent.
4. Gynaecological care
The causes of vaginitis are vulvovaginal candidiasis and bacterial vaginosis. The reduction of lactobacillus in the vagina is a notable aspect of vaginal infections. This infection is associated with excessive development of vaginal pathogens. A study showed that the use of propolis extract resulted in an enhancement in the well-being of the vagina. It also provides symptomatic relief because of its anesthetic properties. Therefore, one can use propolis as an alternative for patients who cannot take antibiotics because of concurrent pharmacological treatment.
5. Oncological treatment
Propolis is useful in cancer treatment because of its antitumour property by activating apoptosis on cancer cells. While it kills cancerous cells, unlike chemotherapy, it does not harm the cells around it. Also, propolis minimizes the proliferation of cancer cells. Overall, it is beneficial in cancer treatments if used efficiently.