How the Honeybee could help revolutionise modern healthcare

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NORTH YORKSHIRE, England – Propolis is a sticky brown substance that honeybees produce by collecting resins and pollen from plants and trees and processing these to provide an immune system for the hive. Humans have used propolis to treat ailments and support health for thousands of years. Recent research now provides evidence that propolis supports our health in many ways, including through its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-fungal & adaptogenic qualities.

The human immune system is increasingly in crisis as a result of many pressures such as degradation of our natural environment, our food, stress, over-use of antibiotics adverse reactions to drugs including vaccines and iatrogenic conditions (ill health or adverse effect caused by medical treatment.)

An international study found that antibiotic resistance was associated with 4.9 million deaths in 2019. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared that antimicrobial resistance is one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity. The WHO states that: “New resistance mechanisms are emerging and spreading globally, threatening our ability to treat common infectious diseases. A growing list of infections – such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, blood poisoning, gonorrhoea, and foodborne diseases – are becoming harder, and sometimes impossible, to treat as antibiotics become less effective.”

There has been an increase in scientific research into the problem of antibiotic resistance and a huge surge in consumer interest in and use of natural alternatives.

At the heart of propolis are resins that the honeybee collects from trees and plants. These resins form the basis of the plant’s immune system and are transformed in the hive to the bee’s immune system. Scientific research into the use of propolis has doubled over the last few years.

The COVID crisis has highlighted the vulnerability of our weakened immune systems. Boosting our ability to deal with viruses or bacteria through a strong immune response is critical now, more than ever.

An online international conference of internationally renowned academics from around the world came together recently to explore propolis, one of the most powerful immune boosters known to humankind.

The conference was organised by the International Propolis Research Group (IPRG) which is composed of leading pharmacologists, medical scientists and doctors from every continent, many of whom sit together on the International Standards Organisation (ISO) developing standards for propolis that can ultimately help consumers to understand and use this new medicine. Over 40 scientific papers from around 20 countries were presented. The papers illustrated how propolis can provide specific help for conditions such as impaired cognitive function, HIV, COVID 19, cancer and kidney disease. The research papers also illustrated the wide-ranging antibiotic, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumoral qualities of propolis. Scientists agreed to collaborate together to work on unfolding the unique potential of propolis as a new form of sustainable medicine – medicine that enables the body to sustain itself and does no harm.

James Fearnley, chair of the IPRG explains: “Propolis is a natural repair kit and one of our best options for averting complete meltdown of our immune systems. The stress on our immune systems has been exacerbated by excessive use of aggressively targeted medicine.”

Professor Anant Paradkar, Director of the Centre for Pharmaceutical Engineering Science at the University of Bradford added that: “Coming together during the recent propolis conference has been an exciting process of recognising the many connections linking global propolis research. We have determined to collaborate internationally and illustrate to the world the incredible health-supporting properties of propolis and how it is a major contributor to the future of medicine.”

In light of recent reports of NHS shortages of many drugs such as HRT supplies, painkillers, anti-depressants, blood pressure medicine, steroids and pills to relieve arthritic pain, the adaptogenic, antibiotic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties of propolis could be showing the way to a new kind of medicine.

This medicine of the future is produced by the amazing honeybee, a living creature deserving of our care and respect. We need to build a new relationship with medicine – a compassionate ecology. And only through compassion will we find the will to live in a non-exploitative, balanced relationship with the natural world on which we depend.

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