Propolis is the “glue” that bees make to fill in the gaps or small spaces in their hives. It is this glue that makes it difficult to separate the hive boxes when Johnny and James inspect the hives. The amazing thing about propolis is that it is believed to have many healing properties:
- Antimicrobial (antibiotic and antifungal properties)
- Emollient (treating skin burns)
- Dental anti-plaque agent (may protect against canker sores and other forms of oral disease due to its antimicrobial properties)
With this in mind, one of our beekeeper association members uses the following tincture to help with abrasions, cuts and stings, and sore throats:
Collect the clean Propolis in a mason jar. Cover approximately 2 inches above the Propolis with Everclear, a pure 100 proof grain alcohol. Allow to sit for a week to start, tightly capped of course. Shake the jar every few days. Notice that the solution will separate. Add a little more alcohol as needed. This will make tincture. Do not add too much or the saturation point will be absorbed and you will need more Propolis. What I usually end up with is approximately 4” of deep brown tincture sitting on top of about 2” of a milky substance. Use a very small siphon tube to draw off the pure tincture (the top layer). Store tightly closed until you collect enough to bottle. Add more alcohol to the milky substance and the process starts again.
I bottle up the finished tincture in brown apothecary bottles with either a spray lid or a dropper lid. The tincture with the spray pump lid we use for sore throats and the others we use for cuts/scrapes. I just finished our first batch and believe it or not … it works!! James, Lauren and I have each tried it on our own boo-boos and they healed within a day or so.
January 2017 UPDATE: We’ve been using Propolis Tincture for about 5 years now for anything from sore throats to scraped knees. We even turned one batch into a balm and it works great. We lightly rub it into the wound and cover with a bandaid. Our wounds have healed nicely using either the spray or the propolis balm. While I cannot say that this is approved by the FDA, I can say that our family has benefited from using it.
- How to Make Propolis Tincture
- It’s Deer Season!