Get a boost from bees
This article was originally published in January 2016
The mighty honeybee deserves all-star status not only for its role in creating a delicious, versatile sweetener but also for providing several other substances that have antibiotic qualities. In addition to honey, bees create propolis and collect pollen, components that are used in wellness products to boost immunity and increase energy levels.
It’s already common to find honey in cough drops or other cold remedies but Manuka honey is a particularly potent variety that has superior antibacterial properties. The honey comes from bees that feed on the flowers of the Manuka bush, also known as the tea tree, in New Zealand. It has long been used by the Maori tribe to treat wounds and fight infection.
Propolis is a mixture of resin, pollen and waxes that bees gather from nature to use as a seal that sterilizes and protects their hives from outside elements. In fact, propolis means “defense of the city” in Greek. This natural germ-fighter may be effective against harmful bacteria and can provide support to the immune system.
Since ancient times, pollen has been used to increase energy and endurance. Collected by bees from flower stamens, it contains a supply of antioxidants, protein and B-complex vitamins, including folic acid. This nutritious makeup makes it ideal as a supplement — you can sprinkle it onto salads or add to smoothies.
Great products at PCC
Manuka Health MGO Honeys
These honeys identify how much methylglyoxal they contain — methylglyoxal is the compound believed to make Manuka honey unique, ranging from 30mg to 550mg. The honey is sustainably sourced from beehives in New Zealand.
Uncle Harry’s Western Washington Bee Pollen
Collected in the Skagit Valley from forest and wilderness areas, this pollen is a complete source of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other nutrients.
Mickelberry Gardens tonics
Located in Gresham, Ore., Mickelberry raises honey and propolis at their organic apiary. Their tonics contain a blend of raw honey, apple cider vinegar, organic herbs and often propolis or pollen. Choose from Elderberry Honey Tonic, Northwest Pollen Honey Tonic or try their Honey Propolis Throat Spray.
Natural Factors Bee Propolis Extract
These capsules from British Columbia-based Natural Factors contain 500mg of propolis and may be taken daily to support the immune system.