Dr. Mait's Functional Medicine Cabinet: Propolis - the 'bee glue' that's gold for immunity — Pulse & Remedy

Propolis Tincture 50% (alcohol based)


Propolis Tincture is made using grain alcohol to extract the resin, which we filter and concentrate into a 50% extra strength solution of pure Cheshire propolis. The extraction is done at a constant 40’C so that none of the active components are damaged and most of the nutrients from the soluble parts of the propolis such as resins, balms, essential oils and phenols are dissolved. This preparation in alcohol is highly bio-available, enabling fast absorption by the body.

Propolis is a resinous mixture collected from secretions of plant buds and the sap of trees by honey bees. Propolis is renowned for its potent anti-microbial and anti-viral properties and it has been used for thousands of years to support immune health and as a natural antioxidant. Its natural antiseptic properties also make it popular for sore throats and gum issues.

All our propolis is harvested from food grade propolis traps and is treated with the same high hygienic standards as our other food products.

Although many people use propolis tincture topically for minor cuts or abrasions, burns, fungal infections, herpes and acne, unfortunately we cannot sanction this as we do not hold a cosmetics license for this product due to the costs incurred in obtaining one. We can however recommend it as a food supplement! Alcohol is the best solvent for extracting most of the bioactive substances of propolis, however it can sting on cuts and dry out the skin. Polypropylene can dissolve less propolis,but is still highly antioxidant and more suitable for skin protection.


Raw Cheshire propolis, grain alcohol, water.

How to use:

Take 3-8 drops in liquid (water, tea, fruit juice) or on a small piece of bread. Repeat up to 3 times per day as required. May be used as a gargle when diluted. For internal use only.


How to use propolis

Raw propolis and propolis tincture

What is propolis?

Propolis is nature’s antiseptic marvel. Propolis is renowned for its strong anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Because of this, it has been used to support immune health in humans for thousands of years. Ancient medicine also used it for healing cuts and as a natural anti-oxidant. Propolis contain resins, balms, essential oils, and phenols.

Propolis is a potent mixture, completely natural and free of chemicals and toxins. Bees make it by collecting plant resin and mixing it with beeswax. The bees then coat the inside of their hives with the propolis. Honeybees use propolis as a highly effective part of their colony’s defense against virus and disease. Also, the bees use propolis to regulate the internal conditions of the hive.

Can propolis help strengthen the immune system?

Eating propolis daily is said to help strengthen the immune system. Even in small doses, it can help the body to protect against and fight bacteria, fungi, and viruses, including the flu. Read more about the reported health benefits of propolis here: What are the health benefits of propolis?

Even though people have used propolis for external complaints for thousands of years, most producers do not have the necessary licences to market their propolis products for topical or external use. Therefore, on most packaging, it is stated that the propolis is for internal use only. As such, the propolis product is a food supplement and fall under different legislation.

Are there different forms of propolis?

Propolis is not fully soluble in water, so extraction is usually done using alcohol or oil. It is however possible to extract some parts of it in a water solution, however this is not available to purchase due to its short shelf life. Propolis can however be used raw, in chunks or turned into powder. It is often easiest to use once extracted or powdered.

Propolis tincture (used for consumption and topically)

Powdered propolis (used for consumption and to make cosmetics, creams and capsules)

Propolis in oil (used for cosmetics)

Raw chunks of propolis (used to make tincture, oil and powder)

What is propolis tincture?

Propolis tincture is easy to ingest and often preferred to other forms. This is because when propolis is dissolved in alcohol it is highly bio-available. This enables fast absorption by the body. Propolis tincture is a solution of pure grain alcohol (or ethanol) and propolis. Tinctures come in different strengths, the most common is about 30% propolis.

How do I make my own propolis tincture?

If you have propolis and would like to make your own tincture, follow this tutorial: How to make propolis tincture – Hanna’s Bees

How do I take propolis tincture?

Take 1-2 drops daily at the start. Propolis is quite strong flavoured so is best taken with a bit of bread, a spoon of honey or mixed with a drink. You can gradually increase the dosage to 5-10 drops daily, taken morning and evening, if you like.

How do I take powdered propolis?

Powdered propolis is best mixed with a drink or a spoon of honey before eating. Propolis is very potent, so a pinch is enough, or just the very tip of a teaspoon daily.

Is it safe to take propolis?

Pregnant women should avoid taking propolis.

Propolis is safe to take in small doses while breastfeeding.

It is safe for children over 12 months to take propolis.

Avoid if allergic to honeybee products.

Propolis will stain skin, fabric and other material.

I hope you enjoyed reading this short article. For more on propolis, please see the following Blogs: What is Propolis? and Why is propolis important for bees?

You can also purchase Irish Propolis Tincture in our online shop.


Dr. Mait's Functional Medicine Cabinet: Propolis - the "bee glue" that's gold for immunity — Pulse & Remedy

Health Benefits of Bee Propolis

It seems like propolis has been getting more attention recently, but that is not the case. It has been around for a long time as a natural healthcare solution dating back to the Ancient Egyptians and Greeks who used it for its wound and tumor healing properties. Here is a brief detail on the health benefits of propolis:

Helps treat common cold and allergies:

Studies indicate that propolis extracts have strong antimicrobial properties and may help prevent common colds, including a sore throat. It impedes the growth of bacteria that may shorten the duration of illness. Bee propolis also can calm seasonal allergies. Allergy symptoms like runny nose and watery eyes happen due to increased levels of histamine in the body. Propolis is effective in the relief of these allergy symptoms by inhibiting the histamine release. Therefore, people with severe allergies would benefit from keeping propolis in the house.

Soothes and protect skin:

Propolis is jam-packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and proteins that aid in skin rejuvenation at the cellular level. Its natural healing and antioxidant properties help soothe the skin and repair damage caused by pollution or sun exposure. Due to its antibacterial nature, it helps fight off acne and pimples and soothes redness and inflammation. Propolis is also effective in healing burn scars and wounds by encouraging new skin cells growth. It helps maintain the healthy balance between water and oil on your skin.

Prevents and Battles Cancer:

Significant research has discovered the anticancer substances in bee propolis that have the potential to reduce tumors and cancer cells. A biochemical compound in propolis known as caffeic acid has shown to be beneficial against prostate and colon cancer. Propolis fights cancer by causing the cancer cells to die by necrosis. It prevents cancer from making new blood vessels, interrupting the blood supply to harmful cells causing them to die due to lack of oxygen. Unlike chemotherapy that destroys the cancer cells and healthy living cells, propolis only causes the cancer cells to die, not the healthy cells.

How does propolis support the immune system?

We know that propolis is used in beehives to act as a shield against parasites and bacteria. It behaves the same in our bodies by knocking out anything that attacks our system. It provides vital support to immune defenses against immune diseases and balances immune function. Propolis contains a high content of polyphenols and flavonoids that have high antioxidant activities that help your body fight invaders. It stimulates immune function by increasing the number of immune cells, boosting their activities, and increasing Natural Killer cell activity. Flavonoids also promote cellular regeneration and suppress the release of histamine, which results in obstruction of common illnesses and an efficient immune system.

Eric Carter