by Angela Van Alten, Nutritionist and Beekeeper's Daughter
Propolis has documented anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory benefits. In a very exciting study, scientists recently exposed 23 different samples of propolis to E.Coli, the bacteria that can cause serious food poisoning in humans and occasionally responsible for product recalls you hear about in the news.
In this study, antibacterial activity was observed in only seven out of the 23 samples of propolis against E. Coli..
Seven out of 23 doesn't sound particularly great, does it. The chances of you buying a propolis product that is going to help you prevent or get over food poisoning aren't great, according to these stats. When you're suffering horribly with nausea, fatigue, the sweats, and gastrointestinal issues, wondering if your propolis is going to help is not desirable. You want help and fast.
The obvious solution would be to identify which propolis types killed the E. Coli., and make it available, wouldn't it? Yes and no.
It turns out propolis can help you if you contract food poisoning in other ways other than simply killing the E. Coli. bacteria.
Propolis is a powerful immune stimulant. As you'll see here, it boosts antibodies and immune activity, potentially helping you to get over food poisoning quicker.
There's more to propolis than this study indicates. Even the scientists conducting this study went on to conclude that possible therapeutic applications potentially exist for propolis in the development of formulations for the treatment of infections caused by E. coli..
So, what does this all mean? Well, if you get food poisoning propolis isn't a sure thing to treat it. Not all propolis showed direct activity against E.Coli.. However, the body of evidence for Propolis as a strong immune support nutrient is very compelling and it may be worth using in a food poisoning case. It also has a strong body of evidence against a range of viruses and other bacterial agents.
So, what do you do if you come down with a case of food poisoning and should you try propolis? I can't play doctor on the internet so you need to make this decision on your own. However, propolis is inexpensive and very, very safe. When I contracted food poisoning in Thailand during my travels, I mega dosed propolis capsules as soon as my body would allow it (there is no point swallowing propolis if you are simply vomiting it back up). I also take a daily preventative dose of propolis before and during travel so I felt like my recovery time was shortened. I also feel like I limited the severity of the illness with my protocol. Supplementing with specific probiotic bacteria and raw honey helping in my recovery as well.
Clearly more studies are needed on propolis and its potential against E. Coli. but this is very exciting research and further evidence that propolis has countless health benefits.
Brazilian Journal of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, vol.63, no.5, Oct. 2011
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.