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Food engineer (M.Sc.) and propolis expert Mrs. Asli Elif Tanugur Samanci said that propolis is a resin-like natural bee product that is collected from the leaves, stems, and buds of the plants, exhibiting potent antioxidant properties in addition to it antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal activities. Therefore, propolis is a precious complementary supplement to treat cold and flu symptoms, especially during seasonal changes when used regularly and daily.
Samanci provided specific examples of scientific studies, particularly on the use of propolis for upper-respiratory-tract infections; a study carried out at Ohio State University in 2006 investigated the efficiency of propolis in 81 children between ages 5 to 10 showing upper respiratory tract infections. The results of the study revealed that propolis extract reduced the number of cases, the severity of symptoms and the disease period.
Pediatrician Prof. Dr. Ates Kara stated that; “honey can have an antibacterial activity only when it is raw. Raw honey is 100% natural honey, preserving all its nutritious content when no heating or filtration steps are used. In general, every child has viral upper-respiratory-tract infection 6 to 8 times a year. Almost 74% of children suffer from cough, throat pain, and itchy throat. I do recommend to my patients to use propolis and raw honey to reduce the severity of symptoms of the infection and the number of sick days. When they use propolis and raw honey regularly, I do observe that symptoms of the infection are reduced quickly. Raw honey contains amino acids, vitamins of A, C, E and B-complex, folic acid, iron, zinc, and antioxidant compounds, such as polyphenols and flavonoids. Due to the presence of those compounds, raw honey has antiviral, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties”.
Prof. Dr. Ates Kara also added that there are thousands of scientific research on raw honey published in various databases that are followed by physicians and researchers. He said that “an article published by the American Medical Association in 2007 evaluated the efficiency of raw honey in children with upper-respiratory-tract infection. Raw honey administered to 105 children between ages 2-18 reduced the episodes of night coughs and improved sleeping quality. The scientists concluded that raw honey can be recommended as a supplement. Such studies show us that raw honey can be beneficial as a complementary supplement in the treatment of upper-respiratory-tract infection.”
Dietitian Dilara Koçak especially emphasized the significance of regular antioxidant intake during body detoxification. “Products such as propolis, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, and apple vinegar containing high amounts of antioxidants, phenolics and flavonoids, need to be included in a diet regularly. When diet is insufficient from antioxidants, it is more likely that those persons will suffer from various health problems in the future.”
Dilara finally added, “I always add antioxidant-rich foods into the diets of my clients. Propolis is always the first food on my recommendation list. Also, I do not want to skip the significance of apple vinegar due to its support to detoxify the body. One of my recipes involves a mixture of 2 tbsp apple vinegar, 1 tbsp cinnamon, and ten drops of propolis in yogurt. This recipe is particularly a good snack for the ones experiencing the flactuation of their serum glucose levels. I particularly recommend the consumption of raw honey together with propolis, ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon due to a synergistic effect of those ingredients in combination. Vitamin C in ginger and turmeric also improves the absorption of propolis by the human body. I advise to take those foods exhibiting anti-carcinogenic properties regularly in our diet to protect ourselves against cancer.”