The Anti-Infectious Medicinal Properties of Propolis
If I had to choose a favorite natural medicine for healing, it would be propolis. I was first introduced to propolis and other bee products like honey, royal jelly, and bee pollen in 1976 while working at my first job at a natural food store in Connecticut. There, I was fortunate to meet Ed Weiss, a wonderful beekeeper and producer of bee products who was known as the “Bee Man.” Ed began his love affair with bees in 1974, and devoted more than four decades to educating people about bees, protecting them, and producing Wilton Gold, an excellent honey. Ed wrote a beekeeper’s handbook called “The Queen and I,” a comprehensive and charming classic now in its third printing. The book describes his love for the bees, opening with “I have been having an affair,” and provides practical information for building a hive and caring for these unique and beneficial creatures. In my four decades of clinical practice, I’ve witnessed the beneficial healing effects of propolis for a wide variety of health conditions—including viral respiratory illnesses.
In exciting new research, clinical studies for the first time are reporting convincing evidence of the value and credibility of herbal therapeutics in cancer treatments. As an herbalist, botanical medicine has been an essential part of my toolbox for decades as a useful complement to conventional medicine in oncology as well as other chronic diseases, and for general health optimization.
Viruses are one of the oldest
organisms on Earth. They consist simply of a protein envelope and nucleic
acids, which renders them unable to replicate outside of a host. Some viruses, such as influenza, can both
rearrange compatible genes and mutate on a regular basis in order to remain
Interestingly, the main benefit of
herbs is their working relationship with our own innate ability to ward off
pathogens, such as viruses. This in part is what makes herbal medicine so
unique. Although herbs provide some direct anti-viral activity, they primarily
act in a non-specific, adaptive manner.
The vibrant colors we observe in plants serve a
different role depending on the organism being considered. For the plant itself, the pigments may aid in
the absorption of light and photosynthesis, as well as contribute to metabolism
and reproduction. For birds and insects,
the pigments provide a signal to the availability of food, such as nectar or
pollen. For humans, the pigments may
provide a clue of the type of health benefits we are likely to incur upon
Long before the advent of modern conventional medicine, traditional
doctors in the East and Western herbalists from the Vitalist and Eclectic
traditions were using plants to help people overcome infectious acute diseases.
The constellation of symptoms that the patient presented with were considered
to be caused by the entrance of pathogenic influences into the body, and
appropriate herbal remedies were administered to alleviate symptoms while
addressing underlying constitutional imbalances.
For more than four decades I’ve been involved in the dietary
supplement business, from my humble beginnings working in a natural foods store
to creating my own line of the highest quality supplements available on the
It has been a long, challenging, and educational road. And I understand—from an insider’s viewpoint—just how difficult it is to know whom you can trust when it comes to choosing the most effective dietary supplements.