Propolis — also known as bee glue — can be used to counter Candida albicans, the fungal pathogen behind candidiasis or yeast infection. This is according to a study that compared the antifungal effects with those of other natural extracts.
In the study, the researchers compared the effects of propolis, garden thyme (Thymus vulgaris), clove (Caryophillium aromaticus), Echinophora platyloba, onion (Allium cepa), and Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) on C. albicans.
They found that at 39 and 65 micrograms per milliliter (mcg/mL), propolis extracts had the highest antifungal activity among the extracts tested in terms of minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC) respectively. Garden thyme and onions were noted to have had the lowest effects on the fungi.
For the researchers, these findings proved that propolis can be used to control C. albicans, although they admitted that further investigation is needed regarding the issue.
The study was published in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine.
The health benefits of propolis
Propolis is a substance that bees secrete – a combination of beeswax, plant sap, and the insects’ bodily discharge – besides honey. It is used to build the hive and to repair any damage that might occur to it.
Because of the composition of propolis, specimens from different regions of the world tend to contain different chemicals and compounds. It is because of this that most experts find it difficult to establish the exact set of benefits one can gain from propolis. Studies on different types of propolis, however, concluded that this substance can offer the following benefits:
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Antiviral and antibacterial effects – As proven in the above study, propolis has antifungal effects. Other inquiries into its effects found that it can also fight bacteria and viruses. Because of these, propolis has been linked to faster recovery from wounds, burns, and other injuries, as well as a reduced risk of bacterial and viral infection. In particular, one study found that applying propolis helped inhibit and reduce the herpes virus in the body, enabling cold sores to heal faster and reducing the risk of the condition reoccurring in the future.
Protection from cancer – Propolis has been linked to protection from cancer owing to a number of factors. Apart from preventing the multiplication of cancer cells, it can also reduce the likelihood of cells becoming cancerous in the first place. Propolis can also block the chemical pathways that cancer cells use to signal to and communicate with each other. One type of propolis, in particular, was found effective against the tumors in breast cancer.
Propolis is currently available in many forms and for a different application. It can be bought in the form of capsules, tablets, liquid extracts, and ointments, among many others.
Fighting candidiasis with diet
Candida yeast infections can result in a wide variety of serious diseases. The following foods can help in controlling the fungus:
Coconut oil – Lauric acid is known to be very effective against Candida. Coconut oil happens to be composed of 50 percent lauric acid. Apart from adding coconut oil to food, it may also be used as a mouthwash for oil pulling to get rid of thrush, one of the conditions caused by the said fungus.
Probiotics – The friendly bacteria in one’s gut are useful for controlling the population of potentially harmful microorganisms. C. albicans is normally harmless but can become infectious when in very high numbers. Foods with probiotics, such as yogurt and kimchi, can help increase the number of good bacteria in the gut and keep this fungus in check.
Foods low in sugar – Microorganism like sugar, so feeding them with carbs can increase their numbers – at the body’s expense, of course. High blood sugar levels also weaken the immune system, allowing normally harmless fungi to proliferate and become infectious.
Garlic – The compounds that make garlic pungent are also the same ones that make it such an effective treatment against bacteria and fungi. Fortunately, garlic can easily be used, whether fresh or cooked as part of one’s favorite savory dishes.
Learn how to control yeast infections at Cures.news.