Lily Collins Uses Bee Propolis Spray For A Scratchy Throat

“[Bee propolis] is an amazing immune-system booster,” Collins notes. She’s not wrong: The sticky bee varnish (note: it’s not honey) comes from a mixture of resin from tree buds and bark, wax, and bees’ own saliva. When the sap combines with the enzymes in their mouths, it results in quite the antibacterial substance that’s perfect for cementing the walls of honeybee hives, no doubt, and also amazing for immunity. 

“It contains a whole variety of health benefits,” integrative medicine physician Amy Shah, M.D. previously told us about the substance. “There are hundreds of natural antibacterial compounds, amino acids, and polyphenols. It’s most significantly known in history for its infection-healing abilities, and Egyptians even used it during mummification.” 

Research backs it up, too: In one double-blind study, children given propolis (along with antibiotics) recovered from a respiratory tract infection significantly faster than the participants given antibiotics alone. Another research review touts propolis as a complementary agent to enhance the immune system. Although, we should note that the science does remain limited: Specifically, scientists aren’t too sure what it is about propolis that makes it so immune-supportive. They’ve identified more than 600 compounds (different polyphenols, flavonoids, and amino acids) from propolis samples around the world, but each composition has a slightly different makeup depending on its location—that said, they haven’t been able to come to a general conclusion about propolis just yet.

That’s not to say a propolis spray isn’t worth your time. Anecdotally, “It’s so good for a scratchy throat, which sometimes I wake up with,” Collins says. Research has also shown that bee propolis can ease pain and irritation due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capabilities. “It has a subtle numbing quality as well,” Shah says of her verdict, which can make it an effective throat spray on a particularly dry morning. 

Collins uses Beekeeper’s Naturals Bee Propolis Spray to coat her throat (the ingredients are minimal—just bee propolis, vegetable glycerin, and water), but feel free to browse other bee propolis options here . Or, you can opt for a tincture instead to drop into your tea. 

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