Propolis is produced by honey bees, for various reasons but mostly because creating interesting substances — honey, wax, royal jelly, propolis,
slurm* — is what bees do. It’s kind of their wheelhouse.
Anyway, depending on your frame of reference, propolis either resembles pine-scented silly putty or opium.
And what do you with it? Well, many people claim that propolis has health benefits. I don’t. I’m not saying it doesn’t or couldn’t, just that there’s no proof of its curative properties.
However, I’ve noticed that most endorsements tend to follow a certain pattern:
- “It makes your skin soft and radiant (when mixed with shea butter, jojoba, or olive oil)!”
- “It soothes sore throats (when mixed with honey)!”
- “It may cure cancer (when used in combination with surgery, chemo, and radiation therapies).”
- Or, my personal favorite: “It’s good for what ails you…when you mix it with booze and down the lot.”
Anyway, just for fun, we decided to make a propolis tincture.
Here’s one easy recipe for propolis tincture: dissolve it in Everclear.**
That’s right, add 1 part propolis to 9 parts grain alcohol (ours is 95%ABV; you might be able to go higher, particularly if you have kinfolk of the old school).
Then shake, shake, shake…
For the next couple of weeks after that, shake the jar once or twice a day. Once it’s ready, strain it, add a few drops to the beverage of your choice (do NOT shotgun this swill), and enjoy.
Once again, no guarantees that it will cure you of anything — but, quite frankly, you’ll neither remember nor care that you were ever sick. So that’s something.