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How we use propolis in Herstat

Why should you choose Herstat over other cold sore remedies? Well, not only does it contain white soft paraffin as its main ingredient, to promote a moist environment which is perfect for healing, but every tube also contains a fascinating antimicrobial substance called propolis.

This substance is one of the many components of our cold sore treatment. Why do we use it? Well, it's thanks to Professor Sosnowski and his years of research into how bee products could be the key to fighting fever blister outbreaks. Although we humans have been using this material for millennia, bees have been utilising the substance for much longer – but what actually is it?

What is propolis?

Propolis is a substance produced by honeybees that they make using the resins secreted by various plants, which the bees collect and bring back to their hive. The bees mix the resins with their saliva and wax in order to use the resulting propolis as an antimicrobial sealing material that provides a barrier against diseases and parasites.

When these insects build their hive, they use propolis to seal small holes, cracks, or spaces around it.

This serves to keep the hive as sterile as possible, keeping the level of fungi and harmful bacteria in the hive low, and this is why we use it as a preservative. However, it is also believed that propolis possesses a number of other beneficial properties, such as blocking pain and regenerating damaged tissue.

How do we use it in Herstat?

At Herstat, we utilise all the healing properties of propolis as the active ingredient in our cold sore ointment.

As it would be unwise, as well as unhygienic, to use the raw propolis collected straight from the beehive, we instead use an extraction process developed by Professor Sosnowski over years of research studying the substance and how it could be used in treatments for humans.

It all starts in the Manitoba region of Canada. Experienced beekeepers working within the region, which is rich with poplar trees (the trees that secrete the resins needed for propolis), use propolis traps to gather the substance from the hives. The propolis is then thoroughly checked for any impurities before it's even considered for use in the production of Herstat.

Next the material goes through a rigorous cleaning and filtration process, ensuring any foreign elements or impurities are removed. Eventually this is refined even further to produce the purified propolis extract first developed by Professor Sosnowski – Propolis ACF – which is sent over to production for Herstat. Three per cent of this substance is used in every tube.

Is propolis safe to use on my skin?

This propolis is subjected to a series of stringent quality controls, from the harvesting, through the rigorous cleaning, and to the production of the final extract, Propolis ACF, in order to guarantee consistency of the composition (standardisation) and absence of microbiological and environmental contaminants (purity) for every batch.

Thanks to this process, Propolis ACF contains virtually no substances other than plant-derived ingredients that the bees so carefully select. This not only results in a highly concentrated product, but also minimises the risk of possible allergies. In both major clinical trials of Herstat, no participant reported any adverse effects when using the ointment.

However, if you are allergic to bees, balsam of Peru, propolis or other bee by-products – or have any specific queries about the safety of this product – you should either contact us for more information or seek advice from a qualified medical practitioner.

As stated on the packaging it is recommended that, the first time you use Herstat, you test the product before use by applying a small quantity on the skin of your forearm to see if there is any adverse reaction.