2. What is propolis? Honey bees collect plant resin on their hind legs and deposit it in their nest, where they often combine it with beeswax. This age-old alchemy creates propolis . Propolis is Greek for “pro” – in front of or defense of “polis”, which means “city”. Propolis essentially means “before the city”.
3. Why do honey bees collect plant resin? Honey bees have 1/3 of the genes involved in immunity function compared to the fruit fly and the mosquito , which they make up for in other ways: social grooming, and collecting propolis to name a few. Studies show that honey bee hives that have a “propolis envelope” are less susceptible to bacterial, viral, and fungal infections [2, 4].
4. What kinds of plants does the resin come from? The chemical composition of propolis is complex and can vary between plant types, which means there is less likelihood of pathogens developing resistance to it . The main sources of plant resin that honey bees collect from are Populus (cottonwood, poplar, aspen), Betula (birch), Salix (willow), and Alnus (alder), and Aesculus (horse chestnut) [2,4].
5. I designed the formula for ZAP! while pursuing my Masters in Environmental Science at University of Guelph’s Honey Bee Research Centre. After pouring over dozens and dozens of research papers about propolis, I came to learn that its antiviral properties have been studied on the herpes simplex virus and the influenza virus. I passed a vial of my propolis tincture to my older sister, who was suffering from large, painful, and very persistent cold sores. My sister has been using this tincture since 2010 and says it’s the fastest acting treatment she has ever used.
6. Speaking of fast acting, ZAP! is also 100% all-natural. There are only 2 ingredients and NO synthetics!
7. ZAP! comes as a liquid in an amber vial. It has a pleasant vanilla-like odour and goes on clear.
8. DO NOT take the dropper out of the vial. It’s important that you don’t introduce your cold sore virus to the tincture. You don’t want viral resistance forming, do you?
9. ZAP! is only $10 for 4mL – that’s a whole lotta bang for your buck!
10. As the name implies, ZAP! will zap your cold sores into oblivion! Apply a small drop of ZAP! to your cold sore and you’ll feel it go to work immediately, and expect it to sting a bit. It’s a treatment, not a cure.
To order ZAP! please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Evans JD, Aronstein K, Chen YP, Hetru C, Imler JL, et al. (2006) Immune pathways and defence mechanisms in honey bees Apis mellifera. Insect Mol.Biol.15(5): 645–656.
2. Evans, JD, Spivak, M (2010) Socialized medicine: Individual and communal disease barriers in honey bees. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 103, S62–S72
3. Gekker G, Hua S, Spivak M, Lokensgard JR, Peterson PK (2005) Anti-HIV-1 activity of propolis in CD4+ lymphocyte and microglial cell cultures. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 102, 158–163.
4. Simone-Finstrom MD, Spivak M (2012) Increased Resin Collection after Parasite Challenge: A Case of Self-Medication in Honey Bees? PLoS ONE 7(3): e34601.doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0034601
5. Wilson MB, Spivak M, Hegeman AD, Rendahl A, Cohen JD (2013) Metabolomics reveals the origins of antimicrobial plant resins collected by honey bees. PLoS ONE 8(10): e77512. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0077512