Bee propolis is a really amazing substance. In its raw form it looks like clods of dirt, and smells something like the air just before it rains. Made from essential oils, resins, saps, and the odd bit of dry grass, it is a powerful antibacterial and antiseptic healing ingredient, making it perfect for a starring role in this lotion. As with everything bees make, each hive produces different propolis. It’s assembled from the trees and flowers that the bees visit on their pollen and nectar rounds, and its composition understandably varies by what’s available near the hive.
Inside the hive, propolis is used for many things. It’s used to patch small holes in the hive and reduce vibration. If something large crawls into the hive and dies (like a mouse or a lizard), the bees will mummify it in propolis so it doesn’t rot in the hive.
Once the propolis is harvested from the bees, it’s also very useful to us humans. Its strong antibacterial properties make propolis a fantastic healing ingredient for nicks, cuts, scrapes, and all other kinds of miscellaneous boo-boos.
This lotion pairs propolis with a few of my other favourite ingredients—enzyme rich raw manuka honey, soothing allantoin (USA / Canada), and healing carrier oils like tamanu and neem. The final lotion is thick and creamy, and packs a healing punch for tired, dry skin.
Healing Bee Propolis Cream
70g | 2.5oz just-boiled water
3g | 0.1oz raw honey (I used manuka, but you can use any variety of raw honey if that’s what you have)
2g | 0.07oz vegetable glycerine (USA / Canada)
½ tsp allantoin (USA / Canada)
50 drops propolis tincture
6 drops cedar leaf essential oil
3 drops roman chamomile essential oil
Weigh out the emulsifying wax and oils into a small saucepan or double boiler and melt over medium heat.
Once the oils have melted, whisk in the warmed water mixture. Whisk everything together—it’ll thicken as it cools (the thickening may take a few days if you are using a different emulsifying wax from emulsimulse/ritamulse). Once the lotion is relatively cool, whisk in the essential oils and preservative, and use a funnel to transfer the lotion to a 120mL/4oz pump-top bottle.
Don’t have the oils called for in the recipe? Check this out.