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Natural Awakenings New York City

Boost Children’s Immunity with Bee Product

Illnesses spread quickly in the classroom, especially during cold and flu season. One natural product that can defend against pathogenic microbes comes from a surprising source: beehives. 

“Propolis, which bees collect from the stems, buds, and leaves of plants to sterilize their hives, possesses high antioxidant and antimicrobial properties,” says Asli Elif Tanugur Samanci, a food engineer and the co-founder of Bee & You, a bee product company based in Lower Manhattan.

Children with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable to pathogenic microbes found in crowded places like schools. Using propolis is a natural and effective way to boost their immunity, Samanci says.

“Research conducted by Ohio State University in 2006 observed the effects of propolis for upper respiratory tract infections. It was found that propolis decreased the number of infections, the duration of symptoms and the duration of illness,” she says. “Propolis prevents the growth of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. It also possesses anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used as a support treatment for various diseases due to its health-promoting effects, and when it’s consumed regularly, it strengthens the immune system by increasing the production of antibodies. However, it can’t be consumed in its raw form. In order to be suitable for human consumption, it should go through an extraction process carried out by experts under appropriate conditions.”

Samanci, who developed a method to produce propolis while retaining its high biological activity, founded Bee & You along with Taylan Samancı, an agricultural engineer and a beekeeping expert, and Dilek Boyacıoğlu, a food science professor. They produce all-natural bee products containing propolis, royal jelly, raw honey, pollen, and bee bread, working with 2,000 contracted beekeepers and 300,000 beehives. Their products have won 29 national and international awards for quality and innovation and are sold in 14 countries. 

“In addition to the science supporting the use of propolis for immunity, we receive plenty of positive feedback from our customers,” Samanci says. “Children who regularly consume propolis have a significantly lower frequency of illness and recover more quickly when ill.”

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