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Making a Propolis Tincture

Hippocrates himself is said to have used propolis tincture to cure many an ailment, and who can argue with the father of medicine?! This potent healing agent can be used on cuts and scrapes, burn, cancer sores, and sore throats.

Making a tincture from propolis harvested from your hive is really a simple undertaking. We harvest propolis at the same time as we uncap honey by scraping it from the sides and top of each frame that we uncap. We prefer this over using a commercial propolis trap as we like to start each season with clean frames.


The recipe for making a tincture is pretty darn simple: just add alcohol! Grain alcohol is best as it can be safely ingested and tincture is commonly used to treat canker sores, as well as to gargle for a sore throat (a couple drops in warm water).


The strongest alcohol that I was able to source locally was 75.5% Everclear and it worked very well. I have heard of people using 95% but I did not have any luck finding any.

WARNING: Propolis stains! Hands, clothing, glass, metal, everything! Use containers and utensils that you plan to dedicate to propolis processing (hello, thrift shop!) and be careful! If you do find yourself with some propolis where you don't want it, try hand sanitizer and/or Barkeeper's Friend to remove it.


The Quick How-To:


1. Choose a container that will easily hold all of your propolis and dump it all in.

2. Pour alcohol over it to cover, seal with a lid, and allow to sit for a week.

3. Gently shake the container daily to help break up chunks of propolis.

4. Strain mixture through a coffee filter.

5. Add the same amount of alcohol again to stretch your tincture.


The tincture bottles that I am using are 1oz and are from Amazon.


My blank labels are from Avery, although I print more often with Vistaprint.


If you make your own propolis tincture, I'd love to hear how it turns out! Share with us in the Facebook group or tag me on Instagram so I can share to my stories!



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