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Beeswax: Know the Incredible Medicinal Benefits and Usage

Beeswax (cera alba) is a natural wax produced by honey bees belonging to the genus Apis which forms the structure of a honeycomb. The purpose of secreting wax is to build honeycombs to store honey.

Disha Jain
Beewax and honey
Beewax and honey

What is Beeswax

Beeswax (cera alba) is a natural wax produced by honey bees belonging to the genus Apis which forms the structure of a honeycomb.  The purpose of secreting wax is to build honeycombs to store honey. It consists of around284 different compounds including a variety of elements but its exact composition varies with location.

The melting point of beeswax is over 140 ° Fahrenheit. The wax is secreted (in form of thin sheets called scales) from eight wax-producing glands present on the worker bee’s abdomen. The scales are clear, brittle, colorless, and tasteless.

Typically beeswax is produced by the younger house bees( between twelve and twenty days old ). As the bee starts growing older and begins to collect pollen and nectar, the wax-producing glands start to atrophy, but their ability to produce beeswax Isn't losted completely. When bees starts swarming they rapidly produces wax comb, since they require a place for the queen to lay eggs and somewhere to store food.

Around 1,100 scales are required to produce one gram of wax.

The three major beeswax products are - 

1. Yellow beeswax - crude product obtained from the honeycomb.

2. White beeswax - is made from yellow beeswax by bleaching

3. Beeswax absolute - made by treating yellow beeswax with alcohol.

Over time, bees have figured out that by building their combs into hexagon shape, the combs hold the maximum amount of honey and require the least amount of wax.

Benefits and usage of beeswax :

1. Moisturises the skin

Commonly found in skincare products and cosmetics, beeswax is an amazing way to moisturize the skin. It helps in protecting and repairing rough, dry or chapped skin because of its ability to lock in moisture.

The wax is rich in vitamin A and emollient properties, that helps in softening and rehydrating the skin as well as assist in the healthy development of cells.

2. Liver protection

According to a study, the alcohols found in honeycomb can help in protecting the liver because of their antioxidant effects.

It helps in normalizing liver function and improving symptoms of fatty liver.

3. Lowers Cholesterol Levels

According to research long-chain fatty alcohols obtained from waxes can help in lowering cholesterol in humans. The regulatory effects of wax esters beeswax lower bad cholesterol by 21 percent to 29 percent and raise good cholesterol by 8 percent to 15 percent.

4. Helps in treating psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis

It is a great choice for many skin conditions. A mixture of honey, beeswax, and olive oil is useful in the treatment of diaper dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis.

The honey mixtures could inhibit the growth of bacteria that may affect the skin and cause skin conditions.

5. Anti-inflammatory and relieves pain

beeswax is effective in relieving pain and inflammation and has mild anti-swelling effects too.

6. Clears Acne

Having strong antiseptic and healing properties, beeswax is a well-known home remedy for removing acne. It’s also an excellent skin softener that helps in maintaining a smooth skin texture after acne elimination.

7. Heals dry lips

Beeswax is a perfect lip balm because of its natural moisturizing property. Topical applications of beeswax alone or with other ingredients like coconut oil, honey, etc. can give relief for dry lips.

8. Treats Fungal skin infections

Beeswax can treat fungal skin infections as well as jock itch too because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It helps in reducing the pain associated with jock itch and fungal infections while providing moisturizing benefits to help reduce the itching.

Apply a mixture of beeswax, honey, and olive oil to the affected area three times daily for four weeks for best results.

9. Reduces stretch marks

Beeswax has positive effects on those stretch marks due to its ability to protect the skin and retain water.

10. Other uses

Beeswax is used in making candles and soaps, that are natural, have a soothing feel, and have a pleasant smell. White beeswax and beeswax absolute are used as stiffening agents in many foods and beverages while yellow and white beeswax are used as thickeners, emulsifiers, and stiffening agents in cosmetics in manufacturing.

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