St Ambrose… The Patron Saint of Bees
December 7th is the Saint Day of St. Ambrose, also known as Ambrosius.
He lived from 340 AD to 397 AD and for some of his life was the Bishop of Milan. It is said that when he was an infant a swarm of bees settled on his face and, when they flew away, a drop of honey remained. He was thereafter said to have been endowed with a “honeyed tongue”.
He is also the Patron Saint of Beekeepers and Candle makers.
Other famous historical figures connected with bees were Hippocrates (460-370 BC), Galen (130-200 AD) and Dioscorides (40-90 AD). These were all great physicians of their time and used honey and propolis to treat wounds.
Before the Greeks and Romans, the ancient Egyptians used honey and propolis for healing. Propolis in particular was used in the embalming process because of its incredible antibacterial and preservative properties.
Propolis is the sticky resin which bees collect from trees and shrubs and use to sterilise their hive. It has powerful anti-bacterial, antifungal and antiviral activity and is the most important beehive product. More information about propolis will follow in future blogs.
Galen invented the first recorded skin cream made from beeswax, almond or olive oil, rosewater, propolis and honey. Today this famous recipe is still made and can heal skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis. Galen also invented a cure for baldness consisting of crushed bees in honey which was smeared over the scalp.
Hard to believe you may think, but…..venom from the bee stings is a vasodilator and would increase circulation; honey is full of nutrients to nourish the hair follicles; there would also be traces of pollen and propolis which would encourage and stimulate regeneration of cells.
If you try it… let me know!