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Benefits of Beeswax

 

 

Beeswax, Cera alba is a natural wax produced by honey bees ,. The honey worker bees actually make the beeswax to form the structure of the hive. They build honeycomb cells where their young bees are raised with honey and the pollen cells kept for storage. The honey worker bees have eight pairs of special wax glands under the abdomen which produces tiny wax scales. The process of making a honeycomb involves the worker bees taking one of the wax scales from the abdomen and moving it to the front legs, then mixing it with saliva.  creating a back to back six sided cells. This process creates wax that is strong enough as a building material  for the honey comb which will make the hive. When beeswax is first produced its white in colour but quickly darkens due to contamination of honey.

benefits-of-beeswax-for-skin- According to 35 “in Chinas most famous medicine book “The Shen Nong Book of Herbs”, 1-2nd BC, beeswax was recognised as a top medicinal ingredient. It is praised for its beneficial influence on blood and energy systems and the overall balance of the body. The author attributes beauty enhancement and anti-aging properties to beeswax.. Combined with other ingredients it is applied on the skin for treating wounds and as a health food for dieting. Many recipes are given is this authoritative source of traditional Chinese medicine. Ge Hong (about 284-364, Jin dynasty) and Sun Simiao (581-682) recommend 'beeswax therapy1, i.e. a heat treatment of skin areas with cloths impregnated with molten beeswax. Liu Yuxi in 841 gives a detailed description of beeswax therapy more than 1000 years earlier than the paraffin wax therapy from the Frenchman Barthe de Sandford (1909). "The Sages Prescriptions", edited by the Song Dynasty Imperial Hospital (992), mentions diet therapy, health-improvement and anti-aging prescriptions containing honey, beeswax and honeycomb”.

 

The worker bees produce a good amount of wax when they are young. As they mature and after the many daily flights they take, their gland become smaller when the new wax is formed, it is always clear and colourless but due to the mixing of pollen oils into the honey combs, the wax turns into a yellow or brown colour. For the worker bees to secrete enough wax, the temperature in the honey comb must be between 33-36℃.

The colour of the beeswax actually varies depending on: the purity, the region and the type of flowers that were gathered by the worker bees. Beeswax comes in yellow which comes directly from the honeycomb while white and bleached beeswax comes from the yellow beeswax.

Beeswax is insoluble in water which make it possible to be used as a sealant. Its melting point is quite low at 63℃, and it has a clean smokeless burn, making it a key ingredient in the making of candles.

History of beeswax use

Speculations on the use of beeswax have been with us since the days of Aristotle. over 2300 years ago,   but the old Egyptians about 1550 BC used beeswax when embalming, for mummification of their pharaohs and for retaining the permanency of Whig curls, for preserving the papyrus scrolls and to protect paintings. The ancient Persians  and Assyrians  also used it for embalming the dead, The word  mummy is  from a Persian word meaning wax.

According to China’s most famous medicine book “The Shen Nong Book of Herbs”, 1-2nd BC, beeswax was recognised as a top medicinal ingredient.  It is praised for its beneficial influence on circulatory systems ,  energy levels , overall balance of the body and anti-aging effect.

Examples of beeswax ancient use

  • Beeswax as ingredient of artistic materials
  • Bronze preservation
  • candles
  • Sealing wax
  • ancient form of tooth filling

 

The extraction of Beeswax.

uses and benefits of beeswax Candles made of beeswax have been used by mankind in religious ceremonies since a very long time 17. Beeswax candles can be made by different methods: pouring, dipping, rolling, extruding, drawing and pressing. The different methods of candle making are described in detail elsewhere 11. Since beeswax has a higher melting point than most paraffin waxes (most of which melt between 48 and 680 C) beeswax candles remain straight at higher ambient temperatures.. Waxes with a melting point above 880 C do not perform well during burning.

Beeswax

Non-commercial method.

Gather the cappings and the honey comb and place them in a cheese cloth. Place the cheese cloth in a simmering sauce pan of water and press it down to split the large chunks to speed up the melting process which will in turn separate the wax from the cheese cloth. Bring the water to a boil and squeeze out the wax to make sure all of it has melted into the water leaving you with wax water in the sauce pan. Pour the water in a pan or container and let it cool. The wax will solidify and rise to the top of the water. Collect the wax and melt it again in order to filter it to remove impurities. This time use a double boiler and run a filter through the wax when still hot. After the filtering process, pour the wax into moulds and let it cool.

Commercial methods.

There is the use of an electric wax Melter.

Uses of beeswax from the ancient times.

  • Food production
  • For cosmetic purposes, skincare, haircare
  • Seal for official documents
  • To make crafts
  • As medicine
  • Wood care

benefits-and-uses-of-beeswaxBeeswax is used also in encaustic painting. In this painting technique beeswax is a chief ingredient of the colour, used by the artist. Encaustic painting was very popular with the ancient Greeks and Romans. Beeswax is melted with a resin and pigment and is then applied by heatable pallet. The colour application should have been very quick, because dallying would lead to the wax re-solidifying on the brush, making it impossible to apply as a paint.The finished paintings is durable and does not attract dust. Ancient encaustic paintings can still be admired in museums, e.g. in the British museumProperties of beeswax.

  • Healing
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-allergenic
  • Antiviral
  • Anti-fungal
  • Moisturising and humectant
  • Anti-germicidal

Benefits of beeswax.

Beeswax for Skin.
  • Treats dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema
  • Moisturises the skin and seals in the moisture.
  • Heals dry cracked lips
  • Reduces the appearance of stretchmarks
  • It treats jock itch and fungal infections
  • Great for dry skin.
  • Soothe cracked heels and hands
beeswax-for-skin Beeswax for Hair.
  • Moisturised the hair
  • Seals in the moisture in the hair
  • Smoothness down hair
  • Stimulates the natural growth of hair.
Health Benefits of Beeswax
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Relieves pain and inflammation
  • Treats ulcers
  • Treats diarrhoea
  • Protects the liver
  • Relieves stress and promotes relaxation
Recipes of beeswax for skincare.
Lotion bars.

Yow will need a cup of coconut oil, Shea butter, cocoa butter or mango butter which ever you prefer or a mixture of the 3, a cup of beeswax, essential oils of your choice and a teaspoon of vitamin e oil(optional). In a double boiler, put all the ingredients except the essential oils like frankincense and myrrh and vitamin e oil. Let the ingredients melt down smoothly. After they are melted, turn off the heat and let the ingredients cool down then add the essential oils and vitamin e oil. Gently stir the mixture well to make sure the oils have been mixed well. Carefully pour the mixture into moulds and then let them cool before popping the lotion bars out.

Body creams.

As in the recipe on the lotion bars, instead of pouring the mixture into moulds, put the mixture in a freezer so that it can harden just a little bit then whip it up into a creamy consistency. Put the whipped mixture into a jar for storage. Add a few drops of essential oils such as lavender and frankincense. 

Lip balm.

You will need 1 tablespoon of beeswax, 2 tablespoons of any butter, whether cocoa, shea or mango butters, 2 tablespoons of coconut, olive or argan oil and 20 drops of an essential oil of your choice. In a double boiler, place all the ingredients except essential oils like peppermint and let them melt. Stir the mixture well then put out the heat when they have all melted. Let the mixture cool down then add in the essential oil and then stir the mixture well. Use a glass dropper to fill up the lip balm containers and let them sit for some hours to properly harden. Store in a cool dry place.

Deodorant.

You will need ½ cup of coconut oil,1/2 cup of butter, either mango, Shea, cocoa or all, ½ cup of beeswax, 3 tablespoons of baking powder or arrowroot powder if you have sensitive skin, ½ cup of arrowroot powder and 1 teaspoon of vitamin e oil, 20 drops of an essential oil like lavender. In a double boiler melt the ingredients and mix them well i.e. coconut oil, the butters and beeswax. Let them cool after they are all mixed well. Add vitamin e oil, baking powder and the essential oils. Gently stir the mixture well until the ingredients are all well mixed. Pour the mixture into deodorant containers and let them harden, leaving the cap off.

Safety precautions

Beeswax is safe for most people when ingested as food or medicine or when applied topically. Consult your doctor if you have signs of sensitivity when using beeswax.

There isn’t enough information about the safety of using beeswax when pregnant or lactating. Consult your doctor first.

By Eila Oketch.