Is Beeswax Good for You? Learn Its Different Uses and Benefits

beeswax

Story at-a-glance -

  • To produce a pound of beeswax, a honeybee must consume 6 to 10 pounds of honey. To extract the actual wax, the honeycomb is melted after removing the honey
  • You can make your own soaps using beeswax as the base ingredient. Also, it’s possible to make your own scented candles with a combination of beeswax and other natural ingredients
  • In a study published in Archives of Medical Research, researchers noted that beeswax, when combined with honey and olive oil, helped fight both bacteria and yeast

Honeybees are very important not just to nature, but to the economy as well. As their name implies, honeybees are known for producing raw honey, a thick, sweet liquid that’s used in a variety of foods. But aside from the flavor, did you know that raw honey can also benefit your health? It has been studied extensively, with research showing that it can help:

  • Lower blood pressureOne study notes that honey contains polyphenols that may help reduce the risk of heart disease.1
  • Improve cholesterol levels — Honey has been shown to help reduce LDL cholesterol levels while simultaneously helping promote healthy cholesterol levels.2,3,4,5
  • Boost antioxidant profile — Honey contains a wide range of beneficial compounds such as peptides, phenolics, enzymes and various organic acids that work together to promote health.6
  • Reduce coughing — Research has discovered that consumption of honey can reduce coughing in children.7,8
  • Promote skin health — Honey can be an effective antiseptic, especially in those who have infected skin wounds.9

The process for making honey starts with nectar from the flowers, which is broken down into simple sugars. From there, bees make the honeycomb.10 They heat their bodies to a certain temperature until the wax becomes viscous, then use surface tension to bind the hexagonal cells together in a perfect fit.11 What’s interesting about beeswax is that it may also benefit your health in various ways.

What Is Beeswax?

Beeswax is a substance produced by honeybees to make their honeycombs. Specifically, it is produced in the abdominal region of worker bees, which is then secreted into scales and shaped into hexagonal containers. This shape holds the most amount of honey while producing the least amount of wax.12

To produce a pound of beeswax, a honeybee must consume 6 to 10 pounds of honey. To extract the actual wax, the honeycomb is melted after removing the honey. Afterward, it is strained to remove impurities and the remaining honeycomb residue is pressed to extract as much wax as possible.13

Different Beeswax Uses That You Can Try

Beeswax’s diversity of applications makes it a favorite among health-conscious individuals looking for a safe, natural solution to address their various concerns. Here are some creative ways you can use beeswax:

  • Cosmetics — You can make your own soaps using beeswax as the base ingredient.14
  • Candles — It’s possible to make your own scented candles with a combination of beeswax and other natural ingredients.15
  • Topical — Beeswax can be used to create a diverse range of topical products great for promoting skin health. Examples include body butter, lip balm, lip gloss and hand lotion.16
  • Lanterns — Lanterns made from beeswax can make great home decors.17

Aside from the aforementioned applications, beeswax is used in a multitude of ways:18

Modeling clay

Diaper rash cream

Baby lotion

 Baking pan cleaner

Granite countertop polisher

Grafting wax

Furniture joint oil

Antirust protection

Iron cleaner

Published Studies Done Regarding Beeswax

Since it’s made from honey, beeswax can stand to benefit your health in various ways. Some useful applications include:

  • Fighting microbes — In a study published in Archives of Medical Research, researchers noted that beeswax, when combined with honey and olive oil, helped fight both bacteria and yeast. Specifically, the mixture was able to inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and Candida albicans yeast.19
  • Promoting liver health — Researchers discovered that alcohols contained within beeswax may help promote liver health. In the study, patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) were given a 100-milligram dose daily for 24 weeks. By the end of the research, they exhibited better insulin resistance and other improved factors.20
  • Relieving pain — Beeswax alcohols were discovered to have anti-inflammatory properties that may help benefit humans, especially those suffering from osteoarthritis. In one study, patients reported a 54.9 percent reduction in pain, along with a 76.8 percent reduction in joint stiffness during the first week of the trial alone.21
  • Lowering cholesterol levels — One study has found that the long-chain fatty acids found in beeswax may help lower plasma cholesterol levels in humans. The researchers noted that 5 to 20 milligrams a day can already lower LDL cholesterol by 21 to 29 percent, while simultaneously promoting HDL cholesterol by 8 to 15 percent.22
  • Helping treat skin disease — One study notes that the combination of honey, beeswax and olive oil can help fight common skin diseases, such as ringworm. The mixture helped inhibit the growth of the fungi, according to the researchers.23

Try Making Your Own Beeswax Soap

If you’d like to give beeswax a go, you can try making your own soap. In this recipe from The Beeswax Workshop, you’ll be creating basic beeswax soap, which is effective for all-around uses in the house:24

Homemade Beeswax Soap

Materials:

2 ounces beeswax

5.5 ounces lye

14 ounces filtered water

18 ounces coconut oil

18 ounces extra virgin olive oil

1 to 2 teaspoons of your choice of essential oil

Procedure:

1. In a well-ventilated area (while wearing safety goggles and gloves), weigh the lye. Pour the liquid into the water in a 4-cup glass measuring cup while stirring so the lye dissolves completely. Let the mixture cool to 105 degrees or 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember not to look or inhale into the lye mixture.

2. Mix the coconut oil and olive oil in a stainless steel pot and heat gently to 150 degrees Fahrenheit, then remove the pot from the heat.

3. Melt the beeswax by placing a measuring cup inside a saucepan. Pour 3 inches of water into the saucepan, and simmer until the max has melted. Remove from the heat afterward.

4. Pour a small amount of the heated oils on the beeswax, stirring to prevent it from hardening. Continue until all the oil is poured. Transfer the beeswax mixture to the warmed oil and stir well. Allow it to cool to 105 degrees to 125 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Prepare the soap molds while the lye and oil-wax mixture are cooling. Silicone molds must be supported by a tray, while wooden molds must be lined with parchment paper. For cardboard molds, they should be lined with a plastic wrap that should be supported by a sturdy tray.

6. Once the lye mixture and the oil mixture reach the optimal cooling temperature, pour the lye into the oil without splashing. Stir the mixture with an immersion blender.

7. Keep stirring until you notice the mixture traces. If you pull the blender out of the mixture and let it drip, the droplet should stay at the top. In other words, the surface of the mixture must support the droplets instead of allowing them to settle again into the container.

8. After the mixture traces, pour the essential oil of your choice. Recommendations include lavender, lemon, sweet orange, peppermint or tea tree. One to 2 teaspoons should be enough.

9. Mix the essential oils until the entire mixture develops a consistency similar to lemon curd or chilled pudding. Afterward, pour the mixture to the mold and smoothen the surface with a spatula.

10. Cover the mold with a board, and place a towel on top. Set the mold aside to complete the saponification process. As the mixture settles, the temperature will rise and when the saponification completes, the soap becomes firm and opaque. To preserve the quality of the final product, protect the bottom of the mold from excess heat. After 24 to 48 hours, the saponification process should be almost complete, with the soap having no translucent areas.

11. Remove the soap from the mold and let the saponification process complete for another three weeks. Cut the soap into twelve 4-ounce bars using gloves and stack them on a nonreactive tray to dry.

12. Set the soap aside for three weeks and package it once done. The final product has no expiry date.

What’s great about soap is that you can continue adding other ingredients to suit your needs. If you constantly get your hands dirty, such as if you fiddle with machinery, you can try this recipe for making Mechanic’s Hand Soap. The process is almost exactly the same for making basic beeswax soap, aside from containing a few additional ingredients:25

2 ounces beeswax

5.2 ounces lye

14 ounces filtered water

10 ounces coconut oil

10 ounces extra virgin olive oil

10 ounces hemp seed oil

3 ounces castor oil

3 ounces cocoa butter

2 ounces beeswax

1 tablespoon d-limonene

1 teaspoon sweet orange essential oil

5 tablespoons freshly ground coffee

4 tablespoons ground walnut shells (unpasteurized)

Note: Pour the d-limonene, essential oil, ground coffee and walnut shells after trace occurs.

Possible Substitutes for Beeswax

It’s clear that beeswax has a wide range of uses, but what if you’re not able to acquire some of your own? Fortunately, there are available substitutes that you can use in case beeswax isn’t sold in your area.

The first example is carnauba wax. Also known as Brazilian wax, this substance is derived from the carnauba tree found in the northeastern Brazilian savannas. It is regarded for its high melting temperature and hardness, and as a food-grade polish.26 One common use of carnauba wax is applying it to fresh-cut apple slices in groceries to preserve their quality and flavor.27 As a replacement to beeswax, carnauba wax can be used to create body care products.28

Another substitute for beeswax is candelilla wax, however, it is denser so you may have to adjust your recipes if you wish to use candelilla wax for your homemade body care products.29 Candelilla wax is derived from the candelilla shrubs, which are typically found in the wild in northern Mexico and Texas.30

Don’t Just Go for Honey – Try Beeswax Too

It’s clear that beeswax can benefit your life just as much as honey. If you haven’t tried beeswax before, now is the time to do so. Its numerous benefits, combined with a huge number of possible creations, should be enough to convince you that it should be a regular fixture in your home.

Frequently Asked Questions About Beeswax

Q: Is beeswax nutritious?

A: One study notes that beeswax can be good for your health, as it has potent antimicrobial applications.31

Q: Is beeswax vegan?

A: No, as it is an animal-derived product.32

Q: Where can you buy beeswax?

A: Beeswax can be conveniently purchased in stores or online. But keep in mind that it’s more important to focus on the product’s quality rather than the convenience of the location.

Q: How can you melt beeswax?

A: You can melt beeswax by placing a jar inside a pot, then simmering it gently while continuously stirring.33

Q: How is beeswax made?

A: Female worker bees produce beeswax from their bellies.34

Q: Is beeswax good for the skin?

A: Yes, it’s possible that beeswax can benefit your skin. Many homemade cosmetic products are available with beeswax as the base ingredient.35

+ Sources and References
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