TV reporter Melike Ayan grimaced to herself during an on-air interview.
“I must sound like Donald Duck!” she worried. “What was the last question I asked?” The 49-year-old couldn’t remember, as the congested sound of her own voice had been echoing in her head, making it impossible to focus.
“I should have never run that 5K,” Melike chided herself. She had inhaled so much pollen during the race that her usually mild hay fever had turned severe, leading to months of extreme congestion, killer sinus headaches, sinusitis and rhinitis. Her voice had also grown so squeaky and nasal that the job she loved had turned into a source of dread. And despite intensive testing (including a painful rhinoscopy), taking time off to rest her voice and various forms of medication, nothing seemed to give.
“It’s called chronic sinus disease,” her doctor told her after conducting a CT scan, which showed her maxillary sinuses were completely clogged. Worse still, there was no cure, only a patchwork of inhalers and drugs that ultimately proved ineffective. All at once, Melike found herself out of options and unsure of where else to turn.
A Sweet Solution
One day, serendipity stepped in. As it happened, Melike also owned a consulting company, Mel Strategies, and during a business conference she met the creators of Bee and You, a line of products that uses healing substances made by bees. “Honey isn’t the only beneficial thing bees produce,” representatives told her. “Bees also make a natural resin called propolis, comprised of tree sap, bee discharges and beeswax that the insects use to build their hives and protect their queen bee.” Melike also learned that a flavonoid compound in propolis, called pinocembrin, boasts natural antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties and has been used to fight infection and aid in healing for centuries.
Melike had heard of bee pollen being a popular folk remedy, but she’d never heard of propolis. “Couldn’t hurt to try it for my sinuses,” she thought, feeling a spark of hope.
Melike bought ultra-strength Bee and You Royal Jelly Propolis Bee Pollen (Buy on Amazon, $18.99), and began taking two a day in March of last year, preferring their sweet flavor to the nasal and throat sprays. In no time, Melike was amazed that her voice was returning to normal as her stuffiness and headaches slowly disappeared. Bit by bit, her senses of smell and taste returned, and within a few weeks, her breathing had normalized and her voice was no longer echoing in her head.
Today, Melike is back to her old self — and feels better than ever. “The doctor couldn’t believe my follow-up CT scan!” she smiles. “The propolis melted the dried up mucus in my forehead and under my eyes — it was like a miracle. I feel 100 percent better, and though I don’t sound nasal or deal with headaches like I used to, I keep taking propolis as a preventative. It not only restored my health, but it gave me my confidence back too!”
Note: If you’re allergic to bee stings or bee products (or are pregnant or nursing), consult your doctor before using propolis.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.