Cera alba

From WikiMD's Wellness Encyclopedia

Cera alba is the scientific name for beeswax, a natural wax produced by honey bees. The term "cera alba" is Latin for "white wax", referring to its color after purification.

Production[edit | edit source]

Honey bees produce cera alba in their bee hives. Worker bees have a special gland in their abdomen that secretes the wax into small flakes or scales. Bees use this wax to construct the walls of their honeycomb cells, where they store honey and pollen, and where the queen bee lays her eggs.

Characteristics[edit | edit source]

Cera alba is initially transparent and colorless. It gets its characteristic yellow or brown color from the pollen and propolis (bee glue) that bees mix with the wax. After purification, which involves heating and straining the wax, it becomes white and is known as cera alba.

Cera alba is known for its high melting point, between 62 and 64 degrees Celsius. It is also virtually insoluble in water but can be dissolved in fats, oils, and certain solvents.

Uses[edit | edit source]

Cera alba has a wide range of uses. In cosmetics, it is used as a thickening agent, emulsifier, and humectant. It is also used in the production of candles, in encaustic painting, in food as a glazing agent, and in the pharmaceutical industry for coating tablets.

In traditional medicine, cera alba has been used for its supposed healing and anti-inflammatory properties. However, scientific evidence to support these claims is limited.

Environmental Impact[edit | edit source]

The production of cera alba has a minimal environmental impact as it is a renewable resource. However, the health of bees and their ability to produce wax is threatened by factors such as pesticides, climate change, and diseases.

See Also[edit | edit source]

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD