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Propolis is a resin-like product from the buds of poplar and cone-bearing trees. Propolis is hardly ever readily available in its pure form. It is generally acquired from beehives and includes bee items.

Propolis has a long history of medical use, dating back to 350 b.c., the time of aristotle. Greeks have actually utilized propolis for abscesses; assyrians have used it for healing wounds and tumors; and egyptians have utilized it for mummification. It still has many medical uses today, although its effectiveness has only been shown for a number of them.

Propolis is used for canker sores and infections brought on by germs (consisting of tuberculosis), by viruses (consisting of influenza, h1n1 “swine” flu, and the cold), by fungi, and by single-celled organisms called protozoans. Propolis is also used for cancer of the nose and throat; for increasing the body immune system; and for treating intestinal (gi) problems including helicobacter pylori infection in peptic ulcer disease. Propolis is likewise used as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.

Individuals often apply propolis straight to the skin for injury cleansing, genital herpes and fever blisters; as a mouth wash for speeding healing following oral surgery; and for the treatment of minor burns.

In production, propolis is utilized as a component in cosmetics.

How does it work?

Propolis appears to have activity against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It may likewise have anti-inflammatory impacts and assist skin recover. (1 ).

Propolis qualities, source, and bioactive structure


Propolis is a lipophilic in nature, tough and breakable product and it becomes soft, flexible, gummy, and very sticky when warmed. It possesses a particular and enjoyable aromatic odor and differs in color from yellow green to red and to dark brown depending on its source and age. Depending on the origin of the resins, it also varies from yellow to dark brown. But even transparent propolis has been reported.


Propolis is a complicated mix made by bee-released and plant-derived compounds. In general, raw propolis is made up of around 50% resins, 30% waxes, 10% necessary oils, 5% pollen, and 5% of various natural compounds. More than 300 constituents were identified in various samples and brand-new ones are still being acknowledged throughout chemical characterization of new types of propolis. The percentages of the different compounds present in the propolis rely on its place and time of collection.

Many analytical approaches have actually been utilized for separation and recognition of propolis constituents and the compounds identified come from the following groups of chemically similar substances: polyphenols; benzoic acids and derivatives; cinnamic alcohol and cinnamic acid and its derivatives; sesquiterpene and triterpene hydrocarbons; benzaldehyde derivatives; other acids and respective derivatives; alcohols, ketones, and heteroaromatic substances; terpene and sesquiterpene alcohols and their derivatives; aliphatic hydrocarbons; minerals; sterols and steroid hydrocarbons; sugars and amino acids. As it may be anticipated, volatile compounds (produced by the source plants) are present in low quantities. Sugars are believed to be introduced mistakenly throughout the elaboration of propolis and/or passage of bees over the resin. Some compounds are common in all propolis samples and determine its characteristics properties.

Propolis of different origin consists of various constituents. Some constituents are present in many samples from different locations. Some constituents are present in sample from specific plant origin.

Different geographical origin of propolis sample differs with its biological activity due to different climatic conditions. The necessary principal substances responsible for biological activities are polyphenols, fragrant acids, and diterpenic acids, however very couple of different propolis types have been different in their primary bioactive substances. Various composition is also associated with specific plants of the region and treatments of basic material. (2 ).


Propolis is a natural resinous item gathered from the buds of conifers and other trees by honeybees. It is utilized by bees to seal walls and enhance combs of hives, as well as to embalm dead invaders. It is a sticky, greenish-brown mass with a small aromatic odor.


Propolis has been used as a medical agent since ancient times. It was utilized in herbal remedies as early as 300 bc for cosmetic functions, for its anti-inflammatory properties, and for injury recovery. It has been used internally and externally and is believed to possess antibacterial, antiviral, fungicidal, local anesthetic, antiulcer, anti-inflammatory, immunostimulant, hypotensive, and cytostatic homes.


The composition of propolis differs with its geographic and plant source, as well as with the collection season. The alcohol extract of propolis is called propolis wax or tincture, with the insoluble residue called propolis resin. Propolis contains 50% resin and veggie balsam, 30% wax, 10% vital and fragrant oils, 5% pollen, and 5% other substances, consisting of minerals such as magnesium, nickel, iron, calcium, and zinc.

Propolis consists of flavonoids, including quercetin, pinocembrin, galangin, and pinobanksin, along with hydroquinone, caffeic acid, and caffeic acid esters. A number of other substances have been identified in propolis from specific geographical sources. (3 ).

Propolis bioactive compounds

The chemical makeup of propolis is carefully connected to its geographical origin, plants, and the bee species. It can vary widely, even from hive to hive.

Organic propolis is generally dark brown or green in color, has a sweet smell, and is made up of:.

  • Resins (50-70%)
  • Beeswax (30-50%)
  • Pollen (5-10%)
  • Vital oils (depends upon the area, typically basil, thyme, and geranium) (5-10%)
  • Other compounds such as acids, sugars, and vitamins (b, c, and e) (5% -7%)

The main active ingredients in propolis are flavonoids such as chrysin, which are strong antioxidants that bees receive from plant and flower parts. Bees make propolis by blending their saliva with plant material, pollen, and beeswax.

Over 300 biologically active components have been recognized in propolis so far, consisting of aromatic chemicals, acids, carbs, plant oils, and vitamins (b1, b2, c, and e). Brand-new kinds of propolis are being discovered as interest grows all over the world.

Mechanism of action

  • A a great deal of bioactive and antioxidant compounds in propolis discuss its wide-ranging possible advantages. Propolis may act in the body to:
  • Kill bacteria and infections by stopping their development and spread.
  • Battle yeast infections by obstructing the growth of yeast and fungi.
  • Assist with allergic reactions by blocking the release of histamines.
  • Lower high blood pressure by reducing the activity of an enzyme (tyrosine hydroxylase) that may cause hypertension.
  • Increase bone health and assistance recover fractures by reinforcing bone density.
  • Battle cancer by obstructing the development of cancer cells and causing cell death (apoptosis).
  • Enhance tooth and oral health and neutralize cavities by killing bacteria and reducing swelling around the gums.
  • Accelerate wound recovery by promoting skin cell rejuvenation.
  • Safeguard the liver from toxins, injury, and disease.
  • Assist with diabetes by lowering blood glucose levels. (4 )

Health advantages

Although couple of clinical trials have actually checked the health effects of propolis, there’s some proof that propolis may offer certain advantages. Here’s a look at numerous key findings from the offered research studies:.

Fever blister treatment

Preliminary research study suggests that topically using propolis might help recover cold sores. In a study published in phytotherapy research study in 2010, for example, researchers found that extracts of propolis possess virus-fighting effects that may assist knock out against herpes simplex virus type 1, the virus that triggers cold sores.

Herpes treatment

Applying a propolis-based ointment might help deal with sores associated with herpes, according to a study published in phytomedicine. For the 10-day research study, 90 males and females with genital herpes utilized a lotion including flavonoids sourced from propolis, a lotion consisting of acyclovir (a drug used to lower discomfort and speed healing of herpes-related sores), or a placebo ointment.

By the research study’s end, 24 out of the 30 participants in the propolis group had actually healed (compared to 14 out of 30 in the acyclovir group and 12 out of 30 in the placebo group). Given this finding, the research study’s authors concluded that an ointment containing flavonoids sourced from propolis may be more reliable than both acyclovir and placebo ointments in healing sores associated with genital herpes.

Burn treatment

Propolis may promote the healing of minor burns, according to a research study from the journal of alternative and complementary medicine. For the study, scientists compared the impacts of a propolis-based skin cream with those of silver sulfadiazine, a drug frequently used in the treatment of 2nd- and third-degree burns, in clients with second-degree burns.

Research study results showed that propolis and silver sulfadiazine were likewise efficient in the treatment of burns. What’s more, propolis appeared to use higher anti-inflammatory benefits than silver sulfadiazine did.

Gastrointestinal disorders

Research study suggests propolis can help treat food poisonings, including ulcerative colitis, gastrointestinal cancers, and ulcers. Components in propolis, consisting of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (cape), artepillin c, kaempferol, and galangin, have actually been revealed to successfully get rid of pathogens, including h. Pylori. The research study, nevertheless, is restricted to animal studies and cell cultures.

Cavity control

Propolis may help fight cavities, a research study from biological & & pharmaceutical bulletin programs. In lab research, researchers discovered that compounds found in propolis helped hinder the growth of streptococcus mutans, an oral bacteria known to contribute to the development of cavities.

The research study suggests that propolis may also assist stop streptococcus mutans from staying with the teeth.

Diabetes management

Findings from animal-based research study suggest that propolis may aid in the treatment of diabetes. In a 2005 study published in pharmacological research study, for example, tests on diabetic rats exposed that treatment with propolis assisted lower blood glucose levels and reduce cholesterol. These outcomes have actually not be reproduced in human studies, nevertheless. (5 ).


The antioxidants in propolis might work to minimize swelling, such as the swelling that arthritis causes.

Animal studies have evaluated propolis as an anti-inflammatory agent in rats and mice with arthritis. In both research studies, the propolis inhibited swelling and appeared to have an effect on how the swelling established.

Scientists think that propolis may manage inflammatory substances in the body, such as prostaglandins.


One 2020 research study in the journal phytotherapy research argues that propolis’s antiviral properties may imply that it works against sars-cov-2. This is the coronavirus that causes covid-19.

Previous laboratory research studies have revealed that propolis exhibits antiviral activity against other types of infection, consisting of:.

  • Rhinoviruses
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Breathing syncytial virus

Propolis likewise appears to assist stimulate the immune system. For these reasons, the researchers suggest that propolis may assist with preventing sars-cov-2 infection.

However, while scientific trials on propolis’s ability to prevent covid-19 are underway, there is presently no proof to suggest that it is effective for this purpose.

Allergic reactions

One study in the journal oxidative medication and cellular durability keeps in mind that propolis consists of substances that might have an anti-allergy result in the body.

Some people might feel a benefit from using propolis for this purpose. Nevertheless, there is very little clinical evidence to show that propolis can help reduce allergic reaction symptoms. (6 ).


Propolis does have actually shown antibiotic and antiseptic properties and may likewise have antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects. I consider it safe and helpful as a natural home remedy. You can find it in different types in organic food shops or get the raw stuff from beekeepers. I suggest it as a great topical treatment for straightforward injuries and, when used as a gargle or in spray type, as a remedy for sores and irritations in the mouth. I utilize propolis in tincture type to treat canker sores and sore throats.

If you have had an allergic or hypersensitivity response to bee stings or bee items (consisting of honey), you could react to propolis in the same way. A history of reactions to black popular, poplar bud, or balsam of peru might also suggest threat of responses to propolis. In some individuals, regular use of propolis can also lead to reactions, such as swelling, fluid collection, inflammation, burning, eczema and fever. (7 ).

Does propolis have adverse effects?

Propolis usually has few adverse effects. The adverse effects that occur can be seen in a restricted number of individuals and are also frequently moderate in nature. For instance, approximately one in 2,000 individuals is stated to experience side effects. These people are hypersensitive to propolis itself and to the items that contain propolis. Research reveals that nausea was the most frequently mentioned side effect. It likewise appears that problems can increase at the start of use and that is not always a bad indication. This may be due to the fact that your body is not used to the substance. If the reaction has gone away, you can pick to take the substance once again and you may see that your body responds well to the propolis.

There are a variety of side effects of propolis that can happen in the restricted variety of individuals:.

  • Worsening pre-existing symptoms
  • Headache or dizziness
  • An unusual feeling and or rough sensation in the mouth
  • A burning feeling in the esophagus
  • Have to go to the toilet regularly to pee
  • Individuals who report having side effects from propolis are not just talking about negative effects. There are likewise useful negative effects that can occur. It is said that you have a higher energy level, prolonged fatigue can vanish and pimples can disappear.

Can you have a propolis allergy?

There are people who can be adverse propolis and the items that contain propolis. The allergy to propolis is uncommon. It ends up that about 1.3% of the population has a propolis allergy. Fortunately, the allergic reaction signs are generally not that bad. Regrettably, you will not learn till you have actually used the product. If you are allergic, there might be bumps, red areas and itchy areas on the skin (external use). The substance can also cause an unpleasant sensation in the throat (internal use). Are you allergic to other compounds, such as balsam of peru? Then there is a higher opportunity that you are allergic to propolis.

There are various propolis products available. To inspect whether you dislike propolis, it is best to select propolis lotion orpropolis drops to utilize. You can put a couple of drops or a little ointment on your forearm or wrist right before going to bed. If you have done this, throughout the night or absolutely nothing at all or red spots appear that can itch. The next day you will know if you dislike propolis. If it turns out that you are allergic, it is not recommended to utilize propolis. If in doubt or if you have health problems, it is suggested to consult your doctor.

Is propolis hazardous?

Propolis can be hazardous for people who have asthma and are allergic to propolis. If you have asthma and are unsure if you are allergic to propolis, it is recommended that you take the compound under the guidance of a physician. It is also suggested not to take propolis before or after surgery. Medical professionals indicate not to take propolis 2 weeks prior to and 2 weeks after. Propolis can impact blood clotting. Additionally, propolis is likewise not recommended for people with major heart issues and kidney failure. Even if you have an allergy to bee products and honey, it is obviously not suggested to utilize propolis. If this does not apply to you, then propolis can do little harm. The side effects are not serious and the allergies are frustrating but not unsafe either. If you are not exactly sure whether propolis is dangerous for you, it is smart to call your physician.

Propolis suitable for kids?

It is also important for kids to do an allergic reaction test. It is best to do this with the lotion or the drops and place it on the skin in a small amount. It is also wise to buy drops in basic, due to the fact that tablets and pills are typically too big for kids. It is stated that children from the age of 3 are permitted to take propolis internally.

Can propolis be utilized with other medicines?

Formally, propolis is not a drug, due to the fact that it does not fulfill the requirements of a pharmaceutical drug. It should have a repaired structure. Propolis is a natural product, so it has no set composition. Propolis can be used all at once with antibiotic. It even ends up that these 2 substances enhance each other. If you are unsure whether you can use propolis with other medications, please contact your medical professional initially. (8 ).

Finest methods to utilize propolis

The advised daily intake quantity of propolis is 400 to 500 mg. You may take propolis by mouth after diluting it with water or as an oral supplement. Also, propolis is in numerous creams, ointments, mouthwashes, and cosmetics. (9 ).

Is it safe?

When taken by mouth: propolis is perhaps safe when used appropriately. It can trigger allergic reactions, particularly in people who dislike other bee products. Lozenges including propolis can trigger inflammation and mouth ulcers.

When applied to the skin: propolis is possibly safe when utilized appropriately. It can cause allergic reactions, specifically in individuals who dislike other bee products.

Unique preventative measures & cautions

Pregnancy: there isn’t sufficient trustworthy details to understand if propolis is safe to use when pregnant. Remain on the safe side and avoid usage.

Breast-feeding: propolis is perhaps safe when taken by mouth while breastfeeding. Doses of 300 mg daily for approximately 10 months have actually been utilized safely. Stay on the safe side and avoid higher dosages when breast-feeding.

Bleeding conditions: a particular chemical in propolis may slow blood clot. Taking propolis may increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Allergic reactions: some propolis items might be contaminated with bee by-products. Use propolis with care if you dislike bee byproducts.

Surgery: a certain chemical in propolis may slow blood clotting. Taking propolis might increase the danger of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop taking propolis 2 weeks before surgical treatment.

Exist interactions with herbs and supplements?

Herbs and supplements that may slow blood clot.

Propolis may slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. Taking it with other supplements with similar impacts may increase the risk of bleeding in some individuals. Examples of supplements with this result consist of garlic, ginger, ginkgo, nattokinase, and panax ginseng. (10 ).


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