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Propolis is a resin-like material from the buds of poplar and cone-bearing trees. Propolis is hardly ever offered in its pure form. It is usually gotten from beehives and includes bee products.

Propolis has a long history of medical use, going back to 350 b.c., the time of aristotle. Greeks have actually used propolis for abscesses; assyrians have used it for recovery injuries and growths; and egyptians have utilized it for mummification. It still has many medical usages today, although its efficiency has just been shown for a couple of them.

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

People in some cases use propolis straight to the skin for wound cleansing, herpes and cold sores; as a mouth wash for speeding recovery following oral surgery; and for the treatment of minor burns.

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

How does it work?

Propolis appears to have activity versus bacteria, infections, and fungi. It might likewise have anti-inflammatory results and help skin heal. (1 ).

Propolis characteristics, source, and bioactive structure


Propolis is a lipophilic in nature, difficult and brittle material and it becomes soft, pliable, gummy, and very sticky when heated. It possesses a particular and enjoyable fragrant smell and differs in color from yellow green to red and to dark brown depending upon its source and age. Depending on the origin of the resins, it likewise varies from yellow to dark brown. However even transparent propolis has been reported.


Propolis is an intricate mixture made by bee-released and plant-derived substances. In general, raw propolis is made up of around 50% resins, 30% waxes, 10% essential oils, 5% pollen, and 5% of various natural compounds. More than 300 constituents were determined in different samples and new ones are still being acknowledged during chemical characterization of new kinds of propolis. The proportions of the various substances present in the propolis rely on its place and time of collection.

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

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

Various geographical origin of propolis sample varies with its biological activity due to various climatic conditions. The important principal compounds responsible for biological activities are polyphenols, fragrant acids, and diterpenic acids, but extremely couple of various propolis types have been different in their main bioactive substances. Different composition is likewise related to specific flora of the area and treatments of raw material. (2 ).


Propolis is a natural resinous product collected from the buds of conifers and other trees by honeybees. It is used by bees to seal walls and strengthen combs of hives, in addition to embalm dead intruders. It is a sticky, greenish-brown mass with a small fragrant odor.


Propolis has been utilized as a medicinal representative given that ancient times. It was utilized in folk medicine as early as 300 bc for cosmetic purposes, for its anti-inflammatory homes, and for wound healing. It has been used internally and externally and is believed to possess antibacterial, antiviral, fungicidal, local anesthetic, antiulcer, anti-inflammatory, immunostimulant, hypotensive, and cytostatic properties.


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 cast, with the insoluble residue known as propolis resin. Propolis contains 50% resin and veggie balsam, 30% wax, 10% essential and fragrant oils, 5% pollen, and 5% other compounds, consisting of minerals such as magnesium, nickel, iron, calcium, and zinc.

Propolis consists of flavonoids, including quercetin, pinocembrin, galangin, and pinobanksin, as well as hydroquinone, caffeic acid, and caffeic acid esters. A variety of other substances have been determined in propolis from particular geographical sources. (3 ).

Propolis bioactive compounds

The chemical makeup of propolis is carefully linked to its geographical origin, flora, and the bee species. It can vary extensively, even from hive to hive.

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

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

The main active components in propolis are flavonoids such as chrysin, which are strong anti-oxidants that bees obtain from plant and flower parts. Bees make propolis by mixing their saliva with plant product, pollen, and beeswax.

Over 300 biologically active ingredients have actually been determined in propolis so far, including aromatic chemicals, acids, carbs, plant oils, and vitamins (b1, b2, c, and e). New types of propolis are being found as interest grows all over the world.

Mechanism of action

  • A a great deal of bioactive and antioxidant substances in propolis explain its comprehensive possible benefits. Propolis may act in the body to:
  • Eliminate bacteria and infections by stopping their development and spread.
  • Fight yeast infections by blocking the growth of yeast and fungus.
  • Help with allergies by blocking the release of histamines.
  • Lower high blood pressure by lowering the activity of an enzyme (tyrosine hydroxylase) that might cause high blood pressure.
  • Boost bone health and help heal fractures by strengthening bone density.
  • Battle cancer by blocking the development of cancer cells and causing cell death (apoptosis).
  • Boost tooth and oral health and reduce the effects of cavities by eliminating bacteria and decreasing swelling around the gums.
  • Speed up injury healing by promoting skin cell rejuvenation.
  • Safeguard the liver from contaminants, injury, and illness.
  • Assist with diabetes by decreasing blood sugar level levels. (4 )

Health advantages

Although couple of clinical trials have actually tested the health results of propolis, there’s some evidence that propolis may offer certain advantages. Here’s a look at a number of crucial findings from the readily available studies:.

Fever blister treatment

Preliminary research recommends that topically using propolis might help heal fever blisters. In a research study released in phytotherapy research study in 2010, for instance, scientists discovered that extracts of propolis have virus-fighting effects that may help knock out against herpes simplex infection type 1, the infection that triggers fever blisters.

Herpes treatment

Using a propolis-based ointment might assist treat sores associated with herpes, according to a study released 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 containing acyclovir (a substance abuse to reduce discomfort and speed healing of herpes-related sores), or a placebo lotion.

By the research study’s end, 24 out of the 30 individuals in the propolis group had healed (compared to 14 out of 30 in the acyclovir group and 12 out of 30 in the placebo group). Provided this finding, the study’s authors concluded that an ointment consisting of flavonoids sourced from propolis may be more reliable than both acyclovir and placebo lotions in recovery sores related to genital herpes.

Burn treatment

Propolis might promote the recovery of minor burns, according to a study from the journal of alternative and complementary medication. For the study, researchers compared the results of a propolis-based skin cream with those of silver sulfadiazine, a drug commonly used in the treatment of 2nd- and third-degree burns, in patients with second-degree burns.

Research study results revealed that propolis and silver sulfadiazine were similarly reliable in the treatment of burns. What’s more, propolis appeared to offer higher anti-inflammatory advantages than silver sulfadiazine did.

Gastrointestinal disorders

Research recommends propolis can help treat food poisonings, consisting of ulcerative colitis, intestinal cancers, and ulcers. Elements in propolis, including caffeic acid phenethyl ester (cape), artepillin c, kaempferol, and galangin, have been shown to efficiently get rid of pathogens, consisting of h. Pylori. The research, nevertheless, is restricted to animal studies and cell cultures.

Cavity control

Propolis may help battle cavities, a study from biological & & pharmaceutical publication programs. In laboratory research, researchers found that substances discovered in propolis helped hinder the growth of streptococcus mutans, an oral germs known to contribute to the development of cavities.

The study recommends that propolis might also assist stop streptococcus mutans from sticking to the teeth.

Diabetes management

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


The antioxidants in propolis may work to decrease inflammation, such as the inflammation that arthritis causes.

Animal studies have actually evaluated propolis as an anti-inflammatory representative in rats and mice with arthritis. In both studies, the propolis prevented swelling and appeared to have an influence on how the inflammation developed.

Researchers think that propolis might manage inflammatory substances in the body, such as prostaglandins.


One 2020 study in the journal phytotherapy research argues that propolis’s antiviral homes might suggest that it works against sars-cov-2. This is the coronavirus that triggers covid-19.

Previous laboratory research studies have revealed that propolis shows antiviral activity versus other kinds of virus, consisting of:.

  • Rhinoviruses
  • Influenza (influenza)
  • Respiratory syncytial virus

Propolis also appears to help stimulate the body immune system. For these factors, the scientists suggest that propolis may aid with avoiding sars-cov-2 infection.

Nevertheless, while clinical trials on propolis’s ability to prevent covid-19 are underway, there is presently no proof to recommend that it is effective for this function.

Allergic reactions

One study in the journal oxidative medication and cellular longevity keeps in mind that propolis contains substances that might have an anti-allergy effect in the body.

Some individuals might feel a take advantage of utilizing propolis for this function. However, there is not much scientific proof to prove that propolis can help in reducing allergic reaction symptoms. (6 ).


Propolis does have actually shown antibiotic and antibacterial properties and might likewise have antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects. I consider it safe and useful as a natural home remedy. You can discover it in numerous types in natural food stores or get the raw stuff from beekeepers. I recommend it as a great topical treatment for straightforward wounds and, when utilized as a gargle or in spray form, as a treatment for sores and irritations in the mouth. I use propolis in cast type to treat canker sores and sore throats.

If you have had an allergic or hypersensitivity response to bee stings or bee products (including honey), you could respond to propolis in the same way. A history of responses to black popular, poplar bud, or balsam of peru might likewise indicate danger of reactions to propolis. In some people, regular use of propolis can also result in reactions, such as swelling, fluid collection, redness, burning, eczema and fever. (7 ).

Does propolis have adverse effects?

Propolis normally has couple of negative effects. The adverse effects that take place can be seen in a restricted variety of people and are also typically mild in nature. For example, approximately one in 2,000 individuals is said to experience negative effects. These people are hypersensitive to propolis itself and to the items which contain propolis. Research study reveals that queasiness was the most frequently mentioned adverse effects. It also appears that problems can increase at the start of use which is not always a bad sign. This might be because of the fact that your body is not utilized to the compound. If the response has actually decreased, you can pick to take the compound again and you might see that your body reacts well to the propolis.

There are a number of adverse effects of propolis that can happen in the minimal number of individuals:.

  • Worsening pre-existing signs
  • Headache or lightheadedness
  • A weird sensation and or rough sensation in the mouth
  • A burning sensation in the esophagus
  • Need to go to the toilet more frequently to pee
  • The people who report having adverse effects from propolis are not simply discussing unfavorable side effects. There are also helpful side effects that can occur. It is stated that you have a higher energy level, extended tiredness can vanish and pimples can disappear.

Can you have a propolis allergy?

There are individuals who can be allergic to propolis and the products that contain propolis. The allergy to propolis is rare. It ends up that about 1.3% of the population has a propolis allergic reaction. Fortunately, the allergy signs are typically not that bad. Unfortunately, you will not find out till you have actually utilized the product. If you are allergic, there might be bumps, red areas and itchy areas on the skin (external usage). The compound can likewise cause an unpleasant feeling in the throat (internal usage). Are you allergic to other substances, such as balsam of peru? Then there is a greater possibility that you are allergic to propolis.

There are different propolis products available. To check whether you are allergic to propolis, it is best to select propolis ointment orpropolis drops to utilize. You can put a couple of drops or a little ointment on your forearm or wrist just before going to bed. If you have done this, during the night or absolutely nothing at all or red areas appear that can itch. The next day you will understand if you dislike propolis. If it turns out that you are allergic, it is not advised to utilize propolis. If in doubt or if you have illness, it is recommended to consult your doctor.

Is propolis harmful?

Propolis can be hazardous for people who have asthma and dislike propolis. If you have asthma and are not exactly sure if you dislike propolis, it is suggested that you take the compound under the supervision of a medical professional. It is also suggested not to take propolis before or after surgical treatment. Medical professionals show not to take propolis 2 weeks prior to and 2 weeks after. Propolis can affect blood clot. Additionally, propolis is likewise not suggested for individuals with severe heart issues and kidney failure. Even if you have an allergy to bee products and honey, it is of course not recommended to utilize propolis. If this does not apply to you, then propolis can do little damage. The side effects are not serious and the allergies are frustrating but not unsafe either. If you are not sure whether propolis is dangerous for you, it is a good idea to call your doctor.

Propolis ideal for children?

It is also important for kids to do an allergy test. It is best to do this with the ointment or the drops and place it on the skin in a small amount. It is also a good idea to acquire drops in general, since tablets and capsules are often too big for children. It is stated that children from the age of 3 are enabled to take propolis internally.

Can propolis be used with other medications?

Officially, propolis is not a drug, because it does not meet the requirements of a pharmaceutical drug. It must have a fixed structure. Propolis is a natural item, so it has no set structure. Propolis can be used concurrently with antibiotic. It even ends up that these 2 substances strengthen each other. If you are uncertain whether you can use propolis with other medications, please contact your medical professional first. (8 ).

Best ways to utilize propolis

The advised day-to-day intake amount of propolis is 400 to 500 mg. You might take propolis by mouth after diluting it with water or as an oral supplement. Also, propolis remains in many creams, lotions, mouthwashes, and cosmetics. (9 ).

Is it safe?

When taken by mouth: propolis is possibly safe when utilized appropriately. It can trigger allergies, specifically in individuals who dislike other bee items. Lozenges consisting of propolis can trigger irritation and mouth ulcers.

When applied to the skin: propolis is possibly safe when utilized appropriately. It can trigger allergic reactions, particularly in individuals who are allergic to other bee items.

Special preventative measures & warnings

Pregnancy: there isn’t enough trustworthy information to know if propolis is safe to use when pregnant. Remain on the safe side and avoid usage.

Breast-feeding: propolis is possibly safe when taken by mouth while breastfeeding. Dosages of 300 mg daily for up to 10 months have actually been used safely. Remain on the safe side and avoid greater dosages when breast-feeding.

Bleeding conditions: a particular chemical in propolis might slow blood clotting. Taking propolis may increase the threat of bleeding in people with bleeding conditions.

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

Surgical treatment: a certain chemical in propolis might slow blood clotting. Taking propolis may increase the threat of bleeding during and after surgical treatment. Stop taking propolis 2 weeks prior to surgery.

Are there interactions with herbs and supplements?

Herbs and supplements that might slow blood clot.

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


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