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Propolis is a resin-like material from the buds of poplar and cone-bearing trees. Propolis is rarely offered in its pure type. It is generally acquired from beehives and includes bee items.

Propolis has a long history of medicinal usage, dating back to 350 b.c., the time of aristotle. Greeks have used propolis for abscesses; assyrians have used it for recovery injuries and tumors; and egyptians have utilized it for mummification. It still has lots of medicinal usages today, although its effectiveness has actually only been shown for a couple of them.

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

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

In manufacturing, 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 heal. (1 ).

Propolis characteristics, source, and bioactive structure


Propolis is a lipophilic in nature, tough and brittle product and it becomes soft, pliable, gummy, and extremely sticky when heated. It has a particular and pleasant fragrant 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 actually been reported.


Propolis is a complex mixture made by bee-released and plant-derived compounds. 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 throughout chemical characterization of new kinds of propolis. The percentages of the different compounds present in the propolis rely on its place and time of collection.

Numerous analytical techniques have been utilized for separation and identification of propolis constituents and the substances identified belong to the following groups of chemically comparable substances: 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 substances; terpene and sesquiterpene alcohols and their derivatives; aliphatic hydrocarbons; minerals; sterols and steroid hydrocarbons; sugars and amino acids. As it may be expected, unpredictable compounds (produced by the source plants) exist in low quantities. Sugars are believed to be presented accidentally throughout the elaboration of propolis and/or passage of bees over the resin. Some compounds are common in all propolis samples and identify its qualities homes.

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

Different geographical origin of propolis sample varies with its biological activity due to various climatic conditions. The essential primary substances responsible for biological activities are polyphenols, aromatic acids, and diterpenic acids, however really few various propolis types have been different in their main bioactive substances. Various composition is likewise related to specific plants of the region and treatments of raw material. (2 ).


Propolis is a natural resinous product gathered from the buds of conifers and other trees by honeybees. It is used 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 fragrant smell.


Propolis has actually been utilized as a medical representative because ancient times. It was utilized in folk medicine as early as 300 bc for cosmetic functions, for its anti-inflammatory homes, and for injury healing. It has been used internally and externally and is thought to possess antibacterial, antiviral, fungicidal, local anesthetic, antiulcer, anti-inflammatory, immunostimulant, hypotensive, and cytostatic homes.


The structure of propolis differs with its geographic and plant source, in addition to 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% necessary and fragrant oils, 5% pollen, and 5% other substances, including minerals such as magnesium, nickel, iron, calcium, and zinc.

Propolis contains flavonoids, including quercetin, pinocembrin, galangin, and pinobanksin, in addition to hydroquinone, caffeic acid, and caffeic acid esters. A variety of other compounds have been determined in propolis from particular geographical sources. (3 ).

Propolis bioactive compounds

The chemical makeup of propolis is closely connected to its geographical origin, plants, and the bee types. It can vary commonly, even from hive to hive.

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

  • Resins (50-70%)
  • Beeswax (30-50%)
  • Pollen (5-10%)
  • Necessary oils (depends on the region, generally 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 get from plant and flower parts. Bees make propolis by mixing their saliva with plant material, pollen, and beeswax.

Over 300 biologically active components have actually been recognized in propolis so far, including aromatic chemicals, acids, carbs, plant oils, and vitamins (b1, b2, c, and e). New kinds of propolis are being found as interest grows worldwide.

Mechanism of action

  • A large number of bioactive and antioxidant substances in propolis describe its extensive potential advantages. Propolis might act in the body to:
  • Eliminate bacteria and viruses by stopping their growth and spread.
  • Fight yeast infections by obstructing the development of yeast and fungi.
  • Assist with allergies by blocking the release of histamines.
  • Lower blood pressure by reducing the activity of an enzyme (tyrosine hydroxylase) that might trigger high blood pressure.
  • Increase bone health and help recover fractures by strengthening bone density.
  • Battle cancer by blocking the growth 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.
  • Accelerate wound recovery by promoting skin cell rejuvenation.
  • Secure the liver from contaminants, injury, and illness.
  • Aid with diabetes by decreasing blood glucose levels. (4 )

Health advantages

Although few clinical trials have actually evaluated the health impacts of propolis, there’s some evidence that propolis might provide particular advantages. Here’s a look at several essential findings from the readily available studies:.

Cold sore treatment

Preliminary research study suggests that topically applying propolis might help heal fever blisters. In a study released in phytotherapy research study in 2010, for instance, researchers found that extracts of propolis possess virus-fighting impacts that may assist knock out versus herpes simplex virus type 1, the virus that causes cold sores.

Genital herpes treatment

Using a propolis-based lotion may help treat sores connected to genital herpes, according to a study released in phytomedicine. For the 10-day study, 90 men and women with herpes utilized a lotion including flavonoids sourced from propolis, a lotion consisting of acyclovir (a substance abuse to decrease pain and speed recovery of herpes-related sores), or a placebo lotion.

By the study’s end, 24 out of the 30 participants in the propolis group had recovered (compared to 14 out of 30 in the acyclovir group and 12 out of 30 in the placebo group). Given this finding, the study’s authors concluded that a lotion consisting of flavonoids sourced from propolis might be more reliable than both acyclovir and placebo lotions in recovery sores related to genital herpes.

Burn treatment

Propolis might promote the healing of small burns, according to a research study from the journal of option and complementary medication. For the study, researchers compared the effects 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 clients 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 provide higher anti-inflammatory benefits than silver sulfadiazine did.

Food poisonings

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

Cavity control

Propolis might assist fight cavities, a research study from biological & & pharmaceutical bulletin shows. In laboratory research, researchers found that compounds found in propolis helped inhibit the growth of streptococcus mutans, an oral germs known to add to the development of cavities.

The study suggests that propolis may also assist stop streptococcus mutans from sticking to the teeth.

Diabetes management

Findings from animal-based research study show that propolis might aid in the treatment of diabetes. In a 2005 study published in pharmacological research, for instance, tests on diabetic rats revealed that treatment with propolis assisted lower blood glucose levels and reduce cholesterol. These results have actually not be duplicated in human studies, however. (5 ).


The anti-oxidants in propolis might work to minimize swelling, such as the inflammation that arthritis causes.

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

Scientists believe that propolis might control inflammatory compounds in the body, such as prostaglandins.


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

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

  • Rhinoviruses
  • Influenza (influenza)
  • Breathing syncytial virus

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

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


One study in the journal oxidative medication and cellular durability notes that propolis contains substances that might have an anti-allergy impact in the body.

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


Propolis does have proven antibiotic and antiseptic homes and may likewise have antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects. I consider it safe and beneficial as a home remedy. You can discover it in various kinds in natural food shops or get the raw things from beekeepers. I suggest it as a good topical treatment for straightforward injuries and, when utilized as a gargle or in spray type, as a remedy for sores and inflammations in the mouth. I utilize propolis in tincture form 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 may also indicate danger of responses to propolis. In some individuals, regular use of propolis can likewise lead to reactions, such as swelling, fluid collection, soreness, burning, eczema and fever. (7 ).

Does propolis have side effects?

Propolis typically has couple of adverse effects. The negative effects that take place can be seen in a limited number of people and are likewise often mild in nature. For instance, approximately one in 2,000 people is said to experience side effects. These people are hypersensitive to propolis itself and to the products that contain propolis. Research study reveals that queasiness was the most frequently pointed out adverse effects. It likewise appears that problems can increase at the beginning of use and that is not always a bad sign. This might be because of the fact that your body is not utilized to the substance. If the reaction has decreased, you can choose to take the compound again and you might see that your body reacts well to the propolis.

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

  • Worsening pre-existing symptoms
  • Headache or lightheadedness
  • A weird sensation and or rough sensation in the mouth
  • A burning feeling in the esophagus
  • Have to go to the toilet more often to pee
  • The people who report having side effects from propolis are not simply talking about unfavorable adverse effects. There are likewise useful negative effects that can happen. It is said that you have a greater energy level, prolonged fatigue can vanish and pimples can disappear.

Can you have a propolis allergy?

There are individuals who can be adverse propolis and the products which contain propolis. The allergy to propolis is uncommon. It turns out that about 1.3% of the population has a propolis allergy. Fortunately, the allergy symptoms are normally not that bad. Sadly, you will not learn till you have actually utilized the product. If you are allergic, there may be bumps, red spots and itchy areas on the skin (external use). The compound can also trigger an unpleasant feeling in the throat (internal usage). Are you allergic to other substances, such as balsam of peru? Then there is a higher opportunity that you are allergic to propolis.

There are different propolis products offered. To inspect whether you are allergic to propolis, it is best to select propolis lotion orpropolis drops to utilize. You can put a few drops or a little lotion on your lower arm or wrist just before going to bed. If you have actually done this, during the night or nothing at all or red areas appear that can itch. The next day you will understand if you are allergic to propolis. If it ends up that you are allergic, it is not advised to utilize propolis. If in doubt or if you have illness, it is advised to consult your medical professional.

Is propolis dangerous?

Propolis can be harmful for people who have asthma and dislike propolis. If you have asthma and are not sure if you are allergic to propolis, it is advised that you take the substance under the guidance of a medical professional. It is also recommended not to take propolis prior to or after surgery. Medical professionals indicate not to take propolis 2 weeks prior to and 2 weeks after. Propolis can affect blood clotting. Furthermore, propolis is also not suggested for people with major heart issues and kidney failure. Even if you have an allergy to bee items and honey, it is naturally not suggested to use propolis. If this does not apply to you, then propolis can do little harm. The adverse effects are not serious and the allergic reactions are irritating but not dangerous either. If you are uncertain whether propolis threatens for you, it is smart to call your medical professional.

Propolis suitable for children?

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

Can propolis be utilized with other medicines?

Officially, propolis is not a drug, due to the fact that it does not meet the requirements of a pharmaceutical drug. It needs to have a fixed structure. Propolis is a natural product, so it has no fixed composition. Propolis can be used all at once with antibiotic. It even ends up that these 2 compounds enhance each other. If you are not sure whether you can use propolis with other medications, please check with your doctor initially. (8 ).

Best ways to use 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. Likewise, propolis is in numerous creams, lotions, mouthwashes, and cosmetics. (9 ).

Is it safe?

When taken by mouth: propolis is perhaps safe when utilized appropriately. It can cause allergies, specifically in individuals who are allergic to other bee products. Lozenges consisting of propolis can cause irritation and mouth ulcers.

When applied to the skin: propolis is potentially safe when used appropriately. It can cause allergies, particularly in people who dislike other bee items.

Special safety measures & warnings

Pregnancy: there isn’t sufficient reputable info to understand if propolis is safe to utilize when pregnant. Stay on the safe side and prevent usage.

Breast-feeding: propolis is potentially safe when taken by mouth while breastfeeding. Dosages of 300 mg daily for up to 10 months have been used securely. Stay on the safe side and prevent higher doses when breast-feeding.

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

Allergic reactions: some propolis products might be infected with bee by-products. Usage propolis with care if you are allergic to bee byproducts.

Surgical treatment: a specific chemical in propolis might slow blood clot. Taking propolis may increase the threat of bleeding throughout and after surgery. Stop taking propolis 2 weeks before surgery.

Exist interactions with herbs and supplements?

Herbs and supplements that might slow blood clot.

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


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