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 typically acquired from beehives and consists of bee products.

Propolis has a long history of medicinal usage, going back to 350 b.c., the time of aristotle. Greeks have used propolis for abscesses; assyrians have utilized it for healing injuries and growths; and egyptians have used it for mummification. It still has many medical usages 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 (including tuberculosis), by viruses (including flu, h1n1 “swine” influenza, and the cold), by fungus, and by single-celled organisms called protozoans. Propolis is likewise utilized for cancer of the nose and throat; for increasing the body immune system; and for treating gastrointestinal (gi) problems consisting of helicobacter pylori infection in peptic ulcer disease. Propolis is also utilized as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory representative.

Individuals in some cases apply propolis straight to the skin for injury cleaning, genital herpes and fever blisters; as a mouth rinse for speeding healing following oral surgery; and for the treatment of minor burns.

In manufacturing, propolis is used as an ingredient in cosmetics.

How does it work?

Propolis appears to have activity versus bacteria, infections, and fungi. It might likewise have anti-inflammatory effects 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, flexible, gummy, and really sticky when warmed. 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 upon the origin of the resins, it also varies from yellow to dark brown. However even transparent propolis has actually been reported.


Propolis is an intricate mixture made by bee-released and plant-derived substances. In general, raw propolis is composed of around 50% resins, 30% waxes, 10% vital oils, 5% pollen, and 5% of various natural substances. 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 numerous compounds present in the propolis rely on its place and time of collection.

Many analytical methods have actually been utilized for separation and identification of propolis constituents and the compounds identified belong to 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 compounds; terpene and sesquiterpene alcohols and their derivatives; aliphatic hydrocarbons; minerals; sterols and steroid hydrocarbons; sugars and amino acids. As it may be anticipated, unpredictable compounds (produced by the source plants) are present in low quantities. Sugars are thought to be presented accidentally during the elaboration of propolis and/or passage of bees over the resin. Some compounds are common in all propolis samples and identify its characteristics properties.

Propolis of various origin includes different constituents. Some constituents exist in numerous samples from various places. 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 primary compounds responsible for biological activities are polyphenols, fragrant acids, and diterpenic acids, but really couple of various propolis types have been different in their primary bioactive substances. Different composition is likewise connected 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 utilized by bees to seal walls and enhance combs of hives, in addition to embalm dead invaders. It is a sticky, greenish-brown mass with a small fragrant smell.


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


The composition of propolis varies with its geographical and plant source, along with the collection season. The alcohol extract of propolis is called propolis wax or cast, with the insoluble residue referred to as propolis resin. Propolis consists of 50% resin and vegetable balsam, 30% wax, 10% vital and aromatic oils, 5% pollen, and 5% other compounds, including minerals such as magnesium, nickel, iron, calcium, and zinc.

Propolis consists of flavonoids, consisting of quercetin, pinocembrin, galangin, and pinobanksin, in addition to hydroquinone, caffeic acid, and caffeic acid esters. A variety of other substances have actually been recognized in propolis from specific geographic sources. (3 ).

Propolis bioactive compounds

The chemical makeup of propolis is carefully connected to its geographical origin, flora, and the bee species. It can differ commonly, even from hive to hive.

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

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

Over 300 biologically active ingredients have actually been identified in propolis thus far, consisting of fragrant chemicals, acids, carbs, plant oils, and vitamins (b1, b2, c, and e). New kinds of propolis are being discovered as interest grows around the world.

System of action

  • A large number of bioactive and antioxidant compounds in propolis describe its extensive possible benefits. Propolis might act in the body to:
  • Eliminate germs and infections by stopping their growth and spread.
  • Fight yeast infections by blocking the development 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 might trigger high blood pressure.
  • Increase bone health and help heal fractures by enhancing bone density.
  • Battle cancer by obstructing the growth of cancer cells and causing cell death (apoptosis).
  • Improve tooth and oral health and reduce the effects of cavities by eliminating germs and lowering swelling around the gums.
  • Accelerate wound healing by promoting skin cell restoration.
  • Safeguard the liver from toxins, injury, and disease.
  • Aid with diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels. (4 )

Health benefits

Although couple of scientific trials have actually tested the health impacts of propolis, there’s some proof that propolis might offer particular advantages. Here’s a look at several key findings from the available research studies:.

Cold sore treatment

Preliminary research suggests that topically applying propolis might assist heal fever blisters. In a study released in phytotherapy research study in 2010, for example, researchers discovered that extracts of propolis have virus-fighting results that may help knock out against herpes simplex virus type 1, the virus that triggers fever blisters.

Herpes treatment

Using a propolis-based ointment might assist deal with sores associated with herpes, according to a research study published in phytomedicine. For the 10-day research study, 90 men and women with herpes utilized an ointment including flavonoids sourced from propolis, an ointment including acyclovir (a substance abuse to lower discomfort and speed healing of herpes-related sores), or a placebo ointment.

By the study’s end, 24 out of the 30 individuals 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). Provided this finding, the study’s authors concluded that an ointment containing flavonoids sourced from propolis might be more effective than both acyclovir and placebo ointments in healing sores related to 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 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 study suggests propolis can assist deal with food poisonings, including ulcerative colitis, gastrointestinal cancers, and ulcers. Parts in propolis, including caffeic acid phenethyl ester (cape), artepillin c, kaempferol, and galangin, have been revealed to successfully remove pathogens, consisting of h. Pylori. The research study, however, is restricted to animal research studies and cell cultures.

Cavity control

Propolis may help battle cavities, a study from biological & & pharmaceutical bulletin shows. In lab research, scientists discovered that compounds discovered in propolis helped prevent the growth of streptococcus mutans, an oral germs understood to contribute to the development of cavities.

The study suggests that propolis might also help stop streptococcus mutans from adhering to the teeth.

Diabetes management

Findings from animal-based research suggest that propolis might assist in the treatment of diabetes. In a 2005 study released in pharmacological research, for example, tests on diabetic rats revealed that treatment with propolis assisted lower blood sugar level levels and minimize cholesterol. These outcomes have not be duplicated in human studies, nevertheless. (5 ).


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

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

Researchers believe that propolis might manage inflammatory compounds in the body, such as prostaglandins.


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

Previous laboratory studies have revealed that propolis exhibits antiviral activity against other types of virus, including:.

  • Rhinoviruses
  • Influenza (influenza)
  • Breathing syncytial virus

Propolis also appears to assist promote the body immune system. For these factors, the scientists recommend that propolis might assist with avoiding sars-cov-2 infection.

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

Allergic reactions

One study in the journal oxidative medicine and cellular longevity notes that propolis consists of compounds that might have an anti-allergy impact in the body.

Some individuals might feel a take advantage of utilizing propolis for this purpose. Nevertheless, there is not much scientific proof to show that propolis can help reduce allergy symptoms. (6 ).


Propolis does have proven antibiotic and antibacterial homes and may also have antiviral and anti-inflammatory results. I consider it safe and beneficial as a home remedy. You can discover it in numerous forms in natural food stores or get the raw things from beekeepers. I recommend it as a great topical treatment for uncomplicated injuries and, when used as a gargle or in spray form, as a treatment for sores and inflammations in the mouth. I use propolis in tincture form to treat canker sores and aching throats.

If you have had an allergic or hypersensitivity reaction to bee stings or bee items (consisting of honey), you might respond to propolis in the same way. A history of reactions to black popular, poplar bud, or balsam of peru may likewise show risk of reactions to propolis. In some people, regular use of propolis can likewise lead to reactions, such as swelling, fluid collection, inflammation, burning, eczema and fever. (7 ).

Does propolis have negative effects?

Propolis typically has couple of negative effects. The adverse effects that happen can be seen in a minimal variety of people and are also often moderate in nature. For instance, 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 nausea was the most regularly discussed adverse effects. It also appears that complaints can increase at the start of use which is not always a bad indication. This might be due to the truth that your body is not utilized to the substance. If the reaction has actually gone away, you can select to take the substance once again and you may see that your body reacts well to the propolis.

There are a number of side effects of propolis that can take place in the limited number of people:.

  • Worsening pre-existing symptoms
  • Headache or dizziness
  • An unusual feeling and or rough feeling in the mouth
  • A burning experience 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 helpful negative effects that can take place. It is stated that you have a higher energy level, prolonged fatigue can disappear and pimples can disappear.

Can you have a propolis allergic reaction?

There are individuals who can be allergic to propolis and the products that contain propolis. The allergy to propolis is rare. It turns out that about 1.3% of the population has a propolis allergic reaction. Thankfully, the allergy symptoms are normally not that bad. Unfortunately, you will not find out up until you have used the product. If you are allergic, there may be bumps, red areas and scratchy spots on the skin (external usage). The compound can also trigger an undesirable sensation in the throat (internal use). Are you allergic to other compounds, such as balsam of peru? Then there is a greater possibility that you dislike propolis.

There are numerous propolis items available. To inspect whether you are allergic to propolis, it is best to choose propolis ointment orpropolis drops to use. You can put a few drops or a little ointment on your lower arm or wrist prior to going to bed. If you have done this, throughout the night or nothing at all or red spots appear that can itch. The next day you will understand if you dislike propolis. If it ends up that you are allergic, it is not suggested to use propolis. If in doubt or if you have illness, it is advised to consult your doctor.

Is propolis hazardous?

Propolis can be unsafe for people who have asthma and dislike propolis. If you have asthma and are not sure if you dislike propolis, it is advised that you take the substance under the supervision of a medical professional. It is likewise suggested not to take propolis before or after surgical treatment. Physicians suggest not to take propolis 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after. Propolis can affect blood clotting. In addition, propolis is likewise not recommended for individuals with serious heart problems and kidney failure. Even if you have an allergy to bee products and honey, it is of course not recommended to use propolis. If this does not apply to you, then propolis can do little damage. The side effects are not serious and the allergies are irritating however not hazardous either. If you are not sure whether propolis threatens for you, it is wise to contact your physician.

Propolis suitable for children?

It is also important for kids to do an allergy 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 purchase drops in general, since tablets and pills are typically too big for children. It is said that children from the age of 3 are enabled to take propolis internally.

Can propolis be used with other medicines?

Officially, propolis is not a drug, because it does not fulfill the requirements of a pharmaceutical drug. It must have a repaired structure. Propolis is a natural item, so it has no fixed composition. Propolis can be used all at once with antibiotic. It even turns out that these 2 compounds enhance each other. If you are uncertain whether you can use propolis with other medicines, please talk to your physician first. (8 ).

Finest methods to use propolis

The recommended daily consumption 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 lots of creams, ointments, mouthwashes, and cosmetics. (9 ).

Is it safe?

When taken by mouth: propolis is perhaps safe when utilized properly. It can cause allergic reactions, specifically in individuals who are allergic to other bee items. Lozenges containing propolis can cause irritation and mouth ulcers.

When applied to the skin: propolis is potentially safe when used properly. It can trigger allergic reactions, specifically in individuals who are allergic to other bee items.

Unique precautions & cautions Pregnancy

There isn’t adequate dependable information to understand if propolis is safe to utilize when pregnant. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Breast-feeding: propolis is potentially safe when taken by mouth while breastfeeding. Dosages of 300 mg daily for as much as 10 months have been utilized safely. Stay on the safe side and avoid greater doses when breast-feeding.

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

Allergic reactions: some propolis products might be contaminated with bee by-products. Use propolis with care if you are allergic to bee by-products.

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

Are there interactions with herbs and supplements?

Herbs and supplements that may slow blood clot.

Propolis might slow blood clot and increase the danger of bleeding. Taking it with other supplements with comparable results might increase the danger of bleeding in some people. Examples of supplements with this result consist of garlic, ginger, ginkgo, nattokinase, and panax ginseng. (10 ).


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