Propolis is a resin-like material from the buds of poplar and cone-bearing trees. Propolis is seldom available in its pure type. It is usually gotten from beehives and contains 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 actually utilized it for healing injuries and growths; and egyptians have utilized it for mummification. It still has many medical usages today, although its efficiency has actually just been shown for a couple of them.

Propolis is used for canker sores and infections caused by germs (including tuberculosis), by infections (including flu, h1n1 “swine” flu, and the common cold), by fungi, and by single-celled organisms called protozoans. Propolis is also utilized for cancer of the nose and throat; for enhancing the body immune system; and for dealing with intestinal (gi) issues consisting of helicobacter pylori infection in peptic ulcer illness. Propolis is likewise used as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.

Individuals often apply propolis straight to the skin for wound cleaning, herpes and cold sores; as a mouth wash for speeding recovery following dental surgery; and for the treatment of small burns.

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

How does it work?

Propolis appears to have activity versus germs, infections, and fungis. It might likewise have anti-inflammatory results and assist skin heal. (1 ).

Propolis qualities, source, and bioactive composition


Propolis is a lipophilic in nature, difficult and fragile product and it becomes soft, flexible, gummy, and really sticky when heated up. It possesses a characteristic and enjoyable aromatic odor 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 likewise ranges 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 different natural substances. More than 300 constituents were determined in different samples and brand-new ones are still being acknowledged during chemical characterization of brand-new types of propolis. The proportions of the numerous compounds present in the propolis rely on its place and time of collection.

Lots of analytical techniques have actually been used for separation and identification 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 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 expected, volatile substances (produced by the source plants) exist in low amounts. Sugars are believed to be introduced inadvertently during the elaboration of propolis and/or passage of bees over the resin. Some substances prevail in all propolis samples and determine its characteristics residential or commercial properties.

Propolis of various origin includes various constituents. Some constituents are present in numerous samples from various locations. Some constituents are present in sample from particular plant origin.

Various geographical origin of propolis sample differs with its biological activity due to different weather conditions. The essential primary compounds responsible for biological activities are polyphenols, fragrant acids, and diterpenic acids, but extremely couple of different propolis types have actually been various in their primary bioactive compounds. Different structure is likewise related to particular plants of the area and treatments of raw material. (2 ).


Propolis is a natural resinous item gathered 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 minor fragrant odor.


Propolis has been used as a medicinal agent considering that 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 been used internally and externally and is thought to possess anti-bacterial, antiviral, fungicidal, local anesthetic, antiulcer, anti-inflammatory, immunostimulant, hypotensive, and cytostatic homes.


The structure of propolis differs 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 known as propolis resin. Propolis includes 50% resin and vegetable balsam, 30% wax, 10% essential and fragrant oils, 5% pollen, and 5% other substances, including minerals such as magnesium, nickel, iron, calcium, and zinc.

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

Propolis bioactive compounds

The chemical makeup of propolis is closely linked to its geographical origin, plants, and the bee species. It can differ commonly, even from hive to hive.

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

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

The primary active components in propolis are flavonoids such as chrysin, which are strong antioxidants that bees get from plant and flower parts. Bees make propolis by blending their saliva with plant product, pollen, and beeswax.

Over 300 biologically active components have been identified in propolis thus far, consisting of aromatic chemicals, acids, carbohydrates, plant oils, and vitamins (b1, b2, c, and e). New kinds of propolis are being found as interest grows all over the world.

System of action

  • A a great deal of bioactive and antioxidant substances in propolis explain its extensive prospective advantages. Propolis may act in the body to:
  • Eliminate bacteria and viruses by stopping their growth and spread.
  • Fight yeast infections by blocking the growth of yeast and fungus.
  • Help with allergic reactions by blocking the release of histamines.
  • Lower high blood pressure by decreasing the activity of an enzyme (tyrosine hydroxylase) that may cause hypertension.
  • Boost bone health and aid recover fractures by strengthening bone density.
  • Fight cancer by obstructing the development of cancer cells and triggering cell death (apoptosis).
  • Enhance tooth and oral health and reduce the effects of cavities by killing germs and lowering swelling around the gums.
  • Accelerate injury recovery by promoting skin cell renewal.
  • Safeguard the liver from contaminants, injury, and illness.
  • Aid with diabetes by reducing blood sugar levels. (4 )

Health advantages

Although couple of scientific trials have checked the health impacts of propolis, there’s some evidence that propolis may use particular advantages. Here’s a take a look at several key findings from the offered research studies:.

Cold sore treatment

Initial research study recommends that topically using propolis might assist 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 might assist knock out against herpes simplex infection type 1, the infection that triggers fever blisters.

Herpes treatment

Using a propolis-based lotion might help deal with sores related to genital herpes, according to a study published in phytomedicine. For the 10-day study, 90 men and women with genital herpes utilized a lotion consisting of flavonoids sourced from propolis, an ointment including acyclovir (a drug used to minimize pain 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 healed (compared to 14 out of 30 in the acyclovir group and 12 out of 30 in the placebo group). Provided this finding, the research study’s authors concluded that an ointment containing flavonoids sourced from propolis might be more reliable than both acyclovir and placebo ointments in recovery sores associated with herpes.

Burn treatment

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

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

Gastrointestinal disorders

Research study suggests propolis can help deal with food poisonings, including ulcerative colitis, intestinal cancers, and ulcers. Elements in propolis, consisting of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (cape), artepillin c, kaempferol, and galangin, have been revealed to effectively eliminate pathogens, including h. Pylori. The research study, nevertheless, is limited to animal research studies and cell cultures.

Cavity control

Propolis may help fight cavities, a research study from biological & & pharmaceutical bulletin shows. In laboratory research, scientists discovered that substances found in propolis helped hinder the development of streptococcus mutans, an oral bacteria known to contribute to the advancement of cavities.

The study recommends that propolis may likewise assist stop streptococcus mutans from sticking to the teeth.

Diabetes management

Findings from animal-based research study indicate that propolis might aid in the treatment of diabetes. In a 2005 research study released in medicinal research study, for instance, tests on diabetic rats exposed that treatment with propolis assisted lower blood sugar level levels and minimize cholesterol. These outcomes have not be reproduced in human research studies, however. (5 ).


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

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

Researchers believe that propolis may regulate inflammatory substances in the body, such as prostaglandins.


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

Previous lab research studies have actually shown that propolis exhibits antiviral activity versus other types of infection, including:.

  • Rhinoviruses
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Breathing syncytial virus

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

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

Allergic reactions

One research study in the journal oxidative medicine and cellular longevity keeps in mind that propolis includes compounds that may have an anti-allergy impact in the body.

Some people may feel a gain from utilizing propolis for this function. Nevertheless, there is very little clinical evidence to show that propolis can help in reducing allergy signs. (6 ).


Propolis does have proven antibiotic and antiseptic properties and may also have antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects. I consider it safe and beneficial as a home remedy. You can find it in different forms in natural food stores or get the raw stuff from beekeepers. I suggest it as an excellent topical treatment for uncomplicated injuries and, when utilized as a gargle or in spray form, as a remedy for sores and irritations in the mouth. I use propolis in tincture type to deal with canker sores and aching throats.

If you have had an allergic or hypersensitivity response to bee stings or bee items (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 threat of reactions to propolis. In some people, frequent 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 generally has few adverse effects. The side effects that occur can be seen in a limited number of people and are likewise often moderate in nature. For instance, roughly one in 2,000 people is said to experience negative effects. These individuals are hypersensitive to propolis itself and to the products which contain propolis. Research study reveals that queasiness was the most frequently mentioned side effect. It also appears that grievances can increase at the start of use and that is not constantly a bad indication. This may be due to the reality that your body is not utilized to the substance. If the reaction has actually subsided, you can pick to take the compound again and you might see that your body reacts well to the propolis.

There are a variety of side effects of propolis that can occur in the minimal variety of individuals:.

  • Worsening pre-existing symptoms
  • Headache or dizziness
  • An unusual sensation and or rough feeling in the mouth
  • A burning feeling in the esophagus
  • Have to go to the toilet more frequently to pee
  • The people who report having side effects from propolis are not just speaking about unfavorable negative effects. There are also useful adverse effects that can take place. It is said that you have a higher energy level, prolonged fatigue can vanish and pimples can vanish.

Can you have a propolis allergic reaction?

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 typically not that bad. Unfortunately, you will not discover up until you have actually used the product. If you are allergic, there might be bumps, red areas and scratchy areas on the skin (external usage). The substance can likewise trigger an undesirable feeling in the throat (internal use). Are you allergic to other substances, such as balsam of peru? Then there is a higher possibility that you dislike propolis.

There are numerous propolis items readily available. To inspect whether you are allergic to propolis, it is best to choose propolis ointment orpropolis drops to use. You can put a couple of drops or a little ointment on your forearm or wrist prior to going to sleep. If you have done this, during the night or nothing at all or red areas appear that can itch. The next day you will know if you are allergic to propolis. If it ends up that you are allergic, it is not suggested to use propolis. If in doubt or if you have health issue, it is advised to consult your physician.

Is propolis unsafe?

Propolis can be harmful for people who have asthma and dislike propolis. If you have asthma and are not sure if you dislike propolis, it is recommended that you take the substance under the guidance of a medical professional. It is also suggested not to take propolis before or after surgery. Physicians suggest not to take propolis 2 weeks prior to and 2 weeks after. Propolis can affect blood clot. In addition, propolis is likewise not suggested for individuals with severe heart problems and kidney failure. Even if you have an allergy to bee products and honey, it is obviously not recommended to utilize propolis. If this does not apply to you, then propolis can do little harm. The adverse effects are not serious and the allergies are frustrating but not hazardous either. If you are not exactly sure whether propolis is dangerous for you, it is wise to contact your medical professional.

Propolis appropriate for children?

It is likewise essential for children to do an allergy 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 likewise smart to acquire drops in general, due to the fact that tablets and pills are frequently too big for kids. It is stated that kids from the age of 3 are permitted to take propolis internally.

Can propolis be used with other medicines?

Officially, propolis is not a drug, because it does not satisfy the requirements of a pharmaceutical drug. It needs to have a fixed composition. Propolis is a natural product, so it has no set structure. Propolis can be used simultaneously with antibiotic. It even turns out that these 2 compounds reinforce each other. If you are uncertain whether you can use propolis with other medications, please talk to your medical professional initially. (8 ).

Finest ways to utilize propolis

The suggested daily intake amount 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 lots of creams, lotions, mouthwashes, and cosmetics. (9 ).

Is it safe?

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

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

Special safety measures & cautions

Pregnancy: there isn’t enough reliable details to know if propolis is safe to use when pregnant. Stay on the safe side and prevent usage.

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

Bleeding conditions: a specific chemical in propolis may slow blood clotting. Taking propolis may increase the danger of bleeding in individuals with bleeding disorders.

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

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

Exist interactions with herbs and supplements?

Herbs and supplements that might slow blood clot.

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


Our Score