Propolis, also known as bee glue, is a sticky resinous substance collected by bees from tree buds, sap flows, or other plant sources. Bees use it as a building and repair material and as an antimicrobial substance in and around the beehive. Propolis contains compounds produced by bees as well as resins collected from plants. Its main components are usually tree resins and beeswax which give it a hard, brittle consistency. Propolis extract made from raw propolis has been used in traditional folk medicine for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. Today, research has uncovered propolis’ antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, opening doors to its use as a natural remedy.
Propolis contains over 300 chemicals including acids, alcohols, esters, stilbenes, terpenes, and amino acids. Its key biologically active compounds are flavonoids, phenolic acids, and phenolic aldehydes which give it antioxidant properties. Flavonoids like apigenin, galangin, pinocembrin and pinobanksin have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating effects. Caffeic acid, artepillin C and Baccharin are phenolic compounds that are also antioxidants. The various chemical constituents contribute to propolis’ diverse therapeutic effects. Due to differences in plant sources, the chemical profiles of propolis can vary between geographic regions and seasons.
Considerable research has demonstrated Propolis Extract Demand strong antibacterial activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Its spectrum of action extends to various infectious microbes like Fusobacterium nucleatum associated with gingivitis. Propolis also possesses antifungal properties, inhibiting the growth of Candida albicans, C. glabrata, and other Candida species that cause thrush and fungal infections of mucous membranes. It can even exert antiviral effects against RNA viruses like herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2, influenza A virus, Norovirus, and HIV. This wide-ranging antimicrobial quality stems from its synergistic mix of compounds that interfere with microbial metabolism, cell permeability and motility.
Uses and Benefits
Owing to its antimicrobial potency and anti-inflammatory benefits, propolis extract provides numerous health applications. It has long been used topically in the form of ointments, gels or creams to treat skin infections, wounds and burns. Applied to cold sores and viral warts, it promotes healing. For oral health, propolis solutions can treat gingivitis and periodontal disease when used as a mouthwash or toothpaste. Its extracts may also help strengthen immunity and reduce infection risk. Studies link propolis intake to lower rates of respiratory infections like the common cold. Internally, propolis supplements support overall wellness by controlling inflammation in chronic health issues such as arthritis. Certain propolis types have even shown anti-tumor activities against breast, liver and prostate cancers. Further research continues to uncover promising applications in medicine.
Standardization and Dosage
As propolis quality is variable, standardization is needed for optimal therapeutic outcome. Reputable supplements specify minimum percentages of key compounds like caffeic acid phenethyl ester, galangin, pinocembrin and apigenin. When selecting a product, check that it is ethanol-extracted through a cold pressing process to retain active constituents. The best way to benefit from propolis is through consistent intake in appropriate dosage forms that deliver adequate concentrations of bioactives. For general health maintenance, a dose of 500-1000 mg per day is considered safe for adults when taken as capsules or mixed into drinks. Higher potencies are available as topical creams and ointments containing 10-20% extracts for treating skin disorders. However, it is advisable to consult a health practitioner before using propolis supplements, especially if on any medications.
Side Effects and Safety Considerations
Propolis is generally well-tolerated by most individuals and available without prescription. However, allergic reactions may occur in hypersensitive individuals. Some signs to watch out for include skin rashes, itching, swelling or asthma attacks after contact with propolis. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid using ethanol extracts internally until more safety data is available, but contact with topical creams is generally not a concern. People with bee or plant allergies may also be at higher risk for allergic reactions. Propolis supplements could potentially interact with some medications through additive or antagonistic activity, so consult a physician before combining with prescription drugs. In very rare cases, gastrointestinal discomfort, headaches and dizziness have been reported with oral intake of excessive doses. When used as intended in appropriate quantities, propolis has an excellent safety profile as a natural healing remedy.
Propolis extract has become an increasingly popular natural supplement due to its multitude of health benefits and antimicrobial properties. As a traditional folk medicine, its use can be traced for centuries in managing infections, wounds and supporting immunity. Extensive research now validates propolis’ therapeutic potential from its complex chemistry and active components that give potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects. Its extracts provide applications as both oral supplements and topical preparations to promote overall health and wellness. When sourced from a trusted supplier and used following dosage guidelines, propolis has a long history of safe traditional usage and promising therapeutic applications to explore further.
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it