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Bee Propolis

Last Updated May 3rd 2022, 12:41:16 am

  1. 1. Composition
  2. 2. Healing Properties
    1. 2.1. Antidiabetic
    2. 2.2. Antiseptic
    3. 2.3. Antihistaminergic (antihistamine, antiallergy)
    4. 2.4. Anti-Inflammatory
    5. 2.5. Antioxidant
    6. 2.6. Antimicrobial
      1. 2.6.1. Antibiofilm
      2. 2.6.2. Antibacterial
      3. 2.6.3. Antimycotic
      4. 2.6.4. Antifungal
      5. 2.6.5. Antiprotozoan (parasites)
    7. 2.7. Antiulcer
    8. 2.8. Anticancer
    9. 2.9. Immunomodulator
    10. 2.10. Gynecological Care
    11. 2.11. Oral Health
      1. 2.11.1. Halitosis
    12. 2.12. Dermatological Care (Skin Health)
      1. 2.12.1. Acne vulgaris
    13. 2.13. Wound Healing
  3. 3. Disease / Symptom Treatment
    1. 3.1. Cancer
      1. 3.1.1. Breast Cancer
      2. 3.1.2. Melanoma
      3. 3.1.3. Lung Cancer
    2. 3.2. Gingivitis / Periodontitis
    3. 3.3. Gynecological Disorders
      1. 3.3.1. Vaginitis
      2. 3.3.2. Bacterial vaginosis (BV)
      3. 3.3.3. Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC)
    4. 3.4. Gastrointestinal Disorders
      1. 3.4.1. Gastric ulceration
      2. 3.4.2. Parasites

Bee Propolis is the resinous substance accumulated by bees from different types of plants.[1]

Propolis functions in sealing holes and cracks and for the reconstruction of the beehive.[1:1] It is also used for smoothing the inner surface of the beehive, retaining the hive’s internal temperature (35° C), preventing weathering and invasion by predators. Furthermore, propolis hardens the cell wall and contributes to an aseptic internal environment. Propolis generally becomes soft and sticky upon heating.[1:2] It also possesses a pleasant smell.[1:3]


Propolis is composed mainly of resin (50%), wax (30%), essential oils (10%), pollen (5%), and other organic compounds (5%).[1:4]

Phenolic compounds, esters, flavonoids, terpenes, beta-steroids, aromatic aldehydes, and alcohols are the important organic compounds present in propolis.[1:5]

Twelve different flavonoids have been detected in propolis extracts:[1:6]

Two phenolic acids have been detected in propolis:[1:19]

Resveratrol has been detected in propolis.[1:22]

Propolis also contains important vitamins, such as vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, and E and useful minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, sodium, copper, zinc, manganese, and iron.[1:23] A few enzymes, such as succinic dehydrogenase, glucose-6-phosphatase, adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase), and acid phosphatase, are also present in propolis.[1:24]

Propolis is highly rich in bioactive compounds.[1:25]

Bioactive compounds:

Healing Properties



Antihistaminergic (antihistamine, antiallergy)





Propolis Extract Solution can be used as antibiofilm material to counteract biofilm growth of Candida albicans.[1:80]

Candida albicans is an opportunistic pathogenic yeast.


  • Anti-Helicobacter pylori activity[1:81]

    • this bacteria can cause sores, called ulcers, in the lining of your stomach or the upper part of your small intestine
  • Anti-Streptococcus mutans activity[2]

    • Propolis ethanolic extract displays antibacterial activity against the growth of Streptococcus mutans strains.[2:1]



Antiprotozoan (parasites)



Propolis has potential antitumor activity by inducing apoptosis on human breast cancer cells.[1:82]


Gynecological Care

Application of 5% aqueous propolis solution resulted in an improvement in vaginal well-being.[1:83]

Oral Health

Propolis may restrict bacterial-plaque development and periodontitis-causing pathogens because of its antibacterial properties.[1:84]

Propolis solutions exert a selectively lower cytotoxic action on human gum fibroblasts compared to chlorhexidine.[1:85]

In addition to that, mouthwash containing propolis have shown effectiveness in healing surgical wounds.[1:86]

Propolis solution can also be used to disinfect toothbrushes.[1:87]

A 3% ethanolic extract of propolis toothpaste gel showed potency against gingivitis caused by dental plague.[1:88]


Propolis extracts have helped cure halitosis, a condition where an individual experiences unpleasant breath predominantly due to poor oral hygiene.[1:89]

Dermatological Care (Skin Health)

Propolis has a promotive action on collagen synthesis.[1:90]

Acne vulgaris

A clinical study on acne patients using ethanolic extract propolis showed its high efficacy in the treatment of acne vulgaris.[1:91]

Wound Healing

Compared to the conventional drug silver sulfadiazine, propolis notably decreased free radical activity in healing the wound beds which supported the repair process.[1:92]

Propolis also shows positive collagen metabolism in the wound during the healing process by increasing the collagen content of tissues.[1:93]

A study demonstrated the use of propolis as an alternative therapy for wound healing to promote wound closure, especially under conditions such as human diabetic foot ulcer (DFU).[1:94]

Disease / Symptom Treatment


Propolis exhibits low or no toxicity towards normal cells due to its selectively toxic properties against tumor cells.[1:95]

Propolis is able to minimize cancer cell proliferation.[1:96]

Breast Cancer

It is believed that propolis may become a prominent agent to treat breast cancer.[1:97]

Propolis has potential towards human breast cancer treatment due to its antitumor activity by inducing apoptosis on human breast cancer cells.[1:98]


Ethanolic extract of Algerian propolis was shown to induce apoptosis and inhibit melanoma cells in vitro.[1:99]

  • This action was attributed to the precense of galangin, a common flavonoid in propolis.[1:100]

Lung Cancer

Turkish propolis has been shown to exert a selective cytotoxic action on human lung cancer cells by inducing endoplasmic reticulum stress, apoptosis, and caspase activity and by reducing the mitochondrial membrane potential.[1:101]

  • This indicates that propolis is able to minimize the cancer cell proliferation.[1:102]

Gingivitis / Periodontitis

Propolis toothpaste or mouthwash has the ability to reduce the growth of bacterial plaque and pathogenic microflora that causes gingivitis and periodontitis. Thus, propolis may play a role as a therapeutic agent.[1:103]

Gynecological Disorders

Propolis may be used for Recurrent Vulvovaginal Candidiasis (RVVC) and can be an alternative option for patients who are unable to take antibiotics due to a concurrent pharmacological treatment. The effectiveness of propolis against conventional antifungal nystatin has shown satisfactory results. Propolis extract solution (PES) also show low toxicity in human cells and can be an alternative treatment for chronic vaginitis.[1:104]


Bacterial vaginosis (BV)

Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC)

PES has antifungal properties and it can be used as antibiofilm material for Recurrent VVC to counteract biofilm growth of C. albicans and resistance in antifungal drug.[1:105]

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Gastric ulceration

Antihistaminergic, antiinflammatory, antiacid, and anti-H. pylori activities can be used to help treat gastric ulceration.[1:106]


Propolis ethanolic extract was shown to inhibit growth and adherence of Giardia duodenalis trophozoites.[1:107]

It also promotes the detachment of these parasitic organisms.[1:108]

The efficacy of Propolis extract against giardiasis has been reported in a clinical study whereby children and adults with giardiasis-given propolis showed a cure rate between 52% and 60%, whereas those given the conventional drug showed a 40% cure rate.[1:109]

  1. Title: Honey, Propolis, and Royal Jelly: A Comprehensive Review of Their Biological Actions and Health Benefits
    Publication: Hindawi: Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
    Date: July 26, 2017
    Study Type: Comprehensive Review
    Author(s): Visweswara Rao Pasupuleti, Lakhsmi Sammugam, Nagesvari Ramesh, and Siew Hua Gan
    Institution(s): Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, Campus Jeli, Malaysia; Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia
    Copy: archive, archive-mirror ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎

  2. Title: Antibacterial activity of propolis against Streptococcus mutans
    Publication: Revista Cubana de Estomatología
    Date: 2020
    Study Type: Bacterial Study: In Vitro
    Author(s): César Félix Cayo Rojas, Luis Adolfo Cervantes Ganoza
    Institution(s): Universidad Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Lima, Perú; Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal, Lima, Perú
    Copy: archive, archive-mirror ↩︎ ↩︎