• Bee Glue, Bee Putty, Propolis
• Topical Uses:
• Oral Uses:
Although honey is perhaps the most famous bee product of interest to human beings, bees also make propolis, another substance that humans have used for thousands of years. Bees coat the hive with propolis in much the same way we use paint and caulking on our homes. People began using propolis more than 2,300 years ago for many purposes, the foremost of which was applying it to wounds to fight infection. It is a resinous compound made primarily from tree sap, and contains biologically active compounds called flavonoids, which come from its plant source. Propolis does indeed have antiseptic properties; the flavonoids in propolis may be responsible for its antimicrobial effects as well as other alleged health benefits.
Propolis is available in a wide assortment of products found in pharmacies and health food stores, including tablets, capsules, powders, extracts, ointments, creams, lotions, and other cosmetics.
Topical propolis ointments, creams, lotions, balms, and extracts are usually applied directly to the area being treated. However, we do not recommend applying bee propolis directly to the eyes (see Safety Issues ).
Propolis intended for oral use comes in a wide variety of forms, including tablets, capsules, and extracts. Products vary so much that your best bet is to follow the directions on the label.
A preliminary controlled study found that propolis mouthwash following oral
One group of researchers compared a propolis extract against the standard antiprotozoal drug tinidazole in 138 people infected with the parasite
A number of clinical trials have tested the use of propolis for eye infections
One isolated study, published only in abstract form, tested bee propolis in women with mild
Finally, test tube studies suggest that propolis has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and
Propolis is an ingredient commonly consumed in small quantities in honey. Safety studies have found it to be essentially nontoxic when taken orally; propolis also appears to be nonirritating when applied to the skin. 26
6. Scheller S, Tustanowski J, Kurylo B, et al. Biological properties and clinical application of propolis. III. Investigation of the sensitivity of staphylococci isolated from pathological cases to ethanol extract of propolis (EEP). Attempts on inducing resistance in laboratory Staphylococcus strain to EEP. Arzneimittelforschung . 1977;27:1395.
7. Takaisi-Kikuni NB, Schilcher H. Electron microscopic and microcalorimetric investigations of the possible mechanism of the antibacterial action of a defined propolis provenance. Planta Med . 1994;60:222-227.
12. Magro Filho O, de Carvalho AC. Topical effect of propolis in the repair of sulcoplasties by the modified Kazanjian technique. Cytological and clinical evaluation. J Nihon Univ Sch Dent . 1994;36:102-111.
15. Miyares AC Hollands I, Castaneda C, et al. Clinical trial with a preparation based on propolis "propolisina" in human giardiasis [in Spanish; English abstract]. Acta Gastroenterol Latinoam . 1988;18:195-201.
16. Popescu MP, Palos E, Popescu F. Efficacy of combined biological therapy with bee products in localized palpebral and conjunctival eye lesions with reference to the clinico-functional changes [in Romanian; English abstract]. Rev Chir Oncol Radiol O R L Oftalmol Stomatol Otorinolaringol. 1985;29:53-61.
44. Ali AFM, Awadallah A. Bee propolis versus placebo in the treatment of infertitily associated with minimal or mild endometriosis: a pilot randomized controlled trial. A modern trend. Fertil Steril . 2003;80 (supp 3):S32.
Last reviewed April 2009 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
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