Propolis is a resin that bees create. Beeswax, plant and tree substances, and beeswax are some of the ingredients. More extensive studies are needed to determine whether or not propolis actually helps humans in any way.

The bees use propolis, also known as “bee glue,” as a glue. Humans have traditionally applied it topically or taken it internally. Nonetheless, it might not work for everyone.

In this article, we’ll define propolis, discuss the benefits suggested by research, and discuss how to put propolis to use.

Just what is propolis?

Bees produce propolis, a resinous waxy substance, by mixing their saliva with beeswax and various plant and tree compounds. It is used by bees to close off entrances to their hives. Since propolis has antimicrobial properties, it could shield bees from harmful bacteria and fungi.

Propolis is made of a variety of substances, some of which are quite intricate. Research has shown that propolis contains over 300 unique compounds. The precise composition may vary from hive to hive.

Generally speaking, propolis is made up of the following:

  • resins from trees and plants: 50%
  • beeswax: 30%
  • pollen, 5%
  • aromatic oils, and
  • 5% other ingredients. 10%

Polyphenols, including flavonoids, are a type of antioxidant found in propolis.

Therapeutic value
An updated look at the research published in 2019 suggests that propolis has been used therapeutically since at least 300 BC. Propolis was used for embalming in ancient Egypt, and it was also used by some World War II doctors to speed up the healing of wounds.

It may have, according to the same 2019 analysis, the following characteristics:

antioxidant anti-inflammatory antibacterial antifungal antiviral antiprotozoal (effective against parasitic diseases like giardiasis)
It’s possible that some of the substances found in propolis can fight cancer.

Although research into propolis and its components has shown encouraging results in the lab and with animals, only a small number of high-quality studies have demonstrated its efficacy as a treatment for specific conditions in humans.

Numerous Applications
Recent studies have shown that propolis may be helpful for:

cuts and scrapes
mouth sores cold sores inflammation poor dental hygiene
Some of this research will be examined in greater depth in the sections that follow.

The 2015 Annual Review of Wound Care Propolis, according to a reputable source, may speed up the recovery time of wounds. Research on diabetic rats found that topical application of propolis aided in the formation of new skin cells necessary for the repair of damaged skin.

This finding suggests that propolis may be useful for accelerating the healing of skin wounds in people with diabetes. For this reason, propolis may also aid in the prevention of infection, as it is able to kill certain bacteria.

Dental hygiene

Calcium phosphate, the primary component of dental plaque, can be prevented from forming by propolis, according to the same 2015 review Trusted Source cited above.

Since both propolis and honey have antibacterial properties, they could be included in dental hygiene products.

One small study included in the review found that using propolis significantly reduced bacterial levels in the saliva of people with periodontitis.


Propolis’ antioxidants may help reduce inflammation, including that caused by arthritis.

Research on animals As an anti-inflammatory, propolis has been tried on arthritic rats and mice, according to a Reliable Source. Propolis appeared to influence the course of inflammation and reduced swelling in both studies.

Researchers have hypothesised that propolis, along with other substances, can control inflammatory prostaglandins in the body.


Propolis may be effective as a complementary therapy for genital or oral herpes, according to a systematic review published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine.

The herpes simplex virus is the causative agent of herpes (HSV). Cold sores are a symptom of oral herpes, which is typically caused by HSV-1. Those who are infected with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) through sexual contact may develop painful blisters in that area.

In the meta-analysis, researchers compared the efficacy of acyclovir, a standard HSV medication, to that of honey and propolis, two natural remedies that have been studied extensively. Propolis outperformed the antiviral drug acyclovir in treating herpes simplex virus (HSV) skin lesions (i.e., cold sores) in four of six clinical trials.

Researchers did not include many trials in their analysis.

Inadequate proof

Propolis has a long history of folk medicine use, but not all of these applications are supported by solid scientific evidence.

We’ll take a closer look at a few of these illnesses in the sections that follow.


One earlier study in rats found that propolis was linked to lower blood sugar levels, as reviewed in 2015 by Trusted Source. Nonetheless, these results are insufficient to conclude that propolis has any effect on human diabetes management.

Research in the Laboratory: Cancer There is evidence that some of the compounds in propolis can slow the growth of cancer cells or even cause them to die.

Flavonoids isolated from propolis have shown promise in halting the progression of various cancers in in vivo studies.

In spite of this, most studies in this area have only been conducted on isolated cells or in animal models.


Based on its antiviral properties, propolis may be effective against SARS-CoV-2, according to a study published in 2020 in the journal Phytotherapy Research Trusted Source. COVID-19 is brought on by this particular coronavirus.

Propolis has been shown to have antiviral activity in the lab against a variety of different viruses.

Pathogens like the common cold and influenza (flu)
The immune system is another area where propolis shows promise. In light of these findings, the researchers speculate that propolis may aid in the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Even though there are ongoing clinical trials looking at propolis’ potential to prevent COVID-19, there is currently no evidence to suggest that it is effective for this purpose.


A study published in the peer-reviewed journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity Trusted Source suggests that propolis’s chemical constituents may have an anti-allergic effect.

Propolis may help some people with these symptoms. There is limited evidence that propolis can alleviate allergy symptoms, however.


In appropriate doses, topical or internal use of propolis by humans appears to be safe Trusted Source. Allergic reactions have been reported infrequently, and there have been no cases of toxicity reported.

Nonetheless, it is not always possible to be sure of its contents, as propolis can contain a wide variety of compounds depending on where it came from.

If you’re shopping for propolis products, make sure the maker has had them independently tested to ensure their safety and purity.

Inquire with your doctor first before beginning any new supplement regimen.

Propolis: How to Use It
Propolis has multiple applications for humans.

as a mouthwash containing a small amount of the supplement taken orally
If you are interested in trying propolis, it is best to consult a physician first to make sure it is safe for you to do so. The next step is a propolis patch test to make sure the individual is not allergic to the substance.

Pure propolis or a skin care product with propolis as an active ingredient can be used topically.

In order to use propolis in the mouth, it must be diluted with water. Spit out the mixture after gargling with it or rinsing the mouth with it.

Propolis is a common ingredient in ready-made goods. It’s important to follow the product’s label instructions when doing so.

Have you heard that bees produce more than just honey? When bees collect sap from evergreen trees, they create a substance called propolis. Bees use a sticky, greenish-brown product made from the sap, their own discharges, and beeswax as a coating when constructing their hives. This is propolis, by the way.

Propolis has been used by ancient civilizations for its healing properties for thousands of years. As a remedy for abscesses, it was widely used by the Greeks. The Assyrians use it to treat wounds and tumours by inhibiting the growth of bacteria and promoting the body’s natural healing processes. Mummies were preserved with it by the Egyptians.

Propolis’s chemical make-up can change depending on the bees’ geographic location and the kinds of trees and flowers they have access to. Different regions of the world produce propolis with slightly different chemical profiles. This complicates the ability of scientists to draw broad conclusions about its health advantages.

Compounds in propolis that have a healing effect

Extensive chemical analysis has revealed that propolis contains over 300 different compounds. Polyphenols make up the vast majority of these compounds. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that protect cells from oxidative stress and disease.

In particular, flavonoids, a type of polyphenol, can be found in propolis. Plants create flavonoids as a defence mechanism. They are typically located in foods that have been credited with antioxidant properties, such as:


Here’s What the Studies Have Found
Propolis has been studied for its potential to fight infections from bacteria, viruses, fungi, and inflammation. But there isn’t a lot of data on propolis from the scientific community. The bee product appears to provide protection against some bacteria, viruses, and fungi, but the reason why is unclear.


One of the unique components of propolis is a flavonoid called pinocembrin, which has antifungal properties. Because of its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, propolis can aid in the healing of wounds. One study (trustworthy) found that propolis aided in the recovery of patients who had suffered severe burns by stimulating the growth of new, healthy cells.

Some more research

According to a reputable source, a topical alcoholic extract of propolis was more effective than a steroid cream at decreasing mast cells in wounds caused by oral surgery. Wound healing is slowed by inflammation, which is caused by mast cells.

Common colds and genital herpes
Herstat and Coldsore-FX, two popular ointments for herpes simplex and cold sores, each contain 3 percent propolis, which may hasten healing and alleviate symptoms.

Evidence from just one study

Propolis, applied topically three times a day, was found to hasten the recovery of cold sores, according to a reputable source. Scientists discovered that using propolis cream not only decreased the amount of herpes virus in the body, but also protected the body from future outbreaks of cold sores.


Some studies have shown promise for using propolis in the treatment of cancer. One study suggests that According to Reliable Source, the substance has several properties that make it effective against cancer.

blocking pathways that prevent cancer cells from signalling to each other is one way of preventing the spread of cancer and lowering the risk that normal cells will develop cancer.
Researchers concluded that propolis has therapeutic potential as an adjunctive therapy for cancer care but not as a standalone treatment. Because of its anti-tumor effects on breast cancer cells, Chinese propolis may be an effective complementary therapy for treating breast cancer, according to another study.

Worries About Risks

Although the safety of propolis products has not been established, they are not thought to pose a significant threat. Honey is a common way to consume propolis. However, propolis-containing products will trigger an allergic reaction in those who are hypersensitive to honey or bees. The use of propolis for an extended period of time may also result in an allergic reaction.

Because of their frequent exposure to propolis, beekeepers have a higher risk of developing an allergy than the general population. An eczema-like skin rash is a common symptom of an allergic reaction. You should consult your doctor before adding propolis to your treatment plan, especially if you have a history of allergies or asthma

Where to get propolis

You can find propolis for sale in drugstores and health food stores. Creams, ointments, and lotions are all examples of topical formulations. Tablets, liquid extract, and capsules are all available ways to ingest propolis orally.

Due to the lack of sufficient data, no medically acceptable dosage can be established at this time. Although the FDA has not issued a recommendation, one study suggests a daily concentration of about 70 milligrammes. The product label could include the manufacturer’s recommended dosage. Before taking any kind of supplement, including propolis, you should check with your doctor.