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What Is Propolis?

Propolis also known as bee glue, is a resinous substance bees collect from different plant types. It is used for sealing holes and cracks in the hive and promotes wound-healing. Its composition varies based on the plant sources. It contains phenolic acids, flavonoids, terpene esters, chalcones, dihydrochalcones, aliphatic acid and ester compounds.


Propolis has been shown to have antifungal, antiviral, and antibiotic properties. It is thought to have these effects by directly acting on bacteria or enhancing the host’s immune system. Propolis and its derivatives can affect bacteria in various ways, including reducing their permeability and inhibiting their growth. They also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, they can induce apoptosis in cancer cells. Propolis may also have chemopreventive properties. It can protect against the toxicity of chemotherapy drugs or radiation and stimulate macrophages to produce factors that regulate the function of B, T, and NK cells.

Studies have demonstrated that ethanolic extracts of propolis exhibit potent antibiotic, antifungal and antiviral activity in vitro. Propolis has been found to be effective against a wide range of microorganisms, including MRSA, S. aureus, and coagulase negative Staphylococci (CNS) strains that are responsible for intramammary infections in livestock. Moreover, propolis ethanolic extracts have been shown to be well-tolerated by dermal fibroblasts and moderately tolerated by epithelial keratinocytes at concentrations up to 1.0 mg/mL. The activity of propolis has been attributed to its diverse chemical composition, and there is evidence that it acts synergistically with conventional antibiotics.

The immunopotent chemicals present in propolis, such as caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), chrysin, and artepillin C have been linked to its antibacterial activity. These compounds are also known to have a variety of pharmacological properties, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, gastroprotective, and neuroprotective effects.

Several studies have reported that propolis has an antitumor effect in human breast cancer cells and has low or no toxicity to normal tissue. One study found that propolis ethanolic extracts suppressed DNA synthesis and induced apoptosis in human breast cancer cells. It is believed that these effects are due to the ability of propolis flavonoids to regulate the function of B, T and NK cells.

Propolis contains a number of antioxidants, including artepillin C and kaempferide. These molecules are believed to enhance the activity of the other flavonoids in propolis. Propolis’s phenolic mixture has been found to have a high free radical scavenging activity. In addition, a recent study showed that propolis has strong antibacterial activity against Propionibacterium acne and Staphylococcus epidermidis.

It is a natural antiviral

Propolis contains natural antiviral compounds and has been shown to inhibit bacterial and viral growth in vitro. This is primarily due to its phenolic and flavonoid content. It is also a powerful antioxidant, which can protect cells from oxidative damage. Additionally, it can prevent the development of drug-resistant viruses. Propolis may also help ward off infection by promoting healthy bacteria in the gut.

Research has found that aqueous extracts of propolis exhibit antiviral, antitumor, and antifungal properties. In addition, they may have anti-inflammatory and antiangiogenic effects. Its antiangiogenic effect reduces the formation of new blood vessels, starving tumors of their needed blood supply. Additionally, it may prevent cancer cell multiplication by lowering the number of cancer stem cells. Propolis can also suppress cancer cell growth by inducing apoptosis.

The antifungal properties of propolis include its ability to treat vulva infections such as bacterial vaginosis and vulvovaginal candidiasis, which are caused by an overgrowth of yeast-like fungi in the vaginal epithelial tissues. In one study, aqueous propolis extracts prevented Candida albicans infection in the vagina of diabetic women. It also lowered the pH in the vaginal secretions and increased the concentration of Lactobacillus spp.

Another benefit of propolis is its immunomodulatory property, which is largely attributed to the presence of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), chrysin, and artepillin C. These components are able to scavenge free radicals and inhibit the activation of macrophages and dendritic cells, and induce an anti-inflammatory response. They can also increase the expression of IL-4 and IL-13, which are important factors in allergic asthma.

In a recent study, propolis was found to prevent the proliferation of leishmania parasites by inhibiting the production of inflammatory cytokines. It also reduced the number of parasites in the gastrointestinal tract of leishmaniasis patients. Propolis also enhanced the efficacy of antibiotics used in the treatment of leishmaniasis.

However, it is important to note that propolis is not a substitute for prescription drugs. It can interact with certain medications and cause side effects. It may also interfere with blood-clotting agents, so it should not be taken by people with bleeding disorders.

It is a natural antifungal

Propolis is a natural antifungal substance made by bees from resin. It contains a wide array of chemicals, including flavonoids and phenolic acids. These compounds are responsible for its bacterial and viral-defying effects. It also has anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, from aphthous ulcers to diabetic foot ulcers. Propolis is a common ingredient in some herbal remedies, and is listed as an official drug in the London pharmacopeia of the 17th century.

Bees use propolis to protect their hives from infections and to seal cracks in the hive’s walls. It is also used as a kind of glue to hold the hive together and reduce the size of the entrance. This is why the bees produce so much of it – it’s vital to their survival.

The bactericidal effect of propolis has been observed in various experiments. However, results were varied, and the exact mechanism of action remains unclear. Some of the most interesting results came from testing propolis against different strains of fungus and bacteria. The bactericidal activity of propolis was stronger against Gram-positive compared to Gram-negative organisms. This was possibly due to the cationic nature of some of its chemical constituents, which reduces the negative surface charge of bacterial cells and makes them more susceptible to mobile protons.

While the exact composition of bee propolis varies from season to season and from beehive to beehive, most samples contain similar compounds. This is because bees collect resin from the same plant families. Propolis also has a strong immunomodulatory effect, and is known to increase the body’s natural resistance against infection. It has been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth, and decrease the proliferation of tumor cells by scavenging free radicals.

In addition to its antibiotic and antifungal properties, propolis has been shown to have hepatoprotective properties. Studies have found that it can prevent damage caused by chemotherapy drugs and inhibit inflammatory signaling pathways. It has also been shown to enhance the growth of healthy cells and promote wound healing. In addition, it can reduce the number of tumor stem cells and suppress cancer progression by inhibiting the growth of blood vessels that supply the tumor with nutrients and oxygen.

It is a natural antiseptic

Propolis is a natural antiseptic, and research has shown that it can be used to treat various bacterial infections. It is also believed to have antifungal and antiparasitic properties. These properties are attributed to the presence of many different chemicals, including polyphenols and flavonoids. The bioactive compounds in propolis may be responsible for its antibacterial, antimycotic, and antifungal effects.

Bees use propolis to sterilize their hives by killing microorganisms and creating a safer environment for their eggs. They also use it to coat comb cells before laying them, which helps ensure the eggs will develop properly. It is also thought to help the bees fight off diseases and parasites.

In addition to its antimicrobial and antifungal properties, propolis has been found to contain a number of other beneficial substances. It contains phenolic acids and their derivatives (benzoic acid and cinnamic alcohol); terpenes (terpineol, camphor, geraniol, nerol, and farnesol) and sesquiterpene hydrocarbons; minerals; and fatty acids. It also contains a variety of vitamins and amino acids.

The chemical composition of propolis varies according to the geographic region. For example, the propolis from tropical stingless bees has been found to have unique terpenoid profiles that differ from that of European bees. This suggests that terpenoid content is not an accurate indicator of propolis activity.

Another benefit of propolis is its ability to break down existing bacteria, known as biofilms. When bacteria form a biofilm, they can protect themselves from immune system attacks and grow. Propolis has been shown to dislodge bacteria from their biofilms, allowing the body’s natural defenses to destroy them.

Studies have shown that propolis has chemopreventive and antitumor properties, as well as immunomodulatory and antioxidant activities. It has been found to inhibit DNA synthesis in cancer cells and stimulate the activation of macrophages. It has also been shown to reduce tumor growth and induce apoptosis in cancer cells.

The main immunopotent chemicals in propolis are caffeic acid phenethyl ester, chrysin, and artepillin C. These phytochemicals have a wide range of beneficial effects, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, gastroprotective, and neuroprotective benefits. They also have a powerful herpes simplex virus (HSV)-inhibiting effect, which is responsible for fever blisters and cold sores.