Available to purchase as a high potency liquid from our grocery shop: Community Initiatives

Price: £6.95


The resinous substance propolis is produced by the bees from the bark and from the buds of various plants, preferably trees – especially poplars and conifers. The bees use the propolis together with beeswax to seal the beehive. Propolis has antibiotic activities that help the beehive to ward off viruses, bacteria and other organisms. Commercial preparations appear to preserve these antibiotic properties. In addition, according to glass flask and animal experiments, propolis has antioxidant , liver- protecting, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.

What does propolis contain?

Propolis contains proteins , amino acids , vitamins , minerals and plant nutrients such as flavonoids . For this reason, some people use propolis as a general food supplement, although it would take large amounts of propolis to provide meaningful amounts of these nutrients.

What is the function of propolis?

Propolis can stimulate the body’s immune system. This effect could explain why propolis extracts can help protect against and reduce the duration of a cold . In a small double-blind study in Poland, carried out on 50 cold patients, the group taking propolis extract (amount not specified) became asymptomatic much faster than the placebo group.

The antimicrobial properties of propolis can also protect against parasitic infections in the gastrointestinal tract. A preliminary study of children and adults with giardiosis (a common intestinal parasite infection) in Cuba showed a 52% success rate in parasite elimination in children and a 60% rate in adults with propolis extract (amount not specified). However, these results are not as impressive as those achieved with conventional giardiosis medication, so propolis should not be used alone for this condition without first consulting a doctor about the medical treatment available.

Topical uses of propolis-containing ointments and creams show some promise in various uses, including genital herpes, cervical inflammation, and rheumatoid arthritis. In the genital herpes study, ninety men and women with recurrent genital herpes simplex virus infections (HSV type 2) used either an ointment with propolis, acyclovir or placebo (vehicle). Treatment started in the bladder phase. The healing process appeared to be faster in the propolis group as 24 out of 30 people in the propolis group were cured on day 10, compared to 14 out of 30 in the acyclovir group and 12 out of 30 in the placebo group.

Preliminary human studies and a controlled test showed that propolis-containing mouthwash was effective in healing surgical sores in the mouth. In glass flask experiments, propolis also showed considerable activity against bacteria and yeast associated with tooth decay, gingivitis and periodontitis, but a human study showed that propolis was no better than a placebo in inhibiting plaque formation.

Which products contain propolis?

Propolis is available both in liquid extract form and in capsules and tablets . Topical creams and sprays with propolis are also available.

What is the dosage recommendation?

The typical dosage recommendation for oral use for capsules and tablets is 500 mg once or twice a day. For topical applications, follow the directions on the label.

Are there any side effects or interactions?

Propolis is generally well tolerated. As with other bee products (e.g. pollen and royal jelly ), however, allergic reactions can occur. Possible allergic reactions based on allergic reactions to royal jelly and bee pollen can range from very mild (e.g. mild gastrointestinal disorders) to more severe reactions including asthma, Anaphylaxis (shock) and even death in people who are extremely allergic to bee products are enough. Use the products with caution. If you are allergic to bee pollen, honey, or conifers and poplars, do not use propolis. Since the effects of propolis have not been adequately studied during pregnancy and lactation, it should not be used during this time unless it has been recommended by a doctor.

Author profile
This article was written by Dr. Michael Murray, one of the leading people in naturopathy. For the past 35 years, Dr. Murray has compiled an impressive database of original science studies found in medical literature. He has personally collected over 65,000 scientific literature articles that provide lasting evidence of the effectiveness of diet, vitamins, minerals, herbs and other natural measures in maintaining health and treating disease. Dr. Murray uses this continuously growing database to answer questions about health and healing on Visit Dr . Murray ‘s page here .