Propolis is a resinous mixture that honey bees collect from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. It is used as a sealant for unwanted open spaces in the hive. Natural medicine practitioners use propolis for the relief of various conditions, including inflammations, viral diseases, ulcers, superficial burns or scalds. Propolis is also believed to promote heart health and strengthen the immune system. Though claims have been made for its use in treating allergies, propolis may cause severe allergic reactions if the user is sensitive to bees or bee products.
- As an Antimicrobial - Depending upon its composition, propolis may show powerful local antibiotic and antifungal properties.
- As an emollient - Studies also indicate that it may be effective in treating skin burns
- As an Immunomodulator - Exhibits Immunostimulant effects.
- As a dental antiplaque agent : Propolis is a subject of recent dentistry research, since there is some evidence that propolis may actively protect against dental caries and other forms of oral disease, due to its antimicrobial properties. Propolis can also be used to treat canker sores. Its use in canal debridement for endodontic procedures has been explored in Brazil.
- As an antitumor growth agent: Propolis' use in inhibiting tumorigenesis has been studied in mice in Japan. In pre-clinical models of human breast cancer, propolis induces cell cycle arrest, apoptosis and reduces expression of growth and transcription factors, including NF-κB. Notably, caffeic acid phenethyl ester down-regulates mdr-1 gene, considered responsible for the resistance of cancer cells to chemotherapeutic agents.
- As a Radio protector: Propolis can reduce by half the damage inflicted on chromosomes by ionizing radiation