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Propolis

Digestion, Immune, Dental | July 20, 2018 | Author: Naturopath

Immune, dental, Digestion

Propolis

Propolis is a substance produced by bees, widely used in folk medicine for many years. It is a sticky, glue like substance produced from bee saliva mixed with natural plant resins and other botanical substances such as leaves, flowers, and bud fluid. It is rich in bioflavonoids and has been reported in many studies to have numerous pharmacological properties and biological activities. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) revealed over 100 phytochemicals.

What is Propolis

What is PropolisSo as already described it is a substance produced by bees from bee saliva and plants.

The bees use it to support the walls of the bee hive, protecting their home against microbial (bacteria, viruses and fungal) invasion, but also to fill in the gaps in the hives.

Propolis – ‘Pro’ - Greek meaning defence or for, and ‘polis’ meaning city.

Typical analysis of raw propolis

  • 45–55% plant resin
  • 25–35% wax
  • 5–10% essential aromatic oil
  • 5% pollen
  • 5% other natural products

Secondary metabolites contained in propolis are the important components that offer the various bioactivity important to us. These include:

  • antimicrobial activity against bacterial, viruses and fungus
  • anti-angiogenic (preventing the growth of tumors)
  • anti-ulcer
  • anti-inflammatory
  • antioxidant

These metabolites differ in concentrations, based on the geographic, season collected and plants within the area of the hive

Antimicrobial activity

Antimicrobial activityNumerous studies have demonstrated that propolis possess a marked antibacterial, antiviral, and moderate antifungal activity. The value of propolis against bacteria is based on its ability to disarm them. This includes:

  • Inhibiting cell motility (preventing development and maintenance of pathogen)
  • Inhibiting division – thus preventing replication
  • Inhibiting enzyme activity (cell activity)
  • Collapsing the cytoplasm (internal components of cell)
  • Preventing growth of bacteria and bacteriolysis (death of bacteria).  

Propolis unique membrane-targeting antibacterial compounds make it a valuable therapy against many bacteria. Propolis also offered synergistic support when used with antibiotics enhancing their efficacy especially those acting on cell wall synthesis (vancomycin and oxacillin) against drug-resistant microorganisms.

Anti-angiogenic

Anti-angiogenic describes something that prevents the growth of blood vessels is valuable in its role preventing the growth, migration and differentiation of cancer. Propolis is one of the richest sources of plant phenolics: flavonoids and phenolic acids, which are widely recognized as chemopreventive components. Results confirmed the significance of propolis in chemoprevention of malignant tumors. Ethanolic extract propolis as dietary supplement may be useful as a chemopreventive agent against cancer. 

Anti-inflammatory

Propolis extract contains many beneficial components such as amino acids, flavanoids, terpenes and cinnamic acid derivatives. Scavenging of free radicals, generated by neutrophils in inflammatory processes, is the principal mechanism of conventional anti-inflammatory drugs, and is also a known property of propolis. Studies have shown to propolis is able to inhibit platelet aggregation and eicosanoid synthesis, supporting its potential in the reduction  of inflammation. 

Suggestions for use

Put simply, propolis may have activity against bacteria, viruses, and fungi and offers support for healing skin, as an anti-inflammatory, so with these activities in mind its uses can be extensive. Here are just a few suggestions:

Antimicrobial activityDental/oral - as a preventative and treatment of periodontal disease such as gingivitis, mouth ulcers (canker sores), Thrush (oropharyngeal candidiasis) and inflammation.  

Soak your toothbrush in a solution containing propolis, use propolis toothpaste and/or mouth wash, suck on propolis lozenges, or use a propolis mouth spray.

 

Gastrointestinal disorders such as ulcers and inflammation of the gastric mucosa – mouth, throat and stomach. Including Helicobacter pylori infection in peptic ulcer disease.

Fungal infections of the Nail. In a study, patients with Trichophyton onychomycosis (fungal nail infection) treated topically with Propolis extract twice a day showed excellent clinical improvement within 6 months. Other possible uses may include for tinea.

Skin Infections. Use it topically for the treatment of minor skin conditions, such as pimples, insect bites, minor cuts and abrasions; warts, minor burns, cold sores and genital herpes.

Immune system health. The antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory actions of propolis make it useful for immune compromised conditions. Taken orally to relieve the symptoms of sore throats, Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 and Type 2, HIV, influenza viruses, H1N1 "swine" flu, and the common cold. Fungus and single-celled organisms called protozoans included.

Cosmetics. Propolis is used as an ingredient in cosmetics, skin creams and soaps. Its antibacterial properties make it a useful additive to protect against microbes. 

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​Safety Issues:Safety Issues:

  • Propolis is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth or applied to the skin appropriately.
  • Allergic reactions can occur, particularly in people who are allergic to bees or bee products.
  • Lozenges containing propolis can cause irritation and mouth ulcers.
  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding. Due to a lack of evidence it is suggested to avoid use.
  • Asthma. Propolis may make asthma worse. Avoid using propolis if you have asthma.
  • Bleeding conditions. Taking propolis might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Conclusion

Propolis has a broad range of action against a number of pathogens and is usefull for a number of health disorders. Potency of propolis extract is based on the extraction method used and environment from where it is collected. Studies have shown its value to us as an antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiparasitic, antifungal, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, making it a useful choice or natural therapy against diseases.

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References

Anticancer Activity in Honeybee Propolis: Functional Insights to the Role of Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester and Its Complex With γ-Cyclodextrin http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1534735417753545

Antimicrobial Activities of European Propolis Collected from Various Geographic Origins Alone and in Combination with Antibiotics http://www.mdpi.com/2305-6320/5/1/2/htm

Mechanisms involved in the antiinflammatory effect of propolis extract. https://europepmc.org/abstract/med/7513636

Antimicrobial Activities of European Propolis Collected from Various Geographic Origins Alone and in Combination with Antibiotics http://www.mdpi.com/2305-6320/5/1/2/htm

Antimicrobial activity, phenolic profile and role in the inflammation of propolis 
https://bibliotecadigital.ipb.pt/bitstream/10198/9613/1/FCT-%20hialuronidase-%20Jo%C3%A3o.pdf

Rapid Bactericidal Action of Propolis against Porphyromonas gingivalis http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0022034518758034

Propolis and Its Potential to Treat Gastrointestinal Disorders https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2018/2035820/abs/

Propolis Extract for Onychomycosis Topical Treatment: From Bench to Clinic https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5996904/

Antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiparasitic, and cytotoxic properties of various Brazilian propolis extracts https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5373518/

Ethanolic Extract of Propolis (EEP) Enhances the Apoptosis-Inducing Potential of TRAIL in Cancer Cells http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/14/2/738/htm

Oral Health of Patients Treated with Acrylic Partial Dentures Using a Toothpaste Containing Bee Product https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5317110/

Antiviral Activity of Hatay Propolis Against Replication of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 and Type 2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4750782/

 https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-390/propolis 

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