Propolis has various uses in medicine; however, its effectiveness has not always been scientifically proven. It is used to treat ulcers, bacterial infections (including tuberculosis), viral infections (such as colds and flu), fungal infections and protozoa. Propolis is also used to boost the immune system, treat gastrointestinal problems and acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.
According to research, it seems to be potentially effective in treating cold sores and genital herpes. It also helps relieve pain and swelling after oral cavity operations.
What is Propolis?
Propolis is a resin-like material produced from the buds of poplars and conifers. It acts as an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant and immunomodulatory agent. Propolis also has anti-cancerous properties.
How should Propolis be taken?
Propolis may be administered orally (e.g. in the form of drops or spray) or applied to the skin.
Side effects associated with Propolis
Propolis is considered a safe remedy to be taken orally or applied to the skin following the dosages indicated. However, it can trigger allergic reactions, especially in people who are allergic to bees or bee products. In some cases, it may irritate the mouth or cause oral ulcers. Lastly, Propolis can speed up the time it takes for the blood to clot.
Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Propolis
Before starting treatment with Propolis, it is important to tell your doctor if:
- You have any allergies to the active substance, its excipients or any other drugs or food. Mentioning in particular: products derived from bees such as honey, salicylates and Peru balsam
- You are taking any other medications, herbal remedies or supplements. Mentioning in particular: blood thinners (aspirin, clopidogrel, dalteparin, enoxaparin, heparin, ticlopidine, warfarin and others) and products made of angelica, clove, sage, garlic, ginger, ginkgo and ginseng
- You are suffering (or have suffered) from asthma, bleeding disorders or allergies
It is also important to inform surgeons and dentists of any ongoing treatment with Propolis. It is recommended to discontinue its intake 2 weeks prior to undergoing surgery.
Propolis is also generally considered safe during pregnancy and lactation; however, it is still advised to consult with a doctor about its use.