Propolis is used for diabetes, cold sores, and swelling (inflammation) and sores inside the mouth (oral mucositis). It is also used for burns, canker sores, genital herpes, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): There is no good evidence to support using propolis for COVID-19. Follow healthy lifestyle choices and proven prevention methods instead.
How does it work ?
Uses & Effectiveness ?
Possibly Effective for
- Diabetes. Research shows that taking propolis may improve blood sugar control by a small amount in people with diabetes. But it doesn't seem to affect insulin levels or improve insulin resistance.
- Cold sores (herpes labialis). Most research shows that applying an ointment or cream containing 0.5% to 3% propolis five times daily helps cold sores to heal faster and reduces pain.
- Swelling (inflammation) and sores inside the mouth (oral mucositis). Most research shows that rinsing the mouth with a propolis mouth rinse helps heal sores caused by cancer drugs or dentures.
Insufficient Evidence for
- Prone to allergies and allergic reactions (atopic disease). Early research shows that taking propolis while nursing a newborn infant doesn't seem to reduce the child's risk of developing allergies at one year of age.
- Burns. Early research shows that applying propolis to the skin every 3 days might help treat minor burns and prevent infections.
- Canker sores. Early research shows that taking propolis by mouth daily for 6-13 months reduces canker sore outbreaks.
- A painful disease transmitted by mosquitos (dengue fever). Research shows that taking propolis helps people with dengue fever leave the hospital faster. It is not known if propolis helps with symptoms of dengue fever.
- Foot sores in people with diabetes. Early research shows that applying a propolis ointment to sores on the feet of people with diabetes might help the sores to heal faster.
- Genital herpes. Early research shows that applying a 3% propolis ointment four times daily for 10 days might improve healing of lesions in people with genital herpes. Some research suggests that it might heal lesions faster and more completely than the conventional treatment 5% acyclovir ointment.
- A mild form of gum disease (gingivitis). Early research suggests that using propolis in a gel or a rinse might help prevent or reduce signs of gum disease.
- A digestive tract infection that can lead to ulcers (Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori). Early research shows that taking 60 drops of a preparation containing Brazilian green propolis daily for 7 days does not reduce H. pylori infection.
- Infection of the intestines by parasites. Early research suggests that taking a 30% propolis extract for 5 days can cure giardiasis in more people than the drug tinidazole.
- Thrush. Early research suggests that using Brazilian green propolis extract four times daily for 7 days can prevent oral thrush in people with dentures.
- A serious gum infection (periodontitis). Early research shows that deeply rinsing the gums with a propolis extract solution decreases bleeding of gums in people with periodontitis. Taking propolis by mouth helps to prevent loose teeth in people with this condition. But taking propolis by mouth doesn't seem to help with plaque or bleeding.
- Athlete's foot (Tinea pedis). Early research shows that applying Brazilian green propolis to the skin decreases itching, peeling, and redness in students with athlete's foot.
- Upper airway infection. There is some early evidence that propolis might help prevent or reduce the duration of common colds and other upper airway infections.
- Swelling (inflammation) of the vagina (vaginitis). Early research suggests that applying a 5% propolis solution vaginally for 7 days can reduce symptoms and improve quality of life in people with vaginal swelling.
- Warts. Early research shows that taking propolis by mouth daily for up to 3 months cures warts in some people with plane and common warts. However, propolis does not seem to treat plantar warts.
- Wound healing. Early research shows that using a propolis mouth rinse five times daily for 1 week might improve healing and reduce pain and swelling after mouth surgery. However, if people are already using a special dressing after dental surgery, using a propolis solution in the mouth does not seem to offer additional benefit.
- Improving immune response.
- Infections of the kidney, bladder, or urethra (urinary tract infections or UTIs).
- Nose and throat cancer.
- Stomach and intestinal disorders.
- Other conditions.
When applied to the skin: Propolis is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin appropriately. It can cause allergic reactions, especially in people who are allergic to bees or bee products.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Asthma: Some experts believe certain chemicals in propolis may make asthma worse. Avoid using propolis if you have asthma.
Bleeding conditions: A certain chemical in propolis might slow blood clotting. Taking propolis might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.
Allergies: Do not use propolis if you are allergic to bee by-products including honey, conifers, poplars, Peru balsam, and salicylates.
Surgery: A certain chemical in propolis might slow blood clotting. Taking propolis might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop taking propolis 2 weeks before surgery.
We currently have no information for PROPOLIS overview.
- For diabetes: 500 mg of propolis three times per day for 8 weeks. 900 mg of propolis daily for 12 weeks. 400 mg of propolis daily for 6 months.
- For swelling (inflammation) and sores inside the mouth (oral mucositis): 80 mg of propolis (Natur Farma S.A.S.) 2-3 times daily has been used along with rinsing with bicarbonate solution.
- For cold sores (herpes labialis): Creams or ointments containing propolis 0.5% or 3% applied to the lips 5 times per day at the start of cold sore symptoms.
- For swelling (inflammation) and sores inside the mouth (oral mucositis): 5 mL of propolis 30% mouth rinse (Soren Tektoos) for 60 seconds three times daily for 7 days has been used. 10 mL of a mouth wash has been used as a gargle 3 times daily in addition to chlorhexidine mouthwash and fluconazole for 14 days. Propolis 2% to 3% (extract EPP-AF) has been applied to dentures 3-4 times daily for 7-14 daily.
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