Part Used: Bee-harvested plant resin (minimal wax)
Propolis (Resina propoli) is a natural resin created by bees, used in the construction of hives. It is also known as bee glue which is a brownish resinous substance collected by bees, mainly from poplar and conifer buds, and used to seal their hives. Because of antimicrobial properties of Propolis, it helps keep hives free of germs. Propolis has a long history of use in folk medicine and was even used as an official drug in London in the 1600s. Over time, Propolis has been used for many purposes and marketed as lozenges, cough syrups, toothpastes, mouth rinses, lipsticks, cosmetics and even for the varnishing of Stradivarius violins. It appears to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities. Historically, Propolis has been taken by mouth for bacterial infections such as tuberculosis; fungal infections such as oral candidiasis (thrush); parasitic infections such as malaria; and viral infections such as colds. Various studies on animal and human have shown that it may have some mild anti-infective effects, possibly due to chemical components of Propolis known as flavonoids.
The composition of Propolis is variable, depending on the locale and variety of trees and other plant species used for the collection. The main chemical constituents found in Propolis include flavonoids, phenolics and terpenes. The flavonoids include quercetin, apegenin, galangin, kaempferol, luteolin, pinocembrin, pinostrobin and pinobanksin. The phenolic ester (caffeic acid phenethyl ester or CAPE) present in Propolis is receiving much attention in the medical research community because of its potential for the treatment of a number of disorders, including spinal cord injury. There is evidence that Propolis has some broad antimicrobial activity and that it may have anti-inflammatory effects that could make it useful in the treatment of some forms of arthritis, among other disorders. There is also some evidence of anti-cancer activity. It shows antimicrobial activity in culture against a broad spectrum of pathogens, including influenza and herpes viruses, as well as HIV and various fungal and bacterial organisms. Propolis may also have a number of additional effects. A chemical that it contains — caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) — may interfere with the formation of substances, such as prostaglandin-E(2), that promote inflammation in the body. This possible effect may help to relieve inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
PDR Health. http://www.pdrhealth.com/drug_info/nmdrugprofiles/nutsupdrugs/pro_0294.shtml
Drug Digest. http://www.drugdigest.org/DD/DVH/HerbsWho/0,3923,4068%7CPropolis,00.html