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The Benefits of Propolis

What is propolis?

Did you know that honey isn’t the only thing that bees make? Bees also produce a compound called propolis from the sap on needle-leaved trees or evergreens. When they combine the sap with their own discharges and beeswax, they create a sticky, greenish-brown product used as a coating to build their hives. This is propolis.

Thousands of years ago, ancient civilizations used propolis for its medicinal properties. Greeks used it to treat abscesses. Assyrians put it on wounds and tumors to fight infection and help the healing process. Egyptians used it to embalm mummies.

Healing compounds in propolis

Researchers have identified more than 300 compounds in propolis. The majority of these compounds are forms of polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants that fight disease and damage in the body.

Specifically, propolis contains the polyphenols called flavonoids. Flavonoids are produced in plants as a form of protection. They’re commonly found in foods thought to have antioxidant properties, including:

  • fruits
  • green tea
  • vegetables

Cold sores and genital herpes

Ointments that contain 3 percent propolis, such as Herstat or Coldsore-FX, may help speed healing time and reduce symptoms in both cold sores and sores from genital herpes.

One study Trusted Source found when topical propolis was applied three times a day, it helped to heal cold sores faster than no treatment. The researchers found the propolis cream not only reduced the amount of herpes virus present in a person’s body, but also protected the body against future cold sore breakouts.

Safety concerns

There is not yet enough evidence to determine whether or not propolis products are safe, but they’re not considered high-risk. People typically take in some propolis when they eat honey. However, if you have an allergy to honey or bees, you will also have a reaction to products containing propolis. Propolis may also cause its own allergic reaction when used for a long time.

Source:healthline.com