Propolis: Benefits, Uses, Effects?


Propolis: Benefits, Uses, Effects?
The composition of propolis and its therapeutic properties.

The propolis consists essentially of a mixture of compounds of aromatic nature and enriched by numerous phenolic substances very heterogeneous among them (fatty acids, terpenes, amino acids, vitamins, mineral salts, etc..) Whose distribution percentage is very variable in function of the seasons, the type of vegetation.
This remarkable diversity of the composition of propolis is a major difficulty from the application point of view since, renders difficult any serious experimentation which of course requires a basic product as homogeneous as possible. For this reason the first researchers who analyzed the propolis bother to divide the main constituents of propolis according to their solubility in ethyl alcohol and petroleum ether employed at different temperatures and concentrations.
According to this analysis, the more schematic propolis would consist primarily of resins, waxes and balms.


50-55% resins and balsams (terpenes, polysaccharides, uronic acids,
aromatic acids, aromatic aldehydes, acids and esters caffeic, ferulic
25-35% wax (fatty acids, oxyacids, lactones).
5-10% of volatile substances, of which 0.5% of essential oils.
5% of pollen, this accidental causes.
About 5% of various organic materials of which the most important are the flavonoids (benzoic acid, c. Caffeic ac. Ferulic acid, cinnamic alcohol, chrysin, galangin dimetossifiavoni, isovanilina, isalpina, pinocembrin, pinobanksina, pronostrobina, vanillin, kemferide, etc. ...), minerals (aluminum, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, manganese, lead, silica, etc ...), vitamins of the B group (Bl, B2, B6, PP),
vitamin C and E.
The extreme variability of the chemical composition of propolis is put into practice common in a wide diversity of its physical characteristics: color, aroma and flavor.
Depending on the sources of funding, the color of propolis varies from yellow-green (mainly pine) to reddish (prevalence of poplars) to black (mainly birch) with all possible shades between the different colors. Cos'ì even smell intensely aromatic wetsuit dependence of resinous substances present. The same applies to its taste that comes from the typical acrid-bitter until almost sweet.
The consistency of propolis depends instead on the ambient temperature, hard and brittle in cold propolis becomes ductile just handling the camera, and its malleability increases as the temperature approaches 30 ° C. At higher temperatures it becomes sticky and viscous, 65 -70 C melts.
Heated in a water bath propolis separates into two phases, the surface emerges the liquid phase while the bottom-waxy precipitates the phase-viscous resinous. The propolis is slightly soluble in water; more effective (but we are still far from the 00% 1) is its solubility in ethyl alcohol, propylene glycol and polietiienglicole. Solvents most effective are the ether, acetone, benzene and trichlorethylene but because of their toxicity can be used solely for the determination of the quality of different types of propolis.
Among the many components of propolis the group of polyphenols or fiavonoidi (flavones, and fiavonoidi fiavononi) is definitely the most interesting fraction and studied for its properties.
Flavonoids are plant pigments, similar to the anthocyanins, which function in plants is still little known but that most likely play a dual action protection and stimulation of basic metabolic functions such as respiration. Of course flavones are found in large quantities on the buds of the plants where they exert an effective protective action against adversity parasitic and the rigors of winter, protective action which is further accentuated by the waxy-resinous coating of the same gems.
The peculiarity of propolis, whose main source we know is made ​​up of resinous material collected by bees on gems, lies in the wealth of flavonoids that provide
Propolis most of their antimicrobial properties. According to some Soviet scholars about a third of the fraction of propolis soluble in ethyl alcohol is constituted by compounds of flavonoid nature, among these was identified galangin and pinocembrin with bacteriostatic action and sakuranetina which has antifungal activity.
In addition to the flavonoids in propolis are found other substances of aromatic nature (phenols, fenolacidi, alcohols and aldehydes with aromatic nucleus, etc..) That have strong antimicrobial properties as for example benzoic acid, and ferulic acid that likely contribute aviation bacteriostatic and bactericidal properties of propolis. Other compounds identified in propolis are esters of caffeic acid and xanterolo, all with antifungal activity.
In the past, the strong antibacterial and antifungal was assigned to that 0.5% of essential oils present in propolis, but today it has been proven they are just as flavonoids and in particular
galangin (which is rich in propolis collected in deciduous forests) and pinocembrin (mainly present in propolis originating from conifers) to ensure its precious Propolis antimicrobial properties.

The therapeutic properties

Unfortunately, not all flavonoids present in propolis exert bacterial activity evident. While galangin and pinocembrin also inhibit at low concentrations the growth of many microorganisms other flavonoids appear to be biologically less active.
In conclusion it can be said that the preparations of propolis when used at the right concentrations have the following properties.

Bacteriostatic and bactericidal

Numerous experiments have demonstrated both in vivo and in vitro the ability of propolis in alcoholic solution at a concentration from 10 to 20% to inhibit the development of various Gram-positive bacterial strains (Escherichia coli, Proteus vulgaris, Mycocter ¡um tuberculosis, Bacillus alvei, B . riverbeds, B. larvae, B. subtilis and several salmonella). These properties can be more or less evident depending on the presence in propolis benzoic acid, ferulic acid, galangin and pinocembrin whose antibacterial properties even at low concentrations have long been known

fungicidal properties

The preparations of propolis were particularly active against Candida infections, Saccharomyces, tricofili, and microspori can cause numerous parasitic diseases (mycoses) in humans and animals. Such action would be due to the presence of caffeic acid, pinocembrin, pinobaucsina and benzii-p-cumarolo.
Propolis also performs fungicidal action in respect of certain fungi that attack the plant world.

antiviral properties

Propolis performs an action of inhibition against some types of Herpers, the corona virus and about 10 types of viral infections.
This property would be mainly due to the water-soluble fraction of propolis.

healing properties

Always propolis has been used as a healing ointment in the form of thanks to the remarkable ability to stimulate tissue regeneration in case of wounds and sores.


The impigo of propolis would enhance the action of vaccines (such as those against typhoid and paratyphoid) as evidenced by numerous studies carried out on calves.

property vasoprotective

Also, thanks aviation flavonoids that make up the so-called 'P-Factor' propolis would play a preventive permeability and fragility capiliare.

Antioxidant properties and antiirrancidenti

The presence of phenols would allow the use of propolis also in the preservation of fats and foods in general in substitution of chemical additives.
In addition to these properties, propolis taken internally improve the secretion of gastric juice is diuretic, promotes the absorption of vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and antisenile for the effect of activating enzyme complexes.
Currently, the increased use of propolis is still the outside as a disinfectant, healing and soothing, through solutions, ointments and salves. Internal use is still limited to the experimental level also because of the greater implications and the difficulty of preparations titrated.


Until now you have not registered any significant downside in the use of propolis with the exception of a few cases of hypersensitivity and allergic sensitization have arisen in subjects tended to, events in relation to the abundant harvest of allergens present in the resins of the plants from which the bees draw propolis.

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asked Jul 4, 2014 by Lancomega Level (10,245 points)