Propolis is a waxy mixture produced by honey bees from substances collected from
plants, buds, and exudates. Propolis is made of about 50% resins, 30%
waxes, 10% essential oils, 5% pollen, and 5% of various organic compounds. Bees
use propolis for construction and repair of their hives. Propolis is also known as bee
glue. Propolis has anti-microbial properties, and has been used for cold syndrome
(e.g. common cold, flu-like infections etc.), wound healing, burns, acne, herpes simplex
and genitalis and neurodermatitis. [8a]
Propolis is also applied in a number of daily
products, including lip balms, cosmetics, lotions and ointments, shampoos, conditioners,
and toothpastes. [1,2]

Potential Health Benefits of Propolis on COVID 19 (1/5/2021)

There are couples of recent scientific articles suggested the potential health benefits of
Propolis on
COVID 19. And here I would like to highlight the key points:

1. Scientists from Brazil (Biomed Pharmacother. 2020 Nov; 131: 110622) argue that
SARS-CoV-2 entry into host cells via a viral spike protein interaction with cellular
angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and serine protease TMPRSS2. This mechanism
involves PAK1 overexpression, which is a kinase that mediates coronavirus-induced lung
inflammation, fibrosis, and immune system suppression. Propolis components have
nhibitory effects on the ACE2, TMPRSS2 and PAK1 signaling pathways. Propolis has
shown benefits for
COVID-19 patients.

2. Researchers from Indonesia (J King Saud Univ Sci. 2021 Jan; 33(1): 101234) analyzed
the interaction profiles of propolis compounds with SARS-CoV-2 main protease. They reported
that glyasperin A and broussoflavonol F, are potential drug candidates for COVID-19, their
argument is based on their binding affinity of −7.8 kcal/mol and their ability to interact with
His41 and Cys145 as catalytic sites.

3. Scientists from Egypt (Int J Pharm. 2021 Jan 5; 592: 120028) suggested propolis liposomes
as a promising therapeutic approach for
COVID-19. In vitro studies, they found the inhibition of
viral replication of COVID-19 has been significantly enhanced via encapsulation of propolis
extract within the liposomal formulation and was comparable to the viral inhibitory effect of the
potent antiviral (remdesivir).

(Please note that more studies are needed to support the arguments above)

Potential Health Benefits of Propolis

Propolis is a natural product derived from plant resins collected by honeybees. It is used by
bees as glue, a general-purpose sealer, and as draught-extruder for beehives. Propolis has
been used in folk medicine for centuries. Propolis has been shown to have benefits of blood
pressure and cholesterol lowering. [3] Propolis was found to have benefits of activities against
a range of commonly encountered cocci and Gram-positive rods, including the human tubercle
bacillus, but only limited activity against Gram-negative bacilli. [7] In addition, because of its
antiinflammatory, antioxidative, anti-ulcer and anti-tumor activities, intake of propolis may
further benefit the health of the users. [1-6]

The chemical composition of propolis is quite complicated. It has more than 300 compounds
such as polyphenols, phenolic aldehydes, sequiterpene quinines, coumarins, amino acids,
steroids and inorganic compounds. [6] The contents depend on the collecting location, time
and plant source. Consequently, biological activities of propolis gathered from different
phytogeographical areas and time periods vary greatly. [1,4]

Side Effects of Propolis

Reports of allergic reactions are not uncommon. More 200 cases of dermatitis of propolis have
been reported, including the first description of 'poplar bud' contact dermatitis from 1887. [7] 1.2
to 6.6% of patients who are patch-tested for dermatitis are sensitive to propolis. The main
allergens are 3-methyl-2-butenyl caffeate and phenylethyl caffeate. Benzyl salicylate and benzyl
cinnamate are less frequent sensitizers. [2] Propolis is relatively non-toxic, with a no-effect level
(NOEL) in a 90-mouse study of 1400 mg/kg body weight/day. [5]

REFERENCE [1] Khalil ML. Biological activity of bee propolis in health and disease. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2006 Jan-Mar;7(1):
22-31. [2] Walgrave SE, et al, Allergic contact dermatitis from propolis. Dermatitis. 2005 Dec;16(4):209-15. [3] Castaldo S, Capasso
F. Propolis, an old remedy used in modern medicine. Fitoterapia. 2002 Nov;73 Suppl 1:S1-6. [4] Banskota AH, et al, Recent progress
in pharmacological research of propolis. Phytother Res. 2001 Nov;15(7):561-71. [5] Burdock GA. Review of the biological properties
and toxicity of bee propolis (propolis). Food Chem Toxicol. 1998 Apr;36(4):347-63. [6] Gallo FR, Savi G. Propolis: its use in
technology and researchBoll Chim Farm. 1995 Oct;134(9):483-91. [7] Grange JM, Davey RW. Antibacterial properties of propolis
(bee glue). J R Soc Med. 1990 Mar;83(3):159-60. [7] Hausen BM, et al, Propolis allergy. (I). Origin, properties, usage and literature
review. Contact Dermatitis. 1987 Sep;17(3):163-70. [8a] Adv Pharmacol Sci. 2013; 2013: 308249.
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