Advances in Pharmacological Sciences
Volume 2013, Article ID 308249,
Propolis: A Wonder Bees Product and Its
Vijay D. Wagh
Department of Pharmaceutics, R. C. Patel Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Near Karvand Naka, Shirpur,
Dist Dhule, Maharashtra 425405, India
Correspondence should be addressed to Vijay D. Wagh; firstname.lastname@example.org
Received 2 August 2013; Accepted 4 October 2013
Academic Editor: Eduardo Munoz
Copyright © 2013 Vijay D. Wagh. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which
permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Propolis is a natural resinous mixture produced by honey bees from substances collected from parts of plants, buds, and exudates.
Due to its waxy nature and mechanical properties, bees use propolis in the construction and repair of their hives for sealing openings
and cracks and smoothing out the internal walls and as a protective barrier against external invaders like snakes, lizards, and so
forth, or against weathering threats like wind and rain. Bees gather propolis from different plants, in the temperate climate zone
mainly from poplar. Current antimicrobial applications of propolis include formulations for cold syndrome (upper respiratory
tract infections, common cold, and flu-like infections), wound healing, treatment of burns, acne, herpes simplex and genitalis,
and neurodermatitis. Worldwide propolis has a tremendous popularity, but in India the studies over propolis have just started, not
extensively reported except few regions of India like Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Gujrat, and Madhya Pradesh.
Propolis is a natural resinous mixture produced by honeybees
from substances collected from parts of plants, buds, and
exudates. The word propolis is derived from Greek, in which
pro stands for “at the entrance to” and polis for “community”
or “city,” which means this natural product is used in hive
defense. Another name of propolis is bee glue. Due to its waxy
nature and mechanical properties, bees use propolis in the
construction and repair of their hives—for sealing openings
and cracks and smoothing out the internal walls [
as a protective barrier against external invaders like snakes,
lizards, and so forth, or against wind and rain. Bees gather
propolis from different plants in different temperate climatic
Honey and propolis provide beneficial effect on human
employed by man, especially in folk medicine to treat
several maladies. Egyptians used bee glue to embalm their
cadavers as they well knew about its putrefactive properties.
Incas employed propolis as an antipyretic agent. Greek
and Roman physicians used it as mouth disinfectant and
as an antiseptic and healing product in wound treatment,
prescribed for topical therapy of cutaneous and mucosal
]. Propolis was listed as an official drug in the
antibacterial activity, in Europe propolis became very popular
between the 17th and 20th centuries. In Italy bee glue was
used as a violin varnish [
] by Stradivari. In the end of the
properties and in the Second World War it was employed
in several Soviet clinics for tuberculosis treatment, due to
the observed decline of lung problems and appetite recovery.
In the Balkan states propolis was applied to treat wounds
and burns, sore throat, and stomach ulcer [
]. The first
its chemical properties and composition which was further
indexed to chemical abstract [
health food stores in different forms for topical use. It is also
used in cosmetics or as popular alternative medicine for self-
treatment of various diseases. Current applications of propo-
lis include formulations for cold syndrome (upper respiratory
tract infections, common cold, and flu-like infections), as
well as dermatological preparations useful in wound healing,
treatment of burns, acne, herpes simplex and genitalis, and
neurodermatitis. Propolis is also used in mouthwashes and
toothpastes to prevent caries and to treat gingivitis and
stomatitis. It is widely used in cosmetics and in health
foods and beverages. It is commercially available in the form
of capsules, mouthwash solutions, creams, throat lozenges,
powder, and also in many purified products from which
the wax was removed. Due to its antimicrobial, antiviral,
and antioxidant properties, it is widely used in human and
veterinary medicine, pharmacology, and cosmetics.
2. Propolis Characteristics, Source, and
2.1. Characteristics. Propolis is a lipophilic in nature, hard
and brittle material and it becomes soft, pliable, gummy, and
very sticky when heated [
]. It possesses a characteristic and
to red and to dark brown depending on its source and age [
yellow to dark brown. But even transparent propolis has been
2.2. Composition. Propolis is a complex mixture made by
bee-released and plant-derived compounds. In general, raw
propolis is composed of around 50% resins, 30% waxes,
10% essential oils, 5% pollen, and 5% of various organic
]. More than 300 constituents were
] and new ones are still
being recognized during chemical characterization of new
types of propolis [
]. The proportions of the various
time of collection.
Many analytical methods have been used for separa-
tion and identification of propolis constituents and the
substances identified belong to the following groups of
chemically similar compounds: polyphenols; benzoic acids
and derivatives; cinnamic alcohol and cinnamic acid and its
derivatives; sesquiterpene and triterpene hydrocarbons; ben-
zaldehyde derivatives; other acids and respective derivatives;
alcohols, ketones, and heteroaromatic compounds; terpene
and sesquiterpene alcohols and their derivatives; aliphatic
hydrocarbons; minerals; sterols and steroid hydrocarbons;
sugars and amino acids [
]. As it may be expected, volatile
in low amounts [
]. Sugars are thought to be introduced
sage of bees over the resin. Some compounds are common
in all propolis samples and determine its characteristics
Propolis of different origin contains different con-
stituents. Some constituents are present in many samples
from different places. Some constituents are present in sample
from specific plant origin [
Different geographical origin of propolis sample varies
]. The essential principal compounds responsible
for biological activities are polyphenols, aromatic acids, and
diterpenic acids, but very few different propolis types have
been different in their main bioactive compounds (
Different composition is also related to specific flora of the
region and treatments of raw material.
2.3. Melting Point. Propolis is soft, pliable, and sticky sub-
stance at 25
C to 45
C. Particularly, in frozen condition, it
becomes hard and brittle. It will remain brittle after such
treatment even at higher temperatures. Above 45
C, it will
liquid at 60
C to 70
C, but for some samples the melting point
may be as high as 100
of propolis, it cannot be used directly. Propolis is extracted
commercially with suitable solvent. The most common
solvents used for extraction are water, methanol, ethanol,
chloroform, dichloromethane, ether, and acetone. Many of
the bactericidal components are soluble in water or alcohol
] which should remove the inert material and preserve
the geographical region and second one the method of
], the solvent should be carefully chosen [
and other chemical compounds extracted are determined in
2.5. Propolis in Indian Scenario. India, being a vast country,
compositions and medicinal values which are mentioned in
. But unfortunately it is still to be explored.
2.6. Antioxidant Activity. To the best of our knowledge, this is
the first report published on the antioxidant activity of Indian
propolis extract and its chemical constituent’s pinocembrin
and galangin. In all the antioxidant assay systems, aqueous
extract of propolis (AEP) showed higher activity compared
to the ethanolic extract of propolis (EEP). This may be due
to its higher polyphenols content. So, AEP can be a good
substitute of ethanol extract. Moreover, it can be used in
prevention of various free radical related diseases. Galangin
also showed comparable activity with that of AEP and
EEP and highest activity than pinocembrin. This is due to
structural differences between these two compounds. Further
research is underway to analyze the constituents of AEP and
their antioxidant activity [
Roy et al. extended pinocembrin and galangin in the
spectrum of fascinating morphologies. Both of these two
extracts were found to be extremely efficient in the synthesis
of Ag and Au nanoparticles under alkaline condition for a
given metal ion precursor; the kinetics of a particle synthesis
were remarkably similar in all the cases, as it is evident from
the absorption spectra monitored over time [
of vitamin C in 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free
radical system was determined. The free radical scavenging
activity of EEP was 70.96% and 72.97%, respectively, in the
concentration range of 100 mcg at the difference of 30 min
Table 1: Geographic origin, main plant sources, and chemical compounds [
Main bioactive compounds
nontropic regions of
Populus spp., most
B. dracunculifolia DC.
Prenylated p-coumaric acids,
Table 2: Different solvents used for the extraction of propolis [
and 1 hr, respectively. The result of free radical scavenging
effect of vitamin C was 94.7% at 100 mcg and 93.4% at 10 mcg
2.7. Antibacterial Activity. According to Kumar et al., the
antimicrobial property of propolis collected from Gujarat by
agar diffusion method against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus
subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Candida
albicans, and Asparagus nigar. Ethanolic extracts of sample
(conc. 200 mg/mL) showed high antibacterial activity against
Gram-positive, that is, Bacillus subtilis, but least activity
against Gram-negative bacteria (P. aeruginosa and E. coli).
The yeast C. albicans showed the moderate zone of inhibition
whereas A. Niger did not show any activity. However, the least
was in the 40% methanolic extracts [
Selvan et al. collected propolis from different places in
that bee propolis in combination with chlorhexidine
possesses high antimicrobial activity against Streptococcus
mutans. Propolis in combination with chlorhexidine can
suppress the pathogenic potentials of a dental plaque by
inhibiting the adherence and accumulation of cariogenic
Streptococci on the tooth surface. The inhibition of the
growth of the clinical stress by trace quantities of a propolis
suggests that it can be used in the treatment of dental caries.
2.8. Biological Activities. The use of different solvents changes
activity of main biologically active constituent in propolis.
Those are responsible for its many biological properties
and also change by geographic origin and dosage form
responsible for its potential effects with specific reagent.
2.9. Antifungal Activity. Propolis has shown fungicide effects
on juice spoilage fungi Candida famata, C. glabrata, C.
kefyr, C. pelliculosa, C. parapsilosis, and Pichia ohmeri [
]. Propolis is the bee product with the highest
cans, C. glabrata, C. krusei, and Trichosporon spp. [
glabrata (MIC 0.03–7.5
??????g/mL), Trichosporon spp. (MIC 0.1–
??????g/mL), and Rhodotorula sp. (MIC <0.01 ??????g/mL) and the
strain was C. Albicans. In an unpublished study in Bangalore,
Indian propolis has been observed to be more effective than
Table 3: Geographic origin, activity, and chemical compounds in
Solvent used in
routinely used anticaries agents in inhibiting the growth of
Streptococcus mutans which is a frequent cause of dental
]. Oliveira et al. (2006) was studied the 67 samples of
yeasts isolated and identified from samples of onychomycosis
comprising the following species: Candida albicans, Candida
parapsilosis, Candida tropicalis, Candida kefyr, Candida guil-
liermondii, Candida lusitaniae, Candida glabrata, Candida
stellatoidea, Candida Trichosporon sp. including T. asahii,
T. ovoides, and T. cutaneum, one Geotrichum candidum,
and three Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Trichosporon sp. was the
most sensitive species, showing MIC
most resistant, with CFM
mg/mL of flavonoids
]. The activity of ethanolic
extraction of propolis was elevated by disc diffusion method
when the concentration increased to 20% and 30%. EEP was
not effective against C. albicans [
(PMs) from Brazilian propolis [
the propolis extract (PE) against clinical yeast C. albicans and
31 non-C. albicans (C. glabrata, C. tropicalis, C. guilliermondii,
and C. parapsilosis) isolates of importance in the vulvovaginal
candidiasis (VVC). Moreover, the main antifungal drugs
used in the treatment of VVC were also tested. C. albicans
isolates showed resistance or dose-dependent susceptibility
for the azolic drugs and Amphotericin B. Non-C. albicans
isolates showed more resistance and dose-dependent sus-
ceptibility for the azolic drugs than C. albicans. However,
all of them were sensitive or dose-dependent susceptible for
Amphotericin B. All yeasts were inhibited by PE and PMs,
with small variation, independent of the species of yeast.
The overall results provided important information for the
potential application of PMs in the therapy of VVC and the
possible prevention of the occurrence of new symptomatic
one of the most popular methods used to determine the
antimicrobial activity. A suspension of a sensitive indicator
microorganism is inoculated on agar plates by spreading
homogeneously on its surface, and blank paper discs con-
taining the sample to be checked for antimicrobial activity
are placed on top. After an incubation period at optimal
temperature, antibacterial activity is evaluated by determin-
ing the diameter of the growth inhibition zones in the agar
layer surrounding the disc [
]. Some authors argue that this
as results are influenced by the solubility and hence the
diffusivity of the individual constituents in agar, proposing
the use of another methodology which is also commonly
used for the same purpose, the dilution method. In this
procedure, propolis samples are serially twofold diluted and
a fixed volume is added to liquid or solid medium, by making
a series of concentrations. Bacterial inoculums are added to
each experimental condition and the occurrence of growth
is analyzed after incubation at optimal conditions. Broth
microdilution is considered a good method for a rapid and
simultaneous screening of multiple samples; for comparing
propolis extracts and giving more consistent results, it is
suitable method to be used. Additionally, it allows the deter-
mination of the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and
the minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC) which are,
respectively, the lowest concentration that inhibits visible
bacterial growth and the lowest concentration that kills
]. Briefly, thin-layer chromatography plates
where propolis samples were eluted are covered with agar
suspensions of the microorganism whose sensitivity is going
to be tested. Antibacterial activity is visualized as clear areas
after proper incubation [
Data from studies concerning antibacterial properties of
Gram-positive bacteria in and shows lower activity against
the Gram-negative ones at small quantity or is inactive at
]. Such results can be seen in the work of
Kujumgiev et al. (1999) who tested propolis samples from
different geographic regions (tropical and temperate zones)
against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. All the
extracts displayed significant antibacterial activity against S.
aureus but none was active against E. coli; it is also relevant
that all the 12 samples tested, from different origins, showed
the same effect.
Several studies have been performed to evaluate this
property against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria
samples using different types of propolis by using different
The activity of ethanolic extract of Al-Museiab propolis
(EEMP) against E. coli, Salmonella typhi, Listeria mono-
cytogenes, Helicobacter pylori, Streptococcus pyogenes, Pseu-
domonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneu-
monia, and Enterobacter aerogenes isolates by the method of
Table 4: Bacteria used in identification of antibacterial activity [
(S. auricularis, S. capitis, S.
haemolyticus, S. hominis, S.
mutans, and S. warnerii)
Pneumonia, S. pyogenes, S.
??????-haemolyticus, S. mutans,
S. sobrinus, and S. viridians)
disc diffusion and agar-well diffusion; Staphylococcus aureus
was highly sensitive to EEMP than other Gram positive
and Gram-negative bacteria, while standard E. coli strain
was highly sensitive to EEMP than other Gram-negative
bacteria. Results of disc diffusion methods of crude EEMP
at 10% concentration showed that S. Aureus was highly
sensitive to EEMP inhibition while C. albicans was resistant.
Statistical analysis showed significant differences
(?????? ≤ 0.05)
between results of disc and agar diffusion methods of EEP
at concentration of 10%, while there were no significant
(?????? ≤ 0.05) at concentrations of 20% and 30% of
extract, respectively [
Furth Grange and Davey reported that ethanol extracts
S. aureus, Enterococcus spp., and Bacillus cereus, partially
inhibited Pseudomonas aeruginosa and E. coli growth, and
had no effect on Klebsiella pneumoniae [
]. The mechanism
be attributed to the synergistic activity between pheno-
lic and other compounds [
], mainly to the flavonoids
]. A stronger
coccus aureus [
]; anaerobic bacteria of human
], Salmonella [
], and on miscellaneous
microorganisms including Mycobacterium [
] In screen-
per mL) in nutrient agar, Thus it appeared to have a
preferential inhibitory effect on cocci and Gram-positive
2.12. Antiprotozoan Activity. Antiprotozoal activity is eval-
of parasites after incubation in the presence of different
concentrations of propolis. The effect of European propolis on
protozoa reported by several publications that cause diseases
in humans and animals such as trichomoniasis, toxoplas-
mosis, giardiasis, Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, and malaria.
Indeed, antiprotozoan activity has also been reported on
Giardia lamblia, Trichomonas vaginalis, Toxoplasma gondii,
Leishmania donovani, and Trypanosoma cruzi [
2.13. Antioxidant Activity. Propolis is notable for its antiox-
] play a great role in its immunomodulatory properties
]. The flavonoids concentrated in propolis are powerful
evaluate antioxidant potential is based on the depletion of
free radicals by the addition of scavenger compounds. Mea-
surements of 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical
consumption are related to the intrinsic ability of a substance
or a complex mixture to donate hydrogen atoms or electrons
to this reactive species in a homogeneous system. It was
reported that propolis increases the cellular immune response
through the increase of mRNA for interferon-
?????? and activates
the production of cytokines [
graphical regions (Motobes, Kafr El-Sheikh, and Desouk)
in Kafr El-Sheikh Governorate, Egypt, were prepared. The
extracts were analyzed for the determination of total polyphe-
nols which ranged from 5.70 to 8.79 g/100 gm of the sample
and from 22.80 to 34.30 g/100 g of the freeze drier extract.
The total flavonoids content ranged from 3.05 to 4.85 g/100 g
of the sample. Water extracts of propolis were evaluated
for antioxidant activity using
??????-carotene bleaching and 1,1-
diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging
assay system. It was observed that all propolis had strong
antioxidant activity due to their contents of total phenols and
flavonoids. The highest activity was found for the sample from
Desouk followed by these from Kafr El-Sheikh, then those
from Motobes. Freeze-dried extract of propolis can be used as
natural antioxidant in sunflower oil as compared to BHT and
TBHQ. Propolis from Desouk and Kafr El-Sheikh at 200 and
300 ppm were similar in reducing peroxide values and both of
them at 300 ppm were better than BHT but lower than TBHQ,
added at 200 ppm concentration, in reducing peroxides and
hydroperoxidase production in sunflower oil at 63
C for 4
Antioxidants have been shown to be capable of scaveng-
ing free radicals and thereby protecting lipids and other com-
pounds such as vitamin C from being oxidized or destroyed
factors, are responsible for cellular aging and degradation in
such conditions as cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, cancer,
diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Oxida-
tive damage may also result in poor liver function. Studies
on rats in vitro show that propolis extracts protect against
damage to liver cells [
contains phenolic compound and this phenolic group shows
antioxidant activity. Water was revealed to be less effective
and less toxic for extracting phenolic compounds from
propolis than the methanol and water/ethanol. In spring,
higher amounts of phenols (total phenols, flavones, flavonols,
flavanones, and dihydroflavonols) were detected in hydroal-
coholic extracts of propolis than in winter [
amounts of phenols were detected in hydroalcoholic extracts
of propolis than in winter. Among the three main areas of
Algarve where samples were collected, those from Barrocal
had the highest levels of polyphenols, depending on the
season (winter or spring). Within each area, the levels
of phenols changed according to the zone. Concerning
antioxidant activity, samples from Barrocal presented better
radical scavenging abilities than those from the remaining
areas, depending on the antioxidant method and collection
]. Miguel et al. extended their work and described
capacity of extracts of propolis for scavenging DPPH [
was reviewed by Orsolic et al. The chemopreventive activity
of propolis in animal models and cell cultures is likely to
be the result of their ability to inhibit DNA synthesis in
tumour cells, their capability to induce apoptosis of tumour
cells, and their property to activate macrophages to produce
factors capable of regulating the function of B, T and
NK cells, respectively. Moreover, these results suggest that
flavonoids from propolis play a protective role against the
toxicity of the chemotherapeutic agents or radiation in mice,
giving hope that they may have similar protective action
in humans. The combination with an adjuvant antioxidant
therapy may enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy by
ameliorating the side effect on leukocytes, liver, and kidneys
and consequently enabling dose escalation [
phenethyl esters (CAPE) from poplar propolis and Artepillin
C from Baccharis propolis have been identified as the most
potent antitumor agents [
The in vitro anticarcinogenic potential of propolis in
human lymphocytes was investigated. Blood samples were
obtained from ten healthy males, nonsmoking volunteers,
which were incubated and exposed to increasing concentra-
tions of propolis
(0.01, 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 0.7, and 1.0 mL). The
mean micronucleus rates were 1.4770.38–4.0270.64. Mitotic
index rates were between 19.4572.22 and 0.2870.33. The
differences between the control and exposed cells were sta-
tistically significant (pp 0 : 05). Exposure to different concen-
trations of propolis cannot produce a carcinogenic effect in
peripheral human lymphocytes in vitro. However, increasing
micronucleus (MN) rates showed that propolis could have a
carcinogenic effect in high concentrations [
plex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli,
such as pathogens, damaged cells, irritants, and free rad-
icals. Anti-inflammatory activity means the primary effect
of the host defense system. The anti-inflammatory activity
of propolis has been reviewed by Almeida and Menezes.
Propolis has inhibitory effects on myeloperoxidase activity,
NADPH-oxidase ornithine decarboxylase, tirosine-protein-
kinase, and hyaluronidase from guinea pig mast cells. This
anti-inflammatory activity can be explained by the presence
of active flavonoids and cinnamic acid derivatives. The for-
mer includes acacetin, quercetin, and naringenin; the latter
includes caffeic acid phenyl ester (CAPE) and caffeic acid
]. CAPE and galangin, both being typical poplar
propolis constituents, exhibited anti-inflammatory activity
and significantly inhibited carrageenan oedema, carrageenan
pleurisy, and adjuvant arthritis inflammations in rats [
An ethanol extract of propolis suppressed prostaglandin and
vitro and during zymosan-induced acute peritoneal inflam-
mation in vivo. Dietary propolis significantly suppressed the
lipoxygenase pathway of arachidonic acid metabolism during
inflammation in vivo. CAPE was a more potent modulator of
arachidonic acid metabolism than caffeic acid, quercetin, and
lis was evaluated against mercury-induced oxidative stress
and antioxidant enzymatic alteration in mice liver. Expo-
sure to mercuric chloride (HgCl
; 5 mg/kg; i.p.) induced
dized glutathione level along with concomitant decrease
in glutathione and various antioxidant enzymes. Mercury
intoxication deviated the activity of liver marker enzyme
in serum. Conjoint treatment of propolis (200 mg/kg; p.o.)
inhibited lipid peroxidation and oxidized glutathione level
whereas increased glutathione level. Activity of antioxidants
enzymes, that is, superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione
S-transferase, and glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase, was
also restored concomitantly toward control after propo-
lis administration. Release of serum transaminases alka-
line phosphatase, lactate dehydrogenase, and
transpeptidase was significantly restored toward control after
propolis treatment. Results suggest that propolis augments
the antioxidant defense against mercury-induced toxicity
and provides evidence that it has therapeutic potential as
hepatoprotective agent [
Bhadauria et al.’s study had been conducted to confirm
hepatorenal oxidative stress and resultant injury. Propo-
Sprague Dawley rats were used for experiment. Animals were
exposed to CCl 4 (0.15 mL/kg, i.p.) for 12 weeks (5 days/week)
followed by treatment with propolis extract (200 mg/kg,
p.o.) for consecutive 2 weeks. Ethanolic extract of propo-
lis successfully prevented these alterations in experimental
animals. Activities of catalase, adenosine triphosphatase,
glucose-6-phosphatase, acid, and alkaline phosphatase were
also maintained towards normal with propolis therapy. Light
microscopical studies showed considerable protection in
liver and kidney with propolis treatment and, thus, sub-
stantiated biochemical observations. This study confirmed
hepatoprotective potential of propolis extract against chronic
injury induced by CCl
by regulating antioxidative defense
propolis against experimental diabetes mellitus-associated
changes was examined. Diabetes was induced experimentally
in rats by i.p. injection of streptozotocin (STZ) in a dose
of 60 mg/kg bwt for 3 successive days. Blood urea nitrogen
(BNU), creatinine, glucose, lipid profile, malondialdehyde
(MDA), and urinary albumin were measured. Superoxide
dismutase (SOD), glutathione (GSH), catalase (CAT), and
MDA were measured in the renal tissue. The results showed
decreased body weight and increased kidney weight in
diabetic animals. Compared to the control normal rats,
diabetic rats had higher blood glucose, BNU, creatinine, total
cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol
(LDL-C), MDA and urinary albumin, and lower high-density
lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) levels. Moreover, renal tis-
sue MDA was markedly increased while SOD, GSH, and CAT
were significantly decreased. Oral administration of propolis
extract in doses of 100, 200, and 300 mg/kg bwt improved the
body and kidney weights, serum glucose, lipid profile, MDA,
and renal function tests. Renal GSH, SOD, and CAT were
significantly increased while MDA was markedly reduced.
These results may suggest a strong antioxidant effect of
propolis which can ameliorate oxidative stress and delay the
occurrence of diabetic nephropathy in diabetes mellitus [
The effect of Chinese and Brazilian propolis on
Dawley rats was studied [
]. The results showed that
inhibited body weight loss and blood glucose increase in
diabetic rats. In addition, Chinese propolis-treated rats
showed an 8.4% reduction of glycated hemoglobin levels
compared with untreated diabetic rats. Measurement of
blood lipid metabolism showed dyslipidemia in diabetic
rats and Chinese propolis helped to reduce total cholesterol
level by 16.6%. Moreover, oxidative stress in blood, liver, and
kidney was improved to various degrees by both Chinese
propolis and Brazilian propolis. An apparent reduction in
levels of alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminases, and
blood urea nitrogen and urine microalbuminuria excretion
rate demonstrated the beneficial effects of propolis on
2.18. Immunomodulatory Action. The immunomodulatory
action of a water-soluble derivative (WSD) of natural
propolis was investigated. The oral and parenteral admin-
istration of the WSD enhanced the survival rate and the
mean survival time in experimental bacterial (Klebsiella
pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus) and fungal (Candida
albicans) infections in mice. An increased resistance was
observed also in Klebsiella pneumoniae infection induced
after cyclophosphamide treatment. The WSD stimulated
peritoneal macrophages to produce in vitro interleukin-1,
which corresponded to their elevated total protein secretion.
In addition, WSD failed to trigger lymphocyte proliferation
as determined by popliteal lymph node assay. The WSD
was suggested to augment nonspecific host defense via
macrophage activation [
samples collected from four different regions in Turkey
and from Brazil against nine anaerobic (Peptostreptococcus
anaerobius, Peptostreptococcus micros, Prevotella oralis, Pre-
votella melaninogenica, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Fusobac-
terium nucleatum, Veillonella parvula, Lactobacillus aci-
dophilus, and Actinomyces naeslundii) strains was evalu-
ated and determined minimum inhibitory concentrations
(MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBC)
of EEP on the growth of test microorganisms by using
agar dilution method. All strains were susceptible and MIC
values ranged from 4 to 512 mg/mL for propolis activity.
Propolis from Kazan-Ankara showed most effective MIC
values to the studied microorganisms. MBC values of Kazan-
Ankara EEP samples ranged from 8 to 512 mg/mL. Death
was observed within 4 h of incubation for Peptostreptococcus
anaerobius and micros and Lactobacillus acidophilus and
Actinomyces naeslundii, while being 8 h for Prevotella oralis,
Prevotella melaninogenica, and Porphyromonas gingivalis,
12 h for Fusobacterium nucleatum, and 16 h for Veillonella
parvula. It was shown that propolis samples were more effec-
tive against Gram-positive anaerobic bacteria than Gram-
negative ones. Propolis is used in oral cavity diseases as it
contains flavonoids such as pinobanksin, quercetin, narin-
genin, galangine, chrysin, and aromatic acids such as caffeic
acid determined by GC-MS analysis [
Dental caries is an infectious disease of worldwide pub-
pathology are Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus sobrinus,
and organisms belonging to the genera Actinomyces and
Lactobacillus. The pharmaceutical industry is focusing on
the discovery of new antibacterial products after a greater
resistance to those already known. Effect of ethanolic propo-
lis extracts on the bacterium Lactobacillus fermentum was
studied. This bacterium was isolated after its identification
by polymerase chain reaction using species-specific primers
and after growing microbiological samples from cavities of
patients diagnosed with dental caries and with indication
of tooth extraction. L. fermentum was detected in 9 of 40
patients, corresponding to 22%. The susceptibility study, car-
ried out by microplate dilution, found antimicrobial activity
of ethanolic extract of propolis. Among the results, it was
noticed that these polyphenols showed concentrations rang-
9±0.3 and 85±2.1 mg/mL. The chromatographic
analysis allowed the identification of caffeic acid, myricetin,
quercetin, kaempferol, apigenin, pinocembrin, galangin, and
caffeic acid phenethyl ester [
3. Allergy, Rhinitis, and Asthma
Brazilian green propolis administration [
nontoxic, and the safe concentration for humans would be
approximately 1.4 mg/kg and day or 70 mg/day. However,
cases of allergy and contact dermatitis to propolis have been
always reported [
], mainly among bee keepers [
Rajpara et al. mentioned that the increased incidence of
contact dermatitis over the last two decades is likely due to
its use in cosmetic and pharmaceutical preparations.
Rhinitis is a symptomatic disorder of the nose, with
nasal obstruction, secretion, and sneezing, most commonly
induced by allergen exposure, bacteria, or virus. It is a
global health problem, affecting social life, sleep, school and
work performance, regardless of gender, age, and ethnic
]. Shinmei et al. (2009) studied the effect
experimental allergic rhinitis of mice, concluding that propo-
lis may be effective in the relief of symptoms of allergic
rhinitis through inhibition of histamine release. A single
administration of propolis caused no significant effect on
both antigen-induced nasal rubbing and sneezing at a dose
of 1000 mg/kg, but a significant inhibition was observed after
repeated administration for 2 weeks at this dose. Asthma is
a chronic inflammatory disorder of the pulmonary airways
due to the hyperresponsiveness to inhaled allergens, leading
to reversible airflow obstruction and airway inflammation,
persistent airway hyperactivity, and airway remodeling [
Khayyal et al. (2003) administered an aqueous extract of
to-moderate asthma. As a result, propolis-treated patients
showed a reduced incidence and severity of nocturnal
attacks and improvement of ventilatory functions, which
was associated with decreased prostaglandins, leukotriene,
and proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-, IL-6, and IL-8) and
increased IL-10. CAPE (10 mg/kg/day) attenuated allergic
airway inflammation and hyperresponsiveness in a murine
model of ovalbumin-induced asthma [
]. It was reported
pathogenesis of bronchial asthma, and Cape may be useful
as an adjuvant therapy for its treatment.
4. Formulations on Propolis Extract
Ethylcellulose microparticles containing propolis ethanolic
extract (PE) were prepared by the emulsification and solvent
evaporation method. Three ratios of ethylcellulose to PE
dry residue value (DR) were tested (1 : 0.25, 1 : 4, and 1 : 10).
Moreover, polysorbate 80 was used as emulsifier in the
external phase (1.0 or 1.5% w/w). Regular particle morphol-
ogy without amorphous and/or sticking characteristics was
achieved only when an ethylcellulose : DR ratio of 1 : 0.25
and 1.0% polysorbate 80 were used. Microparticles had a
mean diameter of 85.83
??????m. The entrapment efficiency for
propolis of the microparticles was
62.99 ± 0.52%. These
ethylcellulose microparticles containing propolis would be
useful for developing propolis aqueous dosage forms without
the strong and unpleasant taste, aromatic odour, and high
ethanol concentration of PE [
Carbopol 934P, or gelatin, with ethanolic propolis extract
(PE), were designed for the treatment of oral mucosal
diseases. PE was produced and its quality was assessed by
measuring its specific gravity, pH, weight of dry residue,
and total flavonoid content. Monopolymeric and binary
polymeric formulations were prepared and their gelling
temperature (Tsol/gel), pH, continuous flow rheology, and
mucoadhesion were studied. The data obtained on these for-
mulations indicate a potentially useful role in the treatment
of oral mucosal diseases [
None of the authors have any financial and personal rela-
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