What is Propolis?

Propolis is a natural substance made by bees to seal, protect and sterilise their hive against infection. Natural resins collected by honeybees from the bark and sticky buds of plants are mixed with beeswax and enzymes, producing a powerful substance rich in bioactive compounds with potent protective effects.

Key Bioactive Properties of Propolis

Propolis is rich in amino acids, vitamins, bioflavonoids, phenolic acids and esters including caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE). The combination of these synergistic bioactives are responsible for the active properties of propolis:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Antiviral

Health Applications of Propolis

Propolis has been used traditionally for a wide range of health applications, and modern research has added evidence to its use for:

  • Oral Health Propolis has been shown to reduce inflammation and promote healing of gums and oral tissue, help prevent dental caries due to antibacterial activity, and treat oral infections of bacterial, fungal or viral origin.
  • Immune Support Propolis has been shown to have immune modulating effects to support a balanced immune response.
  • Respiratory Health  Propolis is used for the common cold, sore throats and sinusitis. It is known to possess a topical numbing action making it especially useful for sore throats.
  • Wound Healing  Propolis can be applied directly to the skin as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, to promote healing and treat infection.
  • Liver Protection Propolis has a protective action on liver cells thought to be due to its antioxidant properties (specifically CAPE)

There is also much research being carried out on the potention use of propolis for cancer, diabetes and HIV.

For new research investigating potential health applications of propolis, please see the Research page.


Bee propolis may cause allergic reaction in allergy sufferers and you should always consult your healthcare professional if you have any concerns.  Propolis is not recommended for children under 2 years of age.