Introduction

Bee propolis is a resin-like substance that bees make to coat their hives. It can be taken as a pill, powder, or extract. When taken by mouth, it has been used to help control blood glucose. Bee propolis can also be applied to the skin as a cream or salve. It has been used to help heal wounds and ulcers. It can also be used as a mouthwash to improve oral hygiene.

Dosages

There are no advised doses for bee propolis.

What Research Shows

Likely Effective

May Be Effective

  • Diabetes—may help control blood glucose B1
  • Respiratory tract infection—may prevent infection in children when used with echinacea and vitamin C F1
  • Warts—may help reduce symptoms when applied to the skin H1

Not Enough Data to Assess

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to take use bee propolis on the skin and to take it orally in small doses for a short time, but allergic reactions are possible.G1-G3 Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period. It is also not known whether it is safe to take by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. People with bee allergies should not use propolis.

Interactions

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
  • Review Date: 07/2019 -
  • Update Date: 09/09/2019 -