THE IMMUNOMODULATORY EFFECT OF PROPOLIS: A REVIEW
IULIA KRISZTINA RINDT, MARINA SPINU, MIHAELA NICULAE
University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca, 3-5 Manastur Street, 400372, Cluj-Napoca, Romania E-mail: email@example.com
Propolis has attracted the interest of the researchers’ in the last decades because of several biological and pharmacological properties, such as immunomodulatory, antitumoral, antimicrobial, antiinflammatory, antioxidant, among others (3).
Propolis-containing products have been intensely marketed by the pharmaceutical industry and health-food stores (4). Propolis, sometimes called “nature’s penicillin”, is a complex mixture of mostly pollen and waxes that bees collect from plants and then use to sterilize, cement, and varnish the hives. Propolis also protects the colony from diseases because of its antiseptic efficacy and antimicrobial properties (19). It is rich in amino acids, trace minerals, flavonoids, and vitamin K. Although in preclinical studies propolis has been confirmed to be effective as antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory, clinical studies are needed to confirm these roles and determine the therapeutic dosages and conditions for which it is best suited (8).
There seem to be promising uses for propolis as an alternative antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drug, especially due to lack of side effects encountered in other categories of medication.
This review aimed to discuss the immune stimulating effect of propolis.
The use of propolis goes back to ancient times, and it has been used as a medicine in local and popular medicine in many parts of the world, both internally and externally. Egyptians, Greeks and Romans reported the use of propolis for its general healing qualities and for the cure of some skin lesions. Propolis has always been reputed as an anti-inflammatory and ulcers healing agent (9). It is still one of the most frequently used remedies in the Balkan States (2), and it has only been in the last decades that scientists have investigated its constituents and biological properties. The color of the propolis varies from green, to dark redish-brown. Propolis has a characteristic smell and shows adhesive properties because it strongly interacts with oils and proteins of the skin. In general, the natural propolis is composed of 30% wax, 50% resin and vegetable balsam, 10% essential and aromatic oils, 5% pollen, and other substances. After its administration to mice or to humans propolis does not seem to have side effects (13, 14, 23).
At least 200 different constituents of propolis are defined as terpenes, various phenylpropane derivatives such as caffeic acid (CA) esters, flavonoids, amino acids, or a large number of aldehydes and ketones (1, 11).
* THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.