The main component of propolis are resins. The flavonoids and phenolic acids rich resins makes around 40 % to 50 % of propolis.
Scientifically, studies done on propolis have found that propolis actually consists of more than 150 chemical components.
Because propolis comes from a variety of plants, availability of the plants sap and the type of bees, no two propolis are alike. It would be different in term of color, odor and composition. Some researches even reported finding as much as 300 components in their sample propolis.
Chemically, propolis is exceedingly complex. Flavonoids are abundant in propolis. Apart from that you will also find kaempferol, apigenin, pinocembrin, galangin, luteolin, pinostrobin and quercitin - all of which are anti-inflammatory, antiallergenic, antioxidant and/or antimutagenic.
Propolis is also rich in the caffeic acid phenethyl ester. This is a substance that was shown to inhibited cancer growth and reduced inflammation in studies done to animals.
Bee propolis also contains organic acids and their derivatives as well as terpenoids. These constituents contribute to it's antibiotic, anti fungal and antiviral effects.
About Propolis Antibacterial and Antiviral Effects
There is an interesting difference between propolis's antibacterial property compared to an antibiotics.
Antibiotics work by killing bacteria in our body, That includes those "friendly" ones needed by the body. Among the friendly bacteria killed by antibiotics are bacteria responsible in helping the body produce vitamins like B and K. The more antibiotics you use, the more "friendly" bacteria will you kill.
On the other hand, propolis raise the body's natural resistance by stimulating one's own immune system. It will also add certain vitamin like B1, B, C, E and essential minerals including iron, aluminum, manganese and silicon to the body.
Thus, scientist have tried to combine antibiotics and propolis to get the best of both worlds. They found that addition of propolis to antibiotics increases the effect of the drug from 10 to 100 folds.
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