Bee Propolis Reviews
Bee Propolis is a resinous hive product collected by honeybees from various plant sources. It is a popular folk medicine possessing a broad spectrum of biological activities. It has also been used as a health drink in various Asian, European and American countries. Several groups of researchers have focused their attention on the biological activity of propolis and its active principles. Many scientific articles are published every year in different international journals related to the pharmacological properties of propolis.
The last few years have seen a renewed interest in the properties of propolis, the resinous hive product collected by bees. The use of propolis dates back at least to 300 BC, when its resinous and glue-like qualities were made use of. Soon propolis found its way into the remedies in folk medicine. However, apart from some studies made at the beginning of this century, most of the work on the composition, pharmacological properties and commercial uses of preparations from propolis has been carried out in the last thirty years. Many of the reports dealing with propolis are not accessible to most readers except as abstracts, the majority being published by eastern European journals.
Chemical Constitution of Bee Propolis Extract
Propolis is a bee product with wide diversity of biological activity. It has a complex composition, which is dependent on its botanical source. The composition of propolis varies from hive to hive, from district to district, and from season to season. As a mixture, propolis does not lend itself easily to extraction or fractionation, so it is not surprising that most of the early attempts to determine the composition of propolis were concerned with simple fractionation of the mixture. Six flavonoid pigments were isolated and shown to be 5,7-dihydroxy-4′-methoxyflavone(acacetin), 5-hydroxy-4′, 7-dimethoxyflavone, 3,5,7-trihydroxy-4′-methoxyflavone(kaempferide), 3,4′,5-trihydroxy-7-methoxyflavone (rhamnocitrin),5,7-dihydroxy-3,4′-dimethoxyflavone and 3,5-dihydroxy-4′,7-dimethoxyflavone. Two flavanones(-)-5-hydroxy-7-methoxyflavanone (pinostrobin) and (-)-5-hydroxy-4′, 7-dimethoxyflavanone and the simple aromatic 3-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzaldehyde (isovanillin) were also isolated. The amount of each of these compounds ranged from 1 to 4% of the original sample of propolis. Evidence was obtained for the presence of derivatives of another flavone, quercetin, but the compounds were not further characterized. The compounds isolated were consistently found in samples of propolis collected from different regions and by various races of bees.
Health Benefits of Bee Propolis Extract
Antibacterial and antifungal activity
The first systematic investigation of the antibacterial activity of propolis on a range of bacteria appears to be that of Kivalkina, who found that fused propolis showed bacteriostatic activity against Streptococcus aureus, the typhoid bacillus and other bacteria. Several other reports followed, from studies of only crude extracts of propolis, from various sources, obtained by different extraction procedures. This perhaps accounts for some of the apparently contradictory entries, e.g. Streptococcus and Escherichia.
In a detailed study of the antimicrobial activity of propolis, Lindenfelser tested 15 samples collected from different parts of the USA at various seasons. Extracts showed strong inhibitory activity in vitro in 25 of the 39 bacterial species tested. Further, the activity against acid-fast bacteria is of interest in view of the claim that propolis can be used for the treatment of tuberculosis patients.
Extracts of propolis have been shown to potentiate the effect of certain antibiotics. The action of biomycin, tetracycline, neomycin, polymyxin, penicillin and streptomycin towards S. aureus and E. coli was increased by the addition of propolis to the nutrient medium81. In some cases the bacteriostatic effect was increased 10-100 fold. Similar synergistic effects of a combination of propolis withpenicillin, streptomycin or furagin were also observed toward Staphylococcus strains. The most effective combination against E. coli was a mixture of propolis and furagin. Propolis did not affect the anti staphylococcal activity of oleandomycin.
Propolis and its phenolic compounds including flavonoids are known to possess antioxidative properties. Therefore, though other mechanisms such as attenuation of the inhibition of protein synthesis induced by D-GalN and enzyme (i.e., lipooxygenase) inhibition may be implicated in their actions against cell death, the radical scavenging activity may play the most important role.
That is, by scavenging the ROS induced by TNF-, they could interfere with the signal transduction triggered by TNF-, and thus could protect the subsequent cell injury. From all these facts, the antioxidative properties of propolis and its phenolic constituents seem to be critical for its hepatoprotective effect. Although, the mechanism of the hepatoprotection of diterpenoids isolated from Brazilian propolis is not clear, they also contribute to the hepatoprotective effect of propolis.
Bee Propolis appears to possess anti-tumoral and anticancer properties. This is a quite important benefits. Currently, there are over 300 scientific studies and articles focusing on propolis and cancer treatment from the NCBI. Two propolis polyphenols seem to be the most effective anti-tumor drugs. They are caffeic acid phenethyl esters in poplar propolis and Artepillin C in Baccharis propolis. Propolis has been shown to prevent cancer in both animal models and human cell cultures, possibly because of its ability to inhibit DNA synthesis in tumor cells and its ability to induce apoptosis, or programmed cell death.
A 2016 study assessed the effect of propolis extract on cancer cell growth in northern Thailand. All extracts had higher antioxidant activity and higher content of phenols and flavonoids. In general, propolis extract has anticancer activity, extending the survival time of animals that already have tumors. The conclusion of this study is that it is clear from these findings that propolis extract can be considered as a naturally obtained preparation that is very useful in cancer treatment.
Several reports have referred to the phytoinhibitory and phytotoxic actiVIty of propolis extracts. Potato tubers kept in a hive did not sprout, and after storage in the hive for an extended period they suffered permanent inhibition. An aqueous extract of propolis was shown to be responsible for inhibiting germination, but the active agent was not galangin, a known component of the propolis used, which shows antibacterial activity. Growth of lettuce seedling and rice grains was also inhibited. Alcoholic extracts of Russian propolis were found to inhibit the germination of Cannabis sativa seeds.
Bee Propolis Extract Side effects
Since the chemical composition of popolis is largely unknown, and variable, the oral intake of propolis extracts is not to be recommended in the absence of more detailed toxicity studies.
Where to buy high quality Bee Propolis Extract
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