|Year : 2017 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 119-121
Propolis: Nature's boon - A review
Raghav Kumar1, Shivakumar Ganiga Channaiah2, Trisha Rastogi1, Karabi Das1
1 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Divya Jyoti College of Dental Sciences and Research, Modinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Babu Banarasi Das College of Dental Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
|Date of Submission||30-Apr-2016|
|Date of Acceptance||09-Aug-2017|
|Date of Web Publication||9-Nov-2017|
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Divya Jyoti College of Dental Sciences and Research, Ajit Mahal, Niwari Road, Modinagar, Ghaziabad District, Uttar Pradesh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
| Abstract|| |
Propolis is a Greek word meaning “defender of the city.” Constituents of propolis possess health promoting properties. Propolis plays a very important role in the field of medicine and dentistry. This paper is an attempt to review various applications of this compound in improving the general health of an individual.
Keywords: Antibacterial, anticarious, antioxidant, propolis
|How to cite this article:|
Kumar R, Channaiah SG, Rastogi T, Das K. Propolis: Nature's boon - A review. J Indian Acad Oral Med Radiol 2017;29:119-21
| Introduction|| |
In the poem, The Bees, by William Shakespeare (King Henry V) said
“…Others, like soldiers, armed in their strings,
Make boot upon the summer's velvet buds;
Which pillage they with merry march bring home…”
A fascinating little insect like the common honey bee offers humans some incredibly healthy natural food such as propolis. The bee's immune system produces numerous antimicrobial peptides that can fight infection. It is collected by Apis mellifera bees and is a lipophilic material, hard and brittle when cold, but soft and sticky when warm; hence, the name “beeswax.” It has adhesive properties of oils and interacts strongly with skin proteins. The volatile substances give to the glue its specific pleasant aroma. Color varies depending on the geographical regions.,
| History|| |
Since the olden days people have been witnessing the magical uses of propolis. The Egyptians, Arabs, Greek, and Roman physicians recognized it for its medicinal properties and used it for embalming, as an antiseptic, as a mouthwash, etc. Moreover, it was widely known for its healing effect. As mentioned in the Holy Bible the Healing Propolis is well known as the “Balm of Gilead.” The Greek philosopher Aristotle mentioned it in his Historia Animalium as a substance which the bees smeared at the hive entrance which could be used as a cure for bruises and sores. The Roman scholar Plinius (23–79 A.D.) postulated that it originates in the buds of different trees such as willow, poplar, elm, and reed. He mentioned “current physicians use propolis as a medicine because it's extracts stings, reduces swelling, softens indurations and relieves pain.”
| Types|| |
Three types of propolis have their botanical origin identified. They are South, Northeast, and Southeast types and have been reported as resins from Populus sp, Hyptis divartica and Baccharis dracunculifolia, respectively. Twelve different types of propolis have found significance on the basis of their botanical origin and chemical composition.
| Chemical Composition|| |
The chemical composition depends on the flora of the area, the time of the year, and bee species. At present, researchers have extracted over 300 substances from propolis., In general, the composition of propolis comprises:
Plant wax: 6%
Essential oils: 10–14%
Mechanical impurities: 5%
Propolis also contains numerous beneficial constituents including:
- Macronutrients: Calcium, manganese, zinc, tin, copper, etc.
- Vitamins: Pro vitamin A, Vitamin B1, B2, etc.
- Aromatic esters: Ethyl esters of cinnamic and caffeic acid, etc.
- Flavanoids: Chrysin, tectochrysin, etc.
Other compounds present in the European propolis are geraniol, aromatic compounds, hydrocarbons, triterpene alcohols, and enzymes (amylase and esterase). In low concentrations, volatile compounds are found in propolis which contribute to its aroma and significant biological activity.
| Uses|| |
Free radical causes oxidative damage and is the primary factor in aging. An explanation regarding the classical use of propolis as an antiaging agent is its convincing antioxidant activity. Propolis can be used to abrogate the harmful ionizing radiation on the brain.
In-vitro research has demonstrated that propolis has significant antibacterial activity as it helps to reduce oxidation potential growth of bacteria (particularly gram-positive bacteria) and in fighting against infections of the upper respiratory tract. It also has antifungal activity, particularly against Candida albicans.
In addition to its antibacterial properties, propolis when tested on cold viruses and herpes viruses showed encouraging antiviral properties. More in-vitro research has also shown that flavonoids found in propolis led to curtailment of intracellular cloning of herpes virus strains.
Propolis shows promising results in antitumour, anticarcinogenic, and antimutagenic properties, however, the mechanisms involved in chemoprevention are still unclear. Researchers reported propitious antitumoral property of propolis, but its mechanism is incompletely understood., Potential antitumour activity is found in Brazilian propolis. Some clinical trials are ongoing to determine the efficacy of propolis on tumor cell lines.,
| Uses in Dentistry|| |
It is crucial to investigate the mechanism of action of propolis due to its intricated medley of chemical components. Various clinical trials proved the efficacy of propolis efficacy by carving out interesting results on topical application.
Streptococci mutans are etiologic agents of dental caries. As S. mutans, S. sobrinus, and Lactobacillus generate an acidic environment, the enamel is demineralized. Propolis from different geographical regions worldwide has demonstrated an in-vitro inhibition of Streptococcus mutants. Koo et al. and Duarte et al. showed significant inhibition of growth and adhesion of S. mutans by different fractions (hexane, chloroform, ethanol) of propolis from Brazil.
Storage media following avulsion
Parolia et al. conducted a study to test the efficacy of propolis to maintain cell viability of periodontal ligament in an avulsed tooth, and recommended 10% propolis over other media.
Al-Qathani et al. and Oncag et al. found highly satisfactory results of propolis against Enterococcus faecalis in the root canals and recommended its use as an alternative intracanal medicament.
Pulp capping agent
Propolis constitute flavonoids, arginine, various vitamins, copper, iron, and zinc aiding in reducing the inflammatory response by inhibiting lipooxygenase pathway of arachanoic acid. They also improve the immune system by promoting phagocytic activity and stimulates cellular immunity.
Almas et al. conducted a pioneering study on the effect of propolis on dentinal hypersensitivity in vivo. Clinical trial of propolis on 26 females was conducted where it was applied twice daily on hypersensitive teeth. It was assessed on visual scale 0–10, and they concluded that propolis aids in the control of dentinal hypersensitivity.
Studies demonstrated efficacy of propolis extracts on periodontal pathogenic microorganisms in in-vitro studies. Hidaka et al. conducted a study on the effects of honey bee products on the rate of amorphous calcium phosphate transformation to hydroxyapatite, concluding that it was decreased by 12–35%. It was concluded that propolis may have potential as an anticalculus agent in toothpastes and mouthwashes. Study conducted by Dodwad et al. showed effective reduction of gingival inflammation.
Effect on C. albicans
Martins et al. assessed the susceptibility of C. albicans strains, compiled from HIV-positive patients with oral candidiasis to a commercial 20% ethanol propolis extract (EPE) paralleling with antifungal agents, nystatin (NYS), clotrimazole (CL), econazole (EC), and fluconazole (FL). EPE inhibited all C. albicans strains tested. Hence, commercial EPE could be encouraged to treat candidiasis in HIV-positive patients.
Treatment of denture stomatitis
A study by Santos et al. showed that Brazilian EPE formulation helped in treating cases with denture stomatitis. da Silva et al. conducted a study where the effect of various antifungal agents and propolis orabase gel (PRO) on poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) surfaces were compared. Eventually, PRO was able to coax necessary modifications in PMMA surface properties, which could be associated with decreased microbial adhesion.
Effect on recurrent aphthous stomatitis
Propolis is used in some cultures as treatment for mouth ulcers. Samet et al. evaluated the efficacy of propolis in patients suffering from recurrent aphthous ulcers. The statistical data along with patient's self-approval to use propolis indicated its efficacy in the management of recurrent aphthous stomatitis.
Application in extraction sockets
Filho concluded that, on application of propolis hydro alcoholic solution to extraction sockets, it generated oral epithelial repair although it had no effect on socket wound healing.
| Allergy to Propolis|| |
People usually are allergic to propolis on external contact with the skin or mucous membrane rather than oral administration. Allergic reaction to propolis usually occurs as contact dermatitis after topical administration. There are some reports of propolis allergy manifesting as rhinitis, conjunctivitis, and inflammation of the oral mucous membranes. Rare cases of respiratory distress, headache, and nausea have been reported.
| Conclusion|| |
Propolis is one of the few natural remedies that has flavonoids and phenolic acids, and their esters which is helpful in nurturing a healthy life. Clinical trials are needed to authenticate the above-mentioned claims in various studies.
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