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How do I Choose the Best Propolis Liquid?

By Marlene de Wilde
Updated May 17, 2024
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Propolis liquid is made by immersing the solid waxy propolis taken from the bee hive into monopropylyn glycol (MPG) or ethanol. Demand for propolis is increasing as its reputation as a natural antibiotic grows, but care needs to be taken to ensure the best quality is obtained. Quality will depend on the where the bees harvest, the location of the hives, the process used to extract the product, the concentration of propolis in the liquid, and the other ingredients used.

A natural antibacterial agent with antiviral, anesthetic, antioxidant and antibiotic properties, propolis is rapidly becoming popular. Known since ancient times as a powerful remedy, it is a broad-spectrum natural antibiotic available in liquid form, tablets, creams, sprays and tincture. There are many sources of propolis liquid in health food stores as well as online, but not all of these products are created equal.

Propolis contains about 150 complex compounds, including bioflavonoids; natural vitamins such as A, B1, B2, B6, C and E; and many macro and trace minerals. There are also highly active phytonutrients and phenolic compounds. Bees gather resin from trees bark, twigs and leaf buds and carry it back to the hive, where they mix it with their enzymes to create the dark, sticky, highly nutritious propolis. They use it to keep their hive sterile.

In order to get the highest quality propolis liquid, it is best if the hives are situated in areas free of pesticides and fertilizers. Storage of the raw propolis should be in freezers and under sterile conditions to keep the substance fresh and free of contaminants. Processing is best achieved without the use of solvents and other toxic chemicals. Some beekeepers may use antibiotics, which is then passed onto the raw propolis through the bee enzymes. If one product is much cheaper than others, then it is wise to check the concentration of propolis.

Propolis liquid needs to be stored in an airtight container and kept in a dark place away from excessive heat. A new product should not be mixed with older ones and, depending on the substances used in the production of the liquid, the shelf life should be a long one. Local health food suppliers should be able to give detailed information about the source of the product. There are also many online suppliers, but it is advisable to check the source and processing before buying.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By literally45 — On Feb 08, 2014

It's hard to find a good quality, raw propolis liquid that's unprocessed. I've only found about five products and of those only two seemed reliable.

Like the article said, due to demand, propolis extract production is increasing. But since these products are not regulated like medications, it's easy to buy a poor grade product. I've actually made it a point to call or email the manufacturer first and ask about where the propolis comes from and how it is collected. I recommend everyone to do the same.

By bluedolphin — On Feb 08, 2014

@turquoise-- That's a good question. I think they're the same thing. I looked up ethanol and it's just grain alcohol, which is what propolis tincture is made with. And most propolis tinctures also say "liquid" on the bottom. So I'm assuming that it's just different descriptions for the same product.

Propolis tinctures or liquid, especially those with high concentrations of propolis, are very effective. I've used a liquid propolis before for allergies and it made a huge difference. The only downside was that it would stain my teeth. But I overcame that problem by adding the liquid to a glass of juice instead of taking it with water or as is. You can also take propolis liquid with honey.

By turquoise — On Feb 07, 2014

What is the difference between bee propolis liquid and bee propolis tincture? Which is better?

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