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How Do I Choose the Best Propolis Products?

By Marlene de Wilde
Updated May 17, 2024
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Propolis is rapidly becoming a panacea for all ills, from respiratory problems to eczema to wounds. The best propolis product depends to a large extent on what the problem is. Propolis comes in many forms, including tablets, capsules, creams, sprays, liquid and tincture. The best products are harvested from bee hives that are pesticide and fertilizer free and are situated far from polluted areas.

There are four main things to look for in a propolis product. Flavonoids, the concentration of propolis in the end product, dry weight and how long the maturation process has taken are important factors that affect the quality. Flavonoids are responsible for the many beneficial properties and the main determinant of the quality. Their concentration will affect the biological activity of the product. Thus, in order to gain the best possible benefits, the region of production and manner of extraction and processing need to be checked. Unique qualities have been identified in propolis collected in Cuba and Brazil.

Bees create propolis from resin they have collected and mixed with their enzymes. Resin that is contaminant free makes for better quality. Solvents and other toxic chemicals are also sometimes introduced during processing, so the best propolis products are those that have undergone a more natural treatment. If antibiotics, heavy metals or alcohol are present in the final product, the efficacy is reduced. For these reasons, organic propolis is often preferred, although this is not always a guarantee of purity either.

Capsules and tablets are particularly beneficial to those who have respiratory weaknesses, such as smokers, while tincture is useful for clearing mucus from the airways. Sore throats can be eased with propolis in the form of a spray, and wounds can be treated topically with a cream. Other ailments propolis products are considered beneficial for include arthritis, eczema, mouth ulcers and diarrhea. A mouthwash containing propolis is said to aid in the healing of surgical wounds.

Due to the antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties prescribed to propolis, conditions such as peptic ulcers and ulcerative colitis are treated by taking supplements. However, fillers like sugar, starch, gluten, and artificial colors and flavors are added to some propolis products taken in this way. Dietary supplements are not always regulated, and there are unscrupulous manufacturers who want to cash on the latest cure all by offering a cheaper price and inferior product.

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 anon357144 — On Dec 02, 2013

Propolis is always save to use in any form you like, and it's preferred to use the form that suits your case, internal or external etc. You can also dilute it with water, milk or any juices that you may like to avoid the coloring effect on your teeth.

By bluedolphin — On Jul 19, 2012

@anon271014-- Read reviews that are not published on an individual brand's personal site. Those are not always objective. Or you can just get the product from an organic or health store and give it a try. It's pretty affordable so you won't be wasting much money if it doesn't work.

That's what I did. My friend suggested propolis cream for my acne and I found a cream with 15% propolis at my heath food store. It was not expensive so I decided to just buy it. I've been using it as a spot treatment for several months now and it works really well!

Sometimes you just have to take the risk and invest in a product to find out if it's good or not.

By fify — On Jul 18, 2012

@SarahGen-- I would rather use capsules or tablets rather than a tincture. I'm sure the tincture is equally safe, but I'd be worried about putting too much of the tincture and then getting side effects because of it.

Capsules and tablets are nice because it's already been measured for you and you don't have to dilute anything. Either way, most important thing is getting it from a reliable company that can guarantee that it's all natural without additives and fresh.

By SarahGen — On Jul 18, 2012

@anon271014-- If you have a specific propolis product in mind, you can search for reviews of it online. Customers usually share their experiences.

If you don't know what kind of propolis product you should use, I think it would be good to speak to a homeopathy doctor. That's what I did when I had back to back colds last winter. The doctor prescribed a pure propolis tincture for me to dilute and take for several weeks. It worked really well. It helped get rid of my cough and I didn't get sick again.

Most people don't like using tinctures, but if you get it from a reliable source and follow directions, it's completely safe and effective. Since it's diluted with a lot of water, it doesn't have a taste either.

By anon271014 — On May 24, 2012

Are there any reviews or ratings that would help us make wise decisions?

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