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What Is Propolis Spray?

Dan Harkins
Updated May 17, 2024
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A mixture of tree resin and beeswax, propolis can be found as a byproduct of honey production that is used by bees to seal cracks in beehives. The compound has been used for centuries to counter a variety of medical conditions — some proven and others not. In ointments it is used for herpes outbreaks or as an antibacterial agent. In a propolis spray, it is used to provide relief for sore throat, laryngitis and strep throat.

Bees get propolis, which also goes by the name bee glue, only from certain places, namely the budding leaves of coniferous trees like pines, spruce and fir. They collect the resinous material on their tails and fly back to the hive, where it is used for sound construction and to seal out bacterial infections. The resin is clumped together by the bees' hind legs, at which point it can be used.

Propolis has been used throughout modern civilization. The Egyptians used it for their mummification process, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In ancient Greece and Assyria, it was used to heal wounds and abscesses. Every since, the healing resin in propolis spray and ointment has been considered an effective balm for several ailments, from sore throat to herpes outbreaks.

The NIH states that propolis spray has been proven "possibly effective" for promoting healing and lessening inflammation after mouth surgery. This mouth wash contains a simple mixture of propolis, water and astringent alcohol. Propolis ointment "seems to significantly improve healing," the NIH states, for the genital lesions created by herpes simplex II — even more so than the more-common acyclovir treatment.

Herbalists and other alternative medicine proponents credit propolis spray or ointment with numerous other strengths, though the NIH states there is not enough evidence to rate the effectiveness. These include treating sore throat, canker sores, various infections, ulcers, burns, cuts, intestinal problems, and some cancers of the throat and nasal passages as well as tuberculosis and even the common cold. These varied uses are largely due to the proven anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics of propolis spray and ointment.

A range of bee product companies manufacture propolis spray, which is available without a prescription. These companies advertise its effectiveness as a balm for several throat conditions. These range from sore throat and strep throat to more the serious conditions like laryngitis and surgical healing.

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.
Dan Harkins
By Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins, a former military professional, brings his diverse life experiences to his writing. After earning his journalism degree, he spent more than two decades honing his craft as a writer and editor for various publications. Dan’s debut novel showcases his storytelling skills and unique perspective by drawing readers into the story’s captivating narrative.
Discussion Comments
By candyquilt — On Feb 08, 2014

I agree that propolis is great but unfortunately, all propolis sprays are not the best quality. Some of them contain little propolis and a lot of alcohol. And some of them contain propolis that has been processed with chemicals, so they are not beneficial.

A good propolis spray has little to no alcohol, and unprocessed, raw, organic propolis. It's not easy to find, but if I'm going to use something for my health, I'd rather have the best that's out there.

By fify — On Feb 07, 2014

@ysmina-- I'm sure that propolis spray will work for you. I've been using it for several years now and it has always worked for me. It's actually a godsend for people who often experience viral infections like the flu. I was one of those people until I discovered propolis spray.

At one point, I was getting sick so often that I would avoid public places at all cost. I didn't want to travel by plane or metro and if anyone sneezed or coughed around me, I was sure that I got something from them. I no longer live like that. I take my propolis supplement and use my propolis spray daily. I actually keep the spray in my bag and use it whenever I feel a little run down. It's an excellent immune system booster. It wipes out bacteria, viruses and fungi. It's a must have for parents with little kids.

By ysmina — On Feb 07, 2014

I have heard of propolis cough drops before but I hadn't heard of mouth spray.

I have a sore throat. I've had it for almost a week and it's not getting better. I've tried herbal teas and regular cough drops but they're not working. I have a viral infection of some type but I know that it's not strep. I'm going to go to my health store tomorrow and see if they have propolis spray. If propolis really has antiviral properties, it should help with my sore throat.

Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins, a former military professional, brings his diverse life experiences to his writing. After earning his...
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