Propolis - A natural remedy Rathod S*, Brahmankar R*, Kolte A* * Dept. of Periodontics, SPM's Dental College & Research Centre, Dihdoh Hills, Hingna Propolis is one of the few natural remedies that has maintained its popularity over a long Mouth rinse, Periodontal treatment, period of time. Propolis, a natural anti biotic is a resinous yellow brown to dark brown substance that honey bees collect from tree buds, sap flow, shrubs or other botanic sources. The pharmacologically active molecules in the Propolis are flavanoids and phenolic acids and their esters. Propolis has a degree of anti microbial action against fungi such as Candida Albicans and some bacteria including a range of oral micro organisms and viruses and may be as effective as acyclovir against herpes simplex virus. It also has immuno modulatory activity with augmentation of non specific anti tumor resistance. In Corresponding Author: dentistry, Propolis has been used in dentifrices, as a storage medium for teeth that have Dr. Surekha Rathod.
avulsed, in periodontal therapy and in endodontic treatment. Propolis extract used as mouth rinse possesses anti microbial activity against streptococcus mutans present in the Dept. of Periodontics, oral cavity. Subgingival irrigation with Propolis extract as an adjunct to periodontal VSPM's Dental College & Research Centre, treatment may also be more effective than scaling and root planning alone. It has Dihdoh Hills, Hingna, Nagpur- 440019 promising role in future medicine as well as dentistry. Thus, switching back to natural Contact : +91 9011071477 resources, Propolis seems to be a promising alternative for the control of oral diseases in Email : [email protected] terms of anti microbial response and lower associated risk.
substance known as bioflavenoid (Vitamin P), phenols and aromatic compounds.[2] It is commonly brown in colour, but it varies Nowadays, there is a great trend to use natural materials as a cure for depending on the botanical source. Flavenoids are well known plant a variety of diseases. The health field has also always aimed to use compounds which have antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, natural products as an alternative to the conventional allopathic antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Flavonoids are the formulations. Propolis is one such natural substance, which has most common group of polyphenolic compounds in the human gone unnoticed inspite of its potential uses in curing a large array of diet and are found ubiquitously in plants. They are divided into four diseases. The word propolis is derived from the Greek word "pro" subgroups: Flavones, Flavonol, Flavonones, Flavononol. Cinnamic before, "polis" city or defender of the city. The Egyptian and Greek acid (C H CHCHOOH) is a white crystalline acid, which is slightly civilizations recognized the healing qualities of propolis. Propolis soluble in water and is obtained from oil of cinnamon, or from was also used for healing sores and ulcers by Hippocrates, the balsams. In biological chemistry, cinnamic acid is a key intermediate founder of Modern Medicine.
in phenylpropanoid pathway. Phenylpropanoid are a class of plant During the last 10 years, considerable research has been metabolites based on phenylalanine.[3,4] conducted on propolis in America, Australia, United Kingdom and Europe and especially in Eastern Europe. Propolis is available in the Uses of Propolis world markets in different forms as capsules, lozenges, tincture, and cream and recently added to the list are mouthrinses and toothpastes.
Propolis has been found to be very effective against gram positive The aim of this article is to draw attention of general dentists from and gram negative bacterial. the conventional and newly emerging products and utilizing the Scientific research has revealed its antioxidant, "back to nature" approach and using propolis as a natural remedy in antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral, anti inflammatory, anti tumor the treatment of dental diseases.
and immunomodulating properties. In dentistry, current research involving propolis, highlights its antimicrobial and anti Chemical Composition inflammatory properties particularly in cariology, oral surgery, pathology, periodontitis and endodontics.[4] Propolis is a resinous material that honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) collected from various plant species and mix with wax and other Clinical Significance of Propolis in Dentistry substances.[1] Propolis is used as a sealant for unwanted open spaces in the hive. Propolis is composed of resin and balsams (50- There are numerous applications of propolis in dentistry. These 60%), pollen (5-10%) and other constituents which are amino acids, include relief from denture ulcerartions, stomatitis, halitosis, mouth minerals, Vitamins A, B complex and the highly active biochemical freshener, periodontal pocket/abcess, mouthwash; cervical, dentinal

Figure 1. Raw Propolis Figure 2. Processed Propolis extract and root caries sensitivity. Treatment of lichen planus, candidal that propolis can be recommended as a suitable transport medium for infections, angular chilits, xerostomia, orthodontic, traumatic avulsed teeth.[23] ulcers, erupting teeth, pulp capping, temporary restorations and Martin and Pileggi conducted a study and compared dressings, covering tooth preparations, mummifying caries, dry various storage media and it appeared that propolis may be a better socket, pre anesthetic, pericoronitis etc.[5-8] Propolis also has alternative to HBSS, milk, or saline in terms of maintaining PDL cell clinical applications in medicine/surgery.[9-11] viability after avulsion and storage.[24] As already stated, propolis possesses antimicrobial Hayacibara et al evaluated the influence of propolis on activity and hence the extract might be used as an alternative streptococci mutans viability, glucosyltrans-ferases (GTFs) activity measure to prevent dental caries. Propolis has also shown promising and caries development in rats. They suggested that propolis is a results in the treatment of gingivitis and oral ulcers in several short potentially novel anti-caries agent.[25] term research projects.
Ozan et al determined the ability of propolis to serve as a The propolis extract is also used as mouthrinse possesses temporary storage medium for the maintenance of periodontal antimicrobial activity against S. mutans present in the oral cavity. ligament (PDL) cell viability of avulsed teeth. The results showed that 10% propolis was a more effective storage medium than other groups.[26] Ozan et al performed a study to compare the effects of four different mouthrinse containing Propolis solutions and mouth rinse According to test tube studies, Propolis has antibiotic activities that containing 0.2% chlorhexidine (CHX) on oral microorganisms and help the hive block out viruses, bacteria, and other organisms. human gingival fibroblasts.[27] Commercial preparations of propolis appear to retain these Toker et al analyzed the morphometric and histopathologic antibiotic properties.[11,13] Test tube and animal studies have also changes associated with experimental periodontitis in rats in shown that propolis exerts some antioxidant,[14] liver response to the systemic administration of propolis. They concluded protecting,[15] anti-inflammatory,[11,16,17] and anticancer that systemically healthy administered propolis significantly reduced the periodontitis related bone loss.[28] Murray investigated the effectiveness of a propolis Oncag et al compared the antibacterial efficacy of three containing mouthrinse in the inhibition of plaque formation commonly used intracanal medicamentswith propolis against concluded that propolis containing mouthrinse was marginally Enterococcus faecalis. They concluded that propolis had good in better then negative control.[19] vitro antibacterial activity against E. faecalis in the root canals, Mahmoud et al concluded in his study that the effect of suggesting that it could be used as an alternative intracanal propolis on dentinal hypersensitivity, they reported that propolis has a positive effect in the control of dentinal hypersensitivity.[20] Hidaka et al have also suggested that propolis may have A study by Koo et al to evaluate the effect of a mouthrinse containing potential as anti calculus agents in toothpaste and mouthwashes.[30] propolis on 3 day plaque accumulation concluded that propolis Dodwad V et al showed that propolis is not better than chlorhexidine containing mouthrinse was efficient in reducing supragingival in reducing plaque formation, but it may be marginally better for plaque formation.[21] reducing gingival inflammation.33 Al-Qathami and Al-Madi compared the antimi-crobial efficacy of Propolis, sodium hypochlorite and saline as an intracanal irrigants. The results of this study indicated that the propolis has antimicrobial activity equal to that of sodium Propolis can be termed as a "natural antibiotic" as it shows inhibitory effect on a variety of pathogenic organisms. However, as propolis is a Al-Shaher et al examined the tolerance of fibroblasts of subject of recent dental research. There is limited evidence that the periodontal ligament (PDL) and dental pulp to propolis and propolis may actively protect against oral diseases, the extract can be compared with that of calcium hydroxide in vitro. They concluded used as an alternative measure to prevent periodontal and gingival problems, and because propolis is a gift from Mother Nature, it is 17. Miroeva OK. Calder PC. The effect ofpropolis and its non toxic and safe for most people.
components on eicosanoid production during the inflammatory response. Prostaglandins leukot Essent Fatty Acids 18. Choi YH, Lee WY, Nam SY, Choi KC, Park YE. Apoptosis 1. Santos FA. Antibacterial activity of Brazilian propolis and induced by Propolis in heaptocellular carcinoma cell line. Int J actions against oral anaerobic bacteria. J Ethanopharmacol Mol Med 1999;4:29-32.
19. Murray MC, Worthington HV, Blinkhom AS. A study to 2. Park YK, Alencar SM, Aguiar CL. Botanical origin and investigate the effect of a propolis-containing mouthrinse chemical composition of Brazilian propolis. J Agric Food on the inhibition of de novo plaque formation. J Clin 3. Bankova V. Recent trends and important developments in 20. Mahmoud AS, Almas K, Dahlan AA. The effect of Propolis propolis research. eCAM 2005;2:29-32 on dentinal hypersensitivity and level of satisfaction among 4. Da Silva FB, De Almeida JM, De Sousa SMG. Natural patients from a university hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Indian medicaments in endodontics - a comparative study of the J Dent Res 1999;10:130-7.
anti-inflammatory action. Braz Oral Res 2004;18:174-9.
21. Koo H, Cury JA, Rosalen PL, Ambrosano GM, Ikegaki M, Park 5. Park YK, Koo MH, Ikegaki M, Cury JA, Rosalen PL. Effects of YK. Effect of a mouth rinse containing selected propolis on 3- Propolis on Streptococcus mutans, actinomyces naeslundii, day dental plaque accumulation and polysaccharide formation. Staphylococcus aureus. Rev Microbial 1998;29:143-8.
Caries Res 2002;36:445-8.
6. Ikeno K, Ikeno T, Miyazawa C. Effects of Propolis on dental 22. Al-Qathami H, Al-Madi E. Comparison of sodium hypochlorite, caries in rats. Caries Res 1991;25:347-51.
propolis and salineas root canal irrigants: A pilot study. Saudi 7. Koo H, Rosalen PL, Cury JA, Park YK, Ikegaki M, Sattler A. Dental J 2003;5:100-2.
Effects of Apis mellifera Propolis from Brazilain regions on 23. Al-Shaher A, Wallace J, Agarwal S, Bretz W, Baugh D. Effect of caries development in desalivated rats. Caries res 1999;33:393- propolis on human fibroblasts from the pulp and periodontal ligament. J Endod 2004;30:359-61.
8. Bretz WA, Chiego DJ, Marcucci MC, Cunha I, Custodia A, 24. Martin MP, Pileggi R. A quantitative analysis of Propolis: a Shneider LG. Preliminary report on the effects of Propolis on promising new storage media following avulsion. Dental wound healing in the dental pulp. Z Naturforch C traumatol 2004;20: 85-9.
25. Hayacibara MF, Koo H, Rosalen PL, Duarte S, Franco EM, 9. Brumfitt W, Hamilton- Miller JM, Franklin I. Antibiotic activity Bowen WH, Ikegaki M, Cury JA. In vitro and in vivo of natural products: 1. Propolis Microbios 1990;62;19-22.
effects of isolated fractions of Brazilian propolis on caries 10. Dimov V, Ivanovska N, Manolova N, Bankova V, Niklov N, development. J Ethnopharmacol 2005;101:110-5.
Popov S. Immunomodultory action of Propolis. Influence on 26. Ozan F, Polat ZA, Er K, Ozan U, Deger O. Effect of propolis on anti- infectious protection and macrophage function. survival of periodontal ligament cells: new storage media for avulsed teeth. J Endod 2007;33:570-3.
11. Dobrowolski JW, Vohora SB, Sharma K, Shah SA, Naqvi SA, 27. Ozan F, Sümer Z, Polat ZA, Ozan U, Deger O. Effect of mouth Dandiya PC. Antibacterial, antifungal, antiamoebic, anti- rinse containing propolis on oral microorganisms and inflammatory and antipyretic studies on Propolis bee products. J human gingival fibroblast. Eur J dentistry 2007;11:195-200.
28. Toker H, Ozan F, Ozer H, Ozdemir H, Eren K, Yeler HJ. A 12. De Carvalho Duailibe SA, Goncalves AG, Ahid FJM. Effects of morphometic and histopathologic evaluation of the effects of a propolis extract on streptococcus mutans counts in vivo. J propolis on alveolar bone loss in experimental periodontitis Appl Oral Sci 2007;15:420-3.
in rats. Periodontol 2008;79:1089-94. 13. Tosi B, Donini A, Romagnoli C, Bruni A. Antimicrobial activity 29. Oncag O, Cogulu D, Uzel A, Sorkun K. Efficacy of propolis as of some commercial extracts of Propolis prepared with different an intracanal medicament against Enterococcus faecalis. solvents. Phyother Res 1996;10:336-6.
General Dentistry 2008;54:319-22.
14. Pascual C, Gonzalez R, Torricella RG. Scavenging action of 30. Hidaka S, Okamoto Y, Ishiyama K, Hashimoto K. Inhibition of Propolis extract against oxygen radicals. J Ethanopharmacol the formation of oral calcium phosphate preciptates: the possible 1994; 41:9-13.
effects of certain honeybee products. J Periodontal Res 2008; 15. Lin Sc, Lin YH, Chen CF, Chung CY, Hsu SH. The hepatoprotective and therapeutic effects of Propolis ethanol 31. Dodwad V, Kukreja BJ. Propolis Mouthwash : A new beginning. extract on chronic alcohol induced liver injuries.
J Indian Soc Periodontol 2011;15:121-5.
16. Khayyal MT, El-Ghazaly MA, El Khatib AS. Mechanisms involved in the anti-inflammatory effect of Propolis extract. Drugs Exp Clin Res 1993;29:197-203.
Source of Support: Nil. Conflict of Interest: None


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Anova Health Institute, November 2013 Recommended Citation: McIntyre, J., Jobson, G., Struthers, H. De Swardt, G., Rebe, K. Rapid Assessment of HIV Prevention, Care and Treatment Programming for MSM in South Africa. Assessment Report 2013, Anova Health Institute, Johannesburg. Available at: The Anova Health Institute acknowledges the assistance of the fol owing people in the preparation of this report: Candice Harrison-Train and Carmel Marock of Singizi Consulting, Anne Aslett and Mohamed Osman of the Elton John AID Foundation, Tim Lane, Zach Isdahl and Alex Marr of UCSF and all the respondents who so willingly contributed their expertise.