Used to fight upper respiratory tract (ear, nose and throat) infections such as tonsillitis, sinusitis, ear infections, and the common cold and to boost immune function so as to reduce the tendency to colds
Used for intestinal infections, giardiasis, and diarrhoea
Used for peptic and duodenal ulcers and adjunctively for ulcerative colitis
Used to treat mouth ulcers, gingivitis and periodontal disease
A popular medicine of Europe and Russia, propolis has been used for centuries for its antiseptic and wound-healing abilities. Priests of ancient Egypt embalmed corpses with propolis. Pliny and Dioscorides both wrote about propolis, as did Galen, Varro and the famous Persian physician Avicenna. Stradivarius used the resinous beehive material to varnish his violins. During the Boer War at the end of the 19th century, propolis was used extensively as a wound dressing with reportedly excellent results.
One author extols the tincture for upper respiratory tract affections, noting that propolis is accepted as an official medication in Russia: "Propolis can be efficiently applied to catarrhs of the respiratory tract, in influenza, sinusitis, laryngitis, bronchitis, asthma, chronic pneumonia, and tuberculosis… Sick children are very responsive to the treatment. It may also be used in nose, throat, and ear diseases and especially in the treatment of (middle ear infections)". A clinical trial found a decrease in the frequency of the common cold in school age and preschool children treated with propolis prophylactically.
A referenced monograph by well-known herbalist Kerry Bone confirms that, "propolis appears to be particularly effective for the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections such as tonsillitis, quinsy, sinusitis and suppurative otitis media, especially in children."
Bone goes on to document that a double-blind clinical trial of a propolis mouthwash in patients with gingivitis and periodontal disease found a significant improvement after four weeks. He also describes its benefits for mouth ulcers, peptic ulcers and ulcerative colitis, noting that "Propolis has been used in Russia and Austria for the treatment of peptic ulcers and inflammation of the upper gastrointestinal tract". Bone adds that a double-blind clinical trial of propolis for the treatment of ulcerative colitis found that although there was a tendency to improvement for patients, "patient numbers were not sufficient to show statistical significance".