Propolis is a resinous material collected by honeybees. Propolis is a soft and compact substance formed by mixing the resins and exudates of the plants with bee enzymes, wax, and pollen. Propolis is used by the bees to repair their honeycombs and protect the hives to prevent larvae infection.1,2

Propolis’s chemical composition is complex – the composition and characteristics of Propolis, such as consistency, smell, taste, and color, depending upon the bees’ location and the trees and flowers they target. The Euro-Asian propolis, derived from Populus spp., contains many phenolic constituents, of which flavonoids represent the predominant constituent.2,3

What are the functions of Propolis?

Scientists have identified more than 300 compounds in Propolis, and the majority of these compounds are forms of polyphenols, which are antioxidants that fight disease and damage in the body. Propolis is rich in the polyphenol known as flavonoids, which are produced in plants as a form of protection.4

Propolis is used as an alternative medicine in the management of various diseases. Propolis possesses several medicinal properties, such as antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antifungal, and antitumoral properties. Flavonoids, the polyphenol, have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.5,6,7,8

Propolis in cold sores – speed-up healing and reduce symptoms

Propolis helps speed up healing time and reduces the symptoms in cold sores. Jautová et al. tested a lip cream containing propolis extract against acyclovir in patients with herpes labialis. The study found that healing was reached after three days with Propolis and four days with acyclovir. Symptoms relief such as pain, burning, itching, tension, and swelling were more in the propolis group.9

A Swedish study assessed the efficacy of propolis ointment in patients with a history of cold sores recurrences. The study found that the rate of lesion healing was significantly faster among the patients treated with propolis ointment (6 days) compared to those treated with placebo (9 days). The patients who applied the Propolis ointment experienced pain relief earlier than those who applied the placebo ointment. At the end of the treatment, 81.8% of the patients in the propolis ointment group judged their treatment ‘very effective.’ 10

Propolis has also been shown to exhibit antiherpes simplex virus (HSV) activity in in-vitro studies. Propolis exerts antiviral action by blocking partly the virus’s entry within the cells, which, in turn, affects viral replication. The antiviral effect of propolis extracts and selected constituents were analyzed in a cell culture study. Propolis extracts were found to exhibit high levels of antiviral activity against HSV-1 – plaque formation (regions of cell destruction by the virus) was significantly reduced by >98%. The study showed that propolis extracts might be suitable for topical application against herpes infection. 11

Propolis is helpful in wound healing

The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of Propolis make it useful in wound healing. Wound healing is categorized into three phases: inflammatory, proliferative, and remodeling – and mast cells participate in all three phases. A study by Barroso et al. found that topical Propolis was more effective than a popular steroid cream, dexamethasone, in reducing mast cells in oral surgery wounds. Mast cells are specialized immune cells associated with inflammation and slowed wound healing. The anti-inflammatory action of Propolis mediated by mast cells was more effective than dexamethasone in the inflammatory phase of healing. Dexamethasone is a potent synthetic glucocorticoid used in the treatment of a number of immunological and inflammatory conditions.12

The anti-inflammatory property of Propolis is due to its ability to inhibit the production of nitric oxide. Propolis also suppresses various inflammatory pathways, such as LPS-induced signaling pathways.12

  1. Burdock GA. Review of the biological properties and toxicity of bee propolis (propolis). Food Chem Toxicol. 1998;36(4):347-363.
  2. Governa P, Cusi MG, Borgonetti V, et al. Beyond the Biological Effect of a Chemically Characterized Poplar Propolis: Antibacterial and Antiviral Activity and Comparison with Flurbiprofen in Cytokines Release by LPS-Stimulated Human Mononuclear Cells. 2019;7(4):73.
  3. Sforcin JM. Biological Properties and Therapeutic Applications of Propolis. Phytother Res. 2016;30(6):894-905.
  4. Kocot J, Kiełczykowska M, Luchowska-Kocot D, et al. Antioxidant Potential of Propolis, Bee Pollen, and Royal Jelly: Possible Medical Application. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2018;2018:7074209.
  5. Anjum SI, Ullah A, Khan KA, et al. Composition and functional properties of propolis (bee glue): A review. Saudi J Biol Sci. 2019;26(7):1695-1703.
  6. Pasupuleti VR, Sammugam L, Ramesh N, et al. Honey, Propolis, and Royal Jelly: A Comprehensive Review of Their Biological Actions and Health Benefits. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017;2017:1259510.
  7. Przybyłek I, Karpiński TM. Antibacterial Properties of Propolis. Molecules. 2019;24(11):2047.
  8. de Freitas MCD, de Miranda MB, de Oliveira DT, et al. Biological Activities of Red Propolis: A Review. Recent Pat Endocr Metab Immune Drug Discov. 2017;11(1):3-12.
  9. Jautová J, Zelenková H, Drotarová K, et al. Lip creams with propolis special extract GH 2002 0.5% versus aciclovir 5.0% for herpes labialis (vesicular stage): Randomized, controlled double-blind study. Wien Med Wochenschr. 2019;169(7-8):193-201.
  10. Hoheisel O. The effects of Herstat (3% propolis ointment ACF) application in cold sores: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Journal of Clinical Research. 2001;4(65‐75): 65‐75.
  11. Schnitzler P, Neuner A, Nolkemper S, et al. Antiviral activity and mode of action of propolis extracts and selected compounds [published correction appears in Phytother Res. 2010 Apr;24(4):632]. Phytother Res. 2010;24 Suppl 1:S20-S28.
  12. Barroso PR, Lopes-Rocha R, Pereira EM, et al. Effect of propolis on mast cells in wound healing. Inflammopharmacology. 2012;20(5):289-294.

Life Is Smiles

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herlip™ Cold Sore Rapid Relief Gel – 8x Multi-Action Formula for Cold Sores

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herlip™ cold sore rapid relief gel is an 8x multi-action formula used for rapidly treating the symptoms and signs associated with cold sores. The result of 6 years of research and development, this unique eco-friendly antiviral product with 30+ naturally-sourced ingredients, soothes, treats, and rapidly improves cold sores.

Packed with fast-acting ingredients and zero harsh chemicals, herlip™ cold sore rapid relief gel is the safe, effective choice for cold sore management. herlip™ cold sore rapid relief gel contains a unique combination of nine (9) active ingredients:

  • Leptospermum Australian Manuka honey 50mg/g,
  • Zinc Oxide 38mg/g,
  • Lysine 14.9mg/g,
  • Propolis Liquid Extract 12mg/g,
  • Melissa Officinalis 10.5mg/g,
  • Glycine 10mg/g,
  • Menthol 1.2mg/g,
  • Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) 1mg/g
  • Ubiquinol-10 (CoQ10) 500 Microgram/g

Our 8x multi-action formula is unlike any other on the market.  It simultaneously provides; antiviral action against HSV-1, assistance with wound healing, relief by soothing and cooling the area, acting as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, giving an anti-itch effect, and, finally, moisturizing the affected area.

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