Propolis lozenges are medicinal caplets made from a wax-like substance produced by bees. Propolis is a resin created by bees to seal openings in the hive that are too small to fill with beeswax. The secretions that make up this resin are collected from tree buds, most commonly poplar and conifer. Propolis is believed to have many health benefits, though few have concrete evidence to support them.
Propolis is a naturally occurring substance secreted by bees. It can vary in color, texture, and flavor, depending on the trees and flowers that the bees have been frequenting. This substance is sticky to the touch and typically brown, black, or crimson in color.
Many health food companies market propolis lozenges. These are typically combined with a lemon or honey flavoring. These lozenges are purported to ease sore throats caused by colds or general irritation. These lozenges are also promoted for “general wellness,” as propolis is believed to have a wide range of other health benefits.
Propolis is thought to help improve cardiac health and increase the individual’s resistance to disease. This substance may also be able to prevent oral problems such as cavities. It is occasionally used as a treatment for canker sores. Propolis has many antibacterial qualities that help kill off unwanted germs, bacteria, and fungus.
In addition to lozenges, propolis is also available in a variety of other forms. Propolis can be found in creams, tinctures, and capsules. It may be used in cream form to treat burns and vaginitis. Capsules can be taken to ease symptoms of the common cold. Propolis is sometimes added to mouthwash to help prevent the growth of plaque and infections of the mouth and gums.
Though the benefits of propolis have not been widely studied, for most individuals it is a harmless treatment. The exception is those who have adverse reactions to bee products such as honey. Individuals with this type of allergy are likely to have an adverse reaction to propolis lozenges as well. The most common reaction to propolis is itching, burning, irritation, and rash. More severe reactions such as swelling, fever, and anaphylaxis have also occurred.
Individuals should consult a physician before using propolis lozenges regularly. Propolis may interact with other medications such as antibiotics, immunosuppressants, and anti-cancer agents. Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also consult their doctor about the safety of using propolis.