The health benefits of bee propolis include treatment of skin injuries, genital herpes and cold sores, and enhancement of mouth healing after dental surgery, according to Healthline. It is also helpful in strengthening the immune system and in fighting infection.
Propolis is a material that bees make by combining their discharges, beeswax and needle-leaved-tree sap or evergreen sap, and is typically sticky and greenish-brown in color, explains Healthline. However, the chemical components of propolis may differ from one location to another because bees in different locations may access different trees and flowers, making medical researchers unable to make a universal agreement regarding the health benefits of propolis. Additionally, there is not enough scientific evidence to back the benefits of propolis, and researchers are not precisely aware of how propolis works to prevent bacterial, viral and fungal infections.
An individual can acquire propolis from pharmacies or health food stores, and it exists in the forms of creams, lotions and ointments, reports Healthline. Other than applying propolis directly to the skin, an individual can also take it by mouth in tablet, capsule or liquid-extract form. However, a recommended dose does not exist due to lack of enough scientific evidence. Additionally, the evidence regarding the safety of propolis is insufficient, despite not being a highly risky product.