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What are some side effects of using bee propolis?

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Quick Answer

For most people, bee propolis may be safe to use by mouth or for application on the skin, but some side effects that may develop in others are mouth irritation or an allergic reaction, notes WebMD. Additionally, there may be precautions and warnings in regards to the use of this bee propolis.

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Full Answer

Propolis is a type of resinous substance collected by bees from tree buds; this material is typically found in beehives. People may use bee propolis for various medicinal purposes, such as canker sores, different types of infections and cleaning wounds, states the National Institutes of Health's MedlinePlus.

Propolis may possibly be effective for a herpes outbreak, cold sores and as a mouth rinse following oral surgery, according to WebMD; some patients with these issues may use bee propolis. However, lozenges that contain this ingredient may cause mouth irritation and ulcers in some patients. Similarly, if someone is allergic to bees or their products, then taking bee propolis orally or applying it to the skin may cause an allergic reaction. A dose that is higher than 15 grams per day may also lead to adverse reactions, notes Drugs.com.

Pregnant or lactating women should not use propolis, as there is not enough information on the safety of using these products. Additionally, patients with conditions such as asthma, or a bleeding disorder should avoid taking bee propolis.

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