If you read my previous post titled Top 5 Bee Propolis Benefits, you won’t explicitly find antiviral effects from that list. Why? Well actually, it’s not because the antiviral effect doesn’t exist in bee propolis, in fact, it exists in most samples.
The problem relies in the word ‘most’, which means, we can’t guarantee that every bee propolis type possess antiviral activity (especially for the less popular variants such as Canarian type). But you don’t have to be worried because most of products that you can find on your nearest store are most likely to be Brazilian and European types. In addition, both of those types have been proven to show significant antiviral activity.
Antimicrobial activity of bee propolis (including its antiviral activity) is highly attributed to the phenolic compounds such as flavonoids. Based on Schnitzler study, the specific substances that gives significant contribution to its antiviral activities are galangin and chrysin. Both of them are specific forms of flavonoids.
How Does it Works?
Just like any other antiviral drugs, some specific compounds which are contained in bee propolis possess complex capabilities to disrupt and manipulate virus’ life cycle. Here is the quick and simple explanation to antiviral mechanism of bee propolis which has already been verified and identified by various studies:
- Preventing virus from entering the host cell[4,5].
- Reducing intracellular replication activities[4,5,6,7]. This process contributes to suppress the growth and development of virus. This can be done by the process called reverse transcriptase. This process stops some specific enzymes disabling virus capability to synthesize their RNA or DNA.
- Stimulating our immune system to fight back against virus infection.
Aside from these findings, it also needs to be remembered that the effectiveness is directly depending on its concentration level. Based on Gekker’s in-vitro study, it is found that 85% – 98% effectiveness level can be achieved by using 66.6 µ/ml concentration of bee propolis. effectiveness.
- Viuda-Martos M, Ruiz-Navajas Y, Fernández-López J, Pérez-Alvarez JA. Functional properties of honey, bee glue, and royal jelly.J Food Sci. 2008 Nov;73(9):R117-24.
- Schnitzler P, Neuner A, Nolkemper S, Zundel C, Nowack H, Sensch KH, Reichling J.Antiviral activity and mode of action from extracst and selected compounds.Phytother Res. 2010 Apr;24(4):632.
- Hegazi Ahmed G.; Farghal,Abd El HadyFaten K. National Research Center and Animal Health Research Institute, Dokki, Giza, Egypt. 2000
- Búfalo MC, Figueiredo AS, de Sousa JP, Candeias JM, Bastos JK, Sforcin JM.J Appl Microbiol. 2009 Nov;107(5):1669-80. Epub 2009 Apr 21.
- Gekker G, Hu S, Spivak M, Lokensgard JR, Peterson PK. 2005 Nov 14;102(2):158-63. Epub 2005 Jul 19.
- Amoros M, et al, Journal of natural products (1994) 57(5):644 7
- Harish Z, Rubinstein A, Suppression of HIV-1 replication by bee propolis and its immunoregulatory