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Propolis is a resin-like material made by bees from the buds of poplar and cone-bearing trees. Bees use it to build hives, and it may contain beehive byproducts.

Propolis seems to help fight against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It might also have anti-inflammatory effects and help skin heal. Propolis is rarely available in its pure form. It's usually obtained from beehives.

People commonly use propolis for diabetes, cold sores, and swelling and sores inside the mouth. It's also used for burns, canker sores, genital herpes, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses. There is also no good evidence to support using propolis for COVID-19.

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When taken by mouth: Propolis is possibly safe when used appropriately. It can cause allergic reactions, especially in people who are allergic to other bee products. Lozenges containing propolis can cause irritation and mouth ulcers.

When applied to the skin: Propolis is possibly safe when used appropriately. It can cause allergic reactions, especially in people who are allergic to other bee products.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy: There isn't enough reliable information to know if propolis is safe to use when pregnant. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Breast-feeding: Propolis is possibly safe when taken by mouth while breastfeeding. Doses of 300 mg daily for up to 10 months have been used safely. Stay on the safe side and avoid higher doses when breast-feeding.

Bleeding conditions: A certain chemical in propolis might slow blood clotting. Taking propolis might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Allergies: Some propolis products might be contaminated with bee byproducts. Use propolis with caution if you are allergic to bee byproducts.

Surgery: A certain chemical in propolis might slow blood clotting. Taking propolis might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop taking propolis 2 weeks before surgery.

There are no known interactions with medications. Before taking this product, talk with your health professional if you take any medications.

Herbs and supplements that might slow blood clotting: Propolis might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. Taking it with other supplements with similar effects might increase the risk of bleeding in some people. Examples of supplements with this effect include garlic, ginger, ginkgo, nattokinase, and Panax ginseng.

There are no known interactions with foods.

Propolis has most often been used by adults in doses of 400-500 mg by mouth daily for up to 13 months. It's also used in many types of products, including creams, ointments, gels, and mouth rinses. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what type of product and dose might be best for a specific condition.

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