What is propolis?
It’s dark, it’s cold, you’ve a ton of festive shopping to do, and your mouth has just taken a hit of horrible sores.
It’s time to turn to the bees.
Propolis is a sticky, resinous substance that honeybees produce using tree bud resin, beeswax and saliva, which they use to repair and strengthen their hive. It has been our go-to remedy for cold sores for years, and the latest research shows us just how correct we are to rely on it to keep us smiling as winter looms.
Propolis is well known and loved by those keen on evading the blight of unsightly cold sores, for which it is particularly appropriate due to its dual ability to counter the virus responsible for the sores, whilst speeding up the healing process of the skin. Just what the doctor probably hasn’t ordered. Luckily, you can get it for yourself.
Propolis: pure and powerful
This research establishes that Purified Propolis Extract ACF (Active Complex of Flavonoids)®:
- Has a unique chemical profile
- Is of very high quality
- Is virucidal against the Herpes simplex virus (HSV)
- Blocks the way that HSV penetrates and infects host cells (you, in other words!)
Caffeic acid, cinnamic acid, and the flavonoids chrysin, galangin and kaempferol, found in pure, high quality Propolis extract, have all been shown to possess activity against the Herpes simplex virus (HSV).
This makes Propolis an extremely effective treatment for cold sores. Not only that, but as it blocks the penetration of the virus into the host cell, it can also prevent infection – slather it on before venturing out to socialise.
 Bankovaq V et al. Chemical Composition of Purified Propolis Extract ACF® and activity against Herpes simplex virus (HSV) Phytomedicine 2014; 21: 1432-1438
A placebo-controlled test measured the viability of HSV after treatment with Propolis. The antiviral studies showed that Propolis had a pronounced virucidal (virus killing) effect against Herpes simplex virus. The tests were run at room temperature, which is important for giving results that would be valid in real-life conditions. It also impaired its ability to penetrate the host cells. It seems that propolis might interfere with specific components of the viral envelope (glycoproteins) that allow it to attach to and penetrate human cells.
Good news for us: bad news for cold sores.