12 Cold sores bee gone

Cold sores bee gone

Treating cold sores with propolis

10 (1 reviews) Rate this page

Immune System Expert
Ask Dr. Jen Tan

03 December 2014

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[1] 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.

[1] Bankovaq V et al. Chemical Composition of Purified Propolis Extract ACF® and activity against Herpes simplex virus (HSV) Phytomedicine 2014; 21: 1432-1438

Antiviral activity

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.


Bio Propolis - Lip Care Ointment

What's being asked

Can someone give another person a cold sore when they have never had one before?

Yes, this is theoretically possible, although rare. When the cold sore virus enters a person’s body ...
Read more >

I have a cold sore on my nose, and inside of the nostrils. Had this before? How do I get them and why?

Cold sores most often appear around the mouth but occasionally can occur either on the nose or ...
Read more >

How can you prevent cold sores and is there an injection to prevent them?

There has been talk of a vaccine against cold sores over the years, but at the moment, I am not ...
Read more >

How healthy are you?

Take our quick quiz to discover just how healthy your immune system is, as well as some useful information about your general health and wellbeing!

Check now

UK 5-day pollen forecast

Stay up to date with the latest pollen information by finding your local pollen forecast from over 30,000 locations across the UK.

Get your local pollen count now

Healthy & nutritious dinner ideas

Get new recipes in your inbox every week. Sign up now

Can’t Sleep? Take our sleep test for personalised results in under a minute!