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Propolis has attracted people with it’s healing power for thousands of years ago. According to the historical records, it has been used as a remedy to treat many diseases by reducing the intensity of symptoms by ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians. Since then, propolis has been used as a natural antibiotic.
Although conventional and alternative medicine has extensively used propolis as a medicine for ages, modern medical treatments are mostly based on synthetic pharmacy products. Hence, the employment of propolis in treating diseases, unfortunately, faded away as modern medicine became powerful. However, in the last two decades, natural remedies gained significant recognition back again as the side effects of synthetic drugs created awareness in public.
Propolis, a natural bee product that bees gather from plant stems, leaves and buds has powerful anti-bacterial and antioxidant effects, is used to kill germs inside the hive and to keep the bee colony healthy. The main function of propolis for bees is to provide and maintain the antiseptic environment in the hive. Honey bees use propolis for protecting larvae and themselves against microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, fungus) and they use it as a source of disinfectant in the hive. It has a high antioxidant capacity due to its rich content of flavonoids and phenolic compounds.
Research carried out at Istanbul University in 2012 investigated apoptosis inducing effect of propolis on selected breast cancer cell lines by in vitro tissue cell culture techniques. The propolis samples were obtained from Brazil, China, Argentina, and Turkey. The results of the study showed that Anatolian propolis from Turkey was the most strong apoptosis inducer, without any harm to healthy cells.
References: Saygili, N., Timirci-Kahraman, Ö., Kisakesen, H.I., Yilmaz, E., Yilmaz-Aydogan, H., Bilgiç, S., Öztürk, T., Seyhan M.F., Eronat, A.P., Tüzüner, M.B. ve Öztürk, O. 2016. Farkli Cografik Orijinli Propolislerin MCF7 Meme Kanseri Hücrelerindeki miRNA Ekspresyon Profiline Etkileri, IV. Multidisipliner Kanser Kongresi, BURSA, TÜRKIYE, 13-16 Aralik 2012, ss.1-1