Health Update: New Anti-Viral for your Natural Medicine Cabinet



Hello again one and all:

I just reviewed multiple papers that outline the significant anti-viral effects of the natural substance called propolis. You may be aware that we offer this at our office, and it is called B. Immune Throat Spray from Beekeepers Naturals. I first learned of it at the start of the pandemic in March of 2020 and have recommended it ever since. It is important to note that while this is so promising, there have not been enough randomized trials on humans to recommend this as a standard treatment. That means that there is a strong rationale for using propolis as an adjunct to other/traditional care and that is how it’s use should be considered. Once you read the papers, I think you will agree. Here is some of the science:

“Since propolis is nontoxic and practically without side effects, patients should ask for the medical recommendation to include propolis in combination with the antiviral agents or with the new vaccines when available. Previous research from our group revealed that propolis might exert a synergistic action in combination with some antibiotics.[22, 237, 238] Thus, we strongly suggest the evaluation of propolis effectiveness in combination with different antiviral drugs to obtain a new treatment for viral diseases. In this context, Altindis et al.[239] investigated in vitro the effects of propolis and olive leaf extract (OLE) alone or in combination with acyclovir regarding their antiviral activity against HSV-1. This combination exerted an efficient antiviral effect and caused no CPE, suggesting that reduced doses and side effects of acyclovir could be achieved by a simultaneous administration of propolis and OLE. Propolis could be used for COVID-19 prevention (prophylactic effect) or even in combination with the recommended treatment of this disease (therapeutic effect) due to its biological properties.”

“Conclusions: Propolis is among the few natural remedies that have been utilized for centuries, and modern laboratory investigations have confirmed that the effectiveness of propolis originates from its extracts and derivatives against multiple disease models, including viral infections… These components have significant activities that target a myriad of pathological and reparative processes, including immune signaling pathways. The demonstrated efficacy against a wide range of human viruses has provided a rationale, and paved the way, for studies on the efficacy of propolis to be tested against SARS-CoV-2.”

“Until now, only a few clinical studies have evaluated the putative efficacy of propolis oral administration in the case of respiratory diseases…Nonetheless, preclinical studies support the all-round potential of propolis in respiratory diseases and, given the current emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the limited therapeutic options, propolis should be suggested as a reasonably safe and hopefully effective therapeutic agent.

Bottom Line: Evidence like the above presented research is why I use the spray daily and offer it at the practice. While there is not enough final data to definitively know exactly how effective propolis is, my experience has been very positive and when used as an additional therapy, and not as a stand-alone therapy, there is reasonable data to support the usage as a general health support. Here is a summary of what most of the papers tell us:

  • Propolis, made by bees from bioactive plant resins, has antiviral activity.
  • Propolis potentially can interfere with host cell invasion by SARS-CoV-2.
  • Propolis blocks proinflammatory PAK1, a kinase highly expressed in COVID19 patients.
  • Standardized propolis has consistent properties for lab and clinical research.
  • Propolis is a safe widely consumed functional food with medicinal properties.

“To determine if propolis specifically affects SARS-CoV-2 will require more research. But given that propolis is a risk-free product, except for those who may develop an allergy to it, the known biological activities of this natural bee product lead us to suggest its use for reducing the risk and impact of infection and as an adjunct to treatment.”


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