Mechanisms involved in the antiinflammatory effect of propolis extract.

Khayyal, M. T., M. A. El-Ghazaly, and A. S. el-Khatib, "Mechanisms involved in the antiinflammatory effect of propolis extract.", Drugs under experimental and clinical research, vol. 19, issue 5, pp. 197-203, 1993.


Propolis is a natural product produced by the honey bee. The extract contains amino acids, flavanoids, terpenes and cinnamic acid derivatives. In various in vitro models propolis extract was shown to inhibit platelet aggregation and to inhibit eicosanoid synthesis, suggesting that it might have potent antiinflammatory properties. A 13% aqueous extract was tested orally in three dose levels (1, 5 and 10 ml/kg) on the carrageenan rat paw oedema model and on adjuvant-induced arthritis in rats. In both models, the extract showed potent dose-related antiinflammatory activity, which compared well with that of diclofenac (as a reference standard). The extract was then tested on an isolated sensitized guinea pig lung preparation to study its effect on the release of prostaglandins, leukotrienes and histamine. It is concluded that propolis extract has potent antiinflammatory properties in vivo. Its activity can be well correlated with its effects on the release of various mediators of inflammation.