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Gastrointestinal Disorder

Infection with parasites usually occurs upon contact with an infected surface. The symptoms of parasitic infection of the GI tract include abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, and nausea. Propolis has been reported to have several biological efficacies including anticancer, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory activities . There are a few studies that reported the clinical use of propolis in the treatment of viral infections. In one study, the in vitro effect of propolis ethanolic extract on the growth and adherence of Giardia duodenalis trophozoites was evaluated . Propolis was shown to inhibit growth and adherence of the trophozoites. It also promoted the detachment of these parasitic organisms. Its efficacy against giardiasis has also been reported in a clinical study whereby children and adults with giardiasis-given propolis showed a cure rate between 52% and 60%, whereas those given the conventional drug showed a 40% cure rate. Another experimental study showed that propolis has antihistaminergic, anti-inflammatory, anta-acid, and anti-H. pylori activities that can be used to treat gastric ulceration .

Gynecological Care

Widespread causes of indicative vaginitis are bacterial vaginosis (BV) and vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC). The depletion of Lactobacillus spp. in the vagina is a distinguished feature of vaginal infections. The infection is accompanied by an overgrowth of vaginal pathogens such as yeast-like fungi and an elevated vaginal pH. Diabetes patients are more prone to having vaginal infections caused by Candida albicans. A study conducted on the application of 5% aqueous propolis solution resulted in an improvement in vaginal well-being . In addition to providing antibiotic and antimycotic actions, propolis provides early symptomatic relief due to its anesthetic properties. Thus, propolis may be used for Recurrent Vulvovaginal Candidiasis (RVVC) and can be an alternative option for patients who are unable to take antibiotics due to a concurrent pharmacological treatment. The effectiveness of propolis against conventional antifungal nystatin has shown satisfactory results. Propolis extract solution (PES) also show low toxicity in human cells and can be an alternative treatment for chronic vaginitis. In addition, PES has antifungal properties and it can be used as antibiofilm material for RVVC to counteract biofilm growth of C. albicans and resistance in antifungal drug .

Oral Health

The oral cavity has an abundant bacterial microflora and excessive bacterial growth may lead to several conditions such as oral diseases. Studies have shown that propolis may restrict bacterial-plaque development and periodontitis-causing pathogens because of its antibacterial properties . Propolis solutions exert a selectively lower cytotoxic action on human gum fibroblasts compared to chlorhexidine. In addition to that, mouthwash containing propolis have shown effectiveness in healing surgical wounds. This encourages the use of propolis in solutions used as mouthwash . Propolis solution can also be used to disinfect toothbrushes . A 3% ethanolic extract of propolis toothpaste gel showed greater potency against gingivitis caused by dental plague in a group of patients . Propolis extracts have also helped cure halitosis, a condition where an individual experiences unpleasant breath predominantly due to poor oral hygiene. Propolis toothpaste or mouthwash is used for their ability to reduce growth of bacterial plaque and pathogenic microflora that causes gingivitis and periodontitis. Thus, propolis also plays a role as a therapeutic agent .

Oncological Treatment

A study reported that propolis has potential towards human breast cancer treatment due to its antitumor activity by inducing apoptosis on human breast cancer cells. It also exhibits low or no toxicity towards normal cells due to its selectively toxic properties against tumor cells and is believed that propolis may become a prominent agent to treat breast cancer . Another study investigating the effect of ethanolic extract of Algerian propolis on melanoma tumor growth has shown that galangin, a common flavonoid in propolis remarkably induced apoptosis and inhibited melanoma cells in vitro . Turkish propolis has also been shown to exert a selective cytotoxic action on human lung cancer cells by inducing endoplasmic reticulum stress, apoptosis, and caspase activity and by reducing the mitochondrial membrane potential. This indicates that propolis is able to minimize the cancer cell proliferation .

Dermatological Care

Propolis is widely used in dermatological products such as creams and ointments. Its use in skin care products is based on its antiallergy, anti-inflammation, antimicrobial properties, and promotive action on collagen synthesis. A recent study comparing the effect of propolis and the conventional drug silver sulfadiazine showed that propolis notably decreased free radical activity in healing the wound beds which supported the repair process. A clinical study on acne patients using ethanolic extract propolis showed its high efficacy in the treatment of acne vulgaris . Propolis also shows positive collagen metabolism in the wound during the healing process by increasing the collagen content of tissues . A study demonstrated the use of propolis as an alternative therapy for wound healing to promote wound closure, especially under conditions such as human diabetic foot ulcer (DFU).

The molecular mechanisms responsible for the wound-healing activity of propolis . Fibronectin (FN) is a multifunctional glycoprotein of high molecular weight, which influences the structural stability and functional properties of various organs and tissues (Stoffels, 2013). The fibronectin matrix and its accumulation are essential for cell migration, cell proliferation, cell differentiation, cell adhesion, apoptosis, cellular signaling, angiogenesis, collagen biosynthesis, re-epithelialization, clot formation, and platelet activity. Fibronectins are also important in the repair mechanisms for conditions such as glycoprotein intensified degradation, which leads to a defective cellular microenvironment and affliction in the structure of granulation tissues. This condition may prevent the wound from healing or inhibit the repair process. The accumulation of fibronectin in the extracellular space also modulates the secretion of other repairing components such as collagen type I and type III, tenascin, laminin, and fibrillin.