Comparative study of topical green and red propolis in the repair of wounds induced in rats

Rev Col Bras Cir. 2012 Dec;39(6):515-20. doi: 10.1590/s0100-69912012000600012.
[Article in English, Portuguese]


Objective: To evaluate the healing action of green and red propolis, correlating it with the content of flavonoids.

Methods: We performed quantification of total flavonoids of green and red propolis ethanol extracts for subsequent incorporation in ointment base to 20%. We used 20 Wistar rats divided into four groups: 0.9% saline (S), ointment base (B), green propolis ointment (G) and red propolis ointment (R). All animals were submitted to excisional lesions in the midian back region. The rats were treated daily for 15 days. During this period we observed weight, body temperature and diameters of the wounds. For histological analysis, samples were collected from wounds. At the end of the experiment we performed blood collection and removal of the kidney and liver for biochemical and histological analyzes.

Results: The levels of total flavonoids of green (4.50%) and red (5.92%) propolis were high (> 2%), but, while the latter showed a content larger than the former, the evolution of green propolis was better in the repair of wounds, both macroscopically and histologically. There were no nephrotoxicity or hepatotoxicity, a result confirmed by biochemical tests (ALT and albumin). Propolis influenced the reduction of total cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose.

Conclusion: There was no correlation between total flavonoid contents and the healing action of propolis. This reveals the need for elucidation of the flavonoids found in each class of propolis to unravel which one(s) would be important for the healing process.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Flavonoids / analysis
  • Male
  • Propolis / chemistry
  • Propolis / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*


  • Flavonoids
  • Propolis