Randomized DoubleBlind PlaceboControlled Trial of Propolis for Oral Mucositis in Patients Receiving Chemotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2016;17(7):3611-4.


Background: Propolis based preparations have a wide range of applications in various specialties of dentistry. The aim of this clinical trial was to test the efficacy of propolis as a mouthwash in the reduction of chemotherapy induced oral mucositis (OM) in a single center.

Materials and methods: In this randomised, controlled study patients undergoing chemotherapy were included consecutively and randomised to an experimental group receiving propolis mouthwash (n = 20) and a control group receiving diluted water (n=20). Oral mucositis, erythema and eating and drink ability were assessed at baseline and after 3 and 7 days using the World Health Organization (WHO) scale and the oral mucositis assessment scale (OMAS).

Results: There were significant differences in OM, wound and erythema in propolis group compared to placebo, but no significant difference in eating and drink ability. However, it was interesting that 65% of the patients in the propolis group were completely healed at day 7 of the trial. No significant adverse events were reported by the patients.

Conclusions: This study found that oral care with propolis as mouthwash for patients undergoing chemotherapy is an effective intervention to improve oral health. Our findings shouldlencourage health practitioners to apply propolis mouth rinse for the oral care of patients under chemotherapy.

Publication types

  • Pragmatic Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Mouth Mucosa / drug effects
  • Mouthwashes / therapeutic use
  • Propolis / therapeutic use*
  • Stomatitis / chemically induced*
  • Stomatitis / drug therapy*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Mouthwashes
  • Propolis