Propolis is a resinous mixture that honey bees collect from the tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. The chemical composition of propolis varies and depends on the geographical area, time of collection, seasonality, illumination, altitude, and food availability during propolis exploitation. The goal of this review is to discuss important concepts including mechanisms of action and therapeutic activities of propolis. The PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Cochrane Library databases were searched for the literature published from January the 1st 2000 to October the 1st 2017. Sixteen animals and three clinical studies were included. A quantitative and qualitative review was performed on the clinical trials and the animal studies were comprehensively overviewed. In this study, the clinical trials have been combined and the results were provided as meta-analysis. Propolis is a non-toxic natural product; however some cases of allergy and contact dermatitis to this compound have been described mainly among beekeepers. An important factor in impaired wound healing is biofilm formation; propolis as an anti-microbial agent can reduce biofilm generation and result in accelerated healing processes. Most of the in vivo studies on various wound models suggested the beneficial roles of propolis on experimental wound healing and this has also been approved in the clinical trial studies. However, there is a lack of information concerning, dose, side effects and clinical effectiveness of propolis on wounds. As the effectiveness of propolis between different products is variable, more characterizations should be done and future investigations comparing different propolis based products and characterization of their specific roles on different models of wounds are highly appreciated.
Keywords: Anti-inflammatory; Anti-oxidant; Antimicrobial; Meta-analysis; Propolis; Wound healing.
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