Propolis has been used for wound healing for thousands of years. During World Wars I and II, soldiers used propolis to prevent their wounds from becoming infected and to speed up the healing process.
The early research work on propolis was mostly done in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, consisting of highly technical laboratory studies as well as controlled clinical trials. Laboratory tests showed that propolis on its own is effective against over 20 kinds of bacteria. Clinical studies from the former Soviet Union, Romania, and China demonstrated that propolis was effective against various kinds of bacterial, fungal, and viral infections.
Dr. Kravcuk of Kiev found that propolis was effective against sore throats and dry coughs in 90% of 260 patients. A recent study showed that the active ingredients in propolis significantly inhibited the Hong Kong flu virus. Therefore, propolis might be a good agent to prevent and treat the common cold and flu. Recent studies also show that propolis is effective against the herpes simplex virus. Scientists believe that a particular chemical in Propolis, known as caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) may interfere with the formation of substances that promote inflammation in the body. This potential effect may even help to relieve inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.