Propolis: A Natural Antibiotic That’s Also Good for Your Bones - Save Our Bones

Conventional antibiotics have an important role in medicine, but unfortunately, they have been over-prescribed and over-used for decades. Antibiotics wreak havoc on your gut flora, those important bacteria that are involved in so many body processes, including the synthesis of bone-building vitamins and minerals. And antibiotics certainly don’t contain any nutrients.

Thankfully, nature has provided some very powerful antibiotics of her own, which are much friendlier to the body’s healthful bacteria and full of bone-healthy nutrients. The one I am going to show you today is an amazing germ-killing substance that is manufactured by one of nature’s busiest – and smallest – creatures.

The Honey Bee – Nature’s Antibiotic Manufacturer

Big Pharma is not involved in this antibiotic-making factory! Long before humanity understood the destructive power of disease-causing pathogens, bees were sterilizing their hives. That’s right – these amazing little creatures were producing a sterile environment back when humans weren’t even aware that hand-washing could prevent disease.

It’s been said that the most sterile place in nature is a beehive, and it may be true. How else could bees thrive in such a closed, crowded environment? Bees create an amazingly complex substance in their hives using resins, oils, balsams, pollen, and waxes. They use this substance as a seal that protects their hive against bacterial, viral, and fungal invaders. This substance is called…

Propolis: Nature’s Germ-Fighter

For thousands of years, propolis has played a role in the health of humanity. In the days of Hippocrates, propolis was used to heal open sores and ulcers, including internal ones. In ancient Egypt, propolis was used in the process of mummification. In Europe, propolis was said to relieve inflammation and fever, and in World War II it was used to dress wounds sustained in battle.

Over the years, it’s been used to fight tuberculosis, colitis, viruses (including the flu virus), and even acne. It’s been shown to be effective against harmful bacteria including staphylococcus. It’s also been used to enhance the immune system, which makes it doubly effective as an antibiotic – not only does it kill germs; it also boosts your own germ-fighting capabilities.
Propolis is making a comeback today, making its way into supplements and even toothpastes.

So Just What is Propolis?

As mentioned above, propolis is a very complicated mix of elements that bees collect from nature. It’s a wax-like substance that is essentially a resin, but it is so complex that it’s impossible for humans to recreate. So it remains something of a mystery, but we can look closely at this amazing substance and draw some conclusions about its use, its chemical make-up, and its effectiveness.

We do know that propolis’ antibiotic properties come from a substance called galangin, and that it boosts immunity by increasing phagocyte activity (phagocytes are your body’s “warriors” against germs). We also know that its anti-inflammatory properties derive from its ability to prohibit prostaglandins.

Components called phytotonizides play a role in propolis’ ability to enhance the immune system, as they appear to stimulate phagocytosis.

That’s not all. Propolis contains nutrients that should look very familiar to Save Our Bones readers! That’s because…

Propolis Contains Foundation Supplements

In Chapter 10 of the Save Our Bones program, you’ll find an in-depth discussion of supplements called Foundation Supplements. These are nutrients that are foundational to bone health. Propolis has some of these very nutrients, in addition to others. Propolis contains:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamins B1*, B2*, and B3*
  • Vitamin C*
  • Biotin
  • Bioflavonoids
  • Calcium*
  • Magnesium*
  • Iron
  • Zinc*
  • Silicon*
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Manganese*
  • Cobalt
  • Copper*

* Foundation Supplement

How Do You Take Propolis?

Today, you can find propolis in all kinds of products and forms. It comes in tablets, powder, capsules, creams, lotions, toothpastes, ointments, and extracts. Propolis can be taken as a supplement to fight bacterial infections. Studies against placebos have shown good results with 500 mg of propolis, so look for this dosage in a supplement, preferably in capsule form.

Because propolis is so effective against inflammation – particularly inflammation of the mucous membranes in the mouth and throat – it is especially useful in cases of sore throat, canker sores, and ulcers.

A study conducted by the Harvard School of Dental Medicine1 showed propolis to be effective against canker sores. The safe treatment and prevention of painful canker sores has frustrated modern medicine for some time, and this study, done on two groups of patients (one group took propolis supplements and the other group took a placebo) shows propolis not only reduced the number of canker sore outbreaks significantly, but it also improved the patients’ quality of life. In other words, they just felt better!

Propolis also has…

Antifungal Properties

A 2001 study2 showed that propolis has antifungal activity against multiple strains of yeast, including Candida albicans, which causes yeast infections in people. The study showed that propolis was especially effective at fighting fungal infections of the mouth, particularly in denture wearers.

There’s no doubt that propolis has a place as a natural antibiotic. However, before you take propolis please heed the warning below:

CAUTION: Propolis and Allergies

If you have known allergies to bees, bee products such as honey, or allergies to conifers, poplars, balsams, and/or salicylates, do not use propolis. In addition, some researchers are of the opinion that propolis may aggravate asthma. So if you have asthma, do not use propolis without first consulting with your doctor. And when in doubt, a consultation with a qualified health practitioner is best.

Stay healthy!


1 Samret, Nachum, et al. “The effect of bee propolis on recurrent aphthous stomatitis: a pilot study.” Clinical Oral Investigations. June 2007, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 143-147. Web.
2 Ota C, Unterkircher C, Fantinato V, Shimizu MT (2001). “Antifungal activity of propolis on different species of Candida.” Mycoses, 44, 375-8. Web.

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Lois

    What size are the pills? Good for osteroporosis,,,,propolis?

  2. Colleen

    I bought 50% Full Strength Propolis drops for my son who suffers from multiple canker sores on regular basis. Orthodontist recommended Propolis. If he doesnt like honey what else can he put it in? Coffee and can he put other stuff im coffee like sugar and such? He drinks starbucks coffee. Just concerned he wont be able to handle taste of propolis. It he does Honey and warm water would you mix honey and propolis in with warm water or drink warm water after swallowing honey with propolis? Thanks!

    • Amellia

      You can have the propolis in the form of capsule, so there’s no worry for your son to handle the taste.

  3. Anjou

    Is propolis advisable for a patient who has just started dialysis treatment.
    Thank you.

  4. Michael

    Have you also heard about the study that the University of San Diego is doing on its use for skin problems? I recently read a post on this on Vernal Beauty’s blog. Very interesting stuff!

  5. Hanna

    I am having bone TB for about 2 months now and i just wondering if i can use propolis together with my doctor’s prescription. If i can, how should i take the propolis? Thank u so much

  6. harriet

    Sorry I mean pilori the cause of ulcers. Any one in Nigeria you can buy propolis from enchanting naturals. Just get in touch with them on Facebook

  7. harriet

    Hi…I’m taking propolis for ulcers. I feel better in three weeks but I still have the classic chest pain. I’m wondering what else I can use or add and also what can kill off helicopter pilot I totally.

  8. queenkem

    can i use propolis for complex ovarian mass. or which drug can i use.

  9. Helen oyiera

    I have been having peptic ulcer for quite some time, i have taken h.pylori kit for quite some time but it doen’t heal.please help me out.

    • Bill

      If you haven’t tried fresh juiced cabbage, then if I may suggest try it. Your life is about to change for the better! 6oz. first thing in the morning. Avoid all the food you know that aggravates it. Within 3 days to 2 weeks your ulcer will be healed…completely!!! You can add a stalk of celery as well, which will settle your stomach. Do this everyday until you’re healed. Actually, don’t stop ever. This really works, I’ve healed many including myself.

      • franke

        What about eating the cabbage whole? Like in a soup?

  10. maisamari musa

    Hi, Vivian can i eat raw propolis or how can i prepare for consumption, or where do i get prepared propolis in nigeria?

  11. Lorice

    Where can I find in Australia wa Perth

    • franke

      You will need to buy it online to save you time. Try bio nourish i have propolis gel capsules from that brand. And they are an aussie seller

    • Vicky

      I have been researching propolis for a while and a lady in Chile started using propolis in shampoo it says that people in her village especially the men that were going bald started growing hair after using the shampoo with propolis in it- I am 50 and started loosing hair so i am going to try it -I went to the house of honey in Great Northern Hwy and bought a little container called Propolis Tincture 150mg/ml paid $16.50 and will definitely try it- Wish me luck!!

  12. Rosa

    Hi Vivian. Thank you for the wonderful info. I was wondering if Propolis is okay to take with calcium supplements & or garlic tablets? What are your thoughts?
    Thanks in advance.

  13. gary

    hi vivian, I have fatty liver problem.. is propolis ok for me?…
    How to know which propolis product is safe in the market as you mention before
    “Propylene glycol is a petroleum-based industrial chemical that is toxic to the kidneys and liver”..

  14. whaleed

    Hi I had an tyrod opration pressing on my vocal cords done in 2005 . The doctor adviced me to take is slow with my singing . He also adviced I should take a break for 9 months and then someone told me to use proppollis and help me a lot. Within 3 months I was able to perform on stage and in competitions again

  15. Adrian

    We use an immune boteosr from sprouts/henrys with collodial silver at the first sign of getting sick. You take a shot of it and it takes like water but I swear if we take it right away, we don’t end up getting sick. It’s pretty awesome.

  16. Elias mochokocho

    Thanx for your info about propolis.

  17. Demi

    Hi Vivian, I was wondering if my husband is allergic to bees, can I still take Bee Propolis? Would we still be able to have intimate moments together?

  18. Lauren

    Hello, I was about to try a Propolis Extract I ordered a few months ago fro Annie’s Apitherapy and noticed it is made with propylene glycol. I usually try to avoid this additive. What are your thoughts on taking this?

    Thank you.

  19. Tanya

    I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Red Brazilian Propolis but I went to pubmed and actually found quite a bit of helpful clinical research on it’s affects towards our red blood cells, and actual bone marrow. Maybe worth a look?

  20. louanne

    Is there any similar component to Propoleo and the drug Proleo?

  21. Jessie gurney

    Hi Vivien
    I am delighted to read about your article on Propolis and I am a firm believer of Propolis and bee products.
    My husband and I have been taking Bee Pollen, Bee Propolis and Royal Jelly along with Aloe Vera Gel from Forever Living Products for almost 13 years and as a nurse, I have never taken a flu shot since I have been on these products .
    praise God in all these years I can remember I only had a flu once. Even so, as soon I felt any flu symptoms, I will increase my propolis and aloe Vera and within a couple of days, the flu symptom was gone.

    My husband who is an asthmatic , had a double pneumonia about 19 to 20 years ago and I remember after that diagnosis, he easily get a flu 2 to 3 times a year and was often on antibiotics which made him even worse as antibiotics lower his immune system even more.

    Ever Since he has been taking all the bee products ( 13 years now ) he rarely gets flu and when he did get a flu he didn’t get it as bad as before he was on the Propolis.
    We both take bee propolis every day as a prevention.

    Aso, thank you for the save our bones program book which I find extremely helpful.
    Thanks Vivien for sharing your knowledge with us.

    Blessings from Jessie

  22. Jalia

    Thank you so much for such extensive information about propolis, Vivian!
    I have discoved propolis last year, during my trip to Hungary. I was at a market and noticed a stall where a man was selling natural products such as honey, bee pollen, etc. Somehow, I got talking to him and asked him if he knows any remedy to strengthen the immune system. He gave me a small bottle of some dark, fragnant liquid and said it’s propolis which the people of his village drink for better immunity. He said to drink 20 drops of propolis each morning with a teaspoon of honey and some warm water (propolis extract has to be added to something like honey first, which acts as an emulgator, before adding water). I started taking it and I have to admit that all this year, I have never had a cold once. First I took it for 2 months every day. Then I took it whenever I felt I am getting sick or just as a prevention of flu which all my classmates and friends were having. I haven’t gotten sick once!

    But the best thing propolis did for me was get rid of my chronic cystitis which I was treating unsuccessfully already for 2 years. Another thing it helped me combat was a wart on my foot which I couldn’t get rid of! In conjuction with garlic, the propolis killed the wart and then it just fell off itself!

    Propolis to me is real magic and I swear by it and recommend it to all family and friends. Thanks for spreading more information about this wonderful natural product!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Amazing, Jalia! Thanks for sharing your propolis experience with the community!

  23. Karen

    If taking propolis in extract form, how much should one take each day?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Karen, most extracts and supplements will have dosage recommendations on the container. 🙂 That should help give you a guideline, and hopefully you have a naturopathic doctor you can discuss it with if you have any doubts!

    • Jalia

      I have a tincture which is propolis with pure ethanol. I take 20 drops with one teaspoon of honey and some warm water.

  24. Am Godwin

    How do we save our bones best?

  25. Bobbi


    Thanks for your site & it’s abundance of information. Thank you also for recommending Nature City as well. Every time I order I praise you for sending me there. Funny they all know who you are too! 🙂 I love it!

    I have also recommended your site to all of my girlfriends. I hope they checked it out.

    Take care & I hope you have an awesome day.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Bobbi, thanks so much for your kind words, and for spreading the word about Save Our Bones! Keep up the good work, and thanks for being a part of the community. 🙂

      • Bobbi

        You are very welcome, Vivian!!

  26. Rosetta Hodge

    Vivian, do you know anything about ezorb calcium? I found it on the web when I was looking for information about hip fracture. Thank you Rosetta Hodge

    • Wlodek Wozniak

      I have Artretyzm spatially at hips .It some times very painfully .I do not want have hip replacement .What I have to do to fit about my hips.
      thank you
      Wlodek Wozniak

  27. Gloria

    Hello Vivian
    Thanks so much for all the information you give us for free. It’s most generous of you. I have your Save Our Bones collection and I also bought your Densercise recently.

    After reading your article on propolis I bought some yesterday. I bought liquid, as I don’t swallow tablets very good. Ingredients are high potency propolis 50% and monopropylene glycol (MPG). What are your thoughts on MPG? I would be very grateful if you would reply asap as I don’t know whether to use it. My best wishes. Gloria

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Gloria,
      I don’t recommend consuming MPG – it’s a solvent used in antifreeze and hydraulic fluid solutions. That doesn’t sound like something I’d want to put into my body!

  28. Nu Ly

    Thank you very much for this antibiotics Propolis information. Is it suit for children under 12 years old?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Nu Ly, you are most welcome! And definitely check with your child’s pediatrician or allergist before using propolis. If you know a naturopathic pediatrician, all the better!

  29. Maria J.Mckenney

    Dear Vivian thanks for you advice. Yes I,m allergy for many things. I used honney often but litle, because sweet is not good for me,for the arthritis. My asma is not good now, I had flu , bronquitis, in this month, asma bronquial, The doctor give strong oral inhalation, and almost I can’t tock. I used alot cristales de sabila, litle honney and clara de huevo, Punch in the blander.-I Will take any thing for my Salud. Thanks Vivian.

  30. Rosemary

    ….it is so complex, it is impossible to recreate…yet it is sold in pill form. HUH?

    • dennis

      it is removed from the hives ,the bees make lots of it and when the honey comb is removed it is all around the edge.

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

        Exactly, Dennis! Propolis is not recreated or manufactured artificially and put into pills; it’s harvested from hives and packaged for consumption. 🙂

  31. Joy Lindberg

    Hi. Is this Propolis ok for pregnant women to take?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Definitely check with your doctor or midwife about that one, Joy! 🙂 Many naturally-minded obstetricians (if you can find one) or midwives can give excellent guidance about natural supplements during pregnancy. If you are the one who’s expecting, congratulations! 🙂

      • Katerina

        I’am 29 weeks pregnant and had some throat inflammation and ask my doctor is it safe to use propolis during pregnancy, he told me that everything on propolis base is safe during pregnancy. I am from Macedonia and here is very easy to find home made propolis from people whom breed bees.
        I take 3 times per day 15 drops in one spoon of honey and i feel much better.
        But for mouth and throat inflammation, if you are afraid to drink it and you try propolis for first time it’s enough to make just gargle with 20 drops of propolis extract dissolved in small amount of water.

        • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

          Thank you for sharing those dosage tips, Katerina. And congratulations! 🙂

  32. Isabelle

    It’s of my interest to acquire new knowledge about Bone Density.

    I’m greateful to VIvian who takes the trouble to inform us, thank you!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You are most welcome, Isabelle!

  33. Ann T.

    I just read from a Dr.’s report that honey is identical to sugar and contains 32% more calories. So how is this a health benefit?

    • dennis

      suger is the juice of the cane or beet family , honey is “pre digested” meaning it is easer to digest. and it goes into the system and is burned first.

  34. Sanja

    Tall me more

  35. mary

    Were can you buy Propolis?

    • dennis

      try any health food store, check your phone book.

  36. Lynn Elvy

    So….are we getting Propolis in good quality Manuka Honey ?

  37. Betty

    Thanks Vivian, I’ll check this out next time at the health food store. I have used Oil of Oreganol P73 to ward off the flu and colds.

    • Cathy

      Me too – oil of oregano works very well for me; I also use it for a toe fungus whicg is very difficult to get rid of

  38. katherine newman

    Florence, Would you also send me more info on Moringa Oleifera.
    Thank you 🙂

  39. Shula


  40. Dale Martin.,

    Question; So many different opinions are being floated around about the safety of drinking distilled water what does the scientific evidence demonstrate.

    • dennis

      distiled h2o is harmful to the body, good for your car battery , very bad for your body. it will remove minerals from your body to neutralize the water.

      • Bettie

        I thought Vivian recommended drinking distilled water with lemon juice added then it becomes alkaline. That’s what I have been drinking. If I am not mistaken it is in the Save our Bones book.

        • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

          Yes, Bette – you are on the right track! I do recommend distilled water with a few drops of lemon juice. 🙂 The minerals in spring and well water are derived from rocks and other objects, and are therefore inorganic. Inorganic minerals are not absorbed by the body. This subject is indeed covered in the Save Our Bones book in more detail. 🙂

  41. Kay

    So, does this mean that honey has propolis in it and would be good to eat on a regular basis?

    • patricia hatcher

      I would like to know more on the honey as a way to take propolis.

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

        Hi Kay and Patricia! Honey and propolis are both bee products, but they are different substances. They serve different purposes in the hive. Propolis is a resin, and it is not mixed into the honey. 🙂

        • Catherine

          Actually, if you purchase raw, unfiltered honey there can be small amounts of propolis in it as well as wax and even bee parts. I highly recommend finding a local supplier of raw, unfiltered honey, especially if you can purchase it in comb form. Additinally, you will want to ask the beekeeper if they “treat” their bees for anything as most treatments that commercial beekeepers use are chemically based and can remain in the hive, even “natural” treatments can cause issues. Try to find a biodynamic beekeeper, you will be very happy with the product. Some beekeepers will also sell propolis but you have to know how to prepare it for use, it is best to purchase propolis and its subsequent products from a reputable company such as BeePharm or Mickelberry Gardens, both have products featuring propolis. Overall, it is a wonderful product (as is honey) which I highly recommend.

  42. pat ward

    My concern is that many people have asthma and it is getting worse.
    Environmental allergies also.

    • dennis

      try Kangen Water, it will clear your body of many things.

      • LynnCS

        Dennis. I checked the internet for Kangen Water. It seems to be and ionizer? Is that right? Thanks.

  43. Florence Tsao

    Thanks very much for your information, Vivian.

    I happen to know that Moringa Oleifera plant also contains all the nutrients that Propolis has and more. And Zija is the best moringa supplier in the world. If you like to know more information, please send me an email.

    • patricia hatcher

      Florence…At times , I have had mouth ulcers and also my daughter. Could you please send me info on the Morninga Oleifera plant.

      Than you so much

    • Sherry

      Florence, I would also like to know more about moringa. Would you be OK with putting info here for us, or give your email address, or if really needed, your facebbook detail so we can do private messaging about it if you prefer?

    • pat ward

      yes, i would be interested in additional info for

      • lynda

        Just googled Moringa …. loads of info. there !

    • Deloris

      Florence, I would like to know more about the moringa plant you were talking about in your comment. and the other product.

  44. Nany

    El Propolis, ó, Propoleo, lo produce la Abeja Reina, para sus crias, muy bueno, para problemas de corazón. Otro de los más ricos antibioticos naturales, es el Ajo, toado diariamente, refuerza el sistema inmunologico.

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