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The Potential Use of Propolis as a Primary or an Adjunctive Therapy in Respiratory Tract-Related Diseases and Disorders: A Systematic Scoping Review

Zulhendri et al., Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, doi:10.1016/j.biopha.2021.112595
Feb 2022  
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Review of the potential therapeutic benefits of propolis in treating respiratory tract-related diseases and disorders. Authors overview extensive in vitro, in silico, animal, and human clinical trial evidence demonstrating antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and immunomodulatory properties of propolis against respiratory illnesses like COVID-19, influenza, pneumonia, asthma, and more. Propolis bioactive compounds appear to inhibit pathogens' attachment and entry into host cells, enhance viral clearance, suppress inflammatory cytokines, upregulate antioxidants, and beneficially modulate immune responses. Authors conclude propolis and its compounds show promise as primary or adjunctive therapies for respiratory diseases, with mostly mild adverse effects in a handful of reports.
Reviews covering propolis for COVID-19 include Dilokthornsakul, Kustiawan, Ożarowski, Zulhendri, Zullkiflee.
Zulhendri et al., 28 Feb 2022, peer-reviewed, 9 authors. Contact:,,,,,,,
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The Potential Use of Propolis as a Primary or an Adjunctive Therapy in Respiratory Tract-Related Diseases and Disorders: A Systematic Scoping Review
Felix Zulhendri, Conrad O Perera, Steven Tandean, Rizky Abdulah, Herry Herman, Andreas Christoper, Kavita Chandrasekaran, Arfiza Putra, Ronny Lesmana
Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, doi:10.1016/j.biopha.2021.112595
Propolis is a resinous beehive product that is collected by the bees from plant resin and exudates, to protect and maintain hive homeostasis. Propolis has been used by humans therapeutically to treat many ailments including respiratory tract-related diseases and disorders. The aim of the present systematic scoping review is to evaluate the experimental evidence to support the use of propolis as a primary or an adjunctive therapy in respiratory tract-related diseases and disorders. After applying the exclusion criteria, 158 research publications were retrieved and identified from Scopus, Web of Science, Pubmed, and Google Scholar. The key themes of the included studies were pathogenic infection-related diseases and disorders, inflammation-related disorders, lung cancers, and adverse effects. Furthermore, the potential molecular and biochemical mechanisms of action of propolis in alleviating respiratory tract-related diseases and disorders are discussed. In conclusion, the therapeutic benefits of propolis have been demonstrated by various in vitro studies, in silico studies, animal models, and human clinical trials. Based on the weight and robustness of the available experimental and clinical evidence, propolis is effective, either as a primary or an adjunctive therapy, in treating respiratory tract-related diseases.
Declaration of conflicting interests Kebun Efi produces the Indonesian stingless bee propolis extracts. All other authors declare no competing financial interests and no conflict of interest. Appendix A. Supporting information Supplementary data associated with this article can be found in the online version at doi:10.1016/j.biopha.2021.112595.
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