However, propolis has a sufficient effect in order to function in an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory manner on the mucosa as well as on the skin. Despite its many beneficial effects, manufacturers of propolis products are facing two very important challenges. Namely:
- A proper standardisation of propolis, which would ensure the repeatable quality and effect of propolis products;
- and preparation of water-based propolis solutions, which is a widely viable alternative to alcohol-based solutions.
1. Challenge: bioflavonoid content standardisationPropolis is composed of over 200 different chemical compounds which greatly vary from season to season, location of gathering or bee foraging, bee type and similar. Due to these reasons, it is very difficult to standardise propolis well and connect it with a repeatable effect. Most propolis products on the market are of unchecked quality, since we are unable to verify if they were purified, what is the flavonoid concentration and which flavonoids prevail.
Among other things, markings indicating that propolis is “highly purified” may be misleading, or the indicated percentage of propolis, contained by a certain product, stating that it “contains 20% of propolis” may be misleading as well. In most products this information is hardly a guarantee of quality and efficiency. The quantity of flavonoids in purified propolis can vary. This value may be between 20 and 50%. Even though the concentration of flavonoids in purified propolis is lower, the quality of propolis in the product alone is not a sufficient information guaranteeing the strength or efficiency of each individual product.
With the new Propolis Defense line we can ensure the standardised content of bioflavonoids and repeatable effects that have been proven by clinical studies.
2. Challenge: propolis solubility in waterAn eternal problem of researchers in the area of studying propolis is its poor water solubility. Propolis is soluble in alcohol, this is why most tinctures and sprays for oral use come in the form of alcohol-based solutions. In case of oral cavity infection, sore throat and pharynx, alcohol-based solutions are inappropriate, since they cause burns of the oral mucosa or can even further irritate an already inflamed mucosa. When touching saliva, propolis based on alcohol solutions is precipitated and upon frequent use it may cause tooth enamel discoloration. Moreover, it is not suitable for use by children, pregnant women and other groups of people who cannot or do not want to consume alcohol. An alternative for these groups is the use of water-based extract; however, completely different substances are eluted in water than in alcohol and in a significantly smaller quantity, due to which these water-based preparations are less concentrated in order to be independently effective.
The water-based Propolis Defense has a high content and concentration of flavonoids, which is comparable to alcohol-based extracts. Therefore its effects are the same as with alcohol-based solutions.
Propolis Defense with triple standardisationPropolis Defense water-based propolis solutions have a triple standardisation. A propolis extract is used, which is prepared according to a patented process which is essentially water and alcohol based. Alcohol is later removed, and the dry extract is encapsulated in natural media. When mixing it with water it forms a stable dispersion, partly a solution, without a single drop of alcohol. This is why water-based propolis is more appropriate for preparing solutions for oral hygiene or direct application on the oral mucosa.
The extract is standardised to common flavonoids and further on to 6 of the most important flavonoids for brown propolis – galangin, pinocembrin, apigenin, chrysin, quercetin and pinobanksin. The entire product is further standardised to common flavonoids and marked with the APF ®level.
When mixing it with water it forms a highly concentrated non-alcoholic Propolis Defense product with stable dispersion. This is why water-based propolis is more appropriate for preparing solutions for oral hygiene or direct application on the oral mucosa.
What does APF stand for?
APF = Active Propolis FlavonoidsActive Propolis Flavonoids is a standardised scheme developed by Medex and implemented in our own laboratories with recognised analysis methods. It shows the flavonoid concentration in the propolis product. APF® 30 therefore means, for example, that the flavonoid concentration in a product is a minimum of 30 mg/ml, with which the high quality and repeatable effect of our products may be guaranteed.
min. bioflavonoids 15 mg/ml
We guarantee that a minimum of 15 mg of bioflavonoids is contained in one milliliter of solution.
min. bioflavonoids 30 mg/mlWe guarantee that a minimum of 30 mg of bioflavonoids is contained in one milliliter of solution.
min. bioflavonoids 50 mg/mlWe guarantee that a minimum of 50 mg of bioflavonoids is contained in one milliliter of solution.
The efficiency of a daily dose was accurately defined by a clinical studyWhat does standardisation have to do with the product efficiency itself? Standardisation enables the accurate determination of daily doses, which were recently confirmed by a clinical study,1 exactly on the extract used in water-based Propolis Defense solutions. The placebo-controlled research confirmed, for the first time in history, the until now alleged medicinal effect of propolis in the case of relieving the symptoms of infections of the upper respiratory tract.
Source: Based on Esposito et al., 20211
The clinical study proves that a daily application of 12-24 mg of flavonoids from standardised propolis into the oral cavity using a spray significantly shortens the duration of the symptoms, such as pharynx pain, hoarseness and pharynx swelling. Over 80% of people who used a spray did not have any symptoms after three day of use, whereas most people who took the placebo, still had the symptoms. The duration of the symptoms in the group using propolis shortened by two days. This is a significant and welcome contribution to a faster recovery in cases of infections of the upper respiratory tract.
Source: Based on Esposito et al., 20211
Propolis Defense in tincture, solution with dropper and spray
Water-based Propolis DefenseThe water-based Propolis Defense line consists of a APF® 15 level oral spray and APF® 30 level water-based solution with dropper for easier dosing.
The oral spray is intended for:
- local action for relieving symptoms of infections of the upper respiratory tract
The solution with dropper may be used:
- Orally for systematic anti-inflammatory action, for stomach inflammation or other gastro-intestinal tract inflammation
- Or for preparing a solution for oral cavity hygiene, which according to studies helps inhibiting caries2
- and preventing and relieving gum and oral mucosa inflammation3.
Alcohol-based Propolis DefenseIn addition to water-based solutions, the new Propolis Defense line also contains classic alcohol-based propolis solutions, but now even stronger, with a APF® 30 level oral spray and APF® 50 level tincture.
Do you want to learn more? Ask us!Medex selects the ingredients for its products on the basis of verifiable results and repeatable clinical studies. We strive toward transparency of the used active substances and we are therefore always available for further questions. We invite you to contact the development manager at Medex, Dr. Rok Kopinč, at . He will do his best to reply in the shortest time possible.
1. Esposito C, Garzarella EU, Bocchino B, D'Avino M, Caruso G, Buonomo AR, Sacchi R, Galeotti F, Tenore GC, Zaccaria V, Daglia M. A standardized polyphenol mixture extracted from poplar-type propolis for remission of symptoms of uncomplicated upper respiratory tract infection (URTI): A monocentric, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytomedicine. 2021 Jan;80:153368. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2020.153368. Epub 2020 Oct 8. PMID: 33091857.
2. Dehghani M, Abtahi M, Hasanzadeh N, Farahzad Z, Noori M, Noori M. Effect of Propolis mouthwash on plaque and gingival indices over fixed orthodontic patients. J Clin Exp Dent. 2019;11(3):e244-e249. Published 2019 Mar 1. doi:10.4317/jced.55026
3. Anauate-Netto C, Anido-Anido A, Leegoy HR, et al. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial on the effects of propolis and chlorhexidine mouthrinses on gingivitis. Braz Dent Sci. 2014;17(1):11-15. doi:10.14295/bds.2014.v17i1.947