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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 345  

Propolis and allergic reactions

1 Department of Oral Pathology, College of Dental Sciences, Davangere, India
2 Department of Conservative Dentistry, Bapuji Dental College & Hospital, Davangere, India

Date of Web Publication7-Nov-2012

Correspondence Address:
Deepak B Suryakanth
Department of Conservative Dentistry, Bapuji Dental College & Hospital, Davangere
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0975-7406.103279

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How to cite this article:
Basavaiah ND, Suryakanth DB. Propolis and allergic reactions. J Pharm Bioall Sci 2012;4:345

How to cite this URL:
Basavaiah ND, Suryakanth DB. Propolis and allergic reactions. J Pharm Bioall Sci [serial online] 2012 [cited 2022 Nov 29];4:345. Available from:


Toxicity data for propolis are limited. Early studies have found to be non-toxic. Use of propolis has been very extensive, ranging from food industry, medicine, cosmetics, and hygiene products. But, several case reports of allergic reactions have been reported. Various patch test studies have shown different level of reactions. European studies 1.2-6.6%, study in Finland (adults) 0.5-1.4%, in children 2-13.7%, in Polish children 16.5% and in young adults 5.4%, study in Prague 4%. Allergic reactions may manifest as contact chelitis, contact stomatitis, perioral eczyma, labial edema, oral pain, peeling of lips, and dyspnea. [1],[2]

Bellegrandi et al. reported contact stomatitis allergic contact chelitis in an HIV positive patient taking propolis solution orally. [3] Few cases of acute renal failure has been reported who had taken propolis, and renal function improved after withdrawal of propolis. [4]

Many propolis preparations contain high level of alcohol and may cause nausea when taken with metronidazole. Propolis may also interact with anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal antibiotics, anti coagulants, anti-retrovirals, and anti-cancer drugs. Various allergens have been isolated from propolis namely 3-methyl-2-butenyl caffeate, phenylethyl caffeate, benzyl caffeate, geranyl caffeate, benzyl alcohol benzyl cinnammate, methyl cinnammate, ferulic acid, tecto chrysin. [5]

Propolis seems to be one of the most frequent contact sensitizers and should be included in routine patch testing in children and adolescents before prescribing.

   References Top

1.Hasan T, Rantanen T, Alanko K, Harvima RJ, Jolanki R, Kalimo K, et al. Patch test reactions to cosmetic allergens in 1995-1997 and 2000- 2002 in Finland--a multicentre study. Contact Dermatitis 2005;53:40-5.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Czarnobilska E, Obtulowicz K, Dyga W, Spiewak R. The most important contact sensitizers in Polish children and adolescents with atopy and chronic recurrent eczema as detected with the extended European baseline series. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2011;22:252-6.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Bellegrandi S, D'Offizi G, Ansotegui IJ, Ferrara R, Scala E, Paganelli R. Propolis allergy in an HIV-positive patient. J Am Acad Dermatol 1996;35:644.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Li YJ, Lin JL, Yang CW, Yu CC. Acute renal failure induced by a Brazilian variety of propolis. Am J Kidney Dis 2005;46:e125-9.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Gardana C, Simonetti P. Evaluation of allergens in propolis by ultra-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom 2011;25:1675-82.  Back to cited text no. 5

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