Take Propolis at the First Symptoms of Cold and Flu

Do you know what the health benefits of propolis are? Did you know that it can be an adjuvant to relieve cold and flu symptoms? Today we'll tell you all about this natural product.
Take Propolis at the First Symptoms of Cold and Flu

Last update: 14 March, 2021

Propolis is an excellent natural antibiotic for someone who is suffering from early cold and flu symptoms. Although it isn’t a first-line treatment for these health problems, it can be an adjuvant with great benefits. So, do you want to learn more?

The composition of this natural ingredient can vary according to the location of the bees and the trees and flowers they have access to. However, in general, they contain flavonoids and other bioactive compounds with medicinal potential. Here we’ll tell you more about their benefits.

The first symptoms of cold and flu

Many people often can’t distinguish between the flu and colds, as their symptoms are quite similar. However, as a publication in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention details, colds are milder than the flu and usually don’t cause serious complications.

In contrast, the flu is usually accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Moderate or high fever
  • Chills
  • Cough and sore throat
  • Mucus and congestion
  • Muscle pain
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue

Therefore, it’s important to know how to treat them. In this sense, it’s best to seek medical attention, since the professional has all the powers to give a more accurate diagnosis and, based on this, suggest a treatment.

The physician can also determine if it’s convenient to complement the treatment with adjuvant products such as propolis.

A woman blowing her nose.
While cold symptoms are mild, flu symptoms tend to be more complicated. Their main difference is the presence of fever in the flu.

Propolis

As noted in a study published in Advances in Pharmacological Sciences, propolis is a resin that bees extract from plants, the buds of trees, and other plant sources. Then, they use it to coat and protect their hives.

It is made up of resin and wax, as well as ingredients such as flavonoids, minerals, vitamins, and essential oils. It’s also an ingredient that has been attributed to therapeutic uses due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial activity.

In general, it’s often recommended as a complementary remedy against various types of infections, injuries, and diseases. Although evidence remains limited, there are findings that support some of its therapeutic uses.

The health benefits of propolis

Although to date it isn’t yet accepted as a first-line treatment against flu and colds, propolis is a product recommended as a supplement to alleviate the symptoms of these health problems.

According to research published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, it’s a product with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, and immunomodulatory properties that, undoubtedly, help to cope with these respiratory problems.

As detailed in this study, it’s a good complement to strengthen the immune system and improve your body’s response against pathogens that cause infection. In addition, its antiviral effects can even combat the virus that causes the flu.

Some jars of honey and propolis on a wooden table.
Scientific evidence supports the positive effects of propolis against cold and flu symptoms.

How to take it

To date, there’s no medically recommended dose for propolis consumption. Therefore, in the studies that have been done on the subject, more research is suggested. However, in general, experts don’t consider this product high risk and there are no reports of adverse effects, except in those who are allergic to honey or bees.

One study recommends a daily concentration of approximately 70 milligrams per day, but this isn’t a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommendation. Often, product manufacturers suggest a dosage on labels. In any case, it is best to ask your doctor before taking such supplements.

Propolis is available in pharmacies and health food stores. It’s available in creams, ointments, and lotions. In addition, you can take it orally, as it also comes in tablets, liquid extract, and capsules.



  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2018). Key Facts About Influenza (Flu). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/keyfacts.htm?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fflu%2Fkeyfacts.htm
  • Wagh VD. Propolis: a wonder bees product and its pharmacological potentials. Adv Pharmacol Sci. 2013;2013:308249. doi:10.1155/2013/308249
  • Silva-Carvalho R, Baltazar F, Almeida-Aguiar C. Propolis: A Complex Natural Product with a Plethora of Biological Activities That Can Be Explored for Drug Development. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:206439. doi:10.1155/2015/206439
  • Miguel MG, Antunes MD. Is propolis safe as an alternative medicine?. J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2011;3(4):479–495. doi:10.4103/0975-7406.90101
  • Lotfy, M. (2006). Biological activity of bee propolis in health and disease. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention. Asian Pacific Organization for Cancer Prevention.