Benefits of Propolis for Children

Propolis is a natural substance made by bees. Discover the benefits of propolis as a natural remedy to prevent colds.
Benefits of Propolis for Children

Last update: 02 August, 2022

Propolis is a substance that’s produced by the activity of bees when extracting resin from various sources of plant origin (generally plants) to cover their hives. Although they use propolis to protect their homes, humans can use it as a remedy for various ailments. Below, we’ll take a closer look at the benefits of propolis.

The typical cold season malaise

The cold season is usually accompanied by the first colds, flu, coughs, and bronchitis. Children, and especially the youngest ones, tend to get sick the fastest.

When a child has a fever, cough, or mucus, the first thing we always have to do is go to a pediatrician or specialist as soon as possible. However, there are some simple but effective measures that help us alleviate discomfort and also prevent them.

Most of these measures have been in use for many years and are passed down from generation to generation. One of them is to give them a lot of fruit, thanks to its high vitamin content. Oranges, tangerines, kiwis, lemons, or grapefruits are fruits rich in vitamin C that help to prevent colds.

Bees gathering pollen from a flower.

Also for a few years, many parents have begun to resort to nutritional and vitamin supplements that are sold in pharmacies or herbalists. These products promise to be effective in preventing colds.

You have to be very careful because, although some promise many health benefits in their advertising, sometimes they’re nothing more than a placebo without any efficacy.

They can also cause problems if they’re not indicated for the age of children or have some component that they can’t take.

Whenever we’re going to administer any natural remedy to a child, we have to consult the opinion of their pediatrician or a specialist.

This is true even when the leaflet assures us that it doesn’t have any contraindications. If children also have a chronic disease, we shouldn’t administer any natural remedy.

The benefits of propolis

Propolis is a natural substance made by bees. They themselves use it to cover their hives and protect them. In recent years, this substance has been considered a natural remedy to prevent colds. There are very recent studies that classify this substance as an immune system enhancer. However, more human trials are necessary to guarantee evidence for this claim.

A study published in the journal Molecules highlighted the antibacterial properties of propolis. Research showed that propolis has activity against bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. In addition, the effectiveness of the compound can vary depending on where it comes from.

What’s more, the efficacy of propolis in the treatment and prevention of COVID-19 has also been demonstrated. Research conducted in 2020 showed that the compound inhibits the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in the oropharynx.

It’s also been observed that children who consume propolis regularly have fewer upper respiratory complications. This doesn’t mean that propolis cures any disease, but that it helps to avoid contagion.

The active principles of propolis

Among the active principles of propolis, its antiviral properties stand out. This substance contains flavonoids that are known as useful and practical antiviral agents.

Its intake helps to strengthen the immune system against diseases such as colds and coughs. It’s also recommended for more serious conditions such as bronchitis and sore throat.

In some cases, it can be very useful to treat conditions such as inflammation of the gums, or stomatitis, and it can also be used to combat fungus in the mouth. There are even studies that have shown its effectiveness together with antivirals in the treatment of herpes.

When kids have a sore throat, many parents believe that the best remedy is antibiotics. But these are only effective when the infection is bacterial in origin.

Honey, honeycomb, beeswax, and propolis.

There are many different ways to take propolis on the market, such as pure, granulated, spray, syrup, vitamin C tablets, or candy.

It also comes in drops and can be added to milk or other liquids. For children, you have to find the way that’s most acceptable for them. And, of course, you need their doctor’s approval.

Due to its antibacterial effect, it’s also often used to treat acne. This is why many products designed for this condition contain propolis. Therefore, it can be found in soaps, gels, lotions, creams, and other ointments.

Propolis can be a good option to strengthen the immune system of children. It’s also very useful to prevent illnesses such as colds and coughs.

Possible side effects

Possible side effects of propolis include allergies, dry mouth (xerostomia), and an upset stomach (mild to moderate in intensity). Therefore, it’s advisable to always consult with your doctor before proceeding to apply it as a treatment.

These disorders usually disappear as soon as their use is discontinued. However, each person is different and it’s best to prevent rather than to have regrets later.

Young children may be more prone to these side effects. Likewise, children who are allergic to insect stings, such as bee stings, are also prone to experiencing side effects.

To keep in mind regarding the benefits of propolis

Propolis is a natural substance that may have certain benefits for immune health. Although more human trials are necessary, current observational studies link the intake of this substance with a lower prevalence of colds.

For this reason, and with the advice of a doctor, it could be a nutritional supplement for children, who are more vulnerable to these types of illnesses.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Al Hariri M., Immune’s boosting agent: immunomodulation potentials of propolis. J Family Community Med, 2019. 26 (1): 57-60.
  • Yildirim A., Gulbol Duran G., Duran N., Jenedi K., et al., Antiviral activity of hatay propolis agaisnt replication of herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2. Med Sci Monit, 2016. 22:422-30.
  • Badshah SL, Faisal S, Muhammad A, Poulson BG, Emwas AH, Jaremko M. Antiviral activities of flavonoids. Biomed Pharmacother. 2021 Aug;140:111596. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2021.111596. Epub 2021 Jun 11. PMID: 34126315; PMCID: PMC8192980.
  • Speciale A, Costanzo R, Puglisi S, Musumeci R, Catania MR, Caccamo F, Iauk L. Antibacterial activity of propolis and its active principles alone and in combination with macrolides, beta-lactams and fluoroquinolones against microorganisms responsible for respiratory infections. J Chemother. 2006 Apr;18(2):164-71. doi: 10.1179/joc.2006.18.2.164. PMID: 16736885.
  • Bretz WA, Paulino N, Nör JE, Moreira A. The effectiveness of propolis on gingivitis: a randomized controlled trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2014 Dec;20(12):943-8. doi: 10.1089/acm.2013.0431. PMID: 25380344; PMCID: PMC4270157.
  • Berretta AA, Silveira MAD, Cóndor Capcha JM, De Jong D. Propolis and its potential against SARS-CoV-2 infection mechanisms and COVID-19 disease: Running title: Propolis against SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19. Biomed Pharmacother. 2020 Nov;131:110622. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2020.110622. Epub 2020 Aug 17. PMID: 32890967; PMCID: PMC7430291.
  • Mazzarello V, Donadu MG, Ferrari M, Piga G, Usai D, Zanetti S, Sotgiu MA. Treatment of acne with a combination of propolis, tea tree oil, and Aloe vera compared to erythromycin cream: two double-blind investigations. Clin Pharmacol. 2018 Dec 13;10:175-181. doi: 10.2147/CPAA.S180474. PMID: 30588129; PMCID: PMC6298394.
  • Przybyłek I, Karpiński TM. Antibacterial Properties of Propolis. Molecules. 2019 May 29;24(11):2047. doi: 10.3390/molecules24112047. PMID: 31146392; PMCID: PMC6600457.
  • Al-Hariri M. Immune’s-boosting agent: Immunomodulation potentials of propolis. J Family Community Med. 2019 Jan-Apr;26(1):57-60. doi: 10.4103/jfcm.JFCM_46_18. PMID: 30697106; PMCID: PMC6335834.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.