Is It Safe to Take Propolis While Pregnant?

Propolis is a substance present in honey that can improve the immune system, but you shouldn't take propolis while pregnant.
Is It Safe to Take Propolis While Pregnant?

Last update: 17 August, 2022

Propolis is a compound present in bee honey that’s beneficial to health. This substance can boost immune function, in addition to providing vitality, so many people include it in their diet on a regular basis as a dietary supplement. However, we’re going to tell you if you can take propolis while pregnant or if you’re better off avoiding its intake.

First of all, it should be noted that, during pregnancy, it’s better to make certain dietary restrictions in order to avoid endangering the health of the fetus. Some commonly consumed foods have a microbiological risk that could have a negative impact on the development of the pregnancy. In the worst case, this could even cause miscarriages.

The benefits of propolis

As mentioned above, propolis is a compound that can have positive effects when it comes to boosting immune function, as evidenced by research published in the journal Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy. This product is capable of reducing the incidence of diseases of infectious origin, as well as improving the management of their symptoms. Moreover, if it’s administered with a good amount of vitamin C, the effect will be even better.

Similarly, this element is capable of limiting the proliferation of certain bacteria that can be pathogenic to health, as it has antimicrobial properties, as confirmed in an article published in the journal Molecules. Thanks to this effect, the risk of suffering from throat or oral infections can be reduced.

However, further research is needed to obtain solid evidence of the two benefits mentioned above. The current results are optimistic, but the substance needs to be studied in larger cohorts to reach a definitive conclusion. From there, we’ll be able to see if it really makes sense to include the supplement in one’s regular regimen.

A pregnant woman putting honey in her tea.
Propolis is found in bee honey, royal jelly, and some dietary products.

How can propolis be consumed?

Propolis is a substance that’s mainly found in bee honey, but also in royal jelly. However, it’s common to find dietary products on the market that incorporate this component together with other bioactive substances that enhance its effects. These products are recommended to improve the efficiency of the immune system or the feeling of vitality.

However, it’s always best to visit a nutrition specialist before including any element with propolis in your daily diet. First of all, you need to optimize your diet in order to really experience the benefits obtained from the consumption of dietary supplements.

Is it possible to take propolis while pregnant?

At present, there aren’t enough studies to determine whether it’s safe to take propolis during pregnancy. For this reason, it’s important to wait for scientific confirmation regarding whether the intake of this substance could entail any risk to the fetus or not. In addition, the benefits to the body during pregnancy haven’t been demonstrated. Therefore, it’s best to avoid its inclusion in the diet.

When the objective is to boost immune function, it may be more useful to improve the daily intake of vitamin C by means of vegetables. Also, ensuring at least 7 hours of quality sleep will help to avoid infections by pathogenic microorganisms.

Another option is to make sure to cover your dietary zinc requirements. This mineral is involved in the differentiation of immune system cells, so its consumption is key to fighting diseases caused by different viruses and bacteria. It’s found mainly in foods such as nuts and red meat.

A pregnant woman pouring syrup into a spoon.
So far, it hasn’t been confirmed whether taking propolis has any risk to the fetus, so it’s best to avoid propolis while pregnant.

It’s better to avoid propolis while pregnant

As you’ve seen, it’s best to avoid the consumption of propolis during pregnancy, as there’s no solid evidence about its safety. Nor is it advisable to take it during lactation. Therefore, it will be better to optimize your diet and improve lifestyle habits to ensure a proper sense of well-being.

Finally, remember that if you have doubts about the possible inclusion of certain compounds in your diet during pregnancy, it’s best to consult with a professional nutritionist. The specialist will be able to elaborate a food plan with the purpose of guaranteeing the correct development of the fetus. This will prevent future health problems and even possible miscarriages.

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.

  • Berretta AA, Silveira MAD, Cóndor Capcha JM, De Jong D. El propóleo y su potencial contra los mecanismos de infección por SARS-CoV-2 y la enfermedad COVID-19: Título de carrera: Propóleos contra la infección por SARS-CoV-2 y COVID-19. Biomed Pharmacother. 2020 Nov;131:110622. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2020.110622. Epub 2020 Agosto 17. PMID: 32890967; PMCID: PMC7430291.
  • Przybyłek I, Karpiński TM. Propiedades antibacterianas del propóleo. Moléculas. 29 de mayo de 2019;24(11):2047. doi: 10.3390/moléculas24112047. PMID: 31146392; PMCID: PMC6600457.

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