University of Bradford
The healing properties of propolis - a mixture of resin and wax made by honey bees to seal and sterilise their hives - have been known for many years. But its use in medicine and food supplements has been limited because the sticky substance is not water soluble and has a strong, off-putting smell.
Now researchers at the University of Bradford's Centre for Pharmaceutical Engineering Science have developed a way of purifying propolis that retains its medicinal properties, but makes it dissolve in water and eliminates its pungent smell. The technique has already led to the development of a new mouth ulcer gel and opens the door to a huge range of other pharmaceutical and nutraceutical applications for the substance.
"Propolis is a complex chemical mix and a very useful natural product," explains Centre Director, Professor Anant Paradkar, who led the research. "Propolis has been shown to be anti-microbial, anti-fungal, a strong anti-oxidant, non-allergenic and can boost the immune system. It also promotes wound healing and has anaesthetic properties…