Saturday, June 30, 2018

Bee Pollen May Help Treat Neurological Disorders

Therapeutic and Protective Potency of Bee Pollen Against Neurotoxic Effects Induced by Prenatal Exposure of Rats to Methyl Mercury

J Mol Neurosci. 2018 Jun 26

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MeHg is a widely distributed environmental toxicant with harmful effects on the developing and adult nervous system.

This study aimed to evaluate the therapeutic and protective efficacy of pollen grain in improving the toxic effects of MeHg, through the measurement of selected biochemical parameters linked to oxidative stress, energy metabolism, and neurotransmission in brain homogenates of male pups' neonates.

Forty healthy pregnant female rats were randomly divided into five groups, and after delivery, each group was consisting of 10 male neonates: (1) neonates delivered by control mothers, (2) neonates delivered by bee pollen treated mothers who received bee pollen at the dose of 200-mg/kg body weight from postnatal day 0 for 4 weeks, (3) neonates delivered by MeHg-treated mothers who received MeHg at the dose of 0.5 mg/kg/day via drinking water from gestational day 7 till postnatal day 7 of delivery, (4) therapeutic group: neonates delivered by MeHg-treated mothers followed by bee pollen treatment who received bee pollen at the dose of 200-mg/kg body weight from postnatal day 0 for 4 weeks, and (5) protective group: neonates delivered by MeHg and bee pollen-treated mothers. Mothers continued receiving the bee pollen at the same dose until day 21.

Biochemical parameters linked to oxidative stress and energy metabolism and neurotransmission were investigated in brain homogenates of neonates from all the five groups. MeHg treatment showed an increase in oxidative stress markers like lipid peroxidation and catalase activity coupled with a non-significant decrease in glutathione level. Impaired energy metabolism was ascertained via the inhibition of creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase activities.

Dramatic decrease of Mg2+ and K+ concentrations confirmed the neurotransmission defect. Interestingly, the bee pollen treatment was highly effective in restoring the catalase, lactate dehydrogenase, and creatine kinase activities in addition to normalizing the levels of Mg2+, K+, lipid peroxidation, and glutathione.

Overall, the exposure to MeHg during the developing brain stages was highly effective to show signs and symptoms of neuronal toxicity. Furthermore, it has been concluded that bee pollen can be used safely to ameliorate oxidative stress, poor detoxification as well as metal ion defects, and neuronal death as a critical mechanisms involved in the etiology of numerous neurological disorders.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Honey Flavonoid Reduces Diabetes-Induced Blood Lipids - Is Antiviral, Antimicrobial, Anti-Diabetic and Anti-Cancer Properties

Galangin, a dietary flavonoid, ameliorates hyperglycaemia and lipid abnormalities in rats with streptozotocin-induced hyperglycaemia

Pharm Biol. 2018 Dec;56(1):302-308

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Galangin, a natural flavonoid, is found in honey and Alpinia officinarum Hance (Zingiberaceae). Galangin has antiviral, antimicrobial, antidiabetic and anticancer properties, without side effects. The effects of galangin on hyperglycaemia and lipid abnormalities are not known.


To elucidate the effectiveness of galangin on hyperglycaemia-associated complications and lipid changes in rats with streptozotocin (STZ)-induced hyperglycaemia.


Diabetes was induced in adult Wistar rats by administering 40 mg/kg of STZ. In our previous study, galangin had no toxicity at concentrations up to 320 mg/kg. Therefore three doses of galangin (4, 8 or 16 mg/kg BW) or glibenclamide (600 µg/kg BW) were administered daily to diabetic rats orally for 45 days.


Diabetic rats showed a significant (p < 0.05) increased levels of plasma glucose (281.10 mg/dL) and decreased levels of insulin (6.01 μU/mL). Additionally, diabetic rats showed a significant (p < 0.05) increased levels of plasma lipid profiles such as total cholesterol (149.05 mg/dL), triglycerides (143.28 mg/dL), free fatty acids (139.37 mg/dL), phospholipids (127.53 mg/dL), plasma low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (98.72 mg/dL), plasma very low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (28.65 mg/dL), and significant (p < 0.05) decreased in plasma high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (21.68 mg/dL). When galangin was administered to the hyperglycaemic rats, plasma glucose and insulin levels and lipid profiles reverted to levels similar to those in healthy control rats.


Administration of galangin reduced hyperlipidaemia related to the risk of diabetic complications and could be beneficial for diabetic hyperlipidaemic patients. Further work detailing its mechanism-of-action for improving hyperglycaemic-associated lipid abnormalities is needed.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Bee Venom May Help Treat Parkinson's Disease

Comparison of Administration Routes on the Protective Effects of Bee Venom Phospholipase A2 in a Mouse Model of Parkinson's Disease

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Front Aging Neurosci. 2018 Jun 11;10:179

Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder worldwide. Progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) and their synaptic terminal connections in the striatum are main characterizations of PD. Although many efforts have been made to develop therapeutics, no treatment has been proven effective. We previously demonstrated that bvPLA2 can protect dopaminergic neurons by modulating neuroinflammatory responses in an MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine)-induced mouse model of PD. The cellular basis for the neuroprotective response of bvPLA2 was the induction of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells (Tregs), a population known to suppress immune activation and maintain homeostasis and tolerance to self-antigen.

The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of different routes of bvPLA2 administration in a PD mouse model. Neurobehavioral assessment revealed progressive deterioration in locomotor functions of the MPTP group compared with the control group. However, such functions were improved following subcutaneous (s.c.) bvPLA2 administration. The results showed that the s.c. route of bvPLA2 administration contributed to the induction of Treg cells and the reduction of Th1 and Th17 populations, demonstrating that the neuroprotective effects were associated with reduced tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive dopaminergic neurons and microglia. These results suggested that the s.c. bvPLA2 injection could be beneficial for treating aspects of PD.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Propolis Helps Treat Nail Fungus (Onychomycosis, Fungal Infection of Nails)

Propolis Extract for Onychomycosis Topical Treatment: From Bench to Clinic

Front Microbiol. 2018 Apr 25;9:779

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Onychomycosis is a chronic fungal infection of nails, commonly caused by dermatophyte fungi, primarily species of Trichophyton. Because of the limited drug arsenal available to treat general fungal infections and the frequent failure of onychomycosis treatment, the search for new therapeutic sources is essential, and topical treatment with natural products for onychomycosis has been encouraged.

Propolis, an adhesive resinous compound produced by honeybees (Apis mellifera), has shown multiple biological properties including significant antifungal and anti-biofilm activities in vitro. In spite of promising in vitro results, in vivo results have not been reported so far. This study assessed an ethanol propolis extract (PE) as a topical therapeutic option for onychomycosis, including its characterization in vitro and its applicability as a treatment for onychomycosis (from bench to clinic).

The in vitro evaluation included analysis of the cytotoxicity and the antifungal activity against the planktonic cells and biofilm formed by Trichophyton spp. We also evaluated the capacity of PE to penetrate human nails. Patients with onychomycosis received topical PE treatments, with a 6-month follow-up period.

The results of the in vitro assays showed that PE was non-toxic to the cell lines tested, and efficient against both the planktonic cells and the biofilm formed by Trichophyton spp. The results also showed that PE is able to penetrate the human nail. The results for PE applied topically to treat onychomycosis were promising, with complete mycological and clinical cure of onychomycosis in 56.25% of the patients. PE is an inexpensive commercially available option, easy to obtain and monitor.

Our results indicated that PE is a promising natural compound for onychomycosis treatment, due to its ability to penetrate the nail without cytotoxicity, and its good antifungal performance against species such as Trichophyton spp. that are resistant to conventional antifungals, both in vitro and in patients.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Red Propolis Inhibits Inflammatory Angiogenesis

Effect of red propolis on hamster cheek pouch angiogenesis in a new sponge implant model

Acta Cir Bras. 2018 May;33(5):420-430

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To evaluate the effects of red propolis on cheek pouch angiogenesis in a hamster new model sponge implant.


Forty eight animals divided into eight groups. (Groups I-IV), the animals were treated for 15 days before and 10 days after sponge implantation. (Groups V-VIII), the animals were treated for 10 days after sponge implantation (GI and GV: red propolis 100 mg/kg, GII and GVI: celecoxib 20 mg/kg, GIII and GVII: 1% gum arabic 5 mL/kg, GIV and GVIII: distilled water 5 mL/kg). On the 11th day of implantation, the animals were anesthetized for stereoscopic microscopic imaging and morphometric quantification of angiogenesis (SQAN), followed by histopathological evaluation (H&E).


In the SQAN analysis, no significant difference was found between the groups. However, on histology, propolis was found reduce the population of mastocytes in the qualitative analyses (p = 0,013) in the quantitative analyses to reduce the number of blood vessels (p = 0,007), and increase the macrophage count (p = 0,001).


Red propolis inhibited inflammatory angiogenesis when administered before andcontinuously after sponge implant, and was shown to have immunomodulating effects on inflammatory cells (mastocytes and macrophages) in a new sponge implant hamster model.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Honey Has a Significant Diuretic Activity Alone or in Combination with Propolis

Antioxidant and diuretic activity of co-administration of Capparis spinosa honey and propolis in comparison to furosemide

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To study the antioxidant properties of Capparis spinosa (C. spinosa) honey and propolis and the effect of combined honey and propolis administration on urine volume and electrolytes in rats.


C. spinosa honey [1 000 mg/kg body weight (b.wt)], propolis (100 mg/kg b.wt), honey/propolis mixture (C. spinosa honey 1 000 mg/kg b.wt/ propolis extract 100 mg/kg b.wt ), distilled water (1 mL/kg b.wt) and furosemide (10 mg/kg b.wt) were orally administered to five groups of rats for 21 d. Urine volume, blood and urine sodium, potassium and chloride were measured. The antioxidant activity of propolis and honey was assessed and their total phenols and flavonoids were determined.


Propolis and C. spinosa honey contain polyphenols including flavonoids and propolis demonstrated higher antioxidant activities than honey. Honey significantly increased urine volume and urine electrolyte excretion. Propolis had no significant effect on urine volume, but co-administration of propolis and honey caused significant diuresis. No major changes were observed in plasma electrolytes with the use of honey, propolis or their combination.


Honey and propolis have antioxidant activity and contain polyphenols including flavonoids that are more pronounced in propolis. Honey has a significant diuretic activity alone or in combination with propolis. This is the first study comparing the diuretic effect of co-administration of propolis and C. spinosa honey with furosemide.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Diluted Bee Venom Acupuncture a Promising Alternative Therapy for Respiratory Inflammatory Diseases Such as Pleurisy

Bee venom stimulation into lung meridian acupoint reduces inflammation in a mouse model of carrageenan-induced pleurisy: an alternative therapeutic approach for the respiratory inflammatory disease

J Vet Sci. 2018 Jun 21. [Epub ahead of print]

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Respiratory inflammation is frequent and fatal pathologic state encountered in veterinary medicine. Although diluted bee venom (dBV) has potent anti-inflammatory effects, the clinical use of dBV is limited to several chronic inflammatory diseases.

The present study was designed to propose the acupoint treatment of dBV as a novel therapeutic strategy for respiratory inflammatory disease. Experimental pleurisy was induced by injection of carrageenan into left pleural space in mouse. dBV was injected into a specific lung meridian acupoint (LU-5) or into arbitrary non-acupoint located near the midline of the back in mouse.

The inflammatory responses were evaluated by analysis the inflammatory indicators in pleural exudate. dBV injection into LU-5 acupoint significantly suppressed the increase of pleural exudate volume, leukocyte accumulation, MPO activity. Moreover, dBV acupoint treatment effectively inhibited the production of IL-1β, but not TNF-α in pleural exudate. On the other hand, dBV treatment on non-acupoint did not inhibit the inflammatory responses in carrageenan-induced pleurisy.

The present results demonstrate that dBV stimulation into the LU-5 lung meridian acupoint produces significant anti-inflammatory effects on carrageenan-induced pleurisy suggesting that dBV acupuncture as a promising alternative medicine therapy for respiratory inflammatory diseases.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

New Technique for Improving Nutrient Release in Bee Pollen

Improving Nutrient Release of Wall-disruption Bee Pollen with a Combination of Ultrasonication and High Shear Technique

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J Sci Food Agric. 2018 Jun 22


Bee pollen, collected by honey bees, contains a substantial amount of nutrients and has a high nutritive value. However, a high level of nutrients can be difficult to be digested and absorbed due to the complex wall of bee pollen.


We observed that amino acids were mostly distributed inside cell wall of lotus bee pollen, rape bee pollen, apricot bee pollen, wuweizi bee pollen and camellia bee pollen, using time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS). Thus, five species of bee pollen were wall-disrupted with a combination of ultrasonication and high shear technique (US-HS). After the treatment, bee pollen walls were entirely broken into fragments, and a high number of nutrients were released. The contents of amino acids, fatty acids, protein, crude fat, reducing sugar, β-carotene, calcium, iron, zinc, selenium obviously increased after wall-disruption.


Overall, our study demonstrates that US-HS can disrupt bee pollen wall to release nutrients. Therefore, further studies are being conducted to compare the digestibility and absorptivity of pollen nutrients before and after wall-disruption. Additionally, TOF-SIMS seems to be a reliable mapping technique for determining the distribution of food ingredients.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Polish Propolis Shows Antifungal Activity

Antifungal Activity and Synergism with Azoles of Polish Propolis

Pathogens. 2018 Jun 19;7(2). pii: E56

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The aim of our work was to check if one of the products of natural origin, namely honey bee propolis, may be an alternative or supplement to currently used antifungal agents.

The activity of 50 ethanolic extracts of propolis (EEPs), harvested in Polish apiaries, was tested on a group of 69 clinical isolates of C. albicans. Most of the EEPs showed satisfactory activity, with minimum fungicidal concentrations (MFC) mainly in the range of 0.08⁻1.25% (v/v). Eradication of biofilm from polystyrene microtitration plates in 50% (MBEC50, Minimum Biofilm Eradication Concentration) required concentrations in the range of 0.04% (v/v) to more than 1.25% (v/v).

High activity was also observed in eradication of biofilm formed by C. glabrata and C. krusei on the surfaces of PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) and silicone catheters. EEPs at subinhibitory concentrations inhibited yeast-to-mycelia morphological transformation of C. albicans in liquid medium and mycelial growth on solid medium. A synergistic effect was observed for the action of EEP in combination with fluconazole (FLU) and voriconazole (VOR) against C. albicans.

In the presence of EEP at concentrations as low as 0.02%, the MICs of FLU and VOR were 256 to 32 times lower in comparison to those of the drug alone. Evidence for the fungal cell membrane as the most probable target of EEPs are presented.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Honey Reduces Injuries in Children Who Swallow Button Batteries

Eating honey can reduce serious injuries in children who swallowed button battery, shows study

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June 11, 2018

A team of ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialists has demonstrated that eating honey after swallowing a button battery has the potential to reduce serious injuries in small children. Based on findings in laboratory animals, the research suggests that this common household product may significantly reduce morbidity and mortality from highly caustic batteries.

"Button batteries are ingested by children more 2,500 times a year in the United States, with more than a 12-fold increase in fatal outcomes in the last decade compared to the prior decade," said Co-Principal Investigator, Ian N. Jacobs, MD, Director of the Center for Pediatric Airway Disorders and a pediatric otolaryngologist at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). "Since serious damage can occur within two hours of ingesting a battery, the interval between ingestion and removal is a critical time to act in order to reduce esophageal injury."...

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Honey Improves Lipid Profile Such as; Total Cholesterol, TG and LDL and Increases HDL, But Consumption of Sugar Increases Total Cholesterol, TG and LDL and Decreases HDL

The effect of honey consumption compared with sucrose on lipid profile in young healthy subjects (randomized clinical trial)

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Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2018 Aug;26:8-12


Several studies have demonstrated that honey consumption has beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease indicators. The current study aimed to investigate the effect of honey consumption compared with sucrose on lipid profile among young healthy subjects.


Sixty healthy subjects, aged 18-30 years, were randomly recruited into this double blind randomized trial and assigned into two groups: honey (received 70 g honey per day) and sucrose (received 70 g sucrose per day) groups. Total cholesterol, TG, LDL and HDL were measured in the control and intervention groups at the beginning and end of study.


In this trial, the baseline FBS, SBP and DBP were not different between honey and sucrose groups (P > 0.3). We found evidence indicating consumption of honey can decrease total cholesterol, TG and LDL and increase HDL in healthy young subjects, but intake of sucrose increase total cholesterol, TG and LDL and decreased HDL. In all of these analyses, confounding variable including age, physical activity and some nutrient intake were adjusted.


Honey consumption can improve the lipid profile such as; total cholesterol, TG and LDL and increase HDL, but consumption of sucrose increases total cholesterol, TG and LDL and decreases HDL. Further clinical trial studies are required to confirm our findings.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Brazilian Propolis Boosts Wound Healing

Evaluation and Comparison of Wound Healing Properties of an Ointment (AlpaWash) Containing Brazilian Micronized Propolis and Peucedanum ostruthium Leaf Extract in Skin Ulcer in Rats

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Int J Pharm Compd. 2018 Mar-Apr;22(2):154-163

Several previous studies have demonstrated improved wound healing associated with natural-based formulations. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of a topical formulation containing both a Brazilian micronized propolis extract and a Peucedanum ostruthium leaf extract for the treatment of wounds created by surgical punch in rats.

The study was conducted for 14 days and animals were treated as follows: gauze group (G), polyethylene glycol base ointment (Control), AlpaWash (an ointment containing a Brazilian micronized propolis extract and Peucedanum ostruthium leaf extract [Treatment]), and polysporin (one of the most commonly used topical antibiotic ointments, based on bacitracin zinc and polymyxin B sulfate [Reference Standard]).

In general, the results demonstrated that ointments, due to occlusiveness and the ability to maintain moisture under the damaged area, offered improvements when compared to lesions without any treatment. Additionally, the presence of phenolic and flavonoid compounds, as well as antioxidants and antimicrobials, offered improved stimulation and could accelerate wound healing. The Control, Treatment, and Reference Standard groups were able to close the lesion, as measured by the wound healing rate determination and follow-up photographs. However, AlpaWash and Polysporin presented some additional benefits- anti-inflammatory activity, measured using myeloperoxidase and histological count, as well as fibroplasia and hydroxyproline production, suggesting that skin with a better quality could be formed following these two treatments.

Therefore, based on the current concern of antibiotic overuse in wound healing, the emergence of multi-resistant organisms and the decrease in newer antibiotics, AlpaWash is considered a prominent formulation to be employed in wound-healing applications.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Propolis Promotes Bone Healing

Propolis extract a new reinforcement material in improving bone healing: an in vivo study

Int J Surg. 2018 Jun 11. pii: S1743-9191(18)31498-5


Propolis is known for its antioxidant, immune response modulating, and wound healing effects. In the present study in order to determine the bone healing capacity of the propolis extract, a critical sized, nonunion, radial bone defect model was repaired in rat, using chitosan and demineralized bone matrix (DBM) scaffolds along with propolis extract.


Seventy-two radial bone defects in 36 healthy male rats were randomly divided into 6 groups (n= 12/group). The groups included autograft, defect or untreated group, chitosan, DBM, chitosan and propolis (chitosan-propolis), and DBM and propolis (DBM-propolis). The bone repairing capability was characterized using radiography at 28th, 42nd and 56th postoperative days. Gross morphologic, histopathologic, histomorphometric and biomechanical examinations were performed following euthanasia at the 56th post-operative day.


The DBM-propolis group, showed better structural and biomechanical properties compared to the untreated, DBM, chitosan and chitosan-propolis groups. The defect site in the chitosan and untreated groups were mainly restored by fibrous connective tissue while the lesions in the autograft group were mostly filled by cartilage and a lesser amount of woven bone. The woven bone, and the hyaline cartilage were the main constituents of the newly formed tissues in the DBM-propolis group, at the 56th day after injury.


The results of this study showed that percutaneous injection of diluted aqueous propolis extract in the bone defect (25 mg/defect) can improve bone formation in the critical radial bone defect in rat. Since there was no significant difference between the autograft and DBM-propolis group, probably this therapeutic strategy has high potential in augmentation of autologous bone grafting.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Honey Bee Larvae Powder May Help Prevent, Treat Cancer

Anti-tumor and anti-metastasis activities of honey bee larvae powder by suppressing the expression of EZH2

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Biomed Pharmacother. 2018 Jun 12;105:690-696

Honey bee larvae products have been widely used as traditional daily supplements and complementary medicine for health promotion. However, there is little scientific evidence about their bioactivities.

This study was designed to examine the anti-tumor and anti-metastasis effects of honey bee larvae powder (HLP) and explore the underlying mechanism.

A subcutaneous transplantation model (murine breast cancer cell 4T1-LUC) and lung metastasis model (murine melanoma cell B16-F10) were established to evaluate the anti-tumor and anti-metastasis effects of HLP. Honey bee larvae powder extract (HLE) was obtained by 70% ethanol extraction, and its chemical composition was determined according to physiochemical methods. Cell Counting Kit-8 assay was performed to test the cytotoxicity of HLE, and qRT-PCR assays were conducted to examine the mRNA levels of tumor marker EZH2 in HLE-treated tumor cells. \

In vivo xenograft tumor assays in BALB/c mice revealed dose-dependent suppression of tumor growth and lung metastasis showing an inhibition rate of 37.5% and 70.4% at 6 g/kg HLP-administered group with no toxicity to the animals. In vitro studies indicated that HLE showed no cytotoxicity to cancer cells at doses up to 1000 μg/mL, however, it significantly decreased EZH2 mRNA levels in HLE (1000 μg/mL)-treated B10-F10 cells (28.49%) and 4T1-LUC cells (26.75%).

Further studies to elucidate the mechanisms involved and to isolate the active components of honey bee larva may provide more valuable information for its development and application in cancer treatment.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Antibacterial Activity of Honeydew Honey Equivalent to Medical-Grade Manuka and Kanuka Honey

Phytochemicals-mediated production of hydrogen peroxide is crucial for high antibacterial activity of honeydew honey

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Sci Rep. 2018 Jun 13;8(1):9061

Honeydew honey is increasingly valued due to its pronounced antibacterial potential; however, the underlying mechanism and compounds responsible for the strong antibacterial activity of honeydew honey are still unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the inhibition of bacterial growth of 23 honeydew honey samples. Activity of bee-derived glucose oxidase (GOX) enzyme, the content of defensin-1 (Def-1) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and total polyphenol content were determined in the 23 honey samples.

Our results demonstrated that antibacterial activity of honeydew honey was equivalent to medical-grade manuka and kanuka honey and was abolished by catalase. Although H2O2 is an important factor in the inhibition of bacterial growth, polyphenolic compounds and their interaction with H2O2 are the key factors responsible for high antibacterial activity of honeydew honey. In addition, our results indicated that the antibacterial activity of honeydew honey is not dependent on GOX-mediated production of H2O2 or the presence of Def-1.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Honey Debrides Wounds, Kills Bacteria, Penetrates Biofilm, Lowers Wound pH, Reduces Chronic Inflammation, and Promotes Fibroblast Infiltration

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Honey-Based Templates in Wound Healing and Tissue Engineering

Bioengineering 2018, 5(2), 46

Over the past few decades, there has been a resurgence in the clinical use of honey as a topical wound treatment. A plethora of in vitro and in vivo evidence supports this resurgence, demonstrating that honey debrides wounds, kills bacteria, penetrates biofilm, lowers wound pH, reduces chronic inflammation, and promotes fibroblast infiltration, among other beneficial qualities.

Given these results, it is clear that honey has a potential role in the field of tissue engineering and regeneration. Researchers have incorporated honey into tissue engineering templates, including electrospun meshes, cryogels, and hydrogels, with varying degrees of success.

This review details the current state of the field, including challenges which have yet to be overcome, and makes recommendations for the direction of future research in order to develop effective tissue regeneration therapies.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Propolis May Help Treat Colitis

Propolis from Different Geographic Origins Suppress Intestinal Inflammation in a Model of DSS-Induced Colitis is Associated with Decreased Bacteroides spp. in the Gut

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2018 Jun 11:e1800080

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Dietary supplementation with polyphenol-rich propolis can protect against experimentally-induced colitis. We examined whether different polyphenol compositions of Chinese propolis (CP) and Brazilian propolis (BP) influences their ability to protect against dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in rats.


HPLC-DAD/Q-TOF-MS analysis confirmed that polyphenol compositions of CP and BP were dissimilar. Rats were given CP or BP by gavage (300 mg/kg body weight) throughout the study, starting 1 week prior to DSS treatment for 1 week followed by 3 d without DSS. CP and BP significantly reduced the colitis disease activity index relative to controls not receiving propolis, prevented significant DSS-induced colonic tissue damage and increased resistance to DSS-induced colonic oxidative stress as shown by reduced malonaldehyde levels and increased T-AOC levels. CP and BP significantly reduced DSS-induced colonic apoptosis. Colonic inflammatory markers IL-1β, IL-6 and MCP-1 were suppressed by CP and BP, whereas only BP induced expression of TGF-β. CP, not BP, increased the diversity and richness of gut microbiota populations. Both forms of propolis significantly reduced populations of Bacteroides spp.


Despite the dissimilar polyphenol compositions of CP and BP, their ability to protect against DSS-induced colitis is similar. Nevertheless, some different physiological impacts were observed.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Bee Venom Acupuncture 'Safe and Effective Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis by Bee-venom Acupuncture. [Article in Chinese]

Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2018 Apr 25;43(4):251-4

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To study the clinical efficacy and safety of bee-venom acupuncture therapy for rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


A total of 120 cases of RA patients were randomized into bee-sting acupuncture group (treatment) and western medicine group (control) in accordance with the random number table. The patients of the control group were treated by oral administration of Methotrexate (10 mg, once a week) and Celecoxlb (0.2 g, once a day), and those of the treatment group treated by 5 to 15 bee stings of Ashi-points or acupoints according to different conditions and corporeity, and with the bee-sting retained for about 5 min every time, once every other day. The treatment lasted for 8 weeks. The therapeutic effect was assessed by examining symptoms and signs of the affected joints as morning stiffness duration, swollen/tender joint counts (indexes), handgrip strength, 15 m-walking time, visual analogue scale (VAS), Disease Activity Score including a 28-joint count (DAS 28), rheumatoid factor (RF), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP), anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody (ACCPA); and for assessing the safety of bee-venom acupuncture, the patients' responses of fever, enlargement of lymph nodes, regional red and swollen, itching, blood and urine tests for routine were examined.


Findings of DAS 28 responses displayed that of the two 60 cases in the control and bee-venom acupuncture groups, 15 and 18 experienced marked improvement, 33 and 32 were effective, 12 and 10 ineffective, with the effective rates being 80% and 83. 33%, respectively. No significant difference was found between the two groups in the effective rate (P > 0.05). After the treatment, both groups have witnessed a marked decrease in the levels of morning stiffness duration, arthralgia index, swollen joint count index, joint tenderness index, 15 m walking time, VAS, RF, ESR, CRP and ACCPA, and an obvious increase of handgrip strength relevant to their own levels of pre-treatment in each group (P < 0.05). There were no significant differences between the two groups in the abovementioned indexes (P > 0.05). The routine blood test, routine urine test, routine stool test, electrocardiogram result, the function of liver and kidney and other security index were within the normal range, without any significant adverse effects found after bee-stinging treatment.


Bee-venom acupuncture therapy for RA patients is safe and effective, worthy of popularization and application in clinical practice.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Propolis Component Could Help Treat Age-Related Pathologies

Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) possesses pro-hypoxia and anti-stress activities: bioinformatics and experimental evidences

Cell Stress Chaperones. 2018 Jun 4

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Honeybee propolis and its bioactive component, caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), are known for a variety of therapeutic potentials. By recruiting a cell-based reporter assay for screening of hypoxia-modulating natural drugs, we identified CAPE as a pro-hypoxia factor.

In silico studies were used to probe the capacity of CAPE to interact with potential hypoxia-responsive proteins. CAPE could not dock into hypoxia inducing factor (HIF-1), the master regulator of hypoxia response pathway. On the other hand, it was predicted to bind to factor inhibiting HIF (FIH-1). The active site residue (Asp201) of FIH-1α was involved in hydrogen bond formation with CAPE and its analogue, caffeic acid methyl ester (CAME), especially in the presence of Fe and 2-oxoglutaric acid (OGA). We provide experimental evidence that the low doses of CAPE, that did not cause cytotoxicity or anti-migratory effect, activated HIF-1α and inhibited stress-induced protein aggregation, a common cause of age-related pathologies.

Furthermore, by structural homology search, we explored and found candidate compounds that possess stronger FIH-1 binding capacity.

These compounds could be promising candidates for modulating therapeutic potential of CAPE, and its recruitment in treatment of protein aggregation-based disorders.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Traditional Iranian Medicine with Honey, Queen Anne's Lace Helps Treat Female Sexual Dysfunction

Effects of a food product (based on Daucus carota) and education based on traditional Persian medicine on female sexual dysfunction: a randomized clinical trial

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Electron Physician. 2018 Apr 25;10(4):6577-6587


Globally, female sexual dysfunction is a serious concern based on negative family and social consequences, high side effects of medications and lack of effective treatment. Thus, the evaluation of treatment approach for this problem is an important priority for healthcare systems. Sexual life and its related disorders are considered the main aspects of a healthy lifestyle in traditional Persian medicine (TPM).


The present study aimed to determine and compare the effects of food products containing Daucus carota, TPM-based training program, and a combination of these two interventions on the improvement of female sexual dysfunction.


This randomized clinical trial was conducted on 96 women with sexual dysfunction based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5®), aged 18-35 years who referred to the Gynecology Clinic of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran, during 2016 and 2017. The patients were randomly divided into three groups (n=32) and received the intervention over an eight-week period. The first group was provided with TPM-based sexual health training, the second group received 30 g of a traditional food product (wild carrot halva: mixed Daucus carota and several herbs with honey) on a daily basis, and the third group received a combination of this traditional food product plus education. Data analysis was performed using Chi square test, repeated measures ANOVA, two-way ANOVA, ANCOVA, post hoc Bonferroni, Friedman and Wilcoxon signed-rank test in SPSS version 11.5.


According to the results of this study, there was a significant difference in terms of sexual desire (p = 0.002), lubrication (p = 0.002), orgasm (p = 0.004) and pain (p < 0.001) after eight weeks of the intervention among the three groups.


The use of two interventions of TPM including a food product containing Daucus carota and this product with TPM-based education improved desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction and pain in females with sexual dysfunction. Furthermore, TPM-based education alone, led to the improvement of all domains of sexual dysfunction, except for pain in the females with sexual dysfunction.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Malaysian Stingless Bee Honey Shows Probiotic Properties

Identification of Lactobacillus spp. and Fructobacillus spp. isolated from fresh Heterotrigona itama honey and their antagonistic activities against clinical pathogenic bacteria

Identificación de Lactobacillus spp. y Fructobacillus spp. aislados de la miel fresca de Heterotrigona itama y sus actividades antagónicas contra las bacterias patógenas clínicas

Journal of Apicultural Research 
Volume 57, 2018 - Issue 3

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Using an anaerobic and culture enrichment method, four strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) viz. Sy-1, Sy-2, Sy-3 and Sy-4 were isolated from fresh stingless bee Heterotrigona itama (Family: Apidae, Tribe: Meliponini, Genus: Trigona) honey collected from four geographical localities of Malaysia. Phylogenetic and comparative analyses of conserved region by 16S rRNA gene profiling identified strain Sy-1 being closely related to the genus Lactobacillus (>91%) but exhibited low level strains kinship to other known species within the genus. It is probable that strain Sy-1 is a novel species of the genus Lactobacillus. Conversely, strains Sy-2, Sy-3 and Sy-4 were phylogenetically located in the Fructobacillus fructosus subcluster with sequence similarities of 98, 96 and 95%, respectively. Fructobacillus fructosus was the dominant LAB following its isolation in three out of the four honey samples despite their different geographical origins. API 50 CHL test revealed the strains could proficiently utilize a wide range of carbohydrates, with fructose and glucose being the preferred substrates. All LAB strains possess excellent antagonistic activity against five different clinically pathogenic bacteria, as observed from the zones of inhibition. This study demonstrates the H. itama honey as a reservoir for novel LAB with probiotic properties, envisaging its potential therapeutic role in food.

Utilizando un método anaeróbico y de enriquecimiento por cultivo, se aislaron cuatro cepas de bacterias lácticas (LAB) Sy-1, Sy-2, Sy-3 y Sy-4 de la miel fresca de abeja sin aguijón Heterotrigona itama (Family: Apidae, Tribe: Meliponini, Genus: Trigona) recolectada en cuatro localidades geográficas de Malasia. Los análisis filogenéticos y comparativos de la región conservada del gen del ARNr 16S identificaron que la cepa Sy-1 estaba estrechamente relacionada con el género Lactobacillus (> 91%) pero contenía cepas diferentes respecto otras especies conocidas dentro del género. Es probable que la cepa Sy-1 sea una especie novedosa del género Lactobacillus. Por el contrario, las cepas Sy-2, Sy-3 y Sy-4 se ubicaron filogenéticamente en el subgrupo Fructobacillus fructosus con similitudes en su secuencia de 98,96 y 95%, respectivamente. Fructobacillus fructosus fue el LAB dominante tras su aislamiento en tres de las cuatro muestras de miel a pesar de sus diferentes orígenes geográficos. La prueba API 50 CHL reveló que las cepas podían utilizar de manera competente una amplia gama de carbohidratos, siendo la fructosa y la glucosa los sustratos preferidos. Todas las cepas de LAB poseen una excelente actividad antagónica frente a cinco bacterias clínicamente patógenas diferentes, observadas desde las zonas de inhibición. Este estudio demuestra que la miel de H. itama es un reservorio para el nuevo LAB con propiedades probióticas, previendo su potencial papel terapéutico en la alimentación.

Friday, June 08, 2018

Tea Made with Brazilian Bees Helps Treat Diabetes

Antioxidant, antihyperglycemic, and antidiabetic activity of Apis mellifera bee tea

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PLoS One. 2018 Jun 5;13(6):e0197071

Diabetes has emerged as one of the largest global epidemics; it is estimated that by 2035, there will be 592 million diabetic people in the world. Brazilian biodiversity and the knowledge of traditional peoples have contributed to the treatment of several diseases, including diabetes.

Apis mellifera bee tea is used by indigenous Brazilians to treat diabetes, and this traditional knowledge needs to be recorded and studied.

The objective of this study was to record the use and to evaluate the antioxidant, antihyperglycemic, and antidiabetic activity of Apis mellifera bee tea, which is used by the Guarani and Kaiowá indigenous people for the treatment of diabetes.

Semi-structured interviews were performed with Guarani and Kaiowá ethnic indigenous people from the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, seeking to identify the animal species used for medicinal purposes.

For the experimental procedures, tea prepared with macerated Apis mellifera bees was used. In vitro assays were performed to evaluate antioxidant activity; direct free radical scavenging, protection against oxidative hemolysis, lipid peroxidation were evaluated in human erythrocytes and potential in inhibiting the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs).

In vivo, normoglycemic Swiss male mice treated with Apis mellifera tea (AmT) were subjected to the oral glucose tolerance test and compared with control and metformin-treated groups. Diet-induced diabetic mice were treated for 21 days with AmT and evaluated for glycemia and malondialdehyde levels in the blood, liver, nervous system, and eyes.

During interviews, the indigenous people described the use of Apis mellifera bee tea for the treatment of diabetes.

In in vitro assays, AmT showed direct antioxidant activity and reduced oxidative hemolysis and malondialdehyde generation in human erythrocytes. The AmT inhibited the formation of AGEs by albumin-fructose pathways and methylglyoxal products. In vivo, after oral glucose overload, normoglycemic mice treated with AmT had reduced hyperglycemia at all times evaluated up to 180 min. AmT also reduced hyperglycemia and malondialdehyde levels in the blood, liver, nervous system, and eyes of diabetic mice to similar levels as those in metformin-treated mice and normoglycemic controls.

In summary, Apis mellifera bee tea showed antioxidant, antihyperglycemic, and antidiabetic activity, which provides support for the therapeutic application of Guarani and Kaiowá indigenous knowledge.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Propolis Component May Help Treat Cervical Cancer Induced by HPV

Artepillin C induces selective oxidative stress and inhibits migration and invasion in a comprehensive panel of human cervical cancer cell lines

Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2018 Jun 3

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Artepillin C (3,5-diprenyl-4-hydroxycinnamic acid) is the main bioactive component of Brazilian green propolis, and possesses, among other things, anticancer properties. However, to the best of our knowledge, there are no studies of artepillin C in cervical cancer.

To explore a new therapeutic candidate for cervical cancer, we have evaluated the effects of artepillin C on cellular viability in a comprehensive panel of human cervical cancer-derived cell lines including HeLa (human papillomavirus/HPV 18-positive), SiHa (HPV 16-positive), CaSki (HPV 16- and 18-positive) and C33A (HPV-negative) cells compared to a spontaneously immortalized human epithelial cell line (HaCaT). Our results demonstrated that artepillin C had a selective effect on cellular viability and could induce apoptosis possibly by intrinsic pathway, likely a result of oxidative stress, in all cancer-derived cell lines but not in HaCaT. Additionally, artepillin C was able to inhibit the migration and invasion of cancer cells.

Thus, artepillin C appears to be a promising new candidate as an anticancer drug for cervical cancer induced by different HPV types.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Honey Helps Reduce Incidence of Diarrhea in Critically Ill Tube-Fed Patients

Effect of Honey on Diarrhea and Fecal Microbiotain in Critically Ill Tube-Fed Patients: A Single Center Randomized Controlled Study

Anesth Pain Med. 2018 Feb 21;8(1):e62889

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In patients admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Enteral Nutrition (EN) is the first choice for feeding support, however, it is often complicated by gastrointestinal side effects, such as diarrhea. There are no studies that have specifically evaluated effect of a prebiotic, which prevents diarrhea during enteral nutrition.


This study aimed at evaluating the effect of honey in enteral diet during occurrence of diarrhea and fecal microbiotain in critically ill patients.

Materials and Methods:

In this double-blind, randomized controlled single-center study, 32 patients were randomly selected to receive a high protein kitchen enteral diet and the study group had honey as 10% of its carbohydrate intake. Quantitative analyses of bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species of fecal samples were assessed by Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) on days 0 and 7.


Patients in the honey group showed an insignificant increase in the frequency of bifidobacterium DNA by study day 7 in comparison with the control group. In the honey group, there was a considerable reduction in diarrhea (P = 0.09). A significant difference was found in length of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) stay (P = 0.001) and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score (P = 0.04) in favor of the honey group.


Enteral nutrition with honey might reduce the length of stay at the ICU and development of organ failure in critically ill patients. It seems that honey helps reduce the incidence of diarrhea.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Propolis Helps Prevent Tooth Decay

Efficacy of red propolis hydro-alcoholic extract in controlling Streptococcus mutans biofilm build-up and dental enamel demineralization

Arch Oral Biol. 2018 May 23;93:56-65

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The efficacy of a red propolis hydro-alcoholic extract (RP) in controlling Streptococcus mutans biofilm colonization was evaluated. The effect of RP on dental demineralization was also investigated.


Chemical composition was determined by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Minimum Inhibitory and Bactericidal Concentration (MIC and MBC, respectively) were investigated against Streptococcus mutans (ATCC 25175). The cytotoxic potential of 3% RP in oral fibroblasts was observed after 1 and 3 min. Bovine dental enamel blocks (N = 24) were used for S. mutans biofilm formation (48 h), simulating 'feast or famine' episodes. Blocks/biofilms were exposed 2×/day, for 3 days, to a cariogenic challenge with sucrose 10% (5 min) and treated (1 min) with: 0.85% saline solution (negative control), 0.12% Chlorhexidine (CHX, positive control for biofilm colonization), 0.05% Sodium Fluoride (NaF, positive control to avoid demineralization) and 3% RP. Biofilms were assessed for viability (CFU/mL), and to observe the concentration of soluble and insoluble extracellular polysaccharides (SEPS and IEPS). Dental demineralization was assessed by the percentage of surface hardness loss (%SHL) and through polarized light microscopy (PLM).

The RP presented 4.0 pH and ºBrix = 4.8. The p-coumaric acid (17.2 μg/mL) and luteolin (15.23 μg/mL) were the largest contents of phenolic acids and flavonoids, respectively. MIC and MBC of RP were 293 μg/mL and 1172 μg/mL, respectively. The 3% RP showed 43% of viably cells after 1 min. Lower number (p < 0.05) of viable bacteria (CFU/mL) was observed after CHX (1.8 × 105) followed by RP (1.8 × 107) treatments. The lowest concentration (μg/CFU) of SEPS (12.6) and IEPS (25.9) was observed in CHX (p < 0.05) followed by RP (17.1 and 54.3), and both differed from the negative control (34.4 and 63.9) (p < 0.05). Considering the %SHL, all groups differed statistically (p < 0.05) from the negative control (46.6%); but NaF (13.9%), CHX (20.1%) and RP (20.7%) did not differ among them (p > 0.05). After all treatments, suggestive areas of caries lesions were observed by PLM, which were lower for CHX and NaF.


The 3% RP reduced S. mutans colonization, decreased concentration of extracellular polysaccharides and reduced dental enamel demineralization.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Royal Jelly Helps Relieve Menopausal Symptoms of Anxiety, Backache, Low Back Pain in Postmenopausal Women

Royal Jelly Supplementation Improves Menopausal Symptoms Such as Backache, Low Back Pain, and Anxiety in Postmenopausal Japanese Women

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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018 Apr 29;2018:4868412


This study aimed to evaluate the effect of Royal Jelly (RJ) at a dose of 800 mg/day on menopausal symptoms in healthy Japanese postmenopausal women with placebo-controlled design.

Material and Methods:

A total of 42 healthy Japanese postmenopausal women have been recruited for this study. The subjects were randomized to oral treatment with either 800 mg of protease-digested lyophilized powder of RJ (enzyme-treated RJ) or placebo (800 mg of dextrin) daily for 12 weeks. The level of menopausal symptoms has been evaluated every 4 weeks, using menopausal symptoms questionnaire of Japanese women. Independent t-test was used to evaluate statistical significance of the treatment effects between the two groups.

Results and Conclusion:

All of the 42 women have completed the trial. There were significant differences related to the anxiety score (P = 0.046) and backache and low back pain score (P = 0.040) between 800 mg/day enzyme-treated RJ and placebo-treated groups after 12 weeks of administration, and no significant differences were found between the two groups in 4 weeks after intervention. No side effects were observed in either group.

This study demonstrates that enzyme-treated RJ supplementation with doses of 800 mg/day is effective in relieving menopausal symptoms such as anxiety, backache, and low back pain in Japanese postmenopausal women.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Medicinal Potential of Propolis, Bee Pollen, and Royal Jelly in Treating Neurodegenerative Disorders, Cancer, Diabetes, Atherosclerosis

Antioxidant Potential of Propolis, Bee Pollen, and Royal Jelly: Possible Medical Application

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2018 May 2;2018:7074209

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Honeybees products comprise of numerous substances, including propolis, bee pollen, and royal jelly, which have long been known for their medicinal and health-promoting properties. Their wide biological effects have been known and used since antiquity.

Bee products are considered to be a potential source of natural antioxidants such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, or terpenoids. Nowadays, the still growing concern in natural substances capable of counteracting the effects of oxidative stress underlying the pathogenesis of numerous diseases, such as neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, diabetes, and atherosclerosis, as well as negative effects of different harmful factors and drugs, is being observed.

Having regarded the importance of acquiring drugs from natural sources, this review is aimed at updating the current state of knowledge of antioxidant capacity of selected bee products, namely, propolis, bee pollen, and royal jelly, and of their potential antioxidant-related therapeutic applications.

Moreover, the particular attention has been attributed to the understanding of the mechanisms underlying antioxidant properties of bee products.

The influence of bee species, plant origin, geographic location, and seasonality as well as type of extraction solutions on the composition of bee products extracts were also discussed.

Friday, June 01, 2018

Propolis, Black Seed Oil Help Control Gray Mold

Effects of fludioxonil, propolis and black seed oil application on the postharvest quality of "Wonderful" pomegranate

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PLoS One. 2018 May 31;13(5):e0198411

Pomegranate fruit consumption has increased rapidly throughout the world, mainly because of its medical and nutritive attributes. Thus, considerable commercial and scientific interest exists in prolonging its postharvest life with non-chemical applications as much as possible to meet the year-round demand for this fruit. The present work aimed to study the effects of black seed oil (0.1% and 0.5%), propolis (0.01% and 0.1%) and fludioxonil (0.06%), with and without modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), on the postharvest quality of pomegranate cv. Wonderful.

Treated fruits were stored at 6.5±1 °C and 90-95% relative humidity for 150 days. The results indicated that both black seed oil and propolis treatments significantly influenced the maintenance of fruit weight and quality. At 150 days after storage, the fruit weight loss of the samples treated with MAP + 0.5% black seed oil, MAP + 0.1% propolis and MAP alone were found to be 5.5%, 6.3%, and 9.1%, respectively, whereas the weight loss of the untreated control fruits was 19.8%.

GreApplication of either 0.5% black seed oil or 0.1% propolis, especially when combined with MAP, was also effective in controlling gray mold development and slowing the occurrence of chilling injury.