There is insufficient information on the side effects of propolis; however, it is likely well tolerated in most individuals. Propolis taken by mouth may cause mild stomach upset. Oral lozenges or mouthwash can cause irritation in the mouth, peeling lips, and mouth ulcers. Topical propolis can cause local irritation to the skin, eczema, and contact dermatitisdermatitisinflamed skin or skin rash.
People can have allergic reaction to propolis, particularly people who are allergic to bees, bee products, poplar tree products, or balsam of Peru. If you have a known allergy to bee products, bee stings, conifers, or poplars, consult a health care provider before using propolis. If you experience a severe allergic reaction (swelling of face and throat, difficulty breathing) while taking propolis, stop using propolis and seek medical attention immediately.
Propolis may contain chemicals that can worsen asthma. People with asthma should consult a health care provider before using propolis.
If your symptoms persist (for more than 1 month) or worsen, contact your heath care provider.
There is not enough information about the safety of propolis during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Talk to your doctor before using propolis if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Propolis may interact with the following medications:
- balsam of Peru
Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.