The word propolis is made out of pro and polis, translating into front and city respectively. This is a reference to the fact that propolis is a colony’s first line of defense against pathogens. It’s a sticky, resinous plant material collected by the bees to cover up their hive in order to prevent the microbes penetrating in. It’s a very rich source of antioxidants and exhibits antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties.

The very compounds that show antimicrobial effects, flavonoids, phenolics and terpenes few to mention, are also the ones that are responsible for it’s health benefits. However propolis has a very low bioavailability in it’s natural state and needs to be extracted with alcohol. This process is crucial to get rid of the impurities & beeswax and make the beneficial compounds available.

Athlete's foot, a fungal infection usually starts on toes, is very common, and it is believed to affect 70% of the world’s population. Based on research conducted at the Kochi University of Japan in 2012, propolis in ethanol extract applied to seven patients demonstrated the antifungal activity of propolis.  The scientists observed healing in two weeks and proposed that propolis may be a natural aid in the management of fungal infections by T. rubrum.

Ngatu N.R., Saruta, T., Hirota, R., Eitoku, M., Luzitu, N.S., Muzembo, B.A., Matsui, T. & Sunganuma, N. 2012. Brazilian green propolis extracts improve Tinea pedis interdigitalis and Tinea corporis. The Journal of Alternative And Complementary Medicine 18(1): 8-9.