Brazilian green propolis is a specific type of propolis, which contains Baccharis dracunculifolia resin, as the main source. The Brazilian Green Propolis health benefits mainly underline those of the plant, in addition to the ones we commonly find in any other propolis, no matter the botanical source.
Propolis is composed mainly by the plant resins and exudates that bees gather. Bees add wax, and some secretions and pollen to it. The composition of propolis depends on its botanical and geographical origin, even weather and hive. The plants that are harvested by bees are so different, that the composition of propolis will never be the same. So, besides the usual dark brown propolis, propolis can also be green, red, black, and with white hues.
And, it is quite astonishing, that while the composition of the different type of propolis differs greatly depending on its botanical origin, their biological effects are very similar.
Baccharis dracunculifolia DC (Asteraceae) is the main botanical source used by honeybees to produce Brazilian green propolis. Baccharis dracunculifolia is a medical plant found in Brazil. It is mainly used for its antiulcer and anti-inflammatory properties, which is why the green propolis also treats ulcer and inflammatory diseases.
The overall content of this propolis type is similar to the poplar propolis, basically containing balsamic and non balsamic components. It contains a main part of plant derived substances and minor part of bee and pollen derived substances. The chemical composition is, however very different.
The balsam part of poplar propolis originates from the collected glue, while the non-balsamic constituents are added by the bees. The typical components of poplar propolis are the phenolics: flavonoid aglycones, (flavones and flavanones), phenolic acids and their esters. The typical compounds of Brazilian propolis are prenylated derivatives of p-coumaric acid and of acetophenone, as well as diterpenes and lignans. The flavonoids are different from those in ‘poplar type’ propolis.
On Dec 2014, Society of Chemical Industry published the Composition of the volatile fraction of a sample of Brazilian green propolis and its phytotoxic activity, made by Fernandes-Silva CC et at, from the University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil. The study shows an analyzes of chemical composition of green propolis and evaluate the phytotoxic activity of the volatile fraction of a sample of Brazilian green propolis.
The chemical composition of the volatile fraction of this Brazilian green propolis is different from the other propolis. According to the study, the “main constituents are the phenylpropanoid 3-prenylcinnamic acid allyl ester (26.3%) and the sesquiterpene spathulenol (23.4%). Several other sesquiterpenes and phenylpropanoids, in addition to linalool and α-terpineol (monoterpenes), were also detected.”
Which are the health benefits of green propolis?
Lots of studies have been done in the recent years, that come to support the medical use of propolis not only in the ORL area but also internally, for a lot of conditions.
B. Dracunculifolia in Green Propolis heals ulcers
The study Baccharis dracunculifolia, the main botanical source of Brazilian green propolis, displays antiulcer activity., by Lemos M et at, published on April 2007, investigated the possibility of using B. Dracunculifolia extract for antiulcer treatment.
This study was undertaken to evaluate the anti-ulcerogenic property of a hydroalcoholic extract of B. Dracunculifolia aerial parts. The analysis made showed the presence of cinnamic acid derivates and flavonoids.
The doctors used doses of 50, 250 and 500 mg/kg of B. Dracunculifolia crude extract and positive controls: omeprazole or cimetidine. At the end of the treatment, the percentage of ulcer inhibition was significantly higher in groups treated with B. Dracunculifolia, cimetidine or omeprazole, with all protocols used, compared with negative control groups.
These results were similar to results from studies carried out with green propolis extract. Although more investigations are required, our results suggest that B. dracunculifolia has potential to be used as a phytotherapic preparation for the treatment of gastric ulcer.
Green Propolis has antioxidant and hepatoprotective effects
Baccharis dracunculifolia, the main source of green propolis, exhibits potent antioxidant activity and prevents oxidative mitochondrial damage, by Natalia S.S. Guimarães et at, published on Nov 2011, shows that B. Dracunculifolia in the Brazilian propolis, contributes to the antioxidant and hepatoprotective effects exhibited by propolis.The study investigated the protective effects of the glycolic extract of B. dracunculifolia (GEBd) against oxidative stress in isolated rat liver mitochondria (RLM). The study shows that B. Dracunculifolia exhibit potent antioxidant activity protecting liver mitochondria against oxidative damage and such action probably contribute to the antioxidant and hepatoprotective effects of green propolis.
Green Propolis may treat AMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration) and skin damage induced by UV irradiation.
The Effects of Brazilian Green Propolis against Excessive Light-Induced Cell Damage in Retina and Fibroblast Cells, by Murase H et al, published on Dec 2013.
The study investigated the effects of Brazilian green propolis and its constituents against white light (UVA) -induced cell damage in mouse retinal cone-cell line 661W or human skin-derived fibroblast cells (NB1-RGB).
Results. Treatment with propolis and two dicaffeoylquinic acids significantly inhibited the decrease in cell viability induced by white light in 661W. Propolis and its constituents inhibited the decrease in cell viability induced by UVA in NB1-RGB. Moreover, propolis suppressed the intracellular ROS production by UVA irradiation. Propolis also inhibited the levels of phosphorylated-p38 and ERK by UVA irradiation.
The study concluded that Brazilian green propolis may become a major therapeutic candidate for the treatment of AMD and skin damage induced by UV irradiation.
Green Propolis has antitumor effects
The study Histone deacetylase inhibitory effect of Brazilian propolis and its association with the antitumor effect in Neuro2a cells, by Ishiai S et al, published on June 2014, examined whether Brazilian green propolis has an Hdac (histone deacetylase) inhibitory activity and its contribution on antitumor effects. The results show that Brazilian propolis bears regulatory functions on histone acetylation via Hdac inhibition, and the effect contributes antitumor functions. An intake of Brazilian propolis also shows preventing effects against cancer.
Green Propolis improves the liver metabolism and maintains the integrity of liver tissue in diabetes mellitus.
The study Involvement of liver in diabetes mellitus: herbal remedies. showed propolis’ good benefits in treating complications involved in the diabetic liver disease, along with other several herbs with antioxidant properties: Liquorice, Pelargonium gravenolens, Momordica charantia, Dihar, Curcuma Longa, Tinospora cordifolia, Kangen-karyu, Parsley, Chard, Green tea Catechins and Piper sarmentosum. The herbs or the compounds present in herbs have potential to improve the liver metabolism and maintain the integrity of liver tissue in DM.
Green propolis boosts immunity
Brazilian green propolis improves immune function in aged mice, by Gao W et al, published on July 2014, showed that some components in propolis could stimulate immune function in young animals or cultured immune cells in vitro. The results of the study indicate that administration of Brazilian green propolis have a positive effect on innate and adaptive immunity in aged mice.
What is Propolis
References and picture sources:
Bee Product Science, www.bee-hexagon.net February 2014
“Alecrimdocampo” by flaksbaum – flaksbaum. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Alecrimdocampo.jpg#/media/File:Alecrimdocampo.jpg
‘Bees in green propolis’ picture source: http://www.meliponarioreidamandacaia.com/2011/05/minas-gerais-recebe-denominacao-de.html
‘Green propolis’ picture source: http://www.ttnet.net/ttnet/gotoprd/FO500/999/0/941303238313136373.htm