What is it?
Propolis is plant resin collected by bees for use in and around the hive. In plants it is usually the sticky coating around buds, bark, and twigs that serve to protect the plant from the elements of weather or protection from attack by bacteria, fungi, molds, and viruses. Bees use propolis to help to keep the hive healthy, and as a multipurpose cement, using it to seal their home. Though propolis can vary sample to sample, all propolis does share similarities in the overall physical and chemical nature including the presence of flavonoids. Flavonoids are well-known plant compounds that have antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties.
What does it do?
Propolis has a long tradition of use in oral care. In fact, since the 4th century BC, people have turned to propolis for their self-care needs. In our toothpaste, propolis helps promote a healthy-feeling mouth. Few formal clinical studies have been performed with propolis in humans, so efficacy of this ingredient is far from proven. However, laboratory studies reported in recent scientific literature have shown that extracts of propolis display weak activity against oxidation, inflammation and pathogenic oral bacteria, and these activities are consistent with its traditional uses. Active components of propolis include flavonoids and caffeic acid phenyl ester (CAPE).
How is it made?
At Tom's of Maine, the propolis we use is harvested carefully, insuring that no bees are harmed in the process. It is harvested exclusively by beekeepers in North America who strive to protect their bees and is processed in the US. It is also Kosher certified.
Is this the right option for me?
There are no known risks associated with the use of propolis, but because of its resinous nature, those with known sensitivities to poplar or conifer sap, Peru balsam or salicylates are advised to avoid it.
Tom's of Maine recognizes that no two people are alike, and even with naturally derived ingredients, some individuals may develop an allergic reaction that is unique to them. As with any product, be sure to discontinue use if you experience discomfort or other indications that the product may not be appropriate for your individual body chemistry.