Propolis is the substance mixed the honeybee's own salivary gland secretions with the Phytoncide materials like the resin so that honeybees secrete to keep their own existence and breeding and various plants secrete to protect the growing point. By applying this propolis to the openings of beehive, bees protect themselves from outside predators such as germ, virus, wasp, and mouse and they maintain the appropriate hygiene for the spawning & the growth of larva and the matures & the preservation of honey.
Particularly, when the queen bee lays her eggs in the room, bees clean the room and sanitize by appling the propolis so that eggs can hatch safely and larvas can grow healthy.
The word, propolis is originated from Greek. Pro means , and polis means . Therefore, propolis means . Since "City" represents beehive, propolis represents "material protecting bees from sickness before beehive" widely.
Propolis is not a single substance but a mixed material with many compound. Until now, it is known that it has about 149 compounds and 22 minerals.
- The main component is comprised of
- 50% resin
- 30% beeswax
- 10% oiliness component
- such as refined oil 5% pollen 5% organic and mineral.
The most important material of propolis components can be Flavonoid and Dr. U.H.Villanueva at the science academy of the old Soviet Regime in 1970 announced that the Flavonoid ingredients with 18 species are contained within the propolis and Galangina Pinocemorin, other antibiosis component is contained, and announced that it can keep the aseptic status inside the beehive due to this Wein Galangina and Dr. Bent Havesteen at Keele University, Germany held the professor of Cornell Medical College, America announced the article called as 'propolis containing the rich Flavonoid' 5th international Wein Galangina symposium in May, 1980 and Among the contents of propolis, flavonoid has an excellent defensive power against viruses because flavonoid acts as a defense wall role against germs.
It was announced that the defense wall debilitates germs and viruses and create immunity effect, and flavonoid has been reported to be the most important substance in representing the biological function of propolis in the academic world. The flavonoid is widely distributed in plant world. Because of its characteristic, the content of flavonoid depends on local plant distribution and bee type. The most propolis exists as the glycosides but the flavonoid found in propolis has the features that it exists as an aglycon form by the hydrolysis mostly and there is no the alkaloids. Because of its characteristic, the content of flavonoid depends on local plant distribution and bee type.
Therefore, propolis can not be graded by countries and its quality can be considerably different even in a same country according to tree type, bee type and the level of local contamination.
The Flavonoid exists in the most plants and it has C6-C3-C6 as the basic framework and it represents phenol compound with citrine or yellow color. Many studies are being reported about the biological, medicine and medical effects of flavonoid. Flavonoid with anti-mutation effect includes quercetin, kaempferol and myricetin in flavonol family as well as apigenin, luteolin, limonin and nomilin in flavone family. The major biological active function of flavonoid includes antibacterial function, anti-oxidation function and so forth.
Until now, about 150 species or more compound is known as the propolis component, the main ingredient is polyphenols, and there are the flavonoid, phenolic acid and ester, phenolic aldehydes, ketone, a large quantity of wax, resin, balsam, refined oil, pollen as the aglycone and other various vitamin and mineral are contained. (Walker,1987) Particularly, the containing ingredient and the content are different according to the place of production or the collecting time and the surrounding plant and it is known as there is a little difference for the effect (Miyataka, 1997). Recently, the active oxygen or the free radical as the causative agent of various disease are considered as the important factor and the propolis represents the strong deletion effects for DPPH, a kind of the free radical.
(Choi Hyuk-jae, 1998) the flavonoid contained in the propolis is known to defend the occurrence of the H2O2 acting on the enzyme inhibitor as well as the hydrolysis. Judging from the DPPH radical scavenging activity and the Protective Effect of the Lipid Hydroperoxide formation of the propolis, these strong antioxidant effect is acknowledged, and it is known that these strong antioxidant effect is working due to the flavonoid that the propolis contains (Ratty,1988).
The characteristic of the flavonoid contained in the propolis is that it is the aglycon and it is not to contain the sugar, and if the flavonoid will combine to the receptor of the human cell membrane, the adenine acid existing on the cell membrane is activated and the protein kinase, proteinase is activated again, and if the cell is activated by that energy, it is known that it has the strong antioxidant effect by seizing and deleting the accessive active oxygen at the same time.