Allergic Contact Dermatitis from Propolis

Susan E. Walgrave; Erin M. Warshaw; Lynn A. Glesne


Dermatitis. 2005;16(4):209-215. 

In This Article

Composition of Propolis

The composition of propolis is variable, depending on the locale and variety of trees and other plant species used for collection. Unique constituents have been identified in propolis found in Cuba and Brazil.[6] There are more than 180 propolis constituents that are identified by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry.[7] Other reports estimate that there are more than 300 components.[8]

The main chemicals in propolis are resins, which constitute 45 to 55% of propolis and consist of free aromatic acids (eg, benzoic, caffeic, cinnamic, coumaric, and ferulic acids); benzyl, methylbutenyl, phenylethyl, cinnamyl, and other esters of these acids; chalcones and dihydrochalcones; and terpenes.[9] Propolis also contains flavonoids, including quercetin, apegenin, galangin, kaempferol, luteolin, pinocembrin, pinostrobin, and pinobanksin. The phenolic ester caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) has been the subject of several clinical trials because of its potential for the treatment of a number of disorders.[6]