THE COMPOSITION OF PROPOLIS
No matter the sources of collecting propolis by bees: secretions of buds, bark or leaves, and no matter the source plant: poplar, birch tree, oak tree, acacia, fir tree, spruce fir, alder tree, pine or fruit-growing species like: the cherry tree, the peach tree, the plum tree or different herbal plants which have resinous secretions, the chemical composition of propolis is almost the same.
The average chemical composition consists of: essential oils – 5-10%, resins – 50-55%, wax – 30-40%, pollen – 5-10%. An amount of other compounds have been identified which give propolis important characteristics: flavones, tannins, phytocides; but also trace elements: iron, copper, manganese, zinc and others.
Wax: it is a compulsory component part of propolis and it has two origins: one comes from the secretions of bees and one completely different which comes from the plant (vegetal wax).
Essential oils and resins: they are mixtures of numerous organic substances among which terpenes and their oxygenated derivatives. The following compounds have been identified in the propolis of this category: hydrocarbons, superior types of alcohol, phenol compounds, aromatic organic acids and their aldehydes ( benzoic acid – with an important role in the antibacterial and anti-fungi activity of propolis as well as a conservation agent), vanillin, iso-vanillin, the salicylate of metal (these acids being very volatile, they are the ones which lend the smell to propolis).
The pollen present in propolis gives it a certain percentage of vitamins: E, C, H, PP, A, and all the vitamins of the B complex.
The tannins are the ones which give propolis its astringent taste.
Due to this composition, one was able to explain a series of characteristics of propolis which led to its inclusion in the category of natural antibiotics and the manifestation of its antioxidant activity.
PhD Engineer: Cornelia Dostetan (Abalaru)