Complementary medicines based on propolis produced by honeybees from Australian [ 2008 - 2012 ]

Also known as: Australian propolis as a source of complementary medicines

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: A/Pr Colin Duke (Principal investigator) ,  Dr Rujee Duke Dr Van Tran

Brief description Propolis produced by honeybees is a very complex mixture and its chemical composition varies in relation to its floral source. To produce propolis honey bees collect leaf bud and flowerbud exudates also secretions exuded from wounds in plants. These materials have high antibiotic activity as they have a natural function to protect delicate growing or wounded plant tissue from attack from microorganisms and animals. Honey bees use propolis to sterilize the hive and to protect it against outside intruders and infection and to seal cracks in the hive. Consequently, humans have made use of propolis since ancient time for medicinal purposes. Modern research shows that a valuable property of propolis is its immunostimulant activity, now widely used in preventive medicine to boost the immune system. Furthermore, its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are also believed to contribute to its current use in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). As part of research into the medicinal use of propolis produced in Australia, we identified two novel classes of biologically active constituents in Kangaroo Island (KI) propolis, which are for the first time identified to occur in propolis. Despite KI propolis being currently exported to Japan for use as CAM there is no study to determine its chemical composition or to evaluate its biological activities. Therefore we aim to research the KI propolis and evaluate its medicinal properties for use as CAM. Propolis from specific regions with defined floral sources and the identified constituents will be evaluated for their antioxidant property and protective activities against cell damaged after exposed to light source equivalent UV radiation of the sunlight with the aim to establish a defined propolis formula for topical use as CAM to prevent UV-induced skin cancers, known as melanoma, which is prevalent in Australia. This research will add value to a beekeeping product currently exported from KI and provide a health benefit.

Funding Amount $AUD 285,855.00

Funding Scheme NHMRC Strategic Awards

Notes Complimentary and Alternative Medicines

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