Propolis has a special compound called pinocembrin, a flavonoid that acts as an antifungal. These anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties make propolis helpful in wound healing. Propolis can help people who have had traumatic burns heal faster by speeding up new healthy cell growth.
Propolis seems to have activity against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It might also have anti-inflammatory effects and help skin heal. Propolis is used for diabetes, cold sores, and swelling (inflammation) and sores inside the mouth (oral mucositis). It is also used for burns, genital herpes, and other conditions.
People sometimes apply propolis directly to the skin for wound cleansing, genital herpes and cold sores; as a mouth rinse for speeding healing following oral surgery.
In manufacturing, propolis is used as an ingredient in cosmetics.