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Bee informed

The journal of the American Apitherapy society

From the summer 2000 Issue Vol 7 No 2

by Vasya Bankova

Determing Quality in propolis samples

When discussing “poplar type” propolis, it is clear that the product is a mixture of flavonoid aglycones, hydroxycinnamic acids, and their esters, and that these are the compounds that must be quantified. In Russia, however, and especially in its northern parts, birch buds (Betula verrucosa) are the common source of propolis, and flavonoid aglycones are of interest for quality control (Popravko, 1978). Chemical provings in some Brazilian regions have shown that Baccharis species leaf exudate is the main propolis source (Bankova et al., 1999). In this case, the important active constituents are carbon-prenylated derivatives of p-coumaric acid, and their percentage should be measured. Knowledge on active components and plant sources of propolis could lead to the formulation of a range of propolis types based on botanical origin, for example, “European,” “North Russian,” and varieties of “Brazilian.”

Oxford Journals Medicine Evidence-based Compl. and Alt. Medicine

Volume 2, Number 1 Pp. 29-32

Recent trends and important developments in propolis research

Vassya Bankova
Institute of Organic Chemistry with Centre of Phytochemistry, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria

“For this reason, propolis has become the subject of intense pharmacological and chemical studies for the last 30 years. As a result, much useful knowledge has been gathered. However, it is important to note that in the last decade, the paradigm concerning propolis chemistry radically changed. In the 1960s, propolis was thought to be of very complex, but more or less constant chemistry, like beesw ax or bee venom. In the following years, analysis of numerous samples from different geographic regions led to the disclosure that the chemical composition of bee glue is highly variable. This circumstance was soon understood by seasoned chemists, such as Popravko* and Ghisalberti. Nevertheless, most of the scientists studying the biological properties of propolis continued to assume that the term ‘propolis’ was as determinative with respect to chemical composition as the botanical name for a medicinal plant. Numerous studies, carried out with the combined efforts of phytochemists and pharmacologists, led in recent years to the idea that different propolis samples could be completely different in their chemistry and biological activity. “ *Popravko SA. Chemical composition of propolis, its origin and standardization In Harnaj V (Ed.). A Remarkable Hive Product: PROPOLIS 1978;Bucharest Apimondia Publishing House pp. 15–8


The Properties of Propolis Propolis research shows it offers antiseptic, antibiotic, antibacterial, antifungal, and even antiviral properties both in vitro and in vivo although no clinical trials in the UK. Propolis is a complex attack system in nature. It is so powerful in action, it is often called Russian penicillin in acknowledgement of the extensive research the Russians have mounted on this wonder worker from the bees. Propolis has shown powerful antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Even streptococcus bacteria have been shown to be sensitive to propolis. With MRSA and “super-bugs” in the news regularly, Propolis with its multi-pronged effect relieving infection is seeing increased exposure in the media.

USA MP Biomedicals products PROPOLIS/Online purchasing 154610

Composed of resins collected by bees. Appears to be a source of flavonoids and cinnamic acid derivatives. Ref.: Popravko, S.A., et al., Chim. Prirod. Soedinenii , 5 : 476 (1969).


“La composition de la PROPOLIS est variable selon la source végétale visitée par les abeilles, mais présente tout de même qualitativement de nombreuses substances qui s’y retrouvent de façon constante et relativement stable, constance vérifiée et confirmée par des travaux d’analyse chromatographique effectués sur de très nombreux échantillons (par le Pr S.A POPRAVKO). Globalement et généralement, la PROPOLIS recueillie dans la ruche est constituée de : (MARCHENAY)


Propolis source in seasoned zones The first reports related to propolis analysis based on chemical evidences raised on the’70 decade when Lavie (Lavie, P., Proc.

XXV Int. Beekeeping Congr., Grenoble, Bucharest, Apimondia, 229- 233,1975) in French and Popravko (Popravko, S. A.: in”A remarkable Hive Product: Propolis, Apimondia, Bucharest, 15-18, 1978) in Russia identified the presence of flavonoids in propolis and these scientists compared this with exsudates from Populus and Betula species. Many other publications have been issued, presently, it is recognized that the principal source of propolis in seasoned regions are buds and exsudates of Populus and its hibrids variations. A skilled person in this art can confirm the above dicussion by consulting in Europe (Tamas et al., Stud. Cercet. Biochim., 22,207-213,1979; Popravko et Sokolov, Pchelovodstvo 2,28-29,1980; Nagy et al., Stud. Org. Chem., 23, 223-232, 1986; Greenaway et al., Proc. R. Soc. London B, 232,249- 272, 1987 ; Bankova et Kuleva, Animal Sci., 26,94-98,1989;), in North America (García-Viguera et al., Z. Naturforshung, 48C, 731- 735,1993) and non tropical regions of Asia (Bankova et al., Apidologie, 23,79-85,1992, Chi et al. Z. Yaoxue Zazhi, 31,264-266, 1996). Even in New Zealand, men introduced Populus species, are the bee preferred propolis source (Markham et al. Phytochem., 42, 205-211,1996). In Russia, particularly in the northern region the Betula species (Betula verrucosa) are also the bee preferred propolis source (Popravko e Sokolov, Pchelovodstvo, 2,28-29, 1980)