Wound healing properties of Indian propolis studied on excision wound-induced rats

S. Iyyam Pillai, P. Palsamy, S. Subramanian, M. Kandaswamy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Context: In traditional medicine propolis is widely used for the treatment of various ailments including ulcer and wound healing. The phytochemical screening of Indian propolis indicates the presence of biologically active ingredients in appreciable amounts. In the absence of systematic evaluation of wound healing properties of Indian propolis in the literature, the present study was undertaken. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the wound healing potential of Indian propolis on excision wounds induced in experimental rats. Materials and methods: Excision wounds were created in male Wistar rats and were treated with Indian propolis ointment (nitrofurazone was used as a reference drug - widely used for wound healing) for a period of 14 days. Control rats were treated with petroleum jelly. The parameters analyzed include wound contraction, hydroxyproline, hexosamine, uronic acid, total protein, DNA, and RNA. Results: Topical application of propolis ointment for 14 days significantly improved the wound contraction when compared to the control group of rats. The determination of hydroxyproline, hexosamine, uronic acid, DNA, RNA and protein levels in the wound matrix revealed the pro-healing effects of propolis. The results obtained were comparable with nitrofurazone. Discussion and conclusion: It appears that the ethanol extract of Indian propolis possesses significant pro-healing activity by accelerating the healing process at various phases of tissue repair. The presence of biologically active ingredients such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, terpenes, benzoic acids, amino acids and vitamins, etc. in Indian propolis may readily account for the observed prophylactic action of propolis in wound healing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1198-1206
Number of pages9
JournalPharmaceutical Biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Excision wound
  • Flavonoids
  • Hydroxyproline
  • Indian propolis
  • Wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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