The medicinal activity of propolis in humans involves more than 180 phytochemicals. Propolis contains flavonoids, organic acids and their derivatives, phytosterols and terpenoids. Many of these compounds have a history of biological activities including anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antimicrobial, antimutagenic, antihistamine and anti allergenic properties.
Flavonoids are the most abundant compounds in propolis. Flavonoids are strong antioxidants. Examples of these are: pinocembrin, pinostrobin, galangin, quercetin, kaempferol, apigenin, aringenin, fisetin, rhamnetin, luteolin, tectochrysin and various hydroxchalcones.
Propolis is considered to stimulate the growth of new tissue in addition to preventing infection. Quercetin, kaempferol, apigenin and luteolin in particular are known to have tissue strengthening and regenerative effects. These four flavonoids each are reported to have ten to fifty pharmacological and biological activities.