London: Scientists have created a gel for mouth ulcers out of a mixture of resin and wax used by honey bees to sterilise their hives.
Despite the healing properties of propolis, it has not been widely used because the sticky substance is not water soluble and has a strong unpleasant smell.
Now researchers have found a way of purifying the medicinal mixture so that it will dissolve in water and lose its pungent odour.
The technique has already led to the development of a new mouth ulcer gel and opens the door to a huge range of other pharmaceutical products, reports the Daily Mail.
Research leader Anant Paradkar from University of Bradford in Britain said: "Propolis is a complex chemical mix and a very useful natural product.
"Propolis has been shown to be anti-microbial, anti-fungal, a strong anti-oxidant, non-allergenic and can boost the immune system. It also promotes wound healing and has anaesthetic properties.
Paradkar`s team has been developing the new technique to purify propolis in collaboration with natural medicine manufacturer, Nature`s Laboratory.
Together they have created a new propolis-based mouth ulcer gel, which has better anaesthetic, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties than gels already in the market
and is also safe for children to use.