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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 8025752, 10 pages
Review Article

External Use of Propolis for Oral, Skin, and Genital Diseases: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

1Department of Policy Development, National Development Institute of Korean Medicine, Seoul 04554, Republic of Korea
2School of Korean Medicine, Pusan National University, Yangsan 50612, Republic of Korea
3Division of Clinical Medicine, School of Korean Medicine, Pusan National University, Yangsan 50612, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to Byung-Cheul Shin; moc.liamg@cbnihsrd

Received 21 September 2016; Accepted 8 November 2016; Published 6 February 2017

Academic Editor: Andrzej K. Kuropatnicki

Copyright © 2017 Soo-Hyun Sung et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. The aim of this review is to provide the available evidence on the external use of propolis (EUP) for oral, skin, and genital diseases. Method. We searched twelve electronic databases for relevant studies up to June 2016. Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) were included and analysed. Results. Of the 286 articles identified, twelve potentially relevant studies met our inclusion criteria. A meta-analysis of two studies on recurrent oral aphthae (ROA) indicated that there were no significant differences in total effective rate (TER) for pain disappearance between EUP and placebo groups (RR = 1.96, 95% CI = 0.97–3.98, and ). In two studies on skin diseases, the combined treatment of EUP with other interventions revealed significant effects on the duration of treatment or TER. In one study on genital diseases, EUP showed significant differences in genital herpes outcome measures compared to placebo. Conclusions. Our results on the effectiveness of EUP for treating oral, skin, and genital diseases are not conclusive because of the low methodological qualities and small sample sizes. Further well-designed randomized controlled trials, with high quality and large samples for specific disorders, must be conducted to obtain firm conclusions.