Propolis tincture

Making Propolis Extract       to download PDF click here

This sheet will explain a method for extracting propolis for use. Propolis extract is made by dissolving propolis collected from honey bee colonies into alcohol and straining out the precipitate.

The best alcohol to use is 70% ethyl alcohol (also known as grain alcohol or Everclear). This would allow the tincture to be used internally or externally. You can use rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol if the tincture will be used externally only.

Although rare some people are allergic to propolis so precautions should be taken. All precautions with regard to alcohol should be taken.

Propolis Extract Procedure
1. Collect propolis from the bee hive. The propolis should be clean and free of wax, paint, wood etc. The propolis should be in small pieces. The smaller the better but no larger than a marble.
2. Determine the percentage propolis you want to extract. It is not recommended that concentrations higher than 30% be extracted. If you require a higher percentage, make a 30% extract and concentrate it as described below.
3. Place the proper amount of alcohol and propolis (see chart below) into a container and seal the top. Shake and store in a warm dark place. I put it in a brown paper bag on the counter.
4. Two or three times per day shake the container and return to warm dark place. Continue this for 2 weeks.


tincture           100% alcohol              propolis
                 grams       or      ml            grams
   10%           900              1146            100
   20%           800              1019            200
   30%           700               892              300

tincture           70% alcohol                propolis
                   grams     or     ml              grams
   10%           900              1073            100
   20%           800               953              200
   30%           700               834              300
Charts for extraction using Metric measurements.    
tincture        100% alcohol           propolis
                     oz.    or     fl. Oz.           oz.
  10%              22             27.0             2.5   
   20%             17             21.0             4.25
   30%             17             21.0             7.25
tincture         70% alcohol            propolis
                     oz.    or     fl. Oz.             oz.
   10%             22             25.3             2.5
   20%             17             19.6             4.25
   30%             17             19.6             7.25
Charts for extraction using US measurements



Propolis Tincture Concentration Procedure

  1. Make extract as above to a known percent. Find the percent you made above in column 1 in the chart below. Then in column 2 find the desired percent propolis. Follow across to column 3 to find the amount of extract to evaporate
start extract %           desired extract %         % volume to reduce
     10%                             20%                                  50%
     10%                             30%                                  66.7%
     10%                             40%                                  75%
     20%                             30%                                  33.4%
     20%                             40%                                  50%
     30%                             40%                                  25%

If you have 10% extract and you want to have 40 % you would have to let 75% of the alcohol evaporate.  If you started with 1 cup, you would let it evaporate until you have 1/4 cup remaining.


2. Let the container set with the cover off until the correct amount is evaporated off. You can hurry it along by warming it up. Be careful because alcohol is flammable.


Propolis Salve (3%)

1. Start by making a 30% extraction mixture.
2. Mix 1 part extract with 9 parts petroleum jelly by weight. Start with extract and slowly mix in the petroleum jelly. You can liquefy the jelly by heating in a double boiler but you must continue to stir until it solidifies or the propolis will settle to the bottom.

Oz. petroleum jelly        Oz. propolis extract (30%)       teaspoons propolis extract
         1.75                                     0.19444                             1.5
         3.75                                     0.41667                               3
         7.5                                       0.83333                               6
         13                                        1.44444                             10.25