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As described in Chapter 11, propolis contains the gums and resins bees collect from plants, and in many cases these compounds are the plants' own response to injury, or otherwise protecting the plants from predators and pathogens. It is therefore not surprising that propolis has anti-fungal, antiinflammation and anti-bacterial properties. Propolis is particularly valued as a remedy for toothache, and is sold in toothpastes and chewing gums. One possibility is that it works by inhibiting the enzyme glucosyltransferase of the bacterium Streptococcus mutans. This bacterium produces lactic acid in the mouth that decays tooth enamel.

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