Background: The red propolis (RdProp) is a resin produced by Apismellifera bees, which collect the reddish exudate on the surface of its botanic source, the species Dalbergia ecastophyllum, popularly known in Brazil as “rabo de bugio”. Considered as the 13th type of Brazilian propolis, this resin has been gaining prominence due to its natural composition, rich in bioactive substances not found in other types of propolis.
Objective: This review aims to address the most important characteristics of RdProp, its botanical origin, the main constituents, its biological properties and the patents related to this natural product.
Method: By means of the SciFinder, Google Patents, Patus® and Spacenet, scientific articles and pa-tents involving the term "red propolis" were searched until August 2017.
Results: A number of biological properties, including antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiparasitic, antitumor, antioxidant, metabolic and nutraceutical activities are attributed to RdProp, demonstrating the great potential of its use in the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries.
Conclusion: The available papers are associated to pharmacological potential of RdProp, but the mo-lecular mechanisms or bioactive compounds responsible for each activity have not yet been fully elu-cidated. The RdProp patents currently found are directed to components for the pharmaceutical indus-try (EP2070543A1; WO2014186851A1; FR3006589A1; CN1775277A; CN105797149A; CN1879859A), cosmetic (JP6012138B2; JP2008247830A; JP6012138B2) and food (JP5478392B2; CN101380052A; WO2006038690A1).