Thursday, October 24, 2013

Seasonal Allergies? Try a Bit O’ Honey

Try local honey to prevent seasonal allergies.
Image: Shutterstock
The other day, I was on the bus with a man who had the sniffles and sneezes—seasonal allergies. As is usual, everyone just stayed quiet and minded their own business, some perhaps being annoyed at and others feeling sorry for the man. All except one woman, who looked up from her seat and very frankly said, “Have you tried seasonal honey?” The man looked a bit blankly at her, and she clarified. “Seasonal allergies, right?” He nodded. “Try local honey. It’ll help.”
The guy thanked her, and a few stops later she got off, leaving her little bit of wisdom behind. I had never thought about it before, but it completely makes sense that a local product like honey would help with seasonal allergies. Here’s why:

Seasonal allergies are dependent on your environment—if you’re allergic to something that exists in your environment, then you’ll suffer from allergies. Unless you move away from that allergen, you won’t escape it. But you can help your body deal with it. Sure, seasonal allergy medicines will help suppress allergies after they begin, but they won’t usually help prevent them.

Honey bees collect pollen from local plants, carrying it back to the hive and transforming it into honey. Honey that is collected locally and packaged raw will still contain traces of the pollen collected by the honey bees. The belief is that ingesting that honey will trigger your body’s immune response because of the pollen still present. Like when you get a vaccine, though, the amounts are so low and weak that your immune system can begin desensitizing itself.

Honey probably won’t work as a cure, but it’s likely that it can lessen the severity of your seasonal allergies if you eat one or two tablespoons per day for three months prior to the allergy season peak. Plus, who doesn’t like a bit of honey? Just be sure that it’s local, raw, and organic.