Can Eating Local Honey Reduce Seasonal Allergies?

Posted on March 7, 2013. Filed under: Allergies, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Health Experts have long touted the wonders of using honey for ailments.  It’s been slathered on wounds to prevent infection and hasten healing and even been used as a natural cure for diarrhea and upset stomachs.  It’s even recommended today as a way to help the body overcome seasonal allergies and hay fever.

Allopathic Medicine utilizes a process called “Immunotherapy”  wherein an allergen is injected into the body to help an individual become desensitized to it by building up an immunity toward it. This is the premise for the “Allergy Shot”. The same process can be done in a natural, painless, and healthy way by eating local honey.

Local honey is produced by bees usually within several miles of where the person eating the honey lives. There’s no rule of thumb on what the exact proximity needs to be, but proponents suggest the closer, the better. The reason you want “local honey” is that this increases the chances that the varieties of plants and flowering grasses that give the allergy sufferer trouble are the same kinds the bees are including in the honey they produce. By consuming this honey, you are creating a natural form of “immunotherapy”. Because the honey includes the pollen spores which so many allergy sufferers are affected by, introducing them into the body in small amounts by eating honey can help make the body accustomed to their presence and decrease the chance of an immune system response like the release of histamine. Since the concentration of pollen spores is low, ideally, the production of anti-bodies shouldn’t trigger symptoms similar to an allergic reaction.

In addition to finding “local honey”, be sure to purchase “raw” honey. This means that it has not been pasteurized, or heated to more than 120 degrees. While pasteurization can help keep the honey from fermenting, it kills the active pollen spores that your body needs to help build up its immunity.

Recommended amounts are about 1-2 teaspoons per day. Try to start taking it at least a month before allergy season, or take it throughout the year. Adding the honey to a cup of green tea is a great way to incorporate it into the diet.

Scientific research has not determined honey to be the cure for seasonal allergies, namely hay fever, but many people claim that their intake of local honey has had a direct correlation to the reduction in their allergy symptoms.

Note: Be sure not to serve honey to infants under 2 years of age.

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