Benefits From Local Raw Honey for Allergy Relief
I have suffered with seasonal allergies all my life, and they seem to have changed over the years to include more than one season. When I was little, my mother said my allergy flares were triggered by ragweed and goldenrod in the fall. I still have allergic reactions in the fall, but now spring pine cones and summer cut hayfields also contribute to my misery, plus a variety of other pollen-producing plants that I don't even know the identity of.
Boy, do I wish that my mother knew what today's research shows about local raw honey, which is part of my daily diet to help alleviate allergy symptoms. While there is some controversy (articles listed below) about whether local honey actually works, I prefer to go the natural route.
Spring, summer, fall—beautiful seasons to be enjoyed by all, but when you have allergies you don’t always "feel the love" for those seasons the way others do.
Whether caused by blooming foliage in the spring, hay fields in the summer, or ragweed and goldenrod in the fall, seasonal allergies can debilitate you to the point that you don’t want to open your windows. You definitely don’t want to go out to enjoy nature only for the invisible pollen to make your nose and eyes itch, not to mention all the fluid that runs from each orifice. You don't dare go anywhere without Kleenex or a handkerchief. Depending on what type of pollen you are allergic to in your local area, you may suffer during just one of these seasons. And the worst-case scenario is that you may suffer through all of these seasons, making for a miserable existence depending on the pollen count from day to day. I used to only suffer during fall, but now I have issues with pollen all year round.
Many allergy sufferers take either over-the-counter medications like Benadryl or Xyzal, or doctor-prescribed medications. Many times, however, the medicines are as debilitating as the allergies because you feel so drowsy it's difficult to function. Many go in for allergy shots to boost their immune system against the pollen. Sometimes shots are helpful, but sometimes the pollen is so bad they do not help.
I have found a simple way to successfully reduce my allergies. The answer for me is honey—but it cannot be just any honey. It must be local honey.
Why Raw Honey?
If you want allergy relief, you must use raw honey. When heat is used to process honey, it causes the raw honey to lose many of its vitamins and enzymes that are naturally healthy making it less effective. But more importantly, the raw honey has essential, natural pollen, bits of honeycomb, and even bits of bees’ wings that could be lost during heat processing. Small amounts of these natural ingredients will help to build the immune system against pollen. It is also much less expensive to take raw honey than it is to pay the extra money for allergy shots or bottles of medications, and it is so delicious, too.
Local Raw Honey
The benefit of local raw honey is that it contains the pollen in your area. If you watch the local news or Google search your area for your local pollen count, you can see the types of pollen that are causing your allergy symptoms. The bees in the area collect pollen from the different sources and create honey. Pollen allergies are caused by an over-exposure to specific pollens in your area. For instance, in my area we have spring flowers, pine, weeds, and oak, to name just a few. These pollens are collected by bees, either directly or when the pollen is airborne. Once the bees create honey, the pollen is transferred to the raw honey.
Other Nutritional Benefits of Raw Honey
Taking raw honey not only helps with pollen allergies, but it is packed full of vitamins. Raw honey is its own multi-vitamin. It includes energy packed vitamins, such as vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6. It also includes the strong antioxidants of vitamin C. Raw honey is also rich in minerals, such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, and phosphate.
Why Local Raw Honey Helps Allergy Sufferers
The local pollens that are transferred into the raw honey can be taken to build immunity. If you are able to take two teaspoons of local raw honey a day two months before your allergy season begins, you can ward off many of your allergy symptoms. If you are in the midst of allergy season, begin taking the local raw honey immediately. This is not to say you should not consult your doctor or you should ignore your doctor’s directions. It is just a less expensive way of dealing with allergies.
You can find local raw honey at farmer’s markets and even your local grocery stores. You may even know a local bee keeper who sells raw local honey. The great thing about honey is that it keeps forever; in other words, honey does not spoil, which only adds to its benefits.
Warning: Infants and Honey
Infants under one year of age should not be given any type of honey or products with honey in the ingredients. Because bees create the honey and there are many bacteria associated with the process, there are small amounts of bacteria in the honey. While the level of bacteria does not bother most adults, it is too much for an infant’s system and can cause botulism, which could lead to death. Doctors advise that parents stay away from anything that has processed or raw honey in it. If your infant has allergies, speak with your pediatrician.
Have you used local raw honey to help your seasonal allergies?
Advice about local raw honey and allergies is not meant to replace medical advice. Speak with a medical physician, especially if there is any chance that you could be allergic to honey.
Research about Local Raw Honey
- Dear Mark: Seasonal Allergies | Mark's Daily Apple
By numerous accounts, this spring has been the most brutal in years for seasonal allergy sufferers. (Do I see some nodding heads out there?) As much as eve
- 7 Natural Remedies for Allergy Relief | Wellness Mama
Get natural allergy relief with these natural remedies including herbs like nettle, supplements like quercetin and remedies like apple cider vinegar, honey and more.
- Allergy Relief: Can Local Honey Help?
Some say a spoonful of honey makes the sneezing and sniffling symptoms of allergies go away. WebMD asked the experts.
© 2012 Susan Holland