Seasonal allergies can disrupt a lovely day. Nothing is worse than being outdoors and feeling miserable with one or more symptoms, such as headache, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, congestion, and burning, watery eyes. A recent survey revealed 49% of Americans have allergies, and 27% of households have at least one sufferer.
Beekeepers offer a natural remedy, local honey or pollen, whereas the medical industry’s solution is allergy shots and medication.
The fact is that many doctors fail to suggest non-medical or natural treatments because the United States healthcare system is a for-profit venture. Their bottom line is the primary objection to naturally treating allergic rhinitis, also called hay fever and seasonal allergies. Alternatively, they might suggest allergy shots or over-the-counter (OTC) treatments, which continue to support the profitable medical-industrial complex.
Moreover, some doctors do not understand how bees gather pollen. For example, Dr. Katie Marks-Cogan. She is a board-certified physician specializing in allergies, asthma, and sinus disease.
According to Real Simple, “While local honey may contain pollen from the immediate environment, Dr. Marks-Cogan says that it’s not the kind of pollen that allergists are referring to when discussing seasonal allergies, which is “pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds, and is wind-driven,” she says. “Pollen that bees come in contact with when hunting for nectar is flower pollen.”
When asked if he thought honey would lessen the symptoms of seasonal allergies, Dr. Timothy Wong said: “it’s a bit of a complicated answer, and I don’t think you’ll get a simple yes or no.” He noted the lack of clinical trials and evidence needed to prove pollen’s efficacy in helping sufferers of seasonal allergies.
Treating Seasonal Allergies With Honey
Yes, some allergen pollens are airborne, and bees randomly collect pollen when they fly. However, allergists’ argument falls short since bees typically fly two to five miles to find nectar and pollen. In other words, components in local honey.
Andrew Cote of Andrew’s Honey in New York City explains the thinking behind using local honey as a defense against seasonal allergies originates from this logic: “If you ingest the pollens that bring you discomfort, you build up an immunity against them.”
When choosing raw and unpasteurized honey, it should come from community flowers, trees, and weeds where a person with seasonal allergies lives. Start with one teaspoon a day, gradually increasing until reaching one tablespoon of honey for every 50 pounds of a person’s weight.
BCB Honey says, “You can divide the dose throughout the day as desired through the allergy season.” They suggest starting to eat honey one week before seasonal allergies begin. However, Cote advises people to start up to four weeks before allergy season.
- People with diabetes and bee sting allergies should consult a naturopathic doctor. These doctors combine Western science, natural therapies, and holistic methods to treat health conditions. They can answer questions about using local honey and pollen to relieve seasonal allergies.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that “honey can contain the bacteria that cause infant botulism, so do not feed honey to children younger than 12 months.”
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
CNBC: Myth or fact? Eating local honey can cure seasonal allergies: ‘It’s a complicated answer,’ doctor says; by Renee Onque
BCB Honey Farm: Benefits of Raw, Unpasteurized Local Honey for Seasonal Allergies
National Library of Medicine: Ingestion of honey improves the symptoms of allergic rhinitis: evidence from a randomized placebo-controlled trial in the East Coast of Peninsular; by Ahmad, Mohd Z., Jihan Wan Din, Wan S., Che Hussin, Che M., and Ishlah Leman
VeryWell Health: Honey for Allergies and Asthma; by Daniel More, MD, and Medically Reviewed by Jurairat J. Molina, MD