If seasonal allergies prevent you from enjoying the great outdoors, consider trying an old folk remedy.It’s not another bitter pill to swallow, but a sweet treat that you will look forward to taking.
Honey has long been known to have a lot of natural healing benefits. Its high natural sugar content makes it antimicrobial. It was used in Ancient Egypt as an embalming ingredient and for the treatment of cuts and burns. The Ancient Greeks treated skin disorders with honey and the Romans used it to treat wounds. It was still in use, for wound treatment, as recently as World War II. Honey fell out of use in mainstream medicine with the appearance of antibiotics, but still has a role in alternative medicine.
To understand how honey may help with seasonal allergies, you must first have and understanding of the cause of the disorder. Seasonal allergies occur when the body responds to pollen (from trees and other flowering plants) by producing histamine. Thus causing the classic, seasonal allergy symptoms: itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing and wheezing.
The cross-pollination of plants occurs when bees and some other winged insects fly from flower to flower searching for nectar. Pollen spores stick to the limbs of the bees and are deposited onto the other flowers they come into contact with. However, some of the pollen stays on the bees and makes its way into the honey that they produce.
How Honey May Help
Consuming locally produced honey exposes your body to small amount of the pollen found in your environment. It’s thought that the honey will act as a natural drug, desensitizing your body to the effects of the local pollen and preventing a full-blown immune response.
The proponents of this method for dealing with seasonal allergies stress that the more local the honey is, the more likely that you will find benefit from this treatment. Consuming local honey helps to ensure that you will ingest the same types of pollen that are triggering your allergies. There are no hard and fast rules about how local the honey has to be, but if you can find a source within a few miles of where you live that would be ideal.
The common recommendation is to take between 2 to 3 teaspoons of honey each day. It’s a good idea to start this process several months prior to seasonal allergy season.
Although many swear by this folk remedy, there has been little scientific research done on honey’s ability to fend off seasonal allergies. There is, however, some anecdotal evidence that may make this treatment worth a try.
Keep in mind that some people can have an allergic reaction to honey. It’s also important to never give honey to children under the age of one. Their immune systems are not completely developed and honey may sometimes harbor bacteria that can harm infants.