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Honey for Allergies

What Are Allergies?

Highlights

  1. Some people consider local honey to be a good natural treatment for seasonal allergies. Local honey is produced near where you live.
  2. Consuming local honey may help you develop immunity to local pollen. This is similar to how allergy shots work.
  3. Studies about honey as an allergy treatment have been inconclusive.

Seasonal allergies are the plague of many who love the great
outdoors. They usually begin in February and last until August or September. Seasonal
allergies occur when plants start to produce pollen. Pollen is a powder-like
substance that helps plants make seeds and reproduce.

People can inhale pollen, which leads to seasonal allergies.
The allergies occur when the body perceives the pollen as a foreign invader,
similar to a bacteria or virus. In response, the body mounts an attack. This
results in symptoms such as:

  • watery and itchy eyes
  • a runny nose
  • sore throat
  • coughing
  • headaches
  • trouble breathing

There are over-the-counter treatments available for seasonal
allergies, but many people prefer natural treatments instead. One example
rumored to help with seasonal allergies is local honey. Local honey is raw,
unprocessed honey made close to where you live. This honey is rumored to help
allergies, but scientists and doctors are skeptical.

Why Is Honey Believed to
Help Allergies?

The idea behind honey treating allergies is similar to that
of a person getting allergy shots. But while allergy shots have been proven to be
effective, honey hasn’t. When a person eats local honey, they are
thought to be ingesting local pollen. Over time, a person may become
less-sensitive to this pollen. As a result, they may experience fewer seasonal
allergy symptoms.

It’s true that bees pollinate flowers and make honey. But the
amounts of pollen from the environment and plants are thought to be very small
and varied. When a person eats local honey, they have no guarantee how much (if
any) pollen they’re being exposed to. This differs from allergy shots that
purposefully desensitize a person to pollen at standard measurements.

What Research Has Been
Conducted Regarding Honey and Allergies?

One study
examined the effect of pasteurized honey on allergy symptoms compared to local
honey. The results showed that neither group who ate honey experienced relief
from seasonal allergies.

However, a different study found that honey eaten at a high dose
did improve a person’s allergy symptoms over a period of eight weeks.

These studies have conflicting results and small sample
sizes. This makes it hard to determine if local honey could reliably help a
person reduce their seasonal allergy symptoms. Larger-scale studies are needed
to confirm or recommend a certain amount of honey.

What You Should Know Before
You Use Honey as a Treatment

Doctors and researchers haven’t recommended a certain amount
of honey a person should eat each day to relieve their seasonal allergy
symptoms. Plus, there are no guarantees how much pollen may be in a serving of
local honey.

Note that you should not give honey to children under the
age of 1. This is because raw, unprocessed honey has a risk for botulism in
infants. Also, some people who have a severe allergy to pollen can experience a
serious allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis after eating honey. This can
cause extreme difficulty breathing. Others may experience allergic reactions
such as itching or swelling of the mouth, throat, or skin.

Conclusions on Honey and
Allergies

Honey hasn’t been scientifically proven to reduce allergies.
However, it can still be a tasty alternative to sugary foods. Some people also
use it as a cough suppressant. If you have seasonal allergies, you may need to
look for a medically proven treatment. Examples include over-the-counter
allergy medicines or simply avoiding going outside as much as possible. 

Posted by: Dr.Health

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