A good number of us have heard that eating local, unprocessed or raw honey can help with allergies. Is there some truth to this claim? For seasonal allergies, the symptoms can be managed with over the counter drugs. But for certain types of allergies, they tend to be persistence. Things that ignite allergies can range from sunlight to onions and the symptoms vary considerably. Multiple people get tired of using allergy pills, thus they turn to natural remedies like honey to relieve the symptoms. While most people are willing to try the healing power of honey, they should be careful because unprocessed honey can result in an immediate allergic reaction involving mouth, throat or skin. This is because of either pollen or bee part contaminants. Other than that, let’s see if indeed local honey can help your allergy.
Why Is Local Honey Believed to Help Allergy?
The idea of using local honey as a remedy for allergy is based on a principle called immunotherapy. Here, you employ some concepts from allergy shots, which have been proven to be effective. In fact, many medical treatment centers for allergies use this theory to treat their patients. In the case of honey, eating small amounts is believed to desensitize the immune system to an allergen over time. Eventually, the body is expected to stop reacting and the patient’s allergies disappear.
But does this really happen? People believe that since local honey contains pollen, then it works the same way as allergy shots. But the problem is, there is no way to know exactly what’s in your honey. And with immunotherapy, the allergens which the patient is allergic to are isolated for the cure to work.
What to Expect with Local Honey
Unfortunately, local honey is unlikely to help with your allergies. Bees tend to collect pollen from brightly colored flowers and pollen from these blooms rarely thus chances of causing allergies are very minimal. However, pollen from weeds, trees, and grasses are the main cause of seasonal allergies. Therefore, even though local honey has pollen, you might not get allergy symptoms from it. Also, according to doctors’ research, honey doesn’t work. In the study, people with allergies ate one tablespoon of local honey per day. In the end, their symptoms didn’t get better. As a matter of fact, they deteriorated.
Health Risk of Local Honey
You might still be convinced that local honey is the cure you’ve been looking for. But when people talk of local honey, they are not referring to the kind at the supermarket that comes in plastic containers. They are talking about the raw, unfiltered and unprocessed honey found in the grocery stores. It might be full of impurities like:
- Bee venom
- Bee body parts
- Other contaminants
Although rarely, eating this type of honey can cause serious allergic reactions with symptoms like itching, hives, and swelling. Some people experience anaphylactic shock, which is a more severe kind of breathing difficulties.
Good Things About Honey
While local honey may not be helpful with allergies, research shows that it can alleviate other symptoms. For example, it’s a perfect remedy for a cough. This is due to the presence of antioxidants in it which helps fights viruses. You can add it to a cup of tea or water, but keep in mind that children below one year shouldn’t be given honey because it contains a toxic that leads to a dangerous condition called botulism. It can be deadly in infants.
Symptoms of An Allergy
Allergies are very common in people who love outdoors since they occur when plants start to produce pollen grains. Pollen appears in powder-like form and it helps plants make seeds and reproduce. When people inhale it, they get allergies because it’s treated by the body as a foreign invader. This makes the body launch an attack and the symptoms include:
- Watery and itchy eyes
- Running nose
- Trouble breathing
There is no concrete proof that local honey can help your allergy. But it can be used as a tasty alternative to sugary foods or in suppressing coughs. Other benefits of honey include wound healing when used as a dietary supplement. For seasonal allergies, you need to seek medically proven alternatives. Plus, local honey might contain enough pollen to trigger the immune system in the wrong way. But from those who have tried honey and felt as if it was working, studies say that it’s likely that you felt that way due to the placebo effect. This will fade away with time and the allergy symptoms will come back.
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