Hey, Honey, Can You Help Me With My Allergies?

Published in: Daily Photo

Have you ever heard of honey to treat bad allergies? Like seasonal sniffles, sneezes and itchy eyes? I had an interesting conversation with Chelsea, a longtime MBB reader, crazy cat lady/bunny lady and all-around cool gal (hey, Chels!), in the comments the other day about eating local honey to help with allergies.

Mine have been pretty bad this year, but I’m always trying to avoid taking too many real-deal allergy meds because, you know, I just don’t want to take them too often, and the ones that work for me also make me sleepy, so, I’m open to other alternatives…

With the honey, as I understand it, the idea is that when you eat local honey — that is, honey from bees that live in your area — it exposes you to some of your local allergens and can help immunize you against big-time allergic reactions.

I like the sound of that. :) So I went to a farmers’ market on my lunch break today.

Got some white peaches (with the leaves still on) and a small jar of locally sourced honey.

The guy running the stand even said that about a third of all of his customers are people looking for help with their allergies.

He had a whole bunch of different honey brews and flavors. The one I got, and the one he recommended, is called Honey So Fresh, which is local honey harvested very recently, because he said that the most important thing is that the bees were exposed to the same allergens that are bothering you right now.

He suggested not adding it to anything hot, either, so no coffee or tea, and said that the amount you have doesn’t matter as much as how fresh it is. Maybe a teaspoon twice a day. Of course it doesn’t hurt that I absolutely love honey.

So that’s what I’m going to do for the next couple weeks, and I’ll report back to let you know if it helped. Hopefully my allergies chill the eff out, man!

Maybe I’ll cut up this white peach and drizzle a little honey on it, yum!

Have you ever tried local honey to treat your allergies? Do you think it helped?

19 Comments

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  1. Chelsea says:

    I’m so honored! I was a little skeptical at first, it sounded a little woo-woo, but it really seemed to help! And it was delicious.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for mentioned this! I really hope it helps.

      How is your eye today? Doing better?

      • Chelsea says:

        Feels great! Back to mostly normal! I think I’ll be able to wear contacts for hula hoop class tomorrow (glasses work, but they get knocked off once in a while, LOL! Not as bad as in the aerial classes where I’m hanging upside down!)

  2. Alison M says:

    We use local honey to help with allergies too :) Our nutritionist recommends wildflower honey as the best choice. I also give it to my kids (after turning a year old) in place of cough medicine. It really does the trick! I hope you find some relief.
    Alison M recently posted … Monday’s Most Wanted- Vol 20

  3. Deanna says:

    I have been thinking about trying this, too. My allergies have been horrible ever since I moved away from my home state, and I have to take Zyrtec every day (even in Winter!) to function. I hope that honey will help us both!

  4. Icequeen81 says:

    Please let me know, today I woke up good, but two days ago I was just sneezing and taking meds, I really try to avoid the med, I do , but last week I had to take them again, and you know what is worse when the sneeze is accompanied by migraine. I love honey too, Not sure if they really make local I saw a few with our local name on it so hope is really made here. If it help I will be happy. I’m just sneezing right now again.

  5. Bree says:

    Funny I was just saying I need to do this. Typing this with a very stuffy nose! Allergies suck and mine are raging!

    Funny thing allergy medicine does not make me drowsy. Seems like everybody has that side affect. Lucky me!

  6. helene says:

    I love honey, I eat it by the spoonful and I have seasonal allergies as well. Please stop spreading medical myth such as honey helps with seasonal allergies. It’s just not true. You can find tons of relevant websites that will explain to you why it is not (webmd, mayoclinic.com)

    An exerpt from this site: http://www.uamshealth.com/?id=867&sid=1
    “However, there are several issues related to the ingestion of honey for allergy therapy purposes that make its routine use concerning. First, much of the ‘pollen’ in honey is not the type that humans are allergic to (flowers and other blooming plants). Second, while local honey main contain a few antigens that a particular patient may be allergic to, it will likely contain many that the patient is NOT allergic to. Subsequently, a susceptible individual who frequently consumes the honey may develop an allergy to these other allergens. Anaphylactic or life-threatening allergic reactions to honey are often reported in the scientific literature so even if it should be beneficial, there are potentially serious risks associated with it.”

    • Karen says:

      Hi Helene,

      Thank you for visiting today, and I appreciate your comments. This sounds like something very important to you. Thank you for adding to the discussion and helping people decide for themselves, but as a layperson I’m going to try the honey anyway and will share my results.

      Seriously, I want it to help me, or at least to think that it helps, because placebo effect or not, my allergies are bugging me big time this year, and I’ll take any relief I can get. The actual OTC medications I used to turn to just aren’t working well for me anymore.

    • Jax says:

      Came here to point out that this is mostly Pseudo-science, glad to see Helene already got there.
      There has been one small scale study into Birch allergies that showed a possible correlation other studies by reputable organisations have shown nothing more than a placebo effect.

      This is a typical misunderstanding of an actual medical process (allergen desensitisation) sold by people with no real training.

      The main problem was described by Helene,
      1) There is not enough of the correct pollen to have an effect.
      2) even if there was, eating it is not the same as exposing your nasal mucus membranes or eyes to it, different tissues react in different way.
      3) Even if it was about absorbing it into the blood the pollen would be destroyed by the stomach acids, enzymes and bile before it could possibly be absorbed.

      If you want other options to deal with allergies then please talk to a medical professional.

      • Karen says:

        Hi Jax,

        This turned into a very interesting discussion. :) In all fairness, the actual scientific understanding of allergies and how the medical community treats them is vastly inadequate for many allergy sufferers, myself included, so I hope you understand my willingness to try a pseudo-treatment with a hopeful eye. I think anyone who’s had an allergy shot or been to an allergist and came away without relief might feel the same way.

        And heck, some pseudo-sciences actually turn out to be based in fact (fingers crossed!). For me this one seems harmless and delicious enough to try.

  7. Amber says:

    I’m a big supporter of honey, and natural health is a big part of my (and my kids) lives. I love to think that local honey helps my allergies, but I still am on Zyrtec as well. Maybe it’s just not enough for my crazy allergies! I swear by local raw honey as a throat soother. I hope the honey works for you Karen! If it doesn’t at least you enjoy it! :)
    Amber recently posted … My Beauty Bunny OCC Plastic Passion Lip Tars

  8. shaf says:

    U shud try a ginger shot (juice 1inch ginger plus 1 while red apple).

    Ginger is a natural anti-histamine, anti-inflammatory veggie.

  9. Allison C says:

    I was reading about this idea recently. Although the source I was reading said that there was no evidence from testing that local honey actually worked, my feeling about it is why not? It’s delicious anyway :)
    Allison C recently posted … Milani Limited Edition Matte Baked Bronzers

  10. Iris says:

    I’ve heard about honey helping allergies. I shall share with friends who are allergic. :)

  11. Sylirael says:

    Honestly, I don’t think the honey will work to ‘cure’ allergies, but it’s fresh delicious honey, so dig in! It might at least help with a scratchy throat if you get one from allergies, and it’ll taste great and make you feel better in the meantime! Mostly I got distracted by the peaches *drool*.

    Have you had any tests to see if you can figure out exactly what you’re allergic to during the season? I’m allergic to house dust (= I’m allergic to *everywhere*, *all the time*), so my best treatment (aside from medication) is avoidance/lots of cleaning. If there is a specific plant you’re super allergic to during spring, maybe in your garden, then get rid of it?

    Excuse me while I come up to the northern hemisphere for some more summer stone fruit…I’m not ready to eat winter fruit yet!
    Sylirael recently posted … Nude Dungeoneering! The Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette Review

  12. Erin says:

    Bee pollen is also great unless you’re allergic to bees!
    Erin recently posted … Banana Republic Marimekko Collection

  13. Make-up-deer says:

    if this can help… I’m going to eat tons of local honey everyday!!!! I’ve a strong allergy and meds don’t work T___T now I hate spring while a few years ago it was my favorite time of the year…
    Make-up-deer recently posted … PaciugoPedia 2.0 #7 e #10 Il gran finale

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