Can Honey Cure Seasonal Allergies?
I heard the other day that eating local, organic, raw, unpasteurized honey acted like an immunotherapy or like a vaccine to ward agains seasonal allergies!
Whaaat!!!?! Could this be true?! So I jumped into the Google rabbit hole and did some digging.
The general idea is that if you eat honey made from the pollen in your local area, you will be consuming the antidote to your allergies, because it is that same pollen that is creating the allergens in the air that you are breathing… or in most cases trying desperately to breath.
Here’s what my quick digging found out:
- Local, organic, unpasteurized, raw honey should, and most likely does, contain actual pollen so it would support this theory.
- Only problem is, most of us are not allergic to the pollen that the honey bees like to saddle up to, so this would be like getting the chicken pox vaccine to ward against the mumps.
- The 2 most referenced studies on PubMed (this study and this study) 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.
Gah! Too bad. I was so hoping to deliver a smoking gun here. BUT all is not lost on the honey band wagon.
There are so many other amazing health benefits to eating local, raw, unpasteurized, organic honey. Honey contains antioxidants, a wide array of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. It has been known to heals wounds, burns, cataracts, skin ulcers, sores and scrapes. It kills bacteria and germs and reduces inflammation. Its amino acids and vitamin C speed the growth of healthy tissue. And my favourite, it’s a natural source of energy. It enlivens the body, makes muscles stronger, refreshes nerves, cheers up, and sharpens the mind.
Honey Uses & Benefits:
- Can be used to treat the harsh symptoms of acid reflux (just eat a teaspoon of it straight from the jar)
- A Good Source of Antioxidants: Raw honey contains antioxidants called phenolic compounds. Some types of honey have as many antioxidants as fruits and vegetables.
- Filled with Phytonutrients: Phytonutrients are compounds found in plants that help protect the plant from harm. Phytonutrients provide both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, which help you maintain good health. Because honey is made from plants, it also has phytonutrients. These valuable nutrients are unique to raw honey and disappear when honey is heavily processed.
- Help for Digestive Issues: Honey is proven to be effective as a treatment for Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a common cause of peptic ulcers. (Peptic ulcers occur in the stomach or digestive system.) Taking 1-2 teaspoons on an empty stomach is said to soothe pain and help with the healing process.
- Soothe a Sore Throat: Have a cold? Try a spoonful of honey. Honey is an old sore throat remedy. Try adding it to hot tea with lemon. It also works as a cough suppressant. Research shows that honey is as effective as dextromethorphan, a common over-the-counter cough medicine ingredient, in treating a cough. Just eat one or two teaspoons straight.
- Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties: Raw honey can kill unwanted bacteria and fungus. It naturally contains hydrogen peroxide, an antiseptic. Several hospitals in Europe have used Manuka honey to fight methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a type of staph bacterial infection that’s become resistant to antibiotics.
- Heal Wounds: Manuka honey is also used in medical settings to treat wounds because it’s an effective germ killer. Researchers believe this is because it has additional antibacterial properties besides the natural hydrogen peroxide. Studies show that Manuka honey can boost healing time and reduce infections in wounds. However, the honey used in hospital settings is medical grade, meaning it’s safe and sterile. You shouldn’t expect to treat injuries with the honey you buy from a grocery store.
- And there is more! Here are other amazing medical uses for honey.
So, you may not find immediate relief for your seasonal allergies with honey, but a great quality local supply of this sweet and powerful elixir is not only a great tool in your medicine cabinet, it can replace processed sugars in pantry and help you fight those pesky cancer causing free radicals.
Learn All About Honey: ontariohoney.ca
Where to buy local honey in Ontario: ontariobee.com