Raw, Local Honey...Does it work as a "cure" for allergies?
Allergies can be miserable. If you are like me, you love spring and fall, but not what they do to your sinuses. Several years ago, someone told me that if you take 1 teaspoon of raw, unfiltered, local honey per day; your allergies will be cured. I was skeptical. At the time I was on my third oral medication in addition to a steroidal nasal spray, steroid inhaler, and emergency inhaler for allergies...needless to say, I was willing to try anything!
So, I tried it. No magic there. After a few weeks, I noticed that the allergies were a tiny bit better...so I stopped using the steroid inhaler. By the end of the summer, most of my symptoms were gone, but that was pretty normal. I stopped using the oral medication and the nasal spray.
Fall came around. The allergies started up again, but just a little milder this time. I decided to eschew the oral medicine and only used the nasal spray. It worked. The following spring, When the allergy symptoms began, I started taking honey, and they vanished completely! It seemed to be a cumulative effect, over a long period of time.
But the bottom line, at least for me, was that I THREW AWAY THREE MEDICATIONS. Yay! The key, I am told, is that the honey should be raw and unfiltered, so that the pollen and enzymes are still intact in the honey; and that it be local, so that local allergens are present in the "processed" product.
Is this scientific? No. Not many studies have been performed on the use of local honey as a remedy for allergies. Most large-scale studies are expensive. Drug companies have money, and probably are not interested in spending it on "home" remedies!
The best way to know whether this works for you is to try it. Some cautions:
- If you are highly allergic to pollen or bees, check with your doctor FIRST.
- Children under the age of 1 should NEVER have honey. In up to 13% of honey samples, a small amount of Clostridium botulinum was found. This can cause infant botulism, a rare but sometimes fatal reaction. DO NOT take chances with this! In our family, we do not give honey to children under 2, even though it is technically safe to do so.
If you have tried local honey, please comment! What was your dosage, what were the results, and how quickly (or slowly) did it work?