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Does Eating Honey Help With Allergies

How The Theory About Eating Local Honey Got Started

Does eating local honey help prevent allergies?

“The theory got started because local, unprocessed honey was known to contain local pollens,” says Lakiea Wright, MD, an allergist at Women’s Hospital in Boston and medical director at Thermo Fisher Scientific. “Raw honey is more likely to contain local pollen because it isn’t processed. During processing , pollen is removed from honey.”

When it comes to eating local honey for allergies, the idea is that you ingest local pollen and eventually become less affected by it. This allergy treatment method is called allergen desensitization.

“The concept of allergen desensitization is based on exposing your body to small, escalating doses of allergen to desensitize your allergy cells,” says Dr. Wright. In the case of local honey, you would theoretically be ingesting;pollen-containing honey in small amounts regularly to minimize seasonal allergy symptoms.

“With regular exposure to an allergen, your allergy cells become desensitized and are less likely to fire off and cause symptoms. Allergen immunotherapy is based on this concept of desensitization,” explains Dr. Wright.

Honey For Allergies: Does It Work

A common natural remedy is using local honey for allergies. Its widely believed that eating local honey will expose an allergic person to small amounts of local pollen, which will desensitize them to that allergen and improve their allergy symptoms. Unfortunately, this is not scientifically proven. Also, eating honey can pose risks to people with severe allergies or children.

Natural Allergy Relief Options

What helps relieve allergies fast? Watching what you eat, getting plenty of fresh air and drinking enough water are some of the natural remedies that can relieve allergies by improving functions of the immune system.

It may take several weeks for your symptoms to subside, but they are likely to be better kept under control when you tackle the root causes. Here are nine ways to get natural allergy relief.

1. Eat an Anti-Inflammatory, Alkaline Diet

First and foremost, start eating an anti-inflammatory diet to reduce your risk for allergies and many other health problems.;Caring for your body with nutrient-dense foods gives your immune system the ability to repair itself, bringing it back into balance so it can fight off common allergies in your environment.

Here are some of the best foods and ingredients to incorporate into your diet to help you beat allergies:

Although its not abundant in many foods, vitamin D is also important for immune function and may help manage allergy symptoms. In fact, certain studies have shown that children who live farther from the equator are more likely to develop allergies and suffer higher rates of hospital admissions due to allergic reactions.

You can get enough vitamin D by spending about 15 minutes in the sun most days without sunscreen and by eating foods like whole milk and some mushrooms for natural allergy relief.

2.;Local Raw Honey

3.;Apple Cider Vinegar

4. Quercetin

5.;Neti Pot

6. Stinging Nettle

  • Ginger
  • Horehound

8. Probiotics

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Honey Has Health Risks

When people talk about eating honey to prevent allergies, they donât mean the kind at the supermarket that comes in a plastic bear. Itâs often local, unprocessed honey. And it can have some pretty nasty stuff in it, from bee parts to mold spores and bacteria. These things are usually removed during commercial processing.

Itâs rare, but eating unprocessed honey can cause a serious allergic reaction. You might have itching, hives, or swelling of your mouth, throat, or skin. The culprit: pollen or bee parts in the unprocessed honey.

âOne of the reasons I never recommend unprocessed honey for allergies is because someone may be allergic to it and not even know,â Ogden says. âI worry about local honey that hasnât been processed or tested.â

And if youâre allergic to bees, itâs possible unprocessed honey could contain some bee venom and cause a severe reaction, Ogden says.

Do Yourself A Favor And Stop Reaching For The Honey

People Are Eating Honey For Their Spring AllergiesBut ...

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Most people have allergies, and it becomes much more apparent during particular seasons or after moving to a brand new location. I personally suffered from this firsthand after moving to a new town for college. No matter how casual allergies may seem, we all know they are extremely miserable.

Gif courtesy of

Naturally, the first step is to begin to seek out solutions to these pesky and unforgiving allergies.;Suddenly, the word honey begins to become more of a necessity than usual, specifically raw honey. It has been said for awhile now that eating local honey will help cure your allergies.

After whining about my allergies, a local from the town that I had just moved to suggested this cure to me. However, not really sure and;simply lacking the willpower to go find and purchase raw honey, I stuck with what I knew: Zyrtec. Although, when I saw friends or other acquaintances suffering from the same seasonal allergies, I began to suggest to them what I was told, to eat raw honey. Unfortunately, this claim is;false.

Most allergies derive from airborne pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds. These are not pollinated by bees, although if some happened to be picked up by bees, the amount of allergenic pollen in the honey is typically very small, as bees dont intentionally incorporate this pollen into the honey.

Gif courtesy of

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The Evidence Against Raw Local Honey

Sadly, its highly unlikely that eating raw local honey will cure your seasonal allergies. There is very little scientific evidence to suggest any sort of healing effect. Of the studies that do exist, the sample sizes are too small to generalize to the U.S. population, and the results are conflicting at best.2

The honey cure is supported primarily by anecdotal evidence. While anecdotes can be helpful, they are also subjective and frequently riddled with errors and disproportionality overrepresent positive outcomes. For example, if a persons allergy symptoms stop after two months of eating honey, they may assume the honey cured their allergies. However, it is also possible and much more likely that trees in their area stopped releasing pollen because of seasonal changes.

If You Eat Honey Every Day It Helps Soothe Anxiety And Calm Nerves

Anxiety is pervasive in modern culture. We spend billions of dollars on everything from Netflix subscriptions to calming teas, to booze, therapy, and beach trips in an attempt to try to quiet the nerves that we experience from all the stress in our lives. For centuries, humans have been using honey to relieve stress, even by adding it to warm milk as a pre-sleep aid. There are oodles of stress-relief beverages from all over the world that include honey as a key ingredient, including the ashwagandha and turmeric-filled;Moon Milk.

Sleep is a key component in keeping anxiety levels low. If we aren’t getting the right amount, it can really throw everything off-kilter and induce stress in our lives. If you drink or eat honey every day, it;can aid;you in getting you the sleep you need, leading to reduced stress and potentially reduced anxiety.

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If You Eat Honey Every Day Your Athletic Performance May Improve

There is a good reason bears are famous for being unafraid to get stung by bees that are protecting their hive. Chock full of carbohydrates, honey is an important natural, nutritional, and energy-giving food source. And let’s face it it is also delicious. That’s why athletes around the world turn to the substance to aid in athletic performance.

The USADA refers to carbohydrates as “The Master Fuel.” According to the USADA website, “a diet rich in carbohydrates increases both endurance and intermittent high-intensity performance because of the extra store of carbohydrates in the muscles and liver, called glycogen.”;When in training mode, many athletes reach for sports gel to help them with endurance. Turns out honey is a natural alternative. Regarding a recent study of honey vs. sports gels, Richard Kreider, a principal investigator at the University of Memphis Exercise and Sport Nutrition Laboratory, told Scientific American, “We were pleased to find that honey, a ‘cocktail’ of various natural sugars, performed just as well.” So it just might be worth it to eat honey every day to boost your endurance.

Introducing Medicine Or Malarkey Does A Spoonful Of Honey Help Your Allergies Go Away


Spring is finally here! That means sunshine, shorts and, possibly, sneezing. Those beautiful flowering bushes and trees that herald the arrival of warmer weather can also mean misery for allergy sufferers. With all of the home remedies out there, you may have heard of the local honey cure. The idea is that repeated exposure to small amounts of allergens will help an allergy sufferer build up a tolerance and experience fewer symptoms. Also, honey has been shown to be a cough suppressant, and it has some anti-inflammatory effects. But does that add up to a cure for allergies?

The answer is no. The purported beneficial effects of eating local honey have not been reproduced in controlled, scientific studies. This may be because the pollen bees pick up usually isnt from the oak, ragweed and juniper plants that are to blame for your sneezing fits. Much of the relief people experience appears to be a placebo effect. For now, think of honey as a sweet treat, not a cure.

Thats not to say that some homegrown, nonmedical remedies wont provide some relief. Here are a few things to try before seeking a medical intervention:

Invest in a neti pot.

These teapot-like devices flush the nasal cavity with a saline solution and temporarily relieve nasal congestion. Just be sure to use distilled, sterile or filtered water and keep your neti pot very clean.

Keep your indoor air clean.

Keep your indoor air dry.

Limit outdoor exposure.

Investigate some natural extracts.

Read Also: Can Allergies Cause Asthma Attacks

How Local Honey Helps Protect Against Allergies

When raw, local honey is consumed over a long period of time, its been proven time and time again to help lessen the symptoms of people who have mild allergies.

While there isnt concrete medical data on exactly why it works, most doctors believe consuming honey affects people much like getting a vaccine does.

First and foremost, its important to remember how honey is made.

Honey comes from bees. And bees get the energy and nutrients they need to produce honey while ingesting nectar, which is often coated with pollen.

As honey is produced in a bees stomach, pollen naturally becomes one of honeys ingredients.

From there, honey is collected and placed into containers which we buy.

As we consume the honey we purchase, we are also consuming trace amounts of pollenthe irritant that causes itchy eyes, coughs and sneezing.

Heres where the vaccine theory comes in.

When youre given a vaccine, youre injected with trace amounts of a virus. This process allows your body to build an immunity to the virus so you can easily fight it off before it becomes a problem.

The same process can be applied to consuming raw, local honey.

Over time, youll be exposed to irritants from honey that will help build your bodys immunity to having an allergic reaction.

Once again, I want to express the idea that this isnt a 100% proven method for getting rid of allergies.

The Amazing Benefits Of Local Honey

By Sher Warkentin in;Natural Products

Why use local honey, you wonder? Shopping local has tremendous environmental benefits, no matter what youre looking to buy. When it comes to honey, not only are you helping the planet , youre helping yourself too. I recently took my kids to visit a local honey farm to learn about the benefits of local honey and why this sweet stuff is so amazing.

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Here Are Some Ideas For Minimizing Your Exposure To Pollen According To Dr Wright:

  • Keep your windows closed
  • Remove clothing after coming in from outdoors
  • Wear sunglasses outdoors
  • Try to minimize outdoor activities at dawn and dusk, when pollen counts are the highest
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about taking an over the counter medication, including antihistamines and/or a nasal steroid

If your symptoms are not well controlled despite the above strategies, discuss with your healthcare provider if you are a candidate for allergen immunotherapy .

Potential Risks Of Honey

Can Honey Cure Seasonal Allergies?

Honey is a safe food for most people, but not for all. Here are some potential risks of eating honey, including raw honey:

Botulism in Infants

You should not give honey to infants under 12 months. Honey contains dust particles that may carry spores of the bacteria that causes botulism. Infants lack resistance to many germs, and they could get very sick. Using honey in cooking food for children should be safe, as heat destroys most bacteria.


Those who are prone to allergies should be careful about eating honey. Although honey allergies are rare, they do occur. Perhaps this is due to bee pollen in the honey. Bee pollen is a mixture of pollen and digestive enzymes from bees. It can trigger a serious allergic reaction.

Some people say that eating local honey improves their seasonal allergies. They believe the pollen in the honey desensitizes them to pollen in the air. There is not enough evidence to support this. It could be harmful to rely on honey rather than seeking medical treatment for respiratory allergies.

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Could Eating Honey For Allergies Be Dangerous

It could be argued based on these studies and mechanism that it couldn’t hurt to try honey, but it’s important to note that honey can, though rare, cause severe allergic reactions in people who tend to have allergies. So while consuming local honey for your allergies may sound like a good idea, it could be argued as well that consuming honey could increase your risk of a serious allergic reaction. Going with this train of thought, those who are living with allergies may be just those people who are most sensitive to life-threatening reactions from eating locally produced honey, due to the pollen.

If You Drink Or Eat Honey Every Day You Can Ward Off A Cough

The ancient remedy of honey and lemon to ward off a cough and soothe a sore throat is found all over the world, and it is still pervasive in modern times. It is not just out of tradition or because the combo is delicious, though. There is real science behind why we reach for honey and lemon when we are experiencing upper respiratory coughs. In one 2010 study, honey was found to be a more effective cough suppressant than powerful cough medicines dextromethorphan and diphenhydramine .

In terms of soothing pesky sore throats, the science is still inconclusive when it comes to the effectiveness of honey’s capabilities. But in a 2018 “recommended by experts” article in New York Magazine,;professional singers who offered their advice on dealing with a sore throat had honey listed as part of the solution. So, instead of suffering from a cough or sore throat, drink or eat honey.

Also Check: How To Relieve Allergies Home Remedies

May Cause Digestive Problems

Eating raw honey improves our digestive health as digestive enzymes in it breakdown starches, sugars, and proteins of the food.;

However, too much of these digestive enzymes may cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, headache, and nasal congestion etc.

Honey improves our bodys ability to absorb nutrients such calcium.

Dont eat too much honey as the high fructose content of honey may decrease our bodys ability to absorb nutrients from the food, and cause digestive problems such as constipation, bloating, and diarrhea.

What Are Seasonal Allergies

Does Local Honey Help with Seasonal Allergies?

Every spring and fall, the trees, weeds, and grasses produce tiny grains of pollen. The pollen blows in the air to pollinate other plants and in some sensitive people, it can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. Such allergies are called allergic rhinosinusitis, or hay fever. Pollen from ragweed, cedar, birch, and oak are particularly bothersome for hayfever sufferers.;

An estimated 10-30% of Americans experience hay fever. You know the symptoms: runny nose, sneezing, and red, itchy, or swollen eyes. Congestion is the most common symptom, but itchy eyes tend to be the one that sends people to seek relief.

Seasonal allergies are more than just an annoying reaction. Allergy symptoms can disrupt normal life, sleep, and lead to a loss of productivity.

Read Also: Can Allergies Cause Headaches And Fatigue

What Type Of Honey You Need To Consume

If youre interested in giving honey a try for mild allergies, there are a few things you need to know.

First, its important that the honey you purchase is local.

The honey you consume needs to contain trace amounts of pollen from the plants that are native to your area. If the honey doesnt contain pollens from local plants that cause allergies, its not going to do anything to help you.

One of the best places to find local honey is your communitys farmers market. Always ask the person who is selling the honey where it was harvested to ensure its local.

If you dont have a farmers market that is local to your area, check online for local honey producers. Theres a good chance that youll be able to find a local honey farmer that produces and sells honey in your community.

Second, its important to make sure the honey you purchase is raw honey.

Honey that is not raw is filtered and processed, which strips the honey of pollens.

Raw honey is as natural as it gets and will give you the best shot at helping you manage your allergies.

Potential Risks Of Local Honey As An Allergy Treatment

Using local honey as an allergy remedy comes with risks. Honey may trigger anaphylaxis in people with severe allergies. Also, consuming local honey is not safe for infants, as raw honey can contain spores of the bacterium that causes botulism.;

Even processed store-bought honey can contain harmful spores, so the CDC recommends that children under the age of twelve months should not be given honey at all .

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