Is Eating Local Honey Better For Allergies
What about the theory that local honey is better for allergies than honey sourced elsewhere?
If we run with the pollen tolerance theory, this doesnt quite stack up. While some pollen is regional, pollen from ragweed, oak, birch, and cedar that most commonly trigger hay fever. These plants and their pollen exist in many regions of the world.
Local Honey Does Have Unique Health Benefits
“Research suggests that the chemicals in honey may actually play a role in suppressing the genes that make us more susceptible to histamine, the chemical in our body that causes itching, sneezing, and runny nose,” says William Reisacher, MD, allergist, and director of Allergy Services at NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine.
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What Are 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.
Is Local Honey A Cure For Hayfever
Asked by: Richard ONeill, Glasgow
No. The myth is that local pollen in honey can desensitise the allergic reaction, but theres no evidence to support it. A 2002 study at the University of Connecticut compared locally-produced, unfiltered honey, with nationally-produced, filtered honey and honey-flavoured corn syrup.
In double-blind trials, there was no difference between the three in reducing hay fever symptoms. The pollen in honey is nearly all the heavy, flower pollen that doesnt cause hay fever. The pollen that sets your nose running is much lighter and comes from grasses and trees that bees dont visit.
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Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.
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Honey Is A Natural Anti
Inflammation is a natural part of any allergic reaction. For example, puffy eyes and nasal congestion are the result of inflammation caused by seasonal allergies.
Raw honey has repeatedly proven to have anti-inflammatory properties thanks to its phenol and flavonoid content. These natural compounds may help calm inflammatory allergy symptoms.
Why Is Honey Believed To Help Allergies
The idea behind honey treating allergies is similar to that of a person getting allergy shots. But while allergy shots have been proven to be effective, honey hasnt. When a person eats local honey, they are thought to be ingesting local pollen. Over time, a person may become less sensitive to this pollen. As a result, they may experience fewer seasonal allergy symptoms.
Its true that bees pollinate flowers and make honey. But the amounts of pollen from the environment and plants are thought to be very small and varied. When a person eats local honey, they have no guarantee how much pollen theyre being exposed to. This differs from allergy shots that purposefully desensitize a person to pollen at standard measurements.
examined the effect of pasteurized honey on allergy symptoms compared to local honey. The results showed that neither group who ate honey experienced relief from seasonal allergies.
However, a different study found that honey eaten at a high dose did improve a persons allergy symptoms over a period of eight weeks.
These studies 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.
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The Honey Allergy Relief Theory
Using honey as an allergy remedy is based on the idea that consuming bee pollen helps the body recognize that pollen isnt a threat. Essentially, the immune system learns through exposure that it doesnt need to call all hands on deck every time you breathe in a little bit of pollen.
This theory is rooted in an approach that has proven to be successful modern allergy shots use small amounts of an allergen to help the patient build up a tolerance to it. Its known as immunotherapy.
While pollen-allergy correlations havent been at the top of the scientific communitys research list, it is true that bee pollen has many health benefits which could contribute to reduced allergy symptoms. But the pollen hypothesis doesnt consider widespread honey adulteration, which can remove all traces of pollen from liquid honey along with its other beneficial properties. Without knowing the origins of the honey people have found success with, its impossible to know whether the bee pollen is solely responsible for the results.
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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In Vitro Model Of Mast Cell Degranulation
A study demonstrated that manuka honey is able to inhibit allergic disease by modulating mast cell response . In the study, the LAD-2 human mast cell line induced by calcium ionophore was used as an in vitro model of allergic reaction to measure the inhibition of histamine release, a key indicator of mast cell degranulation. They reported that pretreatment of honey was able to inhibit the release of histamine in a concentration-dependent manner.
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Therapeutic Effects Of Honey
Honey is made from flower nectar. Bees suck this sugary substance from flowers. In their digestive system, the nectar mixes with other substances, so that it transforms a bit. The new substance, honey, can be harvested from the hive.
Praised for its antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, honey has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Some of these therapeutic effects have been proven by scientific studies. For example, bee products like honey show “promising” health benefits, particularly for wound healing.
There’s also evidence that bee pollen, which contains honey, could boost your immune system and defend your body against bacteria, viruses, pollutants, dust mites, and other microorganisms that invade your body.
Local Wildflower Honey Protocol For Seasonal Allergies
Patsy Giarda, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Winter is winding down and spring is quickly approaching. Warmer weather and enjoying outdoor activities are two of the best things about spring. However, for those who suffer with seasonal environmental allergies, it can also bring the struggle of itchy or watery eyes, persistent runny nose, post-nasal drip, and/or nagging cough. Natural alternatives to help control these symptoms can be used to alone or in conjunction with prescription or over the counter allergy medications.
Studies show that consuming local, unprocessed, seasonal wildflower honey can serve as a helpful adjunct to controlling allergy symptoms. Allergy shots are a well-known method of treating allergies by administering slow, small repeated exposure to the allergen. Oral consumption of local, seasonal honey utilizes the same theory of small exposure to the allergens found in the local pollen. When bees pollinate flowers, they carry some of the pollen back to the hive where the honey is produced. Honey collected from the local hives contains the pollen of the surrounding areas that circulate in the air and can cause allergies.
You can learn more by watching this Good Morning America segment in which Dr Rosen, a colleague of Dr Berger, discussed local, seasonal honey as a natural allergy remedy.
Local Wildflower Honey Protocol For Seasonal Allergies
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The Buzz On Seasonal Allergies
Local honey: the secret solution?
Fall is the season everyone waits for year-round, bringing with it football, cool weather and, unfortunately, seasonal allergies. It is no wonder that so many studies and drugs exist to help fight these ubiquitous irritants. The question is, has the miracle solution to these pesky allergens been right under our itchy noses all along?
According to a long-standing theory, consistent consumption of local honey prior to allergy seasons can prevent and lessen seasonal allergy symptoms. Local honey refers to raw honey that contains pollen found in the environmental conditions specific to that location.
Our honey is locally produced and has all of the pollen from the flora that exists in South Carolina, says Scott Derrick, owner of the Blythewood Bee Company. We dont extract the pollen from the honey by filtering or pasteurization, which is usually the case with store-bought brands. Blythewood Bee honey is pure, unheated and unprocessed to preserve the natural vitamins, enzymes and phytonutrients that are beneficial for overall health and immune system functions.
However, there is no scientific evidence to prove that local honey will alleviate allergies. The pollen that causes the most common allergies to flare is spread from grass and trees through the air thus, bees, and ultimately their honey, contain small traces. Pollen found in local honey is mostly from flowering plants.
What Can You Do For Seasonal Allergies
Even though honey may not be the answer you were hoping for, you do have options for relieving your allergy symptoms:
- Take an over-the-counter allergy medication. If one doesnt seem to be working, try one with a different active ingredient . They do interact with people differently and you may notice relief by switching.
- Ask an Ogden Clinic ENT specialist about an immunotherapy treatment that targets the specific allergy you have. This process will first involve allergy testing to determine what is making you miserable, and then you will receive a shot with trace amounts of the allergen. The concept is similar to how vaccines work: By giving your body a little bit of the substance, it will build up the correct antibodies to fight it off.
- Avoid the outdoors. Yes, this is the last resort option, but if your seasonal allergies are so bad that you can barely function, it may be your only choice.
We understand that seasonal allergies can be miserable. You shouldnt have to suffer through them alone. While honey may not be the solution, there are still plenty of things you can do to minimize the symptoms.
To learn more about natural and medical options to fight your allergies, contact Ogden Clinics ENT department by calling 475-3000 or requesting an appointment online.
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What Is The Best Honey For Allergies
Any good quality raw honey still contains plenty of pollen and would be a good choice. You might want to use a polyfloral honey from many different plants from your area or region. It does not necessarily need to be from a beehive within 50 miles of your house as long as the flora visited by the bees are the same or similar to the flora that are causing your allergies. In essence, the best honey for allergies is any raw honey you actually try. Donât let it sit on the shelf. At the first sneeze, use raw honey to relieve allergies right away.
Is Local Honey The Answer For Allergies
One of the most commonly rumored cures for seasonal allergies is ingesting local honey. The thought process behind it makes sense. Bees carry pollen from the local flowers, which then get put into the honey they make. By exposing your immune system to trace amounts of the pollen you are allergic to, you can eventually reduce your allergic reaction.
This process is essentially a natural version of immunotherapy, and while it is a good thought, the truth is that there is no scientific evidence that local honey can help cure seasonal allergies. Experts agree that the idea of honey providing allergy relief is flawed. Heres why:
- First, there is no way to identify exactly what allergen culprits are within the honey. For true immunotherapy to work, the exact allergen you are allergic to is targeted.
- Second, most people are not actually allergic to the pollen that can be found in honey. As you know, bees get their pollen from flowers, but most people are having an allergic reaction to the pollen from other culprits, including trees, grasses, and weedspollen that bees simply dont carry.
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Activities Create Biggest Risks
She and Allen argue that the biggest risks in airline travel stem from activities like the pre-flight boarding process or when a flight is delayed and people are stuck on the plane. Marr, who has been wearing an air quality monitor when she travels, said CO2 levels are elevated during these aforementioned activities and are indicative of a lack of fresh air ventilation.
The airport also presents other problems for travelers.
Allen suggests airports create more touchless experiences, upgrade their HVAC system, and require masks. Some updates have already been implemented in some airports or will be implemented in the future.
Why Honey Might Not Be So Effective
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, there are a few problems with the honey home remedy:
Bees dont follow a consistent honey recipe, so its hard to know how much pollen and what kind youre getting from raw honey. In contrast, we know exactly what is in allergy shots.
The pollen in honey is gathered where bees buzz on flowers. Flower pollen isnt typically what causes annoying seasonal sniffles and irritated eyes. The pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds is what causes the irritating symptoms of seasonal allergies.
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What Causes Seasonal Allergies
It all starts with microscopic protein particles called pollen, which are made by the male parts of flowers and tree blossoms. When these tiny particles come into contact with female flower parts, a seed is created. Pollen spreads from plant to plant by floating through the air or by catching a ride on insects, birds or other animals. This process of crosspollination results in stronger more hardy plants. How do these tiny protein particles end up causing so much misery for so many people?It all starts with microscopic protein particles called pollen, which are made by the male parts of flowers and tree blossoms. When these tiny particles come into contact with female flower parts, a seed is created. Pollen spreads from plant to plant by floating through the air or by catching a ride on insects, birds or other animals. This process of crosspollination results in stronger more hardy plants. How do these tiny protein particles end up causing so much misery for so many people?
Do Not Expect Too Much Of Offending Pollen In Honey
You may be thinking that you are consuming honey to expose your body and immune system to a safe amount of pollen, but that may not be the case. Sometimes, there is little to no amount of pollen in the honey that you are consuming, so it can’t make a substantial influence on your allergy symptoms and this is especially true in case you are allergic to grasses, weeds, or trees.
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