Friday, March 24, 2023

Using Local Honey For Allergies

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How Honey Could Cure Your Allergies

The truth about local honey and allergies

There have been no peer-reviewed scientific studies that have conclusively proven whether honey actually reduces allergies. Almost all evidence regarding the immunizing effects of eating honey is anecdotal. But these reports have proven persuasive enough for some people to try to fight their seasonal allergies by eating honey every day.

Without scientific inquiry, we’re left with only theories about how honey could reduce allergies. The prevailing theory is that it works like a vaccination. Vaccines introduce dummy versions of a particular virus or germ into the body and effectively trick it into believing it’s been invaded, triggering an immune system response . This produces antibodies designated to fight off the foreign invaders. When the body is actually exposed to the harmful germ or virus, the antibodies are ready for them.

As innocuous as honey seems, it can actually pose health risks in some cases. Honey proponents warn that there is a potential for an allergic reaction to it. And since honey can contain bacteria that can cause infant botulism, health officials warn that children under 12 months of age whose immune systems haven’t fully developed shouldn’t eat honey at all .

The study was never published, but the anecdotal evidence in favor of honey as an allergy reliever continues: Several of the study participants asked if they could keep the remaining honey after the experiment was concluded.

Raw Honey May Reduce Allergy Symptoms

The most comprehensive study examining raw honeys effects on allergies observed 40 patients for eight weeks. Half of the group was given honey and the other half were given a placebo. The group that received the honey saw significant improvement in their allergy symptoms.

Interestingly, the honey group continued to experience benefits for one month after the study, suggesting that honeys anti-allergy properties may have a lasting effect.

What’s The Idea Behind Eating Local Honey For Allergy Relief

Essentially, the hypothesis of eating local honey as a way to relieve seasonal allergies is similar in theory to immunotherapy, which typically takes the forms of pharmaceutical allergy shots or drops. “The idea is that by using small amounts of allergen and presenting these to the body, over time, the body will get used to them. Thus, the body won’t cause a reaction when the person is exposed to them,” explains Katie Marks-Cogan, MD, FAAAAI, FACAAI, a board-certified physician specializing in allergies, asthma, and sinus disease and the chief allergist at Ready, Set, Food!.

However, in reality, there are key differences between allergen immunotherapy and eating local honey. “With immunotherapy, you’re given small amounts of what we know you’re allergic to, with honey, you’re getting random types of pollen from flowers and plants that you may or may not be allergic to,” says Tania Elliott, MD, FAAAAI, FACAAI, a physician dual-board-certified in internal medicine and allergy.

While local honey may contain pollen from the immediate environment, Dr. Marks-Cogan says that it’s not the kind of pollen that allergists are referring to when discussing seasonal allergies, which is “pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds, and is wind-driven,” she says. “Pollen that bees come in contact with when hunting for nectar is flower pollen.”

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But Does Local Honey Actually Help With Seasonal Allergies

First, the bad news. Theres no guarantee the honey you eat has any pollen in it. Additionally, there are a lot of plants out there that produce pollen, and not all of them have flowers that are the preferred targets of honeybees.

In fact, honeybees usually prefer plants that arent commonly considered the main sources of pollen that commonly triggers seasonal allergies.

Other bad news: if someone has recommended you eat honey for allergies, they probably have told you that it needs to be local honey. Thats because different areas have different plants. If you eat honey with pollen from Alaska and you live in Arizona, the pollen in the honey will be very different from the particles hanging in the air around your house.

In many cases, local honey is also sold relatively unprocessed. That means there might be bee parts, bee venom, or bacteria. If youre allergic to bees themselves, eating this type of honey might cause its own allergic reaction and make your allergy problem even worse.

Using Immune Memory To Your Allergy Advantage

Using Honey for Allergies

When your immune system comes across pollen again, your immune cells recognize the pollen from all the pictures it took and posted up the last time they encountered one another. That memory allows your immune system to respond faster and better every time it encounters the familiar threat, because it learned how to best deal with it last time.

This system works great for threats like viruses or bacteria. These threats dont usually happen every day, so the immune system doesnt become desensitized to seeing the same problem repeatedly.

But imagine if the same problem kept happening every day. Most likely, the immune cells would stop responding as aggressively. Eventually, they might even learn to just live with it like a busted ceiling tile in the break room or a tiny leak in the roof whenever it rains.

When this conditioning is done intentionally, its called immunotherapy. These techniques can be used to help train your body to grow comfortable with having particles like pollen around, so your immune system learns to live with its presence and ignore it.

This is how allergy shots work. By giving you a concentrated dose of particle pieces that youre allergic to every few weeks or months, you can train your immune system to desensitize itself to the presence of that allergy-causing substance.

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How Does Honey Work On Allergies

In order for it to be effective it must fit these criteria:

Raw The honey needs to say that it is raw or you need to ask your farmer directly. Honey that is raw will still contain all the living enzymes needed to protect your body from a histamine overdose.

Local I have heard all sorts of specific mileages on this. Im not sure where they all come from. The truth is that there isnt a magic number of miles within which you must purchase your honey. Any raw honey that is harvested nearby where the same sort of plants are blooming at roughly the same time can be considered local.

Allergen Appropriate If you have fall allergies, you need to use raw, local honey that is harvested in the fall. If you buy raw, local honey that was harvested in the spring, you will no doubt enjoy some honey and get some health benefits. You will not, however benefit from the allergy prevention because the pollens to which you are allergic will not be found in this honey.

The big drawback here is that raw, local honey only works on pollen allergies. For years I was frustrated that I couldnt help people with other sensitivities. So I developed one of our honey spreads to work on the histamine reaction and to support the liver. The herbs I like best for allergy suffering are:

Honey & Allergies: In Essence

Raw honey is a source of nutrients with anti-inflammatory and humectant properties, which may help reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies. It has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral effects, which can serve as an extra layer of protection against illnesses when allergies tax the immune system.

When using honey for allergies, look for raw honeycomb thats been tested for purity and responsible production practices. Consider enjoying 1-3 pieces of honeycomb per day in tea or as a sweet snack during the allergy season to support your immune system.

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How Much Honey To Give

The amount of honey you’ll give your dog depends on his size. Smallerdogs should receive a teaspoon weekly, while larger dogs can consume a tablespoon each week. The effects are cumulative, so plan to treat your dog for three or four weeks before allergy season begins in your area.

Many dog owners also find relief from their seasonal allergy symptomsby taking regular doses of raw honey themselves. You may want to start with a teaspoon a week and adjust according to your weight and the severity of your allergy symptoms.

Do not give raw honey to children under 1 year of age, because the risk of the child contracting botulism is too great.

Should You Start Eating Local Honey For Your Allergies

Local honey allergy relief

If you struggle with seasonal allergies, you know how terrible they can befrom the itchy, watery eyes, headaches, sneezes, and sore throats, allergies can wreak havoc on you for months. And they probably have you running to the drug store for relief. But many people looking for more natural allergy relief may be intrigued about local honey. One of the most popular at-home remedies during allergy season is to buy and consume local honey to help relieve symptoms.

But despite the remedy’s popularity, is it true that local honey can alleviate seasonal allergy symptoms?

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Can Honey Make Allergies Worse

Yes, honey can trigger an allergic reaction in some people. Honey contains flower pollen, which is a common allergen. If youre allergic to flower pollen, theres a chance you could be allergic to the flower pollen found in honey.

If youve never tried honey, its best to start with a small amount. See how your body reacts before eating more. You may not experience irritation because honey contains pollen in small amounts, which may not be enough to flare allergies.

But if youre eating a lot of honey or if you have a severe pollen allergy, theres a chance you could have a more severe reaction. Symptoms may include headaches, wheezing, and runny noses.

Can Honey Help With Allergies

Honey has not been proven as an effective allergy treatment based on facts or research.

However, some people anecdotally report that raw honey lessens their allergy symptoms, despite these results not being proven in clinical trials.

The theory goes like this:

Local raw honey contains traces of pollen found in your area. The idea is that regularly exposing yourself to local pollen will lessen your sensitivity to it. Honey tricks your immune system into responding to the pollen as food instead of an intruder.

This is similar to how allergy shots work.

Each allergy shot contains a small amount of whatever triggers your allergic reactions. So basically, these allergy shots spark your immune system without leading to a full-blown allergic reaction.

The hypothesis about honey being good for allergies isnt a bad one. But it simply doesnt have the research to back it up.

And heres the thing:

One reason why raw honey isnt believed to work for allergies is because of the type of pollen it contains. Honey contains flower pollen, not typically tree or grass pollen.

Why is this important?

Because grass and tree pollen are the most common pollen allergies.

That said, some people have personally reported that local raw honey has helped with their allergies. The bottom line is that local honey tastes good and has few side effects. It may alleviate allergies, so it might be worth a shot.

If youre going to try honey for allergies, here are a few suggestions:

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Can You Fight Allergies With Local Honey

You can barely drag yourself out of bed. Winter is gradually receding back into the closet of seasons once again, and you’re painfully aware that spring is up next. You find the thought of facing another sunny, upbeat vernal equinox when nature bursts to life anew once more too depressing for words.

It’s seasonal allergies. All of those beautiful, fragrant flowers and deep green grasses that allergy-free people just love to coo over and pick and prune literally make you sick. Springtime is when trees and plants spread their seeds — at least the pollen that becomes seeds. And that pollen wreaks havoc on your body whenever you take a breath outside.

You’re hardly alone. The Food and Drug Administration estimates around 36 million people in the United States alone suffer from seasonal allergies, known also by the common name of hay fever and the more technical name allergic rhinitis . It may not improve your mood to know this, but all that pollen is actually harmless. Those months of runny nose, scratchy eyes and headaches you endure each spring is actually the result of a case of mistaken identity. Your body mistakes pollen for damaging invaders like fungal spores and dust mites. This triggers the release of histamine, a natural chemical that’s part of an immune system response. Histamine causes inflammation and irritation of soft tissue, which leads to your suffering .

  • How Honey Could Cure Your Allergies
  • Helps With Dogs Skin Problems

    Local Honey for Allergies

    Local Honey used topically is a terrific approach to help relieve and mend common canine illnesses like hot spots, dermatitis, and bug bites, so consider giving it a try if your dog suffers from any of these conditions. Honey is another natural remedy to help soothe cuts, wounds, and bruises. Local honey has trace amounts of hydrogen peroxide. This disinfectant cleans without causing damage to the tissues that are recovering.

    To treat your dogs condition, you only just apply a very thin layer to the affected area. Dont forget to cover it with some sort of dressing as well. We are aware of how delicious honey can be that your dog may taste it.

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    Raw Honey Contains Essential Nutrients

    Proper nutrition is vital for health and wellness. Nutrients in raw honey can give your body a boost so its better equipped to handle allergy season or any season. Here are some of the good-for-you natural compounds hanging out in raw, unaltered honey and honeycomb.

    Many of the vitamins and minerals found in raw honey are essential nutrients, meaning the body doesnt produce them, so they need to be obtained through food.

    Can Honey Help Relieve Seasonal Allergies

    The idea behind eating local honey as a remedy for seasonal allergies is that it might work similarly to an allergy shot. When bees produce honey, it contains small amounts of pollen from nearby flowers. Consuming that honeyand therefore the pollenmay combat pollen allergies in a certain location. Ingesting flower pollen from a certain region, the thinking goes, may make you less sensitive to it.

    Its an interesting idea, but unfortunately, it isnt proven. Research is scant and inconclusive. One small study in Malaysia found that honey consumption was beneficial to allergic rhinitis. But an earlier, small study at the University of Connecticut found no benefit in allergy sufferers who consumed local honey, commercially processed honey, or placebo .

    Theres a fundamental weakness in eating honey as an allergy remedy: The amount of pollen that bees deposit into honey can vary widely. So theres no standard for how much pollen youre consuming. It might not even be the kind that causes your allergy symptoms. Relying on honey to assuage your hay fever is a shot in the dark.

    To put it simply: There is no scientific proof that eating local honey will improve seasonal allergies, says the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology .

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    What You Should Know Before You Use Honey As A Treatment

    Doctors and researchers havent recommended a certain amount of honey a person should eat each day to relieve their seasonal allergy symptoms. Plus, there are no guarantees how much pollen may be in a serving of local honey.

    Note that you should not give honey to children under the age of 1. This is because raw, unprocessed honey has a risk for botulism in infants. Also, some people who have a severe allergy to pollen can experience a serious allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis after eating honey. This can cause extreme difficulty breathing. Others may experience allergic reactions such as itching or swelling of the mouth, throat, or skin.

    Local Honey For Allergies In Dogs Explained And Does It Work

    Can local honey help with allergies?

    Local honey is sweet and delightful. It has a natural sweetness that is said to have a wide range of health benefits. It sometimes ends up in the mouths of our dogs, too. If you are thinking about giving local honey to your dog as a medicine, you certainly question if Local honey is safe for allergies in dogs and how it works.

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    The Science Behind The Theory

    1. Allergy shots isolate the specific allergen that patients are allergic to. Alternatively, there is no way to know exactly what is in the local honey youre consuming, or if youre allergic to it in the first place.2. Seasonal allergies are caused by pollen from trees, weeds, and grasses, not insect-borne pollen from flowers which is predominantly the pollen found in honey.

    Is Honey A Natural Cure For Hay Fever

    However the mind is a powerful thing, and because honey does have other health benefits, honey may well have a placebo effect. 2020 research has recognised that Scottish heather honey is a superfood, including its antimicrobial, antioxidant and antibacterial properties, and so many people take it to help boost their immune system. Some people believe that the honey has to be from your local area to have any real effect – but again, none of this has been proven.

    The long held idea behind honey helping treat allergies is very close to the idea of someone having vaccinations or jabs to help with their allergies. When someone consumes local honey, many believe you are also taking in the local pollen with it, and over a period of time, they might not be as sensitive to it. Saying this, as our other blogs show, honey helps with a cough and has anti-bacterial and inflammatory properties, and in particular pure heather honey. Honey has been studied as a cough suppressant and may have anti-inflammatory effects.

    Why not try some and see if it helps in some way – every person has a different experience and our pure heather honey is always highly recommended by those who use it.

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