BeGreenMinded

The Allergy Claims of Your Neighborhood Honey Bee

Here’s the claim:  Local honey is more effective than conventional honey because of the pollen content.  Your seasonal allergies are reactions to the pollen in your community; therefore, having honey with local pollen content helps you develop an immunity to that pollen.  Most of your allergy symptoms should lessen. According to Flager Organics, taking local honey daily has similar effects to getting an allergy shot without the pain or redundancy of going to the doctors.
 
Local honey also is better for the environment and honey beekeepers.  Shorter distances leads to lower carbon emissions, which I consider to be the obvious factor.  But buying local honey also supports the natural ecological system between bees and pollinated produce.  According to the National Honey Bee Awareness Day Homepage, 1/3 of all fruits and vegetables are pollinated by honey bees.  It amazes me to learn of how many different factors there are to how local honey is better for one’s overall health, but also how much it interacts with the environment to create a interdependent cycle. 
 
I never had allergies before until this past April and my nose completely clogged up.  I had thought that it was some weird cold because of the change of seasons or something.  I realized that I may have seasonal allergies when I walked out to my car and saw a green-yellow layer of pollen on my already yellow car.
 
As an experiment, I decided to try raw local honey, which appeared to be this new trend in the natural food world.  When I worked at a natural food store, many mothers raved about how raw, local honey did wonders for their childrens’ allergies.  I figured that it was worth a shot because of how horrendous my allergies were.  The idea of sitting on a cold seat in an appointment room waiting for some doctor to give me some prescription meds or a shot freaked me out.  So having a tablespoon of raw local honey seemed much more appealing. 
 
I found I was pleasantly surprised by my results. I felt as if I were back in the tissue-free days.  No more sneezing, no more clogged sinuses.  All I had to do was check out the numerous local honey options at my natural food store.  I was scared by the thought of local honey because I thought that would mean purchasing it in a beekeeper’s backyard, which seems slightly obscure.  However, there are plenty of natural food stores that carry raw local honey and many of the products are fairly traded if you feel uncomfortable going to a local stand. 
 
I will admit that raw, local honey isn’t always the cheapest.  For me, it saved me money on doctors appointments and allergy shots.  The investment seems scary if you only see the price while browsing the food store.  But if you think of it in terms of how long the honey will last you versus how much a doctors appointment will cost you (even if it is only a co-pay), it doesn’t seem quite as bad.
 
If you have seasonal allergies, you may very well decide that using raw honey is not your choice.  But I still would recommend incorporating raw honey into your diet.  It has antibacterial qualities that help with a variety of health conditions.  It could sooth a sore throat just as well as a skin burn. And even if you continue handling your allergies in your own ways, raw local honey will definitely enhance the effects.
 
I have also heard great claims about using bee pollen itself to reduce allergy symptoms.  However, using bee pollen can be slightly riskier than using raw honey.  Because it has the strength of actual bee pollen, if you take too much too soon it could cause a stronger allergic reaction.  I would consult with a doctor before you tried something along those lines; however, I have heard when taken appropriately it has proven to be very effective.
Sources: http://media.wiley.com/product_data/excerpt/56/04704306/0470430656.pdf, http://www.flaglerorganics.com/taking-local-honey-gets-allergies-to-buzz-off/comment-page-1http://www.nhbad.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=54&Itemid=64
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This entry was posted on June 25, 2010 by in At Home, Green, Light Green, Medium Green and tagged , , , , , , .

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