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  • Writer's pictureCJ Turner

Eating Local Honey: Does it Help with Allergies?

You walk outside and there is that tell-tale yellow dusting of pollen on your car, your eyes begin to itch and there is a slight scratching in your throat. Most of us would unscrew the antihistamine bottle and go about our day, trying to convince people we don't have Covid. However, could popping the top to a bottle of honey be more effective?

I had previously been told that eating local raw honey would help prevent seasonal allergies through the age-old mechanism of inoculation. But I wanted to find out if this was truly the case.

According to James T C Li, M.D., Ph.D., the answer is probably not.

While it would make sense for honey to prevent allergies, as it has a cough suppressant and an anti-inflammatory effect, Dr. Li believes any positive effect on honey and allergies is merely a placebo.

However, there are some that are still adamant that this allergy home remedy works and the following is how.

The Mechanism

Honey does contain trace amounts of pollen, and a common treatment for allergies is exposing individuals to small amounts of the allergen over time. So, hypothetically, if you were to consume honey and slowly get yourself tolerant to the local pollen, your allergies would either lessen or disappear.

Unfortunately, a study from the University of Connecticut Health Center tested this theory and found no effect of local honey on allergies whatsoever.

So whether there is some actual science behind this homespun cure for seasonal allergies, or the effect is actually a placebo, it cannot be denied that people swear by this remedy and have seen its success.

It is important to note, however, that eating raw local honey has other benefits such as supporting ethical beekeeping, and even if it does not "vaccinate" you from allergies as some websites claim, it is still worth the pretty penny.

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