Can Honey Cure Your Allergies?
Most of us have heard it since we were kids, and chances are you still hear it today: people often believe that consuming local honey during a bout of allergies will help cure their allergies faster. There's some truth to this, but it's not as fantastic as you may believe.
Real honey is harder and harder to come by every single day and may only be able to be found from local bee-keepers, so keep an eye out in your community and local health grocer.
Honey was considered to be the best candidate for curing allergies thanks to the fact that it comes from many of the same pollen that you are allergic to during the inevitable change of seasons. This is not far from why people believe allergy shots and vaccines work.
Of course, it's a no-brainer: if you ingest something in small, inactive amounts, your body will have a chance to become accustomed to it and fight it off before it has to deal with the real thing, boosting its immunity and ability to fight off the allergy when the time comes. This much is true, and it's also true that bees pollinate flowers, carry pollen, and make honey, so of course honey has some of the pollen inside of it.
Is It Real Honey?
Real honey can't often be found at your local grocer unless they stock local or trusted products. Most honey, if you look on the ingredients label, will often have the first or second ingredient “high fructose corn syrup.”
Now, we all know that this isn't healthy for you, but where on the label does it even say “honey”? If it says it at all, it's usually near the bottom of the ingredients label to show a lesser amount. Companies are getting away with selling you imitation honey that's full of harmful ingredients that have been shown direct links to health defects in people across the world.
This is why it's important to check the ingredients label of everything you purchase – even if you have been buying it for years. Companies can change their ingredients label without changing the rest of the packaging to stop long-time buyers from boycotting their
product and avoid bad publicity. They are not required to tell any of their buyers that they've changed the ingredients, so it's good practice to keep tabs on all of your favorite products.
When you're looking for honey that will really benefit you, be sure to check the label to see if it contains real, all-natural honey. Often times there are local beekeepers in your community, so you get the chance to support a local business and family as well as have the most local honey possible.
Does It Have To Be Local?
If your goal is to help cure your allergies by ingesting local pollen, then your honey does have to be local to your region. If you import “local” honey from another town or state, then you run the risk of the pollen being different than the ones around you and you simply won't receive any of the benefit of honey in the first place. Unfortunately, if you travel often then honey is an unlikely source of benefit due to your body not having time to acclimate to the different pollen. On average, honey takes two months for you to begin seeing significant results from allergies caused by local pollen, and lasts up to a month after stopping your daily dosing of honey.
Will It Cure My Allergies?
In short, no, neither local nor store-bought honey will outright cure your allergies. There is no known cure when it comes to seasonal allergies unlike viruses or bacterial infections. The upside, however, is that it will help improve your symptoms when seasonal allergies come around again.
You will need to take honey for at least 8 weeks before seeing significant and lasting result from the honey. Honey will not work immediately if you start taking it while you have allergies and it's not guaranteed to prevent allergies. The benefits you will receive are due to the lessening of symptoms.
Now, there are some cautions to take even with honey. If you experience any allergic reactions to plants or flowers in the marigold or dandelion family, also known as the ragweed family, you may want to avoid pure honey. Pure honey is often made from dandelions or clovers and it may cause an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals.