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Fight Seasonal Allergies With Local Honey

Posted by on Oct 16, 2012 in Food & Recipes, Lifestyle | 0 comments

Fight Seasonal Allergies With Local Honey

If you suffer from seasonal allergies it’s time to pick up local honey at the farmer’s market.

The theory behind using local honey to treat seasonal allergies is to regularly expose yourself to the pollen you’re allergic to, building up a tolerance or immunity. And guess what? The plants that put all that pollen into the air that causes you to suffer from seasonal allergies also tend to be favorites for the bees because of all the pollen they produce.

Too few human studies have been completed to provide conclusive scientific evidence proving this theory but I have a feeling this is an instance where common knowledge has been lost in modern times. There are plenty of good reasons to eat regionally and this is one of them.

How I Overcame My Seasonal Allergy

Two years ago I started volunteering as a Bunny Buddy at the local humane society and while I was there my eyes would get red and itchy and I had trouble breathing.

I went to the allergist for tests and when the nurse returned to read the results she said “You must HATE to be outside.” I told her that I generally spend lots of time outside without an issue and asked “Why?”

The test results showed a severe allergy to timothy hay, which also happens to be what rabbits eat. For the seven years prior I had kept timothy hay in the house and handled it daily to feed my indoor rabbit without a problem. The allergy most likely arose at the humane society due to the volume of hay dust in the air.

I occasionally took allergy medication before I went to perform my volunteer duties but most of the time I forgot. After a year, my symptoms went away. Exposure to larger concentrations of timothy hay dust had raised my tolerance to the allergen.

Because of this experience, using local honey to treat seasonal allergies makes perfect sense to me. I can’t test the theory out on myself because I don’t have seasonal allergies (though I probably would if I stop caring for rabbits and don’t get year round expose to timothy hay), but through the years I have convinced a few friends to try it and they report it definitely helped them.

Choosing Your Honey

If you haven’t purchased local honey before you are in for a treat. Most apiaries will provide a variety of flavors from hives whose bees are feeding in different fields. Mixed flower, wild clover and buckwheat are some common varieties.

If you are buying your honey straight from the beekeeper, let them know you are using it to treat seasonal allergies and they are usually able provide you with specifics about the habits of the bees to help you make the best choice.

Make It A Habit

Try to fit a little honey into your daily diet by putting it in tea,  using it instead of agave or syrup and substituting it for sugar when you can.

If you can’t seem to fit honey into your regular diet take a teaspoon full as a sweet treat after a meal.

Nicole knows making small changes for the greener add up over time and hopes you’re inspired to make some changes of your own after reading her articles. She focuses on easy, green, homemade personal products and green living tips for city dwellers. Nicole lives in Pittsburgh, PA and you can find her on twitter at @_nlg_.

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