Seasonal allergies are a common problem. Flowers, grasses and their seeds and pollen can make it hard to breathe, causing you to sniffle, sneeze and feel congested. Pet dander, dust mites, insect stings or mold spores are also common contaminants that contribute to seasonal allergies. When your immune system starts to see these items as a threat to your health, your immune system will begin to react the same way it would to clear out germs or an infection. This can lead to a rash, itching, asthma, swelling, sneezing or runny nose.
Local Honey for Allergies—Can It Help?
On top of these common remedies for treating allergies, local honey has been shown to be very effective in eliminating allergy symptoms. The idea is that honey can be effective in aiding with immunotherapy or helping to vaccinate the body against allergens. Local honey contains the pollen spores from grasses and flowers that tend to cause trouble when allergy season comes around. Slowly introducing the spores into the body by eating local honey can help your immune system become used to these irritants so that the usual histamine reaction this pollen and spores typically cause can be reduced. Ideally, over time the body should stop having a reaction to these items all together.
How to Use Local Honey for Allergies
If you plan to try local honey for allergies, seek out a variety of honey that is produced within a few miles of your home. In general, the closer the honey has been produced to you, the more effective it tends to be as it will be more likely to contain spores and pollen from plants that you regularly interact with.
Studies have shown that those who regularly consumed local honey were much more likely to avoid allergy symptoms than those in a control group. Those in these study groups consumed two teaspoons of honey per day, the recommended dose for those who plan to take on this home cure.
Tips for Using Local Honey for Allergies
Those who would like to attempt this cure should note that there are some risks to this treatment. Those who have severe allergies can have an allergic reaction to the honey they are eating. Honey may also contain bacteria that may lead to infant botulism, so it is not recommended that local honey is given to children under 12 whose immune system has not fully developed.
How to Prevent Seasonal Allergies
As many as 36 million people in the United States alone suffer from hay fever or seasonal allergies. People that have trouble with these symptoms are commonly advised to stay indoors on windy days, wear dust masks and avoid chores like mowing the lawn that can increase their exposure to spores, pollen and other allergy triggers.
Changing clothes when coming indoors and avoiding drying clothes outside can also help you avoid spores. Making a point to use air conditioning with a high quality filter, using an air filter in rooms where you spend a great deal of time, cleaning with a high-filtering vacuum and using a dehumidifier to keep the air dry can keep your home more comfortable and allergy-free.
When spores and pollen counts are high, allergy sufferers will need to take extra steps to protect themselves from unwanted and potentially dangerous symptoms. Check local news and weather forecasts to determine the pollen levels in your area. During these times, make a point of taking your allergy medication ahead of time to avoid symptoms. Also avoid keeping the doors and windows open and limit outdoor activity to avoid symptoms.