This natural golden liquid has much more to boast of than just its mouth-watering taste. From decade to decade, man continues to discover its innumerable uses and benefits. It fights cancer, toughens the immune system, beautifies the skin, boosts energy, and does so much more. For those of us hay fever sufferers who dread the coming of pollen season, this miracle liquid indeed has some good news. No expensive anti-histamines, nasal sprays, or eye drops. All it takes is a spoon or two of that scrumptious liquid daily.
How does honey treatment work?
Honey cures hay fever through a process called “desensitization”. The patient takes 2 tablespoons of honey every day. This is done in the 2 or 3 months preceding hay fever season. Honey contains traces of pollen. However, this is the heavy-grained type of pollen which doesn’t trigger allergies in the human body. This desensitizes the body to local pollen, so that the pollen does not trigger allergic reactions in the patient come hay fever season.
Allergy immunopathy injects pollen into patients before the hay season to reduce allergy symptoms. Similarly to the honey treatment, it introduces minute quantities of the pollen into the system to develop immunity.
What type of honey?
Most people recommend local honey. ‘Local’ honey is that which has been made by bees close to the area where the patient dwells. This is because the sufferer may be allergic to a specific type of pollen in the area where he lives. They suggest you from a local farmer or beekeeper instead.
However, it is unlikely to make a big difference if it’s not local. Don’t worry much if you can’t find it locally. The fauna and variety is likely to be similar in the whole region, such as Western Australia. Try using multi-floral honey, as it is likely to contain a wide variety of pollens.
David Bondi, chairman of the Honey Association, speaks on behalf of commercial producers regarding preference for raw, unfiltered honey in hay fever treatment. He says any neighborhood product would work. “Honey isn’t a processed product. All we do is strain it to take out the impurities and heat it gently to 40-50C to get it into jars. Straining shouldn’t matter as the strainer holes are much bigger than the pollen. Heating wouldn’t kill off the pollen, which is very robust – you can still find honey in ancient Egyptian tombs. And it makes no difference whether the honey is clear or set, that’s just how it crystallizes.”
Will it definitely cure my hay fever?
This depends on which kind of pollen you are allergic to and whether this pollen has been used by bees in manufacturing your local honey. For example, you might suffer from allergy to birch tree pollen AND ragweed pollen. The honey consumed might contain ragweed traces. This will help reduce your reactivity to ragweed pollen at the least. You will be left with allergies to birch tree pollen alone then and suffer from less frequent attacks. On the other hand, the honey may contain traces of both, and you might be cured from both. It all depends on which mixture of pollen grains your local bees use while producing honey.
When all is said and done, honey is not a definite cure for your hay fever. It has worked for thousands of people and disappointed many as well. I suggest you ignore the random claims floating on the net saying, “There is no proven study to show honey has any effect in curing hay fever symptoms.” It’s definitely worth giving it a try due to the minimal effort involved. It could reduce your symptoms, or who knows? Maybe, you can bid farewell to hay fever once and for all!
Do I have to swallow it raw?
Honey is honey whether you swallow two tablespoons outright or mix it into an exotic concoction. So, the base answer is ‘no’. It doesn’t matter. Some past hay fever sufferers suggested combining 3 tablespoons of honey with nettle tea. Nettle tea is also natural anti-histamine. It is believed to also help clear excess mucus in the respiratory system. Alternatively, you might want to mix it with some lemon juice or even bake it into a scrumptious cake! If the honey has solidified in places, simply heat it in some warm water to liquefy it.
Possible Side Effects
- Since honey is clammy, it may attract small quantities of lighter wind-blown pollens from external sources. This could trigger inflammation of the nose lining and eyes. However, such plants only bloom around late April, so it’s safe to use honey before that.
- Don’t overdo it. You probably won’t appreciate the extra inches on your waistline.