Raw honey has many benefits. Honey is a great antioxidant and contains antibacterial, antifungal, and hypoallergenic properties. Many seasonal allergy sufferers report that their allergies subside after consuming raw honey. Although science has not proven that local raw honey can help relieve allergy symptoms, consumption of local honey remains a popular alternative medicine. Since bees help transport pollen from the environment when they collect nectar from flowers, the idea is this: honey from a local source will contain a safe amount of pollen that a person can use to adjust to the presence of that pollen. Although scientific research has come to conclusions that contradict the validity of the idea, consuming honey is a generally harmless practice and worth trying, although there are a number of risks.
Method 1 of 3: Using Honey to Treat Allergies
Step 1. Purchase raw honey from a local breeder
Choose honey produced by bees that collect nectar around your area. Choose raw honey instead of processed honey because processed honey tends to no longer contain pollen after being heated, pasteurized and filtered. If there is no beekeeping in your area, try raw honey from elsewhere.
- Visit a local farmer's market or natural food store to find local honey. Alternatively, search the internet for the nearest bee farm.
- If you buy honey from an out-of-town beekeeping and you know exactly what pollen is triggering your allergy, find out where the farm is to make sure that the same type of plant grows there.
- If you don't know what pollen triggers your allergy, find your nearest bee farm to make sure the environment is similar to yours.
Step 2. Drink honey in small daily doses
Strengthen your body's tolerance for allergens by consuming a little honey every day. Get used to the body with a limited intake of 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of honey per day. Don't take more than that as you may be digesting more pollen than your body can tolerate at this time.
- You can drink a spoonful of honey straight away or mix it with other foods, such as toast.
- Do not consume honey by cooking or baking it first. Heat can damage the pollen in the honey and make it ineffective.
- Adding honey to a warm drink such as tea is fine, as the temperature of the drink will likely not be too high to damage the pollen.
Step 3. Start early
The body will need time to strengthen its tolerance to the allergen. Don't wait until pollen season arrives to start consuming honey. Start as early as possible so your body has plenty of time to adjust to daily exposure.
Method 2 of 3: Understanding Limits and Risks
Step 1. Drink honey with salt
You need to know, that research on this subject is not conclusive. Some people show that their allergy symptoms are indeed lighter thanks to honey. While others only feel little or no difference at all, whether they eat honey or not. Keep preparing the allergy medicine you usually take, who knows honey will prove to be ineffective.
Step 2. Anticipate the possibility of low- or no pollen in the honey
Consider that you are most likely allergic to certain weeds, grasses and/or trees. Understand that bees pollinate flowers and most likely don't come into contact with other types of plants. Even if you are in the minority who are allergic to flowers, be aware that bees don't intentionally carry pollen into their hives. So, most likely honey does not contain pollen in sufficient quantities to produce a significant effect on the immune system.
Step 3. Anticipate the possibility of other ingredients besides honey in the jar
When buying raw honey, be aware that it has not been pasteurized, heated, or filtered. Raw honey may contain bacteria and fungi, as well as “bee venom” and body parts. Do not eat raw honey if you are allergic to bee stings.
Step 4. Anticipate possible allergic reactions
Please note, in addition to the possibility of other allergens such as bee venom and body parts, raw honey may contain large amounts of certain pollens, which can actually trigger your allergies. Realize that it is impossible for us to control or distribute the amount of pollen in raw honey. If you are very prone to allergic reactions, even from the slightest bit of pollen, don't use raw honey as a remedy.
Discontinue use if you experience swelling, itching, or rash on the skin, mouth, or throat
Step 5. Give honey only to children over 12 years
Never give honey (whether raw or processed) to babies. Beware of toxins that can cause botulism which can be life-threatening for the baby. Botulism is food poisoning caused by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Seek emergency treatment immediately if your baby shows any of the following symptoms after ingesting honey:
Constipation, loss of appetite, weakened muscles that can be seen from no appetite, lethargy, low crying, slurred speech, and lack of strong facial expressions
Method 3 of 3: Trying Bee Pollen as an Alternative
Step 1. Control your daily intake
Be aware that bee pollen is only a small part of the average raw honey sample. Make sure you consume bee pollen in more than adequate amounts every day by eating it directly. At the same time, taking bee pollen directly reduces the risk of an overdose, as might happen if you take it from raw honey.
- Although the amount of bee pollen in honey may not be effective at warding off allergy symptoms, thyme honey has been shown to be effective thanks to the ingredients it contains. Mixing processed thyme honey with local bee pollen may help you fight allergy symptoms in general while building a stronger immune system against certain pollens.
- Do not take bee pollen if you know you are allergic to bee stings or have had anaphylactic shock.
- Talk to your doctor about using bee pollen if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking blood-thinning medications.
Step 2. Buy local produce, visit a natural food store or farmer's market to find bee pollen from local sources
Consume locally available bee pollen, which is likely to contain the pollen that is your allergen. If there are no local products, buy bee pollen that contains a variety of colors. This shows a greater variety of pollen types, increasing the likelihood that there will be a specific type of pollen that you need.
Bee pollen is available in liquid, pill, or powder form. However, the best results are usually obtained from unprocessed bee pollen
Step 3. Check the tolerance level of the body
Before starting to take your daily dose, check your body's sensitivity to bee pollen ingredients. Place a small pinch of liquid, powder, or granules on the tip of your tongue, then close your mouth. Leave it there for a few minutes. If you don't have allergy symptoms, just swallow it. Wait 24 hours before starting the daily dose, in case the allergic reaction is delayed.
Discontinue use if you suffer from an allergic reaction to small amounts of bee pollen
Step 4. Increase the dose gradually
Start with a small daily dose of half a teaspoon or less. Watch your body closely to see if there is an allergic reaction and when it is. If none at all, increase intake gradually over a period of four weeks, aiming to consume 1-3 tablespoons (15 to 45 ml) daily.