We can all agree on one thing. Honey is a great food. We love to spread it on toast, stir it into hot drinks, and bake with it to make cookies and other treats. But can raw honey help with hay-fever?
This is a question that many experts, nutritionists, and health professionals seem to disagree on (although I’d wager that most of them don’t go around with a jar of honey in their pockets, just in case). Some swear by it, while others will tell you it’s an old wives tale.
How does it work?
One of the main reasons people think honey has benefits for hay-fever sufferers is because of what honey is made out of. The bees that create this sweet treat gather pollen from flowers and plants, which they then process into honey.
But wait… If you’re allergic to pollen, eating honey may appear to be counterproductive when your body is telling you to avoid pollen at all costs.
Well, it’s thought that consuming small amounts of pure raw honey could actually help build up an immunity to the local pollen that causes your allergies.
Raw Honey For Hay-Fever
When you eat raw honey that contains small amounts of pollen (as opposed to mass-produced varieties found in supermarkets), your immune system gets used to the presence of the allergenic particles. This can reduce your symptoms over time, if not eliminate them completely. By using your raw honey, the theory goes that you’ll consume enough of the same pollen as you breathe in during the day to make a difference. Therefore, by exposing yourself to this pollen on a daily basis, you’re helping to build up a resistance.
Big reason to try raw honey for hay fever is that it contains antioxidants which can reduce inflammation and boost your immune system. This could make it easier for you to fight off infections like colds and flu—and you’ll certainly feel better if you don’t have those things on top of your allergies!
The answer appears to be unappealing: maybe. There are certainly plenty of people who swear by it, claiming that a spoonful of raw honey each morning has helped them overcome their hay-fever symptoms for good. On the other hand, there aren’t enough scientific studies supporting this method.
The problem with finding out for sure is that there are so many different types of honey. Honey from different regions can contain different types of pollen, making it difficult to test if the honey you have actually contains the pollen you’re allergic to. And even if it does contain the right type of pollen, there may not be enough of it for your body to develop an immunity. There has been some research undertaken into whether honey can help with hay-fever, but the results are inconclusive..
But one thing is for sure; if taking a little raw honey everyday during the spring months might help you overcome hay-fever, (rather than using pills filled with chemicals) then we don’t feel that there’s a downside to giving it a try!