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Does Honey Really Help with Allergy Relief?

There is a huge debate amongst the allergic community if local honey really helps.  Some people swear by it and others think the science isn’t there to back the claim.  This debate could get more heated than the recent Romney vs Obama bouts. So let’s break it down.

Pro-honey:  The thousands that insist honey is a great homeopathic way to treat allergy symptoms firmly believe they are doing the right thing.  Makes sense – you’re allergic to pollen, bees collect pollen so by eating it, you are desensitizing yourself from the plants you are allergic to.  Local honey is cost effective and easy to find –just go down to any of your local farmers market and you will find a variety of different vendors.

The research:  Researchers have shown that there is no real evidence that honey actually helps your allergies like a round of allergy shots would.   There is some interesting logic behind this as well.  First, bees (although collect from the same area) aren’t guaranteed to collect from the tree, grass or weed causing your allergic attacks.  Second, there isn’t any consistency to the amount of pollen that is actually found in a jar of honey so your exposure may not be significant enough to actually alter your response to the allergen.  And last but not least, many of the plants that bees collect pollen from aren’t something you are allergic to like most flowers.

So, why do people swear by it?  Could it be a placebo effect? Could it really work in some areas of the country but not in others? No matter the reason, it is always interesting to discuss the possibility of this popular home remedy.

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