Honey Eases Allergies: Fact or Fiction
The arrival of spring brings warmer weather, more sunshine, and the rebirth of plants and flowers, all of which elicit happy feelings in many people. Unfortunately, budding flowers are not so lovely for the 25 million Americans afflicted with pollen allergies. Although antihistamines, allergy shots and staying indoors are available options for allergy sufferers, there is a sweet and natural alternative in the form of raw honey.
According to some health experts, consuming local, raw honey prior to allergy season can help ease allergy symptoms. Seasonal allergies are a reaction to pollen, and because bees transport pollen, trace amounts end up in raw honey. Consuming small amounts of pollen on a daily basis helps desensitize the body and reduce symptoms when allergy season arrives. It is important to purchase local, raw honey, which contains the pollen that the body reacts to each year.
For two months prior to allergy season, recommended intake is one teaspoon, two times per day. It is important to note that honey can cause botulism in infants, which can be life threatening. Therefore, children under one year of age should never consume honey, raw or pasteurized.
Along with taking honey to reduce allergy symptoms, you may see an improvement in your overall health by incorporating health supplements into your daily life.
Differences between Raw and Pasteurized Honey
Just as the name suggests, raw honey is not heated, pasteurized or processed. This healthy sweetener helps balance pH levels in the body, and it contains enzymes, 18 amino acids, and small amounts of many vitamins and minerals. When honey is processed (heated and pasteurized), all of these important nutrients are removed, effectively making a product that is equal to refined sugar when it comes to nutritional value.
The World Health Organization and many honey manufacturers have concluded that in order for honey to be authentic, it must contain pollen particles and it must come from an identifiable source. Sadly, comprehensive testing on supermarket products in the United States has determined that much of the honey on the shelves is unsourced and devoid of pollen and other nutrients, essentially making it "imitation" honey. People hoping to utilize honey for allergies should look for a product from an identifiable, local source, and the label should read raw honey.
Other Healthy Properties of Raw Honey
Across many cultures, raw honey has played a role in folk medicine for thousands of years. In addition to its use for relieving allergies, honey has been used as a topical antibiotic and a sore throat soother. Raw honey has anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties and is sometimes an effective remedy for respiratory conditions like bronchitis and asthma. In addition to its varied health benefits, many women use raw honey as a natural product for more beautiful hair and skin.
Other Natural Methods that can Ease Allergy Symptoms
People with severe allergy problems who want to stick to natural methods may also get relief from these sources.
A neti pot is an oddly shaped vessel that helps remove pollen and other irritants from the sinuses with a natural saline solution. People should always use distilled or boiled (and cooled) tap water to prevent infection and fine-grain sea salt. Saline solution recipe: 1/2 tsp. sea salt to 8 ounces (one cup) warm water.
Research has shown that allergy sufferers who receive weekly acupuncture treatments experience significantly fewer breathing problems than people who do not receive treatment. However, results only last as long as the weekly visits are continued.
Finally, you may also be able to boost your overall health and reduce allergy symptoms by taking all-natural health supplements like daily multi-vitamins and fish oil.The Institute for Vibrant Living develops and sells a wide variety of all-natural health supplements. Our unique product line reflects our belief that anyone can achieve lifelong health. We have created a variety of natural supplements to help individuals achieve optimum health. From anti-aging to weight management and immune system support, our natural health products are effective and affordable.