The latest buzz about honey is that it can actually help eliminate or reduce seasonal allergies, but there's one caveat: it's got to be very, very LOCAL honey!
Here's the idea:
Since bees make honey from pollen, which they collect from flowers in their area, by eating local honey produced right in your own neighborhood, you will be ingesting the same pollens that trouble you come spring. According to a recent article at www.citynews.ca, it's also important that the honey be raw and unfiltered, so as to tetain these pollens and not have them filtered out. This gradual exposure to the local pollens is thought to build the immune response to the pollens, much as immunological injections from an allergist gradually work to reduce the "hay-fever" symptoms of seasonal allergies to various pollens.
Veterinarian Michael W. Fox, in his column in the Washington Post, even recommends honey for relieving pets' seasonal allergies!
The key to the concept, though, is to have the honey be LOCAL, since it is local pollens that will be triggering your allergic response. It does no good to eat honey produced in California if you're living in Vermont!
We've always had the advantage of lots of local honey options here in Bosque Farms, NM, where we live. Our next-door-neighbors keep hives, and occasionally gift us with some of their fresh honey. That's about as local as it gets, since I'm not up to trying my hand at beekeeping myself! And then, there are two local honey farms right here in Bosque Farms, from which we've often bought honey. It's not next door, but it's within a mile or so, and I don't think we grow any plants around our house that don't also grow a mile down the road! And, if I'm out of honey, and decide to just pick some up while at the supermarket, our local grocery carries honey produced just down the road in Los Lunas, NM. Not quite as nearby, but I'll bet that five-mile strectch stille qualifies as pretty "local" as far as the pollen strains are concerned!
It's a thoroughly natural and green idea, and helps boost "buying local." Honey's also got a number of other pluses to it:
It seems it can't hurt, and may help, so get out there and find yourself some local honey. Try a couple of spoonfuls daily through the winter, and see if your spring allergies aren't improved!
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