Raw unprocessed honey is known to offer various health benefits. Certain varieties of honey such as the Manuka honey and Heather honey are renowned for their anti septic properties and are best used as a remedy for healing wounds. It is believed that intake of local honey offers specific benefits such as relief from allergies. But, we often hear people with allergies staying away from honey. Then is it safe to use honey for allergies treatment?
Using Honey containing pollen for allergies
It is well known that increased exposure to allergens such as pollen of plants or hay dust is the cause for allergy. Insects such as honeybees which feed on the nectar of these blossoms often carry the pollen as a part of pollination process. The same pollen is deposited by the honeybees in the comb along with the nectar. As a result the raw unprocessed honey contains very small amount of pollen. Regular intake of very small amounts of honey containing pollen will boost the immune system and prevents severe allergic reactions. Intake of pollen containing honey initiates a set of immune reactions observed in case of allergy such as release of histamine and production of antibodies. But, it is safe as the pollen dose is very small the reactions will not be severe and are not expressed. Hence, by taking local honey it is possible to boost the immune system against the local pollen and prevent worst allergic reactions. To get benefited from honey for allergies choose local honey variety that is very close to your place of living. Closer the honey source better will be the benefits.
Few people suffering with allergic reactions hesitate to take honey contaminated with pollen. But, in fact it does not do any harm when consumed in very less amounts. It is almost similar to the small doses of allergens taken through injections periodically before the onset of pollen season. The best part is taking honey is far easier than taking those painful allergen shots.
Honey is more beneficial than allergen doses
- Honey serves as a rich source of vitamins such as B6, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and minerals such as potassium, iron, copper, zinc, magnesium and calcium. Few varieties even serve as good source of protein. Hence, regular intake of honey provides the body with required nutrients essential for proper working of all the metabolic reactions including the immune system reactions.
- The antioxidants present in honey help in free radical elimination thereby promoting the general health of the body.
- The antibacterial action helps in healing wounds.
- Sugars such as fructose and glucose serve as energy source. Even diabetic patients can consume honey without the fear of sudden raise in sugar levels.
- Its slightly acidic nature makes it easy to preserve for long time.
Above all it is tasty and loved by everyone unlike the immunologic allergy shots.
Precautions while using honey for allergies
Remember to not use honey for allergies in children below one year of age as the bacteria present in raw honey can result in infant botulism due to inability of infant digestive system to handle bacteria. To really obtain relief from allergies choose honey that is made very close to your area as it will definitely include the pollen of the flowering plants and grasses you are frequently exposed.
While use of honey for allergies is not scientifically proven. But, various theories suggest that having honey to treat allergies is similar to immunotherapy and safe to have in smaller doses. However, consult your physician before taking raw honey containing pollen.
Honey has been known to treat various allergies. Use of honey for allergy treatment saves your pocket as immunotherapy is highly expensive compared to the cost of a small bottle of honey.