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Local Honey, Local Pollen, and Allergies

Honeybees on Honey Frame with Pollen in Cells

Seasonal allergies can be very bothersome for many of us, and for some, they can be downright debilitating. You may have heard that eating local honey can help the body deal with seasonal allergies and even lessen the symptoms. Although very little research into this has been conducted, anecdotal evidence suggests eating local, raw, and unprocessed honey may help with seasonal allergies. 

The idea behind eating local honey for allergy prevention and relief is that when humans consume honey, we are also consuming trace amounts of local pollens which are in the honey.

Pollen is a dusty substance that the male part of the flower produces in order to fertilize the female part of the flower so it can make seeds. Pollen needs to be transferred from one flower to another to make those seeds. This is where pollinators like honeybees come in. Bees carry pollen from flower to flower, pollinating the plants and causing them to produce seeds. This is very important to plant production, but unfortunately, it can also cause allergies. 

When we inhale pollen, our bodies can perceive it as a foreign invader like viruses or bacteria. In response to this invasion, our bodies often release histamines that can cause sneezing, runny eyes, stuffy nose, and the other symptoms of seasonal allergies. 

When we eat local honey, we expose our bodies to trace amounts of these local pollens. The idea is that our bodies then become accustomed to these pollens and don't release histamines. Without histamines, there are no symptoms of seasonal allergies. With little downside to eating honey every day (for most of us) it's a great thing to try if you suffer in spring and fall. Of course, if you are allergic to mold, dust, or pet dander, local honey most likely will not help you. 

That said, recent research also suggests propolis may help decrease histamine production so eating our propolis honey may be an even better way to combat seasonal allergies. With our propolis honey, you get the local pollens but you also get the histamine-decreasing propolis. 

Asha'ari ZA1, Ahmad MZ, Jihan WS, Che CM, Leman I, 2013 Sep-Oct., Ingestion of honey improves the symptoms of allergic rhinitis: evidence from a randomized placebo-controlled trial in the East coast of Peninsular Malaysia. US National Library of MedicineNational Institutes of Health
Article Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24188941

Shinmei Y1, Yano H, Kagawa Y, Izawa K, Akagi M, Inoue T, Kamei C., Published online: 30 Oct 2009. Effect of Brazilian propolis on sneezing and nasal rubbing in experimental allergic rhinitis of mice, Journal of Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology, Volume 31, 2009 - Issue 4
Article Link: https://doi.org/10.3109/08923970903078443

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