FAQ: Does Honey Really Help with Seasonal Allergies?

(Last Updated On: April 8, 2011)

bee_clipart_honeycombQuestion: Does Honey Really Help with Seasonal Allergies?

Answer: This is an issue that is debated. Your local beekeeper will most likely agree that they do help with seasonal allergies, that’s good for business. My biggest food inspiration – Alton Brown, wrote in his first Good Eats book, that it’s a bunch of nonsense. Sorry Alton, but this time I am not going to agree with you. I have read a lot of testimonies from people saying that local raw honey helped them with their allergies. I am not, nor do I ever claim to be a scientist, but what I know from my personal experience is that last year my wife did not have the severe seasonal allergy problems she normally does. Last year was the first time we regularly purchased honey from our local farmer’s market. This may not be scientific proof that honey helps with allergies, but we are always going to keep around some local honey in our pantry, partly for this reason (also for the taste and quality!)

I keep saying local honey. Why does it have to be local? The reason give that honey helps with allergies is that it can contain the pollens that cause the allergies. The pollen found in honey made in Florida, isn’t going to help my wife in Michigan with her allergies, unless we visit Florida. She needs the allergens from our area. The concept is much like getting a vaccination. When you get a vaccination you are actually given a dead version of the virus. This is said to produce a response in your immune system, so that you are protected from a live version of the virus. Small amounts of pollen that you are allergic to enter your system, and can work the same way as a vaccine. So when you encounter allergens outside it won’t effect you.