Taking a spoonful of local honey for allergies may help put a stop to those dreadful sniffles. Today over 50 million Americans suffer from some form of allergy (a record 1 in 5 U.S. Citizens). Allergies have no cure, they are hereditary, and account for over 17 million doctor visits each and every year. As human beings; we eat, we breath, and we touch. We do this all day long, day after day, for the duration of our entire lives.
Foreign substances (allergens) introduce themselves into our bodies every single time we do one of these three things. Allergy symptoms generally occur when the body overreacts to these substances in the form of sneezing, stuffy, runny nose, coughing, irritated throat and itchy swollen eyes. At American Honey Producers, we will be addressing these minor reactions to allergens through the use of honey for allergies and why it’s important to use local honey for allergies. While honey can definitely be of some benefit, severe allergic reactions such as increase/decrease in blood pressure, wheezing or shortness of breath, hives, and/or rashes should be addressed by your doctor first.
Before Honey – Diagnose First
It’s important to remember that before an allergy can be treated, it must be discovered. So don’t go diving into a jar of raw organic honey just yet. Each allergic reaction in your body stems from different allergens, sometimes a unique combination of allergens. Below is a quick breakdown of the general types of allergies and which allergens are responsible:
The first step before considering honey for allergies is to visit your doctor and get the correct diagnosis via an allergy test. There are two types of tests: an allergy blood test, which is quick and easy; and an allergy skin prick test (puncture testing), which is a little more intensively involved. Doctors recommend getting this test done every 1 to 3 years because the body will outgrow and become immune to some allergens. Only time and future tests will show the changes in a diagnosis.
Blood tests are often favored, not just because of the simplicity, but because it forgoes factors such as age, medication, skin conditions and pregnancy. Either test will provide the information needed before introducing honey into a daily regimen. Check with the American Board of Allerg and Immunology for obtaining information regarding physicians in your area. The ABAI assures that qualifying physicians are certified in allergy/immunology, and they keep detailed records of those participating in the Maintenance of Certification program.
Theory of Local Honey for Allergies
The next step in the process of alleviating mild and severe allergy begins with treatment. From a science standpoint, the very best method for treating specific allergies comes in the form of an injection. The physician will take the collected data from your test, send it to the lab, and the lab will create a special personalized serum. This serum is customized solely for the patient, no one else can benefit from it (similar to an eyeglass prescription, but far more dangerous to others if injected).
Contained in this customized serum are tiny portions of the allergens that your body overreacts to, in quantities proportionate to the strength of the allergy. Basically, it’s a vaccine but injected much more often on a regular basis. By introducing small quantities of allergen to the body, the immune system will eventually build up enough antibodies to prolong your state of relief further and further. A process called Immunotherapy. Organic raw honey is substantially different in every region of the world. Every species of flower provides the honey bee with a unique type of nectar. Local honey for allergies will imitate this very same effect.
The nectar is then regurgitated into a honey that is unique to that particular region. Like fingerprints, no two types of honey are exactly alike. They taste different, look different; and for allergy purposes, they affect the body differently. All the pollen, spores, and allergens contained in honey are local to the specific region from which they were gathered. Through a technique called Melissopalynology, honey can be analyzed to determine the floral sources involved in its creation.
The science behind this technique has helped influence alternative uses for honey, such as the treatment of allergies. Using local honey for allergies is pretty simple. Two spoons full in the morning on any medium of your choosing (tea, biscuits, muffins). Natural honey from a local source will contain spores from the same pollen responsible for your allergic symptoms. Just as an injection introduces allergens into the body, unpasteurized local honey will do the same, but in much smaller doses. It’s important to find the nearest bee farm to your residence. The further away from one’s home, the less effective this treatment becomes. The desired allergens needed for quality results may not exist two towns over. However, local honey will undoubtedly still be far superior to the store bought stuff. If you decide on trying local honey for allergies, expect a minimum of four to six weeks before signs of any improvement. If there are no improvements in your allergies after six weeks, continue eating anyway! After all, Team AHP has plenty of other beneficial uses for honey on this site, and we believe in every one of them.
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