A colleague and I were just talking about allergies, hers are really bad right now. Poor woman, I know how she feels! :(
It's hard to find an allergy medicine that works and doesn't make you tired. Zyrtec, Allergra and Claritin are supposed to be less drowsy medicines.
We were also talking about how some people eat honey to help their allergies. I thought it was one of those myths about allergies, so I looked it up. I found an article on Allergy BeGone titled "Does Eating Local Honey Ease Allergy Symptoms?"
It sounds like it would work similar to allergy shots. With allergy shots (immunotherapy) your bottle of serum has tiny amounts of what you are allergic to (trees, flowers, bushes, animals, etc). By getting weekly allergy shots, your body slowly builds up an immunity to them. (In theory that's how it's supposed to work.....it doesn't seem to be working for Daughter Kitty-she's on YEAR 6 of allergy shots. You read that right....)
With honey, the idea is that as bees land on flowers and plants, then small amounts of pollen stick to their legs, which they then carry back to the hive. The pollen gets mixed in with the honey, then you eat the honey, and that should help your body build up immunity to the pollen and allergens.
BUT, a study from 2002 by the University of Connecticut Health Center tested out the honey idea and found that it didn't work. They split the people in the study into three groups.
- One group was given locally grown honey
- One group was given non-local commercially grown honey
- One group was given fake honey (honey flavored corn syrup)
At the end of the study, the researchers found that there was no change in allergies among the three groups - they all stayed the same.
The study was published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. The then president-elect of American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (Dr. Stanley Fineman) said that, "Seasonal allergies are usually triggered by windborne pollens, not by pollens spread by insects." He also said that "honey collected from plants that do not cause allergy symptoms would [likely not] provide any therapeutic benefit."
So, it sounds like eating honey should help allergies, but scientific studies show that it doesn't.
How sad! I guess I'm just stuck with taking allergy medicine.... but honey is so much tastier than medicine! Too bad it doesn't help allergies :(