Friday, April 9, 2010

How Local Honey Can Help During Allergy Season

If you're like many this time of year, sneezing, stuffy noses and chest congestion are visiting and in a big way!'s allergy season!!

This season reminds me of my Grandfather. No, not because he suffered from allergies, but because many considered Granddaddy a bee charmer - a cherished southern tradition of those who can "speak" to bees and collect honey without getting stung, which eliminates the need for special protective clothing.

Okay, I know what you're thinking..."We jumped from allergies to bees? Where is she going with this?" Just hang on and follow me...we'll get there (:

My Mother has fond memories of Granddaddy working in concert with his bees as he collected honey and tended to the hives. He was a naturalist and always seemed to be most comfortable being "at one" with the world outside.

Grandmother loved sharing ways they would use this harvested liquid gold and one that might surprise you was using honey to soothe allergies. Some say it's an old wives' tale, but I've found it very helpful in my own life. After much research, there does seem to be some truth to Grandmother's theory, even though massive scientific statistical analysis is lacking.

Wildflower honey contains antioxidants as well as small amounts of pollen from many different kinds of plants. When ingested, it allows our body's immune system to produce substances to protect us, reducing the allergy symptoms to local flowering plants.

This key here is to eat local raw honey - the jar must have "local" and "raw" on the label for it to be most effective. 2-3 spoonfuls each day for several months prior to pollen season is a good rule of thumb, but you can still reap the benefits if you get a late start. I usually put honey in my morning smoothie and it does the trick! No allergies for me and the pollen is EVERYWHERE!!

Although this works for many people, it might not work for all. If you suffer from seasonal allergies it's worth a try! If it doesn't help with the sniffles, sneezing and lovely congestion experienced this time of year, then at least you're getting vitamins B6, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc...and a sweet treat to boot!! So be a Food Renegade and try a natural, local solution before heading for those over the counter pills (:

This article is part of Fight Back Fridays sponsored by Food Renegade - a blog dedicated to changing the way we eat and think about food. Each Friday those participating in the blog carnival post links to their articles about being a Food Renegard. They share updates & stories of their Real Food journey, tips, recipes, or anything they think others might find useful, helpful, encouraging, or inspiring.

So who are the Food Renegades? Well, they’re the adventurous ones — the people who opt out of the industrialized food system, distrust the standard American diet nutritional advice, and embrace whole SOLE (Sustainable, Organic, Local, and Ethical) food.

If you'd like to learn more about becoming a Food Renegade, hop over to Kristen's site. You'll never think about food in the same way again (:

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  1. My husband has seasonal allergies, but we have been eating local raw honey (with no label, it's from a local beekeeper, not a store.) But he has not complained of allergies this year. I will have to see if he does. And if so, I'll encourage him to eat more honey, because I think you're onto something here.

  2. WOW! And here we have been putting cash in the pharmaceuticals piggy and really, to no avail...! Why have I not done this before?

    Thank you :) I see a trip to our local fruit stand happening this weekend.

  3. I totally agree with everything you said!!

    Susan and Bentley

  4. True! True! True! Keep jars of local honey in my pantry.

  5. I have to try allergies are terrible in the spring.


  6. I heard this when I lived in Arkansas but never got to the point of doing it. What's considered "local"--is it within 60 miles or so or is it more like 10 miles for the best benefits?


  7. This is so good to know. For whatever reason the tremendous amount of pollen this year isn't affecting me much, but I'll definitely keep this remedy in mind. My cousin's husband has bee hives and I LOVE the raw honey from them!


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