Q: Can you use honey for allergies?
A: For many centuries honey has been used as a natural remedy for a host of allergies, although a review of scientific studies and research reveals that it has little to no effect.
The theory behind using local bee honey for allergies is similar to taking an allergy shot, local, unprocessed or “raw” honey contains traces of pollen which is often what most hayfever and environment-related allergies are caused by. By ingesting tiny quantities of pollen it is believed that the person becomes less sensitive to pollen and won’t experience as many symptoms in the future.
The two main clinical studies that have been conducted on the effectiveness of honey as hay fever treatment are not trusted as they used too small a sample size and have conflicting results. One small study saw hayfever relief in the patients who ingested large quantities of honey regularly for 8-weeks but no other trial has found the same results.
Health Benefits of Honey
Honey has many nutritional and health benefits including:
- It is rich in vitamins C B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6
- Packed with minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphate
- Has many medicinal properties
- Is believed to be a natural antibacterial and is often used on the skin
Children under 12 months of age should not ingest honey as they are at risk of infant botulism.
Whilst honey hasn’t been proven to help with throat allergies it can help with the common cough, eat if you enjoy it but don’t rely on it as your first line of defence from allergy symptoms.
At this stage, not enough research has shown that honey is an effective natural remedy for allergies. Seek professional medical advice on which allergy treatment is the right option for you.