Here in God’s country we tend to be fond of natural remedies. So I’m sure many of you have heard that eating raw local honey can cure allergies – but I thought I might add my personal experience to your repertoire of wisdom.
I started getting seasonal allergies in high school, but had several years where I thought I just had a cold. Around 18 a doctor told me that the rings under my eyes and the way I was constantly wiping at my nose were dead ringers for seasonal allergies. They weren’t too bad at the time, but each year they got worse.
By the time I was pregnant with my first it had become pretty hard to tolerate and as much as I didn’t want to take medication I was popping the class “b” (pregnancy safe) pills all through the summer. This began several years of highly medicated spring/summers. I remember constantly weighing the benefits of being cognizant vs. dealing with the allergies. I was at the point where I was spending months in glasses with tears pouring down my face – itching my eyes constantly and trying to scratch my throat with the back of my tongue. I wasn’t pretty.
Doctors had recommended steroids at this point, which I really felt uncomfortable with, but I was also aware that none of the typical drugs were making a difference, or else had side effects that were bothersome as well.
I mentioned all of this to my brother in law once on a trip to CA and he told me he used to have allergies but didn’t anymore? That seemed insane – I’d never met anyone who had “cured” their allergies. He said he had just started taking a teaspoon or more of honey in his coffee every morning. It had been two years, but he no longer had any symptoms.
So I gave it a try. The first year I couldn’t tell a difference. My allergies were still awful. I quit after about 4 months – but then a few months started up again. The next summer the difference was remarkable. I still took allergy medication a few times – but not daily and they seemed far less severe. I wondered if it might not just be a “low pollen” year?
Hopeful, I continued for another entire year having tea every afternoon with raw local honey in my tea. Every day. The next summer I had no doubt. I didn’t take one single allergy pill the entire summer. (Actually I did take one – it was on a day that I was going to meet a friend at the park and I was afraid that I would get allergies and ruin the day so I took one – but before I got to the park my son got appendicitis and we never made it. A few weeks later I realized that I never wound up needing any allergy medicine at all.
That was more than two years ago. I still have a teaspoon of raw local honey every single day and while I can still tell when allergy season has hit – (I will sneeze every now and then for no good reason, or get a tingly feeling in my throat that I recognize)– I have not taken any allergy medication in several years. I am for all intents and purposes “cured.”
I have also fallen in love with our local honey – in fact I can now tell the differences between different honeys. For example I currently get my honey from “Montrose Honey Company.” But when they ran out I tried another local honey – and didn’t like the flavor as much. Who would have guessed that a person could become a honey snob? But I am! They all have very different tastes – and once you are used to raw honey – the “clover honey” sold in the grocery stores, (Is it really honey? Is it made by actual bees?”) tastes incredibly bland.
There is one caveat I need to add. Raw honey is at risk for carrying Botulism toxin (the same poison used for Bo-tox). So there is a risk every time you eat it. You should never give it to an infant – and I always take a little from a new jar before giving it to anyone else in the family. (A healthy adult is only likely to get sick – but it could be deadly to an infant.) So as with all local unpasteurized produce we are accepting more responsibility for the natural inherent risks with our food – but we are also getting far more anti-oxidants and benefits. After all, the grocery store honey will never cure you of your allergies!
Chipetamama is a mama of three. Her recent accomplishments include allowing each of her children to suck on the shopping cart at some point in time, being the world’s best non-rockclimbing belayer, and mastering the art of changing a diaper one-handed.
Photo Credits Blinc