If you’re suffering from the sneezing, watery eyes, and overall itchy unpleasantness of springtime allergies, you might be willing to try anything to feel better. You probably also have at least one friend who’s recommended a daily dose of local honey to combat those symptoms. Sounds delicious, but does it work?

The Logic

Because bees pollenate flowering plants, there’s a small concentration of pollen spores that ends up in honey—and those would align with the pollen spores causing your allergic reaction if the honey is locally produced. With this limited exposure, the body can begin to recognize that pollen is not a threatening substance, and it will reduce the immune reaction you have to plants blooming in the spring.

The Evidence

Though the logic sounds, well, logical, it is not backed by any peer-reviewed studies. In other words, there’s no scientific evidence that consuming a daily dose of local honey will do anything to help your allergies. In addition, many of the pollens responsible for allergy symptoms spread through the air, not by insect pollination. There is, however, plenty of anecdotal evidence, but it’s not clear if this is the placebo effect at work or if the treatment is actually effective as a type of all-natural immunotherapy.

The Verdict

Because there is no ruling in the scientific community favoring local honey as an allergy treatment, it’s not recommended as your go-to method of relief. Still, there may not be much harm in having a spoonful of honey each day, so you can make it part of your routine without doing much real damage.

For real relief rather than mythical remedies, connect with a medical provider using MeMD to find the right treatment for your seasonal allergies and learn more about which homemade remedies are not likely to do much good.


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