Is honey really a solution for allergies?

Honey! You’ve got to listen to this.

If you are looking out of the window and watching sunshine, green grass, that means Spring is officially here. While it might be a good break from the cold winters, it also means an unhealthy dripping nose that won’t stop running.

So, can honey clear up your allergies?

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but no! “Despite tasting great, it’s an urban legend that local honey can clear up seasonal allergies because it contains local pollens,” says David Epstein, MD, a board-certified allergist and immunologist in New York City.

While local honey does contain pollen, it doesn’t actually contain the particular airborne pollens that clear seasonal allergies. And if you’re into scientific data, well, there’s not really any recent studies that are valid or reliable in supporting the local honey vs allergies theory, says Dr Erstein. Bummer!

And even if local honey did contain the types of pollen that cure seasonal allergies, there’s no way to tell if the honey you’re getting is pure and local, or if it’s synthetic, added Purvi Parikh, MD, an allergist and immunologist in New York City, and spokesperson for the Allergy and Asthma Network.

So what actually works?

The first step should obviously be getting in touch with your doctor, who’s aware of your symptoms and can make recommendations on remedies according to your own medical history.

From there, you can try to limit your symptoms (and ultimately improve your life) during allergy season by limiting time spent outdoors when the pollen count is high, changing your clothes immediately after being outside, and showering before going to bed, says Dr Erstein. Medication, like non-drowsy oral antihistamines, can help ease symptoms even more. As far as more permanent remedies go, doctors can alter your response to allergens through allergy immunotherapy.

“Allergy immunotherapy is your best chance at modifying your body’s response to environmental allergies, as it typically helps 80 percent of people who receive treatment,” says Dr Erstein. “Unfortunately, allergy immunotherapy takes time to work and is a big commitment.”

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