Benefits of Honey and Allergies

Benefits of Honey and Allergies

The arrival of spring brings joy to many people, but it also signals the onset of seasonal allergies. If you’re one of the millions of people impacted by seasonal allergies, you know how disruptive the symptoms can be. Congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes can make it difficult to enjoy the beauty of the season. But, there may be a sweet solution to alleviate your symptoms - honey. A recent study conducted by Xavier University students indicates that consuming honey, local or non-local, may lead to a reduction in allergy symptoms. Let's delve into the power of honey and how it may benefit allergy sufferers to sweeten health.

Honey has been used for centuries for its health benefits, and it’s not just for sweetening your tea or drizzling over your toast

Honey contains many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that are beneficial for our health. Furthermore, raw and unprocessed honey is chock-full of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, potassium, calcium, and vitamin C. All of these nutrients can help boost your immune system, ward off illness and reduce inflammation, which can lead to allergy symptoms.

One of the most significant benefits of consuming honey is that it can introduce small amounts of pollen into your system. Consuming small amounts of pollen can help your body build up immunity and tolerance over time. It works similarly to allergen immunotherapy, the allergy shot that introduces small amounts of allergens to your body to build a tolerance. However, consuming honey is a more natural and less invasive way to achieve this result.

It’s essential to note that not all honey is created equal. The most beneficial honey is raw and unprocessed, as this type of honey retains all its nutrients and healthy enzymes. While the study referenced above did not specify whether raw honey was used, it’s still crucial to seek out the highest quality honey possible. Furthermore, honey from local bees may provide even more benefits as it introduces local pollen to your system, which may help with regional allergies.

honeybee on pollen

Honey contains allergy-fighting zinc

Zinc assists with immune system function. It’s also believed to bring down the swelling in the nasal mucosa. If you’re tired of dealing with annoying and uncomfortable nasal inflammation during allergy season, get more zinc by consuming honey. You may also get honey from other dietary sources. Zinc is also available in supplement form, but many people prefer to get zinc from food.

Eight milligrams per day is a safe amount of zinc for females, according to the website. Men may take up to 11 milligrams of zinc per day. Zinc content in honey ranges from .22 mg per 100 grams to 3.25 mg per 100 grams. Adding pure honey to a cup of tea or a cup of honey to a recipe will help you get the zinc you need during allergy season. Eating honey from a teaspoon or tablespoon is also a delicious self-care idea. Eating honey "straight-up" will become a pleasant daily ritual.

pollen in a frame of beesswax

Honey is rich in choline

Suppose you rely on Benadryl (diphenhydramine) to combat allergy symptoms related to mold or other environmental triggers or seasonal allergies. In that case, you should know that one scientific study showed that Benadryl is anticholinergic. This is terrible news, as our brains need choline. Luckily, honey contains 7.5 milligrams of choline per cup. Getting the choline, you need from natural honey may help you avoid this negative Benadryl side effect. Even if you don’t use Benadryl, you’ll find that getting choline from honey is great for your brain health. Choline supports optimal motor skills, memory, and attention span.

Honey contains anti-allergy folate

According to research conducted by the Children’s Center at John Hopkins, inadequate folate levels may boost the risk of allergies. Research study participants with the lowest serum folate levels had a significantly higher risk of testing positive for allergies. Honey contains 6.8 mcg of folate per cup, and folate boosts brain and heart health. Integrating honey into your regular diet can be a great way to get the folate needed to improve several areas of your health and reduce allergy symptoms.

Honey and Allergies and Immunotherapy

There is a good deal of evidence that suggests honey helps with allergies. More peer-reviewed scientific studies are needed, and these types of studies may be performed in the future. Since the research thus far looks promising, taking honey as a natural allergy treatment is worth a try.

macro image of corner of honeycomb

Enjoy any of these honey recipes in support of immunotherapy:

These green smoothies will hit the spot and cover the bases during the pollen season. Get the benefit of your daily dosage of greens and other beneficial nutrients from honey in one drink! Here are reasons to add honey to smoothies.

Try this honey nut granola on Greek yogurt with a couple of tablespoons of honey. This raw recipe means that all of the vital nutrients from honey are still intact.

Salad anyone? Simply made lemon vinaigrette dressing with honey can offer these added benefits that you may not have considered when trying to work raw honey into your daily diet for immunotherapy.

For a nice little detox, this Honey and Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Drink involves mixing something lovely with something very sour and drinking it in the interest of good health. 

Try any healthy eats made with honey to help build your immune system. Some people wait to do this for signs of seasonal allergies. I have found that if I ingest as little as one tablespoon a day, year-round, I see a change.

While honey may not eliminate allergy symptoms entirely and results may vary, it’s still a delicious, natural, and healthy way to sweeten your health and potentially alleviate your symptoms this season.

pear blossoms on the farm

Seasonal allergies can be a real downer, but incorporating honey into your daily routine may provide a natural and sweet solution. Honey is a nutritious food that contains antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, and essential vitamins and minerals that all benefit our health. Furthermore, consuming small amounts of pollen found in honey can help build up immunity and reduce allergy symptoms over time. If you’re interested in trying honey to relieve your allergies, be sure to seek out the highest quality, raw and unprocessed honey possible, and perhaps try local honey to introduce local pollen to your system. Honey is delicious and a healthier alternative to traditional allergy medications. Give it a try, and sweeten up your health this season!