Local Honey For Hay-fever

Can honey help your hay-fever?

It that time of year! I tend to get contacted for my local honey as it is believed that local honey may desensitise the symptoms of hay fever. Immunotherapy is a treatment where a small amount of the allergen (pollen) is administered over time so that the body builds up a resistance to it. Unlike honey produce on a larger scale, local honey from a small supplier is less filtered and is raw, which means collected straight from the honey extractor; it is unheated, unpasteurised and therefore contains more pollen particles and more nutrients as it is not heated during production.

Honey drizzling from a honey spoon one r a honey pot.
Cherry Blossom in full bloom

Your Hay-fever!

To know if honey will be effective at releasing symptoms the sufferer needs to identify the type of pollen they are allergic to, for example tree or grass pollen. Honey bees don't forage on grass from your garden lawn and so its unlikely their honey will contain grass pollen, so how can desensitisation occur? They do forage on Horse-chestnut, Wild Cherry and Lime trees. In fact I get the most requests for my honey when Lime and Horse-chesnut trees are in flower in May and June. So if you are a tree pollen sufferer, local honey may do the trick. Evidence  suggest that eating honey in high doses helps with allergy symptoms if taken over a prolonged period, therefore take honey before your hay fever starts! Want some evidence? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24188941

Frances O'Reilly