Does honey help hay-fever?
Can honey cure hay-fever? It's a topic that many experts, nutritionists and health professionals seem to disagree on. It's been a subject covered a lot in the media seemingly on a yearly basis, with discussions on high profile daytime television shows like ITV's 'This Morning'. Many YouTube videos have been made, some making dubious claims for financial gain and others based on the genuine positive experiences of ordinary people. So, what is the truth? Does honey help to cure hay fever?
The idea of taking honey to reduce or eliminate hay-fever is based on some sound medical science called “immunotherapy”. Without making this blog too complicated, we are essentially talking about treating an allergy like hay-fever by making the body less sensitive to the allergen – in the case of hay-fever that is pollen from trees and plants.
People suffer from hay-fever because our bodies see the pollen that we are breathing in or getting in our eyes as a 'foreign' substance. The theory is that by introducing a small amount of pollen into our body by consuming honey regularly we become less sensitive to the pollen and our reaction to pollen in the air in spring either becomes far less severe or disappears completely. It's a way of actually treating the cause of hay-fever and not just the symptoms.
So does honey help hay-fever?
That's a 'yes' and a 'maybe' from us. Immunotherapy is genuine medical science and has been proven to work in many cases, but this is under strict medical conditions. In these circumstances patients are administered local pollen directly under the tongue in a controlled gradual exposure.
Now this clearly isn't quite the same thing as adding some raw honey into a cup of water in the morning! However raw honey does certainly contain pollen. If you've been taking raw honey regularly during the winter for colds and coughs and continue into the spring, there could be some benefit and many people do report them. So maybe there is an effect for some people as they clearly believe it. It might not be as scientifically measurable, but that doesn't mean there is nothing to it at all.
Everybody is different!
Some people suffer from very severe hay-fever and for those who do we would always recommend seeking your doctor’s professional advice. But if you only suffer with mild hay-fever for a short time you might not want to take drugs to treat those symptoms. If taking a little raw honey everyday during the spring months might help you avoid that completely, then we don't feel that there's a downside to giving it a try!
Some severe sufferers of hay-fever can also spend years trying different types and combinations of drugs to find the right ones that work for them. If taking raw honey as well can give a little boost to help combat their hay-fever then it could be a good idea for those people too.
Raw honey is good for you!
We always have a healthy scepticism when it comes to 'alternative medicines' but in this case we aren't talking about ground up animal horns or homeopathy. We know the benefits of using honey and we know that consuming it isn't going to do you any harm. If it also has an added benefit of helping to eliminate hay-fever for some people then that can only be another big plus for honey in our book! If it works for you then that's great, if it doesn't then you've lost nothing by trying.
Let us know if honey helps your hay-fever!
Have you been treating your hay-fever with honey? Have you noticed a reduction in your hay-fever symptoms since you started using raw honey regularly? We'd love to hear from you whatever your experience.
Leave a comment below and share your story and hay-fever experiences with us!
Natural Hay-Fever Relief Tea
Regardless of whether we can say for certain if honey is effective preventing hay-fever in an immunotherapy manner, here's our Raw honey Hay-Fever Relief Tea that can absolutely help soothe some of those irritating symptoms away!
This simple drink is quick and easy to make and it can provide relief from many of the symptoms of hay-fever. It can be enjoyed hot or cold and we recommend drinking twice a day for maximum effect.
You will need:
- 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of Just Bee Original Raw Vitamin Honey (or Just Bee Lemon & Ginger Raw Vitamin Honey)
- 2 Camomile teabags
- 2 Nettle teabags
- One clove of Garlic
- One Lemon (not required if using the Lemon & Ginger honey)
- A thumb size piece of Ginger (not required if using the Lemon & Ginger honey)
- A small pinch of Cayenne Pepper (optional)
If you have a large tea pot then that's ideal, if not you can use a large pan with a lid or something similar. It needs to be big enough to hold around 6 large mugs or a full kettle of water.
To make the Hay-Fever Relief Tea, it's simply a matter of putting everything in the pot or pan.
The ginger can be roughly chopped into 4 or 5 pieces, the garlic doesn't need to be peeled or chopped just give it a bash and throw it in!
Slice the lemon into quarters and squeeze in the juice before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Pour a kettle of freshly boiled water over, put a lid on and leave to brew for around 5 minutes. Give it a gentle stir, then simply pour yourself a mug and enjoy!
If you want to drink it cold later in the day, we recommend straining into a bottle or suitable container and keeping it in the fridge.
If you find it a bit too spicy then you can reduce the amount of cayenne to taste or even leave it out completely if you need to. If you like it sweeter, just add an extra spoonful of honey! You should start to feel the benefit after a few days.