Honey for Allergy Relief?
Each spring, the stories circulate on blogs and message boards: honey is a miracle drug. It relieves allergies and clears the sinuses. It’s a double-barreled histamine buster. Recent years have even seen a new wrinkle added to the myth, namely that the honey must be locally grown so that it contains the same varieties of pollen you breathe every day.
But what if it’s all just a bunch of buzz?
The medical community is largely agreed on the usefulness of honey in the treatment of allergies: no way. Although it may provide some measure of temporary relief when steeped in tea, any medical benefit that honey offers almost certainly comes from its high levels of sugar and acidity, both of which can help you feel better in the short term.
As to the claims about honey and local pollen: the pollen in your honey has little to do with the microscopic particles you breathe on a daily basis. Local or far-flung, honey cannot do much for your allergic symptoms other than confer a brief pleasurable feeling that last precisely as long as it takes to swallow your favorite concoction.
As one M.D. recently put it:
“If you are consuming it because your allergies are meaningfully going to be changed, we don’t have any evidence to support that,” he said.