What kind of honey is best, if I am trying to fight allergies?

There are no peer-reviewed scientific studies to prove whether honey reduces allergies, but there is substantial anecdotal evidence to suggest that it can help.

Without scientific evidence, there are only theories about why honey may be able to reduce allergies. The prevailing theory is that honey works like a vaccination. A vaccine introduces a dummy version of a particular germ or virus into the body, effectively tricking it into believing it has been invaded, which triggers a response from the immune system.

When that happens, antibodies are produced which fights off the foreign invaders. Then, when the body is exposed to the harmful virus or germ, the antibodies are ready.

By eating honey, the body is gradually "vaccinated" against allergens in a process known as immunotherapy.

Because honey contains a variety of the same pollen spores as the ones that give allergy sufferers so much trouble when grasses and flowers are in bloom, the idea is to introduce the spores into the body in small amounts while eating honey. This, theoretically, should make the body accustomed to their presence and make it less likely for the body's immune system to release histamine.

Because the concentration of spores found in honey is much lower than sniffing a flower, the production of the antibodies should not trigger symptoms that are similar to an allergic reaction.

If you decide to eat honey daily, it is best to use a local honey. That honey is usually produced within a few miles of where you live and there is a good chance that the varieties of flowering grasses and plants that give you trouble are the same kinds the bees are including in the honey they produce.

After all, if you live in Georgia, it would not do you much good to eat honey with spores from a type of grass that thrives in Michigan.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.