When spring allergy season struck, a friend advised me to buy some local honey from the farmers market. Eating a spoonful a day would build up my body's immunities to the local allergens and alleviate my symptoms — or so the thinking goes.
Does this home remedy actually work?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. The New York Times Health section wrote about a study that randomly divided spring allergy sufferers into three groups and treated them with a daily tablespoon of different substances: local, unfiltered and unpasteurized honey, commercial honey, and a corn syrup placebo. Over the course of several months, the two honey groups had no improvement over the placebo group.
The president of the of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Dr. Stanley Fineman, gives this explanation for the results:
"Seasonal allergies are usually triggered by windborne pollens, not by pollens spread by insects," he said. So it's unlikely that honey "collected from plants that do not cause allergy symptoms would provide any therapeutic benefit."
I'm a little disappointed local honey isn't the magical allergy cure I had hoped it would be, but glad to know the truth about this home remedy.
• Read more: Can Eating Local Honey Cure Allergies? - New York Times
Had you ever heard of this treatment before?