Introduction: Allergies Remedy

Picture of Allergies Remedy

It's that time of the year again when itchy nose and watery eyes make life for allergy sufferers nearly impossible. Whether you experience mild symptoms or deteriorate completely, seasonal allergies, also referred to as hay fever, can make life uncomfortable. Pollen, the harmless culprit, causes your body to create histamines to wage war on what it thinks is spores or dust mites. The released histamines causes your soft tissues to swell in the hopes of resisting and expelling any foreign bodies it deems hazardous. What's worse is that allergies can develop through your life, and what was once a happy spring day outdoors turns into a sneezing and crying fiasco.

Over-the-counter remedies, known as antihistamines, block your body's fighting ability, allowing the harmless pollen to be processed by your body without any adverse effects. Unfortunately, most antihistamines cause drowsiness along with dry sinuses, and usually need to be taken on a daily basis to block your body's responses towards pollen.

But what if you could prevent an allergy attack? Completely. And naturally.

In this instructable, I'll show you what some people swear is the best allergy remedy: Honey & Pollen!

Let's get started!

Step 1: Benefits of Honey & Pollen

Picture of Benefits of Honey & Pollen

That amazing golden syrup that bees conjure up is internationally and historically used to cure a plethora of ailments and diseases. And allergies to boot.

Using local honey, that has been made from pollen in your general area has the best remedial use to prevent an allergy flare-up. This is because the pollen that is causing a ruckus in your sinuses is the same pollen that the bees have processed to create their honey.

The idea behind eating honey to cure allergies is like gradually vaccinating the body against allergens, a process called immunotherapy.

Honey contains a variety of the same pollen spores that give allergy sufferers so much trouble when flowers and grasses are in bloom. Introducing these spores into the body in small amounts by eating honey should make the body accustomed to their presence and decrease the chance an immune system response like the release of histamine will occur. Since the concentration of pollen spores found in honey is low -- compared to, say, sniffing a flower directly -- then the production of antibodies shouldn't trigger symptoms similar to an allergic reaction. Ideally, the honey-eater won't have any reaction at all.

[source: AAFP].

In addition to eating local honey, one can also eat local pollen. That's right! While bees are busy drinking the nectar of flowers, their bodies rub against the pollen of the plant, and unbeeknownst (tehehe) to them, they take this pollen back to their hive and eat it later. However, bees usually take much more pollen with them than they could possibly use, and so bee keepers will take the extra pollen and sell it for its remedial benefits. Taking in small amounts of the pollen daily during allergy season can help build up immunotherapy just like local honey!

Step 2: Action Plan

Picture of Action Plan

So rather than taking an over-the-counter antihistamine, which only combats allergy symptoms, we're going to prevent the entirety of allergies by dealing with at the source: the pollen.

Take a 1/4 teaspoon of local raw (unpasturized*) honey as early in the morning as possible, along with a teaspoon of local pollen, which could be found at a local bee keeper's. Don't fret if you do not see results immediately, as your body may need time to develop it's immunity to the pollen.

The National Institutes of Health report you should never consume raw honey in order to prevent food poisoning, particularly if you are already immunocompromised. It’s especially dangerous to give raw honey to infants under the age of one. According to MayoClinic.com, giving raw honey to infants may cause infant botulism,

Comments

swormsbecker (author)2014-03-16

I have to say I am shocked that someone would post something like this… Using bee pollen as some sort of do it yourself immunotherapy for known allergies is extremely dangerous. Bee pollen poses a relatively high risk of anaphylactic reactions in individuals who already have a pre-existing allergic condition. No one should ever consume bee pollen with a history of allergies without first consulting with an allergist.

Kweek (author)swormsbecker2014-07-21

Those that have anaphylactic reactions to pollen probably already know it, and they probably live in a plastic bubble breathing filtered air.

sconner1 (author)swormsbecker2014-03-18

How did the human race survive before the god-like modern medicine pill pushers showed up?

sconner1 (author)sconner12014-06-17

This is simply a remedy for seasonal allergies ie. sneezing and itchy/watery eyes. If you have a severe life threatening allergy to anything I hope you're smart enough not to induce anaphylactic shock on yourself.

shadec (author)sconner12014-06-15

Poorly. You're welcome.

swormsbecker (author)sconner12014-03-18

I made no mention of "pushing pills", but to answer your question: we reproduced before age fifteen, and typically died before age 30. Our current longevity is the direct result of those same pushers who also managed to provide a few other concepts - hygiene, decreased perinatal mortality, immunizations against nasties like smallpox, and penicillin.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_expectancy
Know anyone who has ever been diagnosed with pneumonia? Guess what - in the pre-antibiotic era that carried a 1 in 3 mortality. Don't even get me started on TB or dysentery and how many people in the third world still die from a myriad of such diseases because they are deprived of the "pill pushers" you loathe. So maybe the next time you feel sick, or your family member has belly pain or chest pain, reconsider your loathing of the pill pushers.

amalkhan (author)swormsbecker2014-03-16

One should consult with their physician if they fear having an anaphylactic reaction while trying any new medicine. Because honey is made up of nectar and pollen, a patient with a severe reaction to pollen would usually be allergic to honey as well.

This is simply an alternative remedy to those individuals who have tried all the other allergy preventive/ remedial options.

swormsbecker (author)amalkhan2014-03-16

My point is that it's potentially harmful, and considering that all evidence has shown it to be useless, it seems reckless to post it as a remedy.
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-78-BEE%20POLLEN.aspx?activeIngredientId=78&activeIngredientName=BEE%20POLLEN

Ulsha made it! (author)2014-05-22

I notice a lot of people pulling out the screaming alarms for this one but it's a therapy I stand by.

I started by consuming local honey, as I know it contains the region-centric pollens I react to (as a rule I aim for 20-50 miles away from residency as we have a surprisingly diverse biome in NM). This worked to a point but I needed to consume large quantities for long periods for moderate relief. After a while I moved to bee pollen but did start by adding a few granuals to the honey to test reaction. Now its my go to and a teaspoon once a day for a week slashes the near hospitalization reactions I received before, for 3 to 4 months.

I've advised both to others who react to exactly the same pollens, but I do advise the start with honey and ramp to pollen if they show positive results to the therapy and no adverse reactions. This is also a been a better treatment for locals since diabetes is rampant and some allergy sufferers can't/ won't take large doses of the straight honey (their reason, not mine) and they already have enough bills to take high cost over the counter meds.

That said I DO NOT under ANY circumstance recommends this therapy on children under two or ANYONE with immuno-deficency syndromes or gastrointestinal disorders, especially where there is a lack of the vital bacteria in the intestinal tract. I advise them in the strongest language to stay away from all bee products all together and speak to a physician before even looking at even pseudo honey.

Also do not recommend buying if it's not directly from the apiary and always talk to the owner/ processor and ask questions to test their product and procedures. You can tell someone who is talking their passion and knows their stuff from someone hawking a products with enough conversation.


Disclosure: In past 5 years I've had two ambulance calls and numerous near pass-out/ asphyxia attacks that set off my asthma, which only present at high allergen or pollution levels. Thankfully I live in a low pollution desert area but the woods in the valleys on NM have a really potent resin/seeds/pollen from the tasty pinon, to the magical cotton woods and their seeds showers (our own version of the sakura showers), to the famous purple sage. This therapy helps treat the reaction with a success and efficiency that expensive allergen shots can't touch, having tried OTC, prescription pills, and shots. We have grasslands, sagelands, alpine woods, swamps, and high/low desert that have a stunning diversity of plant life and modern medicine cannot cover it for me without just shutting down all reactions and that has it's own misery. Even if I slack or am late in taking the therapy it only takes a couple days for full effect so a few days of sinus drying generic antihistamine pills to restrict the worst of the reactions.

Ulsha (author)Ulsha2014-05-22

A note got chopped: When I stated "In past 5 years I've had two ambulance calls...." The first was before the therapy and shots when I was using OTC and the recently devastated trees I reacted too were making a comeback and the second was after extremely heavy rains rains spawned a fast growth that caught me flat footed. The attacks were because I didn't pick back up on the therapy early enough in the season and let my immune response relapse. Where I live doesn't have the worst of the plants, its when I go to work, so I can't tell until it too late sometimes and have to play catch up.

jaxboy (author)2014-03-19

One other fact about honey: it is the only food that never spoils. I read once in a science magazine about 3000 year-old honey that was found, and it was still edible! It is similar to mother's milk, in that it contains antibodies that prevent organisms from growing in it. Although it is technically sugar, it isn't processed by the body in the same way fructose and other sugars are. Also, regarding urushiol: it never loses its potency. If you touch something that has urushiol on it, and the skin where you touched it was damp, you could reactivate it. Dead poison ivy can be as harmful as fresh poison ivy. A friend burnt some poison ivy once and breathed the smoke. He ended up in the hospital for several days.

Majornav (author)jaxboy2014-03-20

But it can contain clostridium botulinum spores, which is why it is dangerous to an infants developing digestive tract. It has no antibodies, only a lack of water to support life, just like Karo (corn syrup).

The roots of poison ivy have much higher concentrations and if you are among the 30% that are immune, you won't be after touching the roots. Asians once used urushiol in lacquers and just touching it can still cause a reaction.

Majornav (author)2014-03-18

I've created a little bit of controversy, let me try to answer all in one entry.

Fact: Humans are only allergic to proteins. If you start with this, it is much easier to isolate the real culprit.

Fact: Urushiol is not a protein. But it is a solvent that modifies the langerhans cells (protein source) in our skin into something unrecognizable to our white cells and thus the reaction. Read plantprof's entry below

Fact: Honey contains traces of proteins that can be bacteria, bee detritis (cells), wax, etc. Any of those can cause an allergic reaction. There may or may not be pollen and if there is it probably isn't the ones that give you allergy symptoms. So small doses of honey may reduce your alleries to honey, but not likely do anything for your seasonal allergies. But don't blame the sugars.

'Nough said.

Metals. Nickel is a very common allergy and is one of the alloys in gold that is less than 24k. Again, it is the unique oils and acids in our kin that react to the metal and cause the problems.

If you think you are allergic to a nonreactive metal like 24k pure gold, you are not. It HAS to be something else.

From my own experience, and 15 years of trying to figure it out, the culprit was the proteins in my own sweat and oil themselves. I react to hypo-allergenic everything because they trap the oils and sweat next to my skin. So anywhere that can't breath (armpits, elbow bends, etc) or be cleaned often erupts in a rash. I can only use Dove soap because it doesn't leave a film on my body like Dial and most other soaps. Not allergic to soap, just the effects of the soap. I wear thin rings and loose metal watchbands to prevent trapping. All bandages have to be remove and replaced every 12 hours or so.

Majornav (author)2014-03-16

We are only allergic to proteins and there are very little in honey.

Vampyra65 (author)Majornav2014-03-18

You are wrong.

lyonpridej (author)Majornav2014-03-16

Not sure I'm understanding correctly, are you are saying you couldn't be allergic to honey because it has very little protein in it? I've had allergy-type reactions to honey before.

neddy1 (author)lyonpridej2014-03-17

Majornav is incorrect, at least in premise. While allergies to honey are due to protein (bees collect pollen as a protein source for brood), honey is not completely devoid of protein. Raw honey is unrefined, and therefore has even more of those proteins. Though there is little protein in honey, it is not the relative concentration of protein in a solution that causes a response, but the total dose of the allergen within a given time period and the individual's reactivity to that allergen.

Humans are not exclusively allergic to proteins. Nickel and a number of other metals are notably not proteins and yet cause allergic contact dermatitis in people with those allergies. Urushiol is not a protein - the oil in poison ivy - yet it is an allergen.

lyonpridej (author)neddy12014-03-17

My thought on allergies is 'never say never'. You just can't say nobody will be allergic to a substance.

I'm allergic to nickel - but, I'm also allergic to gold. I've been told countless times that you can't have an allergy to 24 carat gold, that it must not be a good quality. But yet I react to it. I can't wear my wedding rings even though the company lined the bands - TWICE - with 24 carat gold, not believing I was allergic to it, but yet my finger still blistered badly. I can't even wear the 'hypoallergenic' jewelry, nothing but stainless steel or sometimes sterling silver..

Strangely enough, with all my other allergies, I've never reacted to poison ivy - hoping it stays that way :D

neddy1 (author)lyonpridej2014-03-17

I definitely agree, and that's a large part of why I've noted my objections here. It's a bit irresponsible to advocate haphazardly ingesting a substance under an unproven premise that it might reduce allergy repsonses. There's a lot of documented cases of anaphylaxis in response to bee pollen. Honey is definitely an allergen to those sensitive to it. There's no evidence that oral ingestion of bee pollen can reduce allergies.

SLIT can, but it's a very different protocol.

You might have luck with something like tungsten carbide - it's gaining some popularity in jewelry as highly durable alternatives to other traditional jewelry metals. I know that they've made a number of men's designs.

Majornav (author)lyonpridej2014-03-17

Correct, it depends upon what may have been added, etiher intentionally or unintentionally. i.e. processed in a facility that has nuts or from a farm/home that didn't follow processing guidelines or homogenize it.

Peanut allergy sufferers can drink peanut oil as long as it has been properly filtered to get all the proteins out.

High fructose corn syrup is sometime processed with sulphur. The sulphides produced are the culprit of the allergy, not the fructose.

lyonpridej (author)Majornav2014-03-17

Then how would you explain a reaction to honey that was unprocessed & straight out of the hive? During the time I was having reactions to honey, I had reactions to store-bought raw honey, so I might believe what you say about the way it was processed. BUT, I also had reactions to honey that was removed straight from the hives sitting on my mother's property, that was not processed.

neddy1 (author)Majornav2014-03-16

That's incorrect. Billions of people are allergic to urushiol, the principle allergen in poison ivy/oak, and it is not a protein. There is no amine group and no carboxylic acid group. It is entirely devoid of nitrogen, in fact. So it is most definitely not a protein. A look at the wikipedia page on allergens actually features a list including a number of non-protein allergens.

plantprof (author)neddy12014-03-17

While the urushiol is a lipid rather than a protein, it slowly combines with cell membrane proteins and makes your own cells appear as "non-self" -- with an altered self-protein. Thus your body mounts an atopic immune response against the "foreign" substance on your skin cells [the combination molecule of your protein and the urushiol] and destroys the cells, resulting in the inflammation and blisters. That it takes time for the urushiol to combine to skin cell membranes explains why the rash usually is noticed too late to take immediate action and why flushing the area immediately [or at least ASAP] with cold water can rinse off some urushiol before it absorbs and combines to your own cells. Even putting your hand [affected skin area] in a puddle can float some of the oil off. Several minutes in running cold water is better to reduce the amount of oil left behind. And urushiol can be transferred to your skin by anything it is on [animal fur, clothing, garden gloves, shoes, rakes, etc.] or if the poison ivy is burned, the smoke may contain volatilized urushiol oil droplets. So you can get poison ivy or oak from your dog, or shoes you wore in weeds days ago, laundering your childs contaminated clothes, or possibly walking through smoke from a brush fire.

neddy1 (author)plantprof2014-03-17

Which is completely true, and with which I do not disagree. Yes, the immune response involves proteins at many levels, but the fact remains that humans are not "only allergic to proteins." That's a completely inaccurate way to put it. Antigens are usually proteins but can also be polysaccharides and lipids. Allergens can even be metals like nickel.

Thanks for offering your expertise (I assume your username is apt) and the opportunity to expand.

Vampyra65 (author)2014-03-18

I'm allergic to honey (and many pollens) and my eyes swell shut. I guess your treatment is not for me. I tried honey to help with my pollen allergies until this happened. My Dr told me to never do this again :o(

dkimbril (author)2014-03-17

Im allergic to mold. What i can i take with honey to fix that?

zogmeister (author)2014-03-17

Hi

There is some evidence that in selected cases this may have some small benefit.

however, it is absolutely not suitable for serious or life threatening allergy.

Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2011;155(2):160-6. doi: 10.1159/000319821. Epub 2010 Dec 23. "Birch Pollen Honey for Birch Pollen Allergy -- a Randomized Controlled Pilot Study"

It is important to point out that the participants in this study were identified as having a specific allergy to Birch pollen through skin prick testing and specific IgE. This process of using pollen in honey will absolutely not work for any other allergy other than that of the pollen present in the honey. i.e. it will not work for a food allergy e.g. peanut it will not work for an allergy to mugwort pollen if there is only grass pollen in the honey etc, each pollen has a season within the hayfever season, e.g. those occuring early in the year are usually allergic to tree pollens, mid year grasses and end of year weeds.

Allergen exposure, even in immunotherapies, which aim to cure you, can induce systemic anaphylaxis; this is where the level of histamine released is such that the entire vasculature relaxes causing a catastrophic fall in blood pressure in conjunction with swelling of the tongue and throat, occluding the airways. Together these will result in death if not treated immediately with adrenaline and anti-histamines. This is why the majority of professionals who perform allergen desensitisation therapy do so in a Dr's surgery with access to resuscitation facillities and resuscitation is not gaurenteed. If you have "brittle" uncontrolled asthma you are much less likely to respond to resuscitation and have a much higher chance of dying from anaphylaxis.

Remag1234 (author)2014-03-16

I go along with all the naysayers, allergies are and could be dangerous for many. Try untested home remedies is playing Russian Roulette.

amalkhan (author)Remag12342014-03-16

Allergies could absolutely be dangerous to your overall health. Obviously, if you see that taking the bee pollen is adversely affecting your health, then please by all means, STOP TAKING IT.

lyonpridej (author)amalkhan2014-03-17

"Obviously, if you see that taking the bee pollen is adversely affecting your health, by all means, STOP TAKING IT" - what if the reaction happens the 1st time you take it? Obviously, then it could be too late. I'm not trying to be rude, but your comments are coming across that way. And "Since the concentration of pollen spores found in honey is low....the production of antibodies shouldn't trigger symptoms similar to an allergic reaction" , your source isn't listed, but it's wrong.

I don't think people are attacking you out of meanness, I think there's a real concern that your instructable could have serious consequences for these people who try everything they read on the internet without consideration of what might happen. Hundreds, or thousands of people could read your advice and go out & try this stuff with no problem, and maybe even feel better because of it. But what about that one person who doesn't know any better, who maybe has hayfever but doesn't put 2 & 2 together, tries your remedy & has a serious allergic reaction to it - or gives it to their kid who has allergies?

Nobody who has any kind of hayfever, plant allergies, insect allergies, etc., should try this without being aware of what can happen & have an epi-pen on hand - every time they take it, because it might not be the first dose that gets you.

I am not allergic to bees, but I'm allergic to red ants. I have 'outdoor allergies/hayfever' & shellfish allergy. I ate raw honey all the time growing up, then one day in my early 30s, a small spoonful made my lips swell, my mouth & throat burn, itch and tingle like a bite of shrimp does. I can eat raw honey again, many years later, but I'm still very careful. I've never eaten pollen, I certainly wouldn't try as much as is recommended here for my first try, I might start with a grain on my tongue & go from there - maybe, but I might be to afraid for even that. And I wouldn't mix the 2 together either, until I knew how I reacted to each one separately.

lyonpridej (author)lyonpridej2014-03-17

Forgot to add - I'm not saying it doesn't work. I've heard a lot of people who swear by it, even if science says it doesn't. What I am saying, is that it's touted as a treatment to the very people in could harm the most - people with allergies. At the very least, there should be some sort of disclaimer or warning on here. Even the instructable compares this to immunotherapy - well, immunotherapy is done in a doctor's office, with medical people who watch for an allergic reaction, have treatment on hand for it, and won't let you leave the office for at least 20 minutes after they give it to you.

Remag1234 (author)2014-03-16
lukee019 (author)2014-03-15

Will this work if I'm allergic to pollen?

neddy1 (author)lukee0192014-03-16

This might send you into anaphylaxis if you're allergic to pollen - as it does to a few people every year who try this. Meanwhile, there is no evidence whatsoever that this would work if you were not allergic to pollen.

neddy1 (author)2014-03-13

I was unable to find any sources relevant to this article on the AAFP's site, or through any publications or journals through the AAFP. I would really appreciate any relevant links or citations.

A study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology in 2002 showed no benefit to the use of honey for the treatment of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11868925

dfryer (author)neddy12014-03-16

The NY times also did a great article reviewing multiple tests regarding honey and seasonal allergies. No effect at all. Look it up it is well written and public access.

neddy1 (author)dfryer2014-03-16

I haven't been able to find anything credible on bee pollen helping rhinoconjunctivitis. I have been able to find plenty on people who tried bee pollen for one reason or another and ended up in anaphylaxis.

I'm afraid this is just another myth perpetuated based on the gut feeling that it should work on a vaguely similar mechanic to the SLIT allergy treatment methodology.

onemoroni1 (author)2014-03-16

I'm desperate! My allergies make me miserable or simi-miserable all year long!

dfryer (author)2014-03-16

As a beekeeper and seller of local honey and pollen, I hate to say it but the pollen bees collect is from plants like apples, dandelions, and other plants that depend on insects to pollinate them. The pollen blowing around in large amounts that people react to is wind pollinated. Not the same stuff. Also the amount of pollen in the honey is almost undetectable. It is also always going to be a different amount and type of en depending on the season and year. You can not get a consistent dose to "vaccinate against". Any pollen in the honey is shredded in your stomach long before a immune response gets involved. Honey is great stuff but it DOES NOT cure or even effect seasonal allergies. Clinical testing backs this up. Buy local honey for the unique taste and enjoy it for what it is. Let medicine be medicine and food be food.

thoughtfission (author)dfryer2014-03-16

Very nice summary :)

thoughtfission (author)2014-03-16

Any suggestions to remedy a newly developed allergy to honey itself?

kjawor (author)2014-03-13

A teaspoon of pollen is way too much....I would start with 1/8 tsp.
Pollen is very strong and potent substance.

amalkhan (author)kjawor2014-03-13

oops! typo! thanks for pointing that out!

Jobar007 (author)2014-03-13

If your allergies are due to plants that bees collect pollen off from, this works miracles. If you are like me and are affected by grasses and trees with catkins, you are out of luck down this road. The point of this is to build up your resistance to pollen that you are allergic to slowly, over time. A teaspoon is a huge dose and I agree with the other comments that you should start out smaller and work your way up.

Datawolf (author)2014-03-13

When you are allergic, you are not allergic to pollen, but to specific pollen(s).

bricobart (author)2014-03-13

Adding the propolis parameter would make the equation complete. Useful I'ble, rock the bees!

kdbarnes (author)2014-03-12

I am allergic to pollen so this won't work for me

Pointyhead (author)2014-03-12

One thing that should be considered when taking bee pollen as a suppliment is to start with the smallest possible dosage. IMHO a teaspoon is far too much to start with, and in fact could be quite dangerous if it is unknown how your body will react.

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