Pollen, pollen and more pollen: hay fever patients should be disturbed. treatment? local honey. but? Unfortunately, this treatment also does not work, writes Ronald Feldhuizen.
Hay fever desperation. On you, when you see the lists of nonsensical remedies people cry out to get rid of allergic sneezing and watery eyes. Nonsense stories resurface every spring, along with the clouds of pollen and pollen that hay fever sufferers fear so much. One tip is crazier than the following: eat live or ground firewood, drink gin and tonic or rub Vaseline under your nose. This is clearly all nonsense (yes, Vaseline advice too), so I’m not going to talk about it.
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Does honey work against hay fever?
There is a fake tip that seems a bit plausible. Personally, I’m allergic to this kind of talk, especially when something has been backed by science for a while. It comes down to this hay fever tip: Eat local honey. Local honey is made by local bees, or so the idea went, and these bees visit the trees and plants in the area where everyone always has a lot of hay fever complaints. The honey will then contain small amounts of allergen pollen – just enough to get your body used to it and thus create a full blown An allergic hay fever attack does not occur. So it stands to reason that many beekeepers are playing with this anecdote: buy my hazel and beat hay fever.
The funny thing is that some studies seem to confirm that topical honey helps fight hay fever. But those who actually read the research came to different conclusions. Participants in a frequently cited Finnish trial with birch pollen honey had as many hay fever complaints as people who took imported honey. So it helps nothing, at least not better than what you would expect from taking honey alone.
Couple utensils a day
The smash hit: In fact, this treatment may not work. Because the pollen in honey isn’t exactly the kind that causes hay fever. Think for a moment: Plants that need bees for pollination make a sort of heavy pollen that doesn’t spin enough without the help of bees. So there is no light feather pollen, so to speak, blowing into the nostrils of a city park.
If there is any hay fever pollen in the honey, it enters by chance and it is a tiny amount. Bee researchers, along with allergists, have sometimes calculated how much honey you should eat to protect yourself from hay fever: a few jars a day. You may not get hay fever, but you will be in the hospital with liver damage. But don’t do that anyway.
This column is also found in It’s 5/2022†
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