Honey and allergy relief

This isn’t for me, since my allergies seem to have cured themselves a couple years ago, but I’m curious. Lately I’ve been seeing some friends on Facebook saying they’re suffering from (presumably pollen) allergies. The wide consensus seems to be that eating local honey works just as well, or better, than antihistamines for purposes of pollen allergies.

I can’t find any real info on this online, at least nothing reputable (tons of homeopathy advocacy sites, which doesn’t bode well for its veracity, but I’ve been surprised before). Not even quackwatch seems to have anything on it, only that old Royal Jelly/Bee Pollen bit. So, what’s the deal with local honey and allergies?

Hey, if it makes you feel better, great, but it probably won’t.

Quote from: http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/healthscience/2010/April/Sweet-Remedy-Treating-Allergies-with-Local-Honey/

The theory sounds great, but actually doesn’t work out so good.

I keep bees and sometimes sell honey (mine and other’s.) It is surprising how many people bring up the local honey/allergy question, since I am selling local honey locally. I’m always careful to make no claims about the subject and I’ve never heard any other beekeepers make the claim outright but people really, really want to believe in it.

Customer one: “Is this local honey? I’ve heard blah-de-blah, is it true?”

Customer two, overhearing: “Oh yes, my sister was totally cleared of all allergies with one teaspoon of local honey.”

Me, in my sales cap: “Well this is as local as it gets, the beekeeper lives just down the street. How many do you want?”

Busybody customer: “Don’t you have a problem with all the pollution and pesticides in the city?”

Me, through clinched teeth: “Go away busybody, I’m making a sale.”

The Mayo Clinic has a report on honey safety which links honey allergies to the pollens present in honey. Someone allergic to pollen might find themselves having a reaction rather than a treatment.

The spring issue of Caring Today, a professional rag, has a small item:

That’s very interesting. I have pretty severe hay fever and I’m allergic to bee stings. Local honey definitely causes a reaction for me. Itchy lips and hives are the usual reaction.

I especially like this bit:

I can’t stand celery at all. It doesn’t cause a typical allergic reaction, like anaphylaxis, but celery tastes bitter to me. It’s nasty, bitter and vaguely metallic or chemical-y tasting to me, and it’s always been that way. I’m wondering if it’s actually a weird type of allergic reaction.