Ragweed – which tops the charts for allergies – is here, ready to begin its annual torment of the vulnerable. Allergist Leonard Bielory, who runs a pollen-counting station outside his Springfield office, said ragweed pollen release started a solid week earlier than projected. Its arrival comes on the heels of unusually high mold sport counts. Bielory’s phone app for allergy sufferers, called iPollenCount, listed mold as comprising 99.84 percent of the overall pollen count for Aug. 7. Ragweed – specifically a type called Ambrosia – comprised just 0.03 percent. Still, that represents an early debut for its pollen. Three out of four Americans are sensitive to ragweed, making it the most common allergen. “With the rain that we have had, and unusually cool seasonal temperatures, ragweed pollen release has started a solid week earlier,
You’re hardly alone. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates around 36 million people in the United States alone suffer from seasonal allergies, known also by the common name of hay fever and the more technical name allergic rhinitis [source: FDA]. It may not improve your mood to know this, but all that pollen is actually harmless. Those months of runny nose, scratchy eyes and headaches you endure each spring is actually the result of a case of mistaken identity. Your body mistakes pollen for damaging invaders like fungal spores and dust mites. This triggers the release of histamine, a natural chemical that’s part of an immune system response. Histamine causes inflammation and irritation of soft tissue, which leads to your suffering [source: Bupa]. Modern medical science has produced countless cures for seasonal allergies. These remedies are available both over-the-counter (OTC) and by prescription, and many work by counteracting histamines. These kinds of drugs are called antihistamines, and they tend to do the trick. But drugs often come with side effects. In addition to reducing allergies, antihistamines can also produce dry nasal cavities, drowsiness and other undesirable conditions [source: Hasselbring]. It’s for this reason that some people look for more natural allergy remedies. To combat seasonal allergies, honey’s considered a fine replacement for drugs. But how could honey possibly help reduce allergy symptoms?
Many allergy sufferers believe that locally produced honey can alleviate symptoms. The idea is that bees become covered in pollen spores when they from one flower to the next — spores which are then transferred to their honey. It is thought that eating that honey, even just a spoonful a day, can build immunity through gradually exposure.
A study was conducted to This brand new study assessed the effects of the pre-seasonal use of birch pollen honey or regular honey on symptoms and medication during birch pollen season. A total of 44 patients with diagnosed birch pollen allergy consumed either the birch pollen honey or regular honey daily from November to March. The control group consisted of 17 patients who were just using their usual allergy medication to control symptoms. The study found that, during birch pollen season, compared to the control group, the patients using birch pollen honey experienced:
60 percent reduction in symptoms, Twice as many asymptomatic days, 70 percent fewer days with severe symptoms, 50 percent decrease in usage of antihistamines
There have been no peer-reviewed scientific studies that have conclusively proven whether honey actually reduces allergies. Almost all evidence regarding the immunizing effects of eating honey is anecdotal. But these reports have proven persuasive enough for some people to try to fight their seasonal allergies by eating honey every day.
“Patients who pre-seasonally used birch pollen honey had significantly better control of their symptoms than did those on conventional medication only, and they had marginally better control compared to those on regular honey.
The results should be regarded as preliminary, but they indicate that birch pollen honey could serve as a complementary therapy for birch pollen allergy.”
For those that are looking for the holistic approach, look no further than your local farmers where you will find a local honey business in Newark, called Jersey Buzz. Aaron Daniels is a producer and distributor of honey and honey related products. He works in the growing urban farming industry as a full-time Beekeeper. Beekeeping (or apiculture, from Latin apis, bee) is the maintenance of honey bee colonies. A beekeeper (or apiarist) keeps bees in order to collect honey and other products of the hive (including beeswax, propolis, pollen, and royal jelly), to pollinate crops, or to produce bees for sale to other beekeepers. A location where bees are kept is called an apiary or “bee yard”. Aaron has kept bees for over three years; each year is an enjoyable new experience. Jersey Buzz can be found at your local farmers throughout Newark, and Jersey City, and Union, New Jersey. Their product can be found also at these speciality shops, Question Mart 392 Broad Street, Newark, and Green Nectar Juicery 358 Millburn Avenue, Milburn.
“So an Apple a day, might keep the doctor away. A spoon full honey, can be worth the money to rid yourself of this annoying allergy problem.”