Monday, June 6, 2011

Allergies stink! Here's something that may help

I have very bad common allergies. Dust, dander, mold, pollen, and grass are pure torture for me. I have had three series of allergy shots in my lifetime and still my allergies act up. Recently, I changed my diet (which I will discuss in more detail in a later post) and I also frequently do nasal saline rinses, both of which have been extraordinarily beneficial at helping to minimize my allergies. However, at times, particularly in the past month or so, I was still hit with fits of sneezing, congestion, headaches, etc. I had recently made the decision to minimize the amount of over the counter medication I take and so was resistant to taking allergy medications, so I was suffering. I thought perhaps acupuncture would help, but before trying it my friend suggested I try local honey.

"Local honey?" I thought, perplexed, but then I did some research. Apparently, local honey helps build immunity to local allergies. When you ingest the pollen in the honey, your body becomes more and more tolerant of it and it inoculates you against your allergic reaction to the local pollen. I was stunned. I was very familiar with the concept of being immunized against allergies, but not by a regular food source (although it does seem logical.) I had to try it out. Plus, I was willing to do anything that would be more holistic than taking medication and cheaper than acupuncture. 

I researched New York City local honey and ran into some luck. The only provider of truly local honey (within a mile or so) in NYC that I could find was David Graves' New York City Rooftop Honey. He actually harvests the honey from hives located on rooftops in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn! The next day I rushed down to the Union Square Greenmarket to pick up a jar. The price tag - $15 for a small jar - seemed hefty for honey, but I reminded myself that I was actually purchasing natural medicine that could potentially alleviate much discomfort in my life, and that is exactly what it did.

I began taking a tablespoon of honey on an empty stomach (and not eating for a while afterward) daily. At first, it seemed to spike some allergy symptoms for an hour or so after ingesting it, but within two weeks, I began to see an overall decrease in my allergy symptoms. Although I still experience allergies at times, it's not nearly as bad as it has been in the past. I was shocked when, not once but a few times, I would hear others complaining about their allergies while I was having hardly any symptoms. I'm so grateful that I tried out this holistic cure and definitely recommend it.

If you decide to try taking honey to help with your allergies, here are a few things to remember:

1.  It must be honey that is harvested near to where you spend most of your time - the closer to your home that the honey is produced by bees, the better it will work.
2.  Because the honey only helps with allergies caused by local pollen, it may not help with allergens from other areas or other sources (like pollen from another state, dust, or pet dander, to give a few examples).
3.  If you have bad asthma, be careful. Start off slowly with the honey and make sure you have someone with you for a few hours after taking it the first few times in case it triggers an asthmatic allergic reaction.
4.  Keep in mind that other factors, such as your diet, can also potentially impact your allergies. I have found that drinking a lot of water is helpful in reducing allergies, as is eating less (or no) dairy.

(For readers living in NYC who would like to try New York City Rooftop Honey, David Graves sells his honey at the Berkshire Berries stand at the Union Square Greenmarket on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The location changes depending on the day, so check out the map before you go.)


  1. I recommend this to my clients all the time :)

  2. Hey Nikki! That's awesome - wish I had known sooner. :)