Soothe those allergies with honey

By Abbey Gingras

Originally posted May 3, 2016

With the return of spring and warm weather means flowers, pollen and — for many — seasonal allergies. Instead of battling those allergies with over-the-counter medications like Claritin or Zyrtec, get rid of them for good with one simple, healthy product:  honey.

You see, honey has healing powers beyond just soothing a sore throat when mixed with tea. When you buy locally produced honey at places like MacCracken Market on campus, Oxford Farmer’s Market Uptown on Saturday mornings, or MOON Co-op near Kroger, you’re buying honey made by bees in your area. The bees pollinating the same flowers and plants that are making you sniffle, sneeze and ache.

Honey boosts your ability to fight allergies. Photo by Don Hankins, Creative Commons

By regularly consuming this honey, you’re exposing yourself to your allergens in extremely small amounts — much like how vaccines expose the body to a disease so it can learn to fight it. Over time, many beekeepers and health experts believe, this can help reduce or even eliminate allergy symptoms.

“The bees are pollinating on the things that you’re allergic to,” beekeeper Paul Hekimian told CBS 4 in Los Angeles. “So the theory is, if you’re going to eat the honey that’s in your local environment, it will help offset those allergies. Ask yourself, from my house what’s the 5-mile radius and find a bee keeper within that range that’s selling their local honey.”

Lucky for Oxford residents, locally produced honey is pretty easy to come by thanks to Oxford’s place in beekeeping history. Former Oxford resident Lorenzo L. Langstroth (you probably recognize the name from Langstroth’s house on Spring Street) is known as the “Father of Beekeeping” for his work revolutionizing the modern beehive.

You can also find Oxford-centric honey at nearby Jungle Jim’s International Market in Fairfield. But if you’re not from around here, check out one of your local markets — you’re sure to find a sweet cure for your allergies.

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