Does Raw Honey Help With Allergies?
May 1, 2023
Spring is here! For many people, that means one thing: allergies. We know we’ve got our fair share of allergens on the ranch and that we’re prone to sniffling and sneezing right about now.
When allergy symptoms kick in, it’s natural to want relief. Unfortunately, most allergy medicines on the market cause unwanted side effects, like drowsiness and brain fog.
To avoid those side effects, many people explore homeopathic remedies that are supposed to help relieve allergy symptoms, like raw honey.
But does raw honey really work? And, if so, how?
In this blog, we’ll break down everything you need to know about raw honey, what makes it different from processed honey, and if it really offers allergy relief.
Let’s dive in.
What is Raw Honey?
First things first - what is raw honey?
Unlike processed honey, which is pasteurized and may contain added ingredients like sugars and colors, raw honey comes straight from the hive and is available in unfiltered or filtered varieties.
While there are no conclusive studies that confirm raw honey actually cures allergies, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that consuming it helps with allergy symptoms.
Plus, scientists have found many health benefits associated with the compounds in raw honey, including bee propolis and pollen.
Does Raw Honey Decrease The Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies?
Yes! While raw honey won’t make your allergies disappear (the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has determined that honey is not an effective allergy treatment), it can help alleviate certain allergy symptoms.
In addition to soothing symptoms like sore, scratchy throats, raw honey can help some people develop a tolerance to local allergens.
Here’s how that works:
- When bees pollinate, they take trace amounts of local pollen back to their hives.
- The pollen stays in the honey they create.
- This helps build a nutrient profile that’s unique to a given environment.
- When you consume raw, local honey, you also ingest tiny amounts of local pollen.
- Over time, consuming local pollen helps you build immunity to specific allergens, thus decreasing seasonal allergy symptoms.
So, while honey won’t make your allergies disappear, it can be an excellent part of a healthy, nutrient-rich diet and a great complement to OTC or prescription allergy medication. Many people also believe it tastes better than processed honey packed with artificial sugar!
If you haven’t consumed raw honey before, start with small doses to eliminate concerns about allergic reactions. Additionally, avoid giving raw honey to kids younger than one-year-old.
The Benefits of Raw Honey vs. Processed Honey
While raw honey isn’t a fix-all for allergies, it can help you achieve good health.
Here are a few of the benefits of consuming raw (rather than processed) honey:
- Raw honey contains more antioxidants. Whenever food is pasteurized, it loses many of its natural antioxidants. Honey is no different. Since raw honey isn’t processed, though, it contains all the intact antioxidants it did the moment it came from the honeycomb.
- Raw honey contains bee pollen. Bee pollen contains high levels of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, magnesium, and calcium. These nutrients promote good health, an active immune system, and strong bones.
- Raw honey contains bee propolis. Bee propolis is the thick fluid bees use to coat their hives. Bee propolis is rich in polyphenols. It also offers anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties.
- Raw honey soothes sore throats. Did you know that honey works as a cough suppressant and natural antibacterial? When consumed, honey goes to work immediately to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Are There Risks of Consuming Raw Honey?
In rare cases, raw honey can contain Clostridium botulinum bacterial spores, which can be dangerous for kids or babies younger than one. The bacteria is unlikely to cause illness in older kids and healthy adults.
To ensure your raw honey is safe to consume, buy it from a trusted source, like a local farm that keeps bees.
This is the best way to minimize the risk of bacterial contamination and get natural, fresh raw honey that’s good for your health.
If you’re unsure about consuming raw honey, talk to your doctor. While raw honey can offer many health benefits, it’s important to feel comfortable consuming it before switching.
If you’re looking for a unique spin on raw honey, seek out naturally flavored varieties in flavors like cinnamon and vanilla bean.
What We Think About Raw Honey
In our family, we’ve found that raw honey helps promote good health for everyone! The raw honey we produce at the ranch provides so many benefits for our kids (over one-year-old) and us adults, as well.
Working on the farm exposes us to many different grasses, allergens, and pollens. We believe that introducing small amounts of what we’re allergic to through our LOCAL raw honey helps us build natural resistance.
And since we harvest the honey on the farm, we know exactly what‘s in it (and what’s NOT).
Bottom line: we are so much less sniffly and congested in the spring than in previous years.
CT Ranch: Your Source for Local, Raw Honey
While raw honey won’t cure your allergies, it can help you build a tolerance to allergens over time and may alleviate other allergy symptoms, like sore, scratchy throats.
Additionally, raw honey contains a variety of beneficial nutrients and is an excellent addition to any healthy diet.
If you want to incorporate raw honey into your lifestyle, buying from a local farm is the best way to get a high-quality, trustworthy product.
Here at CT Ranch, we produce raw honey from our honey bees, which we sell flavored or unflavored. Like the rest of our meat and dairy products, our honey is crafted with love and lots of respect for the critters who help us make it.
When you purchase our honey, you’re supporting your family's health and the longevity of our family and the natural landscape!