The world is going natural! And what better way to live by this than by treating allergies with honey. Right? Well, not so fast. The theory behind using honey as a treatment for allergies is that repeatedly exposing a person to small amounts of an allergen desensitizes them to it- similar to an allergy shot. And while this is great in theory- unfortunately, it is not backed by science. Honey has reportedly been linked to lessened symptoms of people with seasonal allergies, but conclusions haven’t been consistent in clinical studies, with some studies showing 0% effectiveness.
Honey has some known healing powers. Doctors will often direct patients to drink hot drinks with honey for treating a cough or tell them to consume it alone. One study showed that honey was as effective for treating the common cough as over-the-counter medication. Warning: Never give honey to a child under the age of 1
Allergy shots have been used to treat all types of allergies, such as environmental and food allergies, for many years. It works by desensitizing them to their allergy by slowly exposing a person to their allergen in fixed amounts, at regular intervals. The doses start in tiny quantities and are progressively increase until the desired level is achieved without a reaction.
The defining difference between allergy shots and honey is that the allergen level in the injection, i.e., pollen, is known and progressively increased until the desired level for optimum results. Although there are small amounts of pollen in honey, the amounts are unknown and hard to be used in the way they would be needed to create desensitization. Additionally, the pollen in honey is mostly from the flowers that the bee’s habitat, and the allergenic pollen from trees are found in lesser amounts. The result? The amount of allergenic pollen found in honey is usually very small, too small to be effective as a treatment for allergies.
In rare cases consuming honey might actually be a risk. For some highly allergenic people, consuming unprocessed honey might result in an allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Reactions such as these could be related to either pollen or bee contaminants. So while you are welcome to consume honey to soothe a sore throat in the winter, if you have an allergy, please speak to a healthcare professional before making treatment decisions.
If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Food Allergy Concierge advises you to contact your doctor or allergist regarding diagnosis and treatment for allergies.
To read: Can you be allergic to honey? Click here
During our recent visit to Israel, we really struggled to find food for our son who has anaphylactic level allergies to egg and sesame. We approached both restaurants and hotels and were told they were unable or unwilling to take responsibility for preparing his food.
After learning about Dr. Eliana on-line, we contacted her in the hopes that she could provide a ‘normal’ restaurant experience for our family.
Both she and Shani were meticulous in their preparations with the restaurants to ensure that our son had a wonderful and safe experience.
We truly appreciate their efforts to take care of our son, and to provide us with a lovely vacation experience.
T.M., Chicago, USA
We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing gift you have given us over this Pesach- the gift of having you with us!!!!
We have NEVER felt more comfortable, calm, and at ease than we did these past 10 days. Your warmth, professionalism, kindness, and care shown through in all that you did.
My children are so grateful that they were able to be with you this Pesach. You made sure that they were so well looked after and they felt so at ease and comfortable with you! You were so amazing and approachable to them! And they LOVED all the food you so amazingly prepared (supervised allergy-free food preparation, managed menus) for them!
It’s very difficult for us to trust people when it comes to our kids and allergies. You magically were able to take away ALL of our anxieties, and nervousness (and we don’t give that away so easily!!)
We can never fully thank you enough. We truly feel that you instantly became part of our family and we look forward to G-d willing being able to be with you and plan amazing trips with you many many many more times!!!!
Thank you and may Hashem bless you for the work you do. My son Jacob said your allergy card has been very helpful. I am so grateful- beyond words.
L.R., NY, NY
Thank you for delivering our allergy free baked goods to our hotel. We just tasted the focaccia and it was delicious!
All the best,
S.C., New Jersey
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T.G., Philadelphia, PA
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G.A. Illinois USA
My family ordered a week's worth of food from Food Allergy Concierge during the most recent lockdown. Having the food on hand, and knowing that it was safe for everyone in the family to eat, helped turn the lockdown into a stay-cation! We were still able to take a break from cooking and worrying, and we look forward to using FAC's services again in the future.