Honey Helps with Allergies - But Not in the Way You'd Think
Find out what makes this pantry staple so sweet.
We've all heard it: Eat some local honey when you feel that tickle at the back of your throat to stave off allergies. This usually results in us doctoring up teas with honey, adding a drizzle to any and all breakfast items, and even eating straight spoonfuls of the stuff. But does it actually help with seasonal allergies?
While this advice of consuming honey is provided by everyone from your mom to the Internet, there's actually no scientific proof that local honey can help prevent or lessen allergies. Despite this disheartening news, there are several reasons you should still be consuming honey when you start to feel under the weather.
Honey has a plethora of natural health benefits. It has antibacterial properties due to naturally occurring enzymes that create hydrogen peroxide, and a compound (methylglyoxal) found in most varieties of honey may assist in fighting infections. Honey also has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties, which can have therapeutic effects on the body.
The World Health Organization and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend honey as a natural remedy to soothe coughing in children older than a year old. Honey can potentially harbor bacteria that is harmful to infants, so it should not be consumed by anyone under the age of 1.
Although eating a spoonful of honey won't magically cure all your ails, it can definitely help when it comes to calming a cough, easing sore throats, relieving inflammation, and more. If you're worried about falling ill, or can already feel yourself getting a little sick, then it's easy to add honey to your daily routine. Steep a hearty cup of tea and add a dollop of honey, make DIY cough drops, or even mix a little into your nightcap. Be sure to keep honey on hand as a natural sweetener and immunity booster.