Honey Therapy: The Alternative Treatment for Allergies?

honeyEverybody loves honey, including Winnie the Poo and why not? Its sweet, it’s tasty and now some people, including Ravi Duddupudi hope it works as well for allergies.

“I have a lot of allergies,” Ravi said.” “Dust mites, cat hair, and dog hair. A long list of allergies.”

So about a year ago Ravi started using locally grown honey–he saw a bottle a Costco store and figured why not?

“We took it and we tried it,” Ravi said. “We didn’t see any difference because we are taking other medications.”

Dr. Renuka Basavaraju said lots of patients ask about the allergy fighting properties of honey.

“The logic behind that basically is the bees carry pollen,” Dr. Basavaraju explained. “Then populate the honey and the taking a little bit of that honey everyday probably will confirm the ability to swallow the pollen by taking a little bit of that every day will give them immunity.”

Dr. Basavaraju said honey therapy hasn’t been studied enough to know it really works or not.

“We don’t have a good study that says that here you go, we’ve treated 1,000 people with a teaspoon of honey right away and they’ve gotten better,” Dr. Basavaraju said. “There is no study like that so far.”

She said trying honey therapy sounds like one of those “why not? I’ll give it a try” deals–but here’s the why not–for some it can be dangerous.

“There is a risk of anaphylactic shock if they do unprocessed honey. There is a lot of pollen there and they just take it, they’re sensitized. They already have large reactions on their skin test and there is risk of anaphylaxis,” Dr. Basavaraju warned. “I don’t recommend anybody go ahead and take honey to treat their allergies.”

But Ravi did because he’s tired of allergy shots and taking all of those over-the-counter medications. He’s been using honey for about a year and he has no idea if it works or not.

“I think I’m going to keep doing,” Ravi said. “Maybe one day I’ll stop using Zertec medicine.”

Ravi was hoping honey would be the alternative–if not the alternative at least a little help.

“Honey might help make you healthier you know?” Ravi said. “But I don’t think it will completely control the allergies.”


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