This is the poetry my nose makes this time of year starting at 5am every day. The story usually ends around noon. It is an epic poem, complete with suffering and tragedy. I have lived with seasonal allergies for most of my post-pubescent life. In high school I was called "tissue box girl" because I sported a box of tissues everywhere I went. My record for number of back-to-back sneezes: 31... on the bus home from school in 8th grade.
I have tried all sorts of medications, from your standard Claritin pills to cortisone-laden prescription nose sprays. Nothing worked without side effects. I couldn't figure out whether the combination of side effects plus drug dependency was better or worse than the actual allergy symptoms themselves. So I just stopped taking medications. They never worked 100% anyway.
Needless to say, my allergies have affected me adversely for many many years. Until this year. This year I learned about local raw honey. A spoonful every day and my allergies stay at bay. It's a beautiful, simple thing and it makes so much sense. For many people (like me), allergies are caused by pollen released by trees and plants in their local area. While all this pollination is going on, bees are busy collecting it and dropping a little bit of it here and there in their hives and consequently in the honey they make. The small amout of pollen in the honey helps to build immunity in our bodies, working similarly to allergy shots. The only caveat is that the honey regimen must begin a few months before allergy season begins, in order to build this immunity.
If this treatment seems interesting to you, read on...
It is very important that your honey is local and that it is raw (i.e., not pasteurized or sterilized). The reason you want local honey is obvious: it contains local pollen that is causing the allergies. Local would be considered a 10-15 mile radius. So if you know of any neighbors who keep bees, it's time to start making some friends. The reason the honey should be raw is so that all the good stuff that the bees deposit into the honey (like pollen) isn't killed off.
This type of sweet treatment obviously doesn't work if you suffer from dust, mold, pollution, animal and/or grass allergies. Bees tend to stay away from that stuff! We don't have much mold, dust or pollution around here, so these things are not a problem for me. The only pets we keep are chickens, which are pretty darn hypo-allergenic. I am allergic to grass, but I have proudly and successfully decimated my lawn so at least grass is not within my property line. The honey also won't work if you buy it from a grocery store, since most of the honey in stores is mass-produced, pasteurized, and shipped all around the country. I found mine at my local farmers market. We also have a beekeeper down the street from us who sells his honey from time to time.
I'm guessing this is how people took care of allergies before shots, pills and money.