Have allergies? Eat some honey. No. Really. Raw, local honey (i.e.-native to YOUR area) helps prevent allergies. How? In the same way that allergy shots do...only it's much healthier, in many cases cheaper, and has no side effects!
The way an allergy shot works is by introducing the allergen (what you're allergic to) into your body. They do this a little bit at a time on a weekly basis. Eventually, your body is used to this allergen and no longer has an allergic reaction to it.
Honey works the same way, only naturally. Many of us are allergic to pollens. Bees work by carrying the pollen from one plant to another. This pollen ends up in the honey that they produce. When you have honey daily (a tablespoon a day is recommended), it slowly introduces these pollens to your body. Just as with the allergy shots, eventually, your body will have become used to this allergen and will no longer have a reaction to it.
This is what we use in our area. You can see that the producer clearly labels their honey as raw & unheated. The location information (to the left on this bottle) tells you what area it's from. If the bottle is not clearly labeled as being raw (unheated), then you should assume it's not. It would be labeled that way if it were as that's a MAJOR selling point & major producers know that.
It is important that you utilize raw, local honey for several reasons. If it's raw, then it's not been heated. Heating the honey destroys many of the enzymes and pollens that allow it to be beneficial to your body. You need it to be local so that you're getting the right allergy "shot" (so-to-speak) for your area. It wouldn't make much sense for a person with an allergy to grass to receive an allergy shot for mold instead. The shot wouldn't be beneficial. In the same way, using non-local honey will help you not have an allergic reaction to the pollens in ANOTHER area...which doesn't do you much good if you don't live in that area!
I called and spoke with Dee over at Annsley Naturals Southwest who produces honey in the Henderson, NV area (which covers Vegas as well). She said that not only is the honey good for allergies, but it's great for diabetics. It is the only natural sweetner that most diabetics can safely use. (I'll assume here that we all know the dangers of artificial sweetners. If you don't and would like me to enlighten you, shoot me an e-mail & I'll do a write-up on it.)
Where do you find this fantastic raw, local honey for your area? Once again, Local Harvest comes to the rescue! Enter your zip on their honey page and you'll get the info for local producers in your area. If that doesn't turn up anything in your area, then check out your local health food stores. If that doesn't work, then head to Whole Foods. You can usually also find local honey producers at your local Farmer's Market. Again...Local Harvest can give you that info.
Do I seriously eat a tablespoon of raw honey a day? Yep! In most cases I actually put it in my smoothie. On days when I don't get a chance to make a smoothie, I eat it straight or have a peanut butter & honey sandwich. YUM!