Will Buying Local Honey Help My Allergies? Unfortunately Not, Says Science, And Here's Why
Every year I wait impatiently for the weather to get warmer, and every year I completely forget that warm weather doesn't only mean tan lines and good times — it also means allergy season. Word on the street has it that eating local honey will help with seasonal allergies; unfortunately, though, science has broken our hearts yet again and proven that this is only just a rumor. Using local honey will not help with seasonal allergies, according to research from the University of Connecticut Health Center's Lowell P. Weicker General Clinical Research Center.
I mean the logic seems accurate, right? Honey bees buzz themselves around town collecting pollen from the pesky flowers that make my eyes run and face swell up until I look like I'm transforming into the She-Hulk. Wouldn't eating their honey give me some kind of an immunity to these beautiful petaled plants of doom? That's the question the researchers wanted to get to the bottom of, so to do so, they split 36 allergy sufferers into three groups — one group was given local honey, one non-local honey, and one a honey-flavored corn syrup placebo. Participants were instructed to consume one tablespoon a day of their "ingredient" and keep a diary of their allergy symptoms. When all was said and done, the honey drinkers did not experience any more relief from their allergies than the placebo group.
As it turns out, the biggest allergy culprits are plants like ragweed, ryegrass, and maple trees. Honey bees are more attracted to bright flowering plants like sunflowers and black-eyed Susan and the actual allergy culprits, well they're just not that appealing. Ain't no bee got time for that. These plants don't spread their love seeds by bee; it's actually the wind that we have to blame.
Great, now what am I supposed to do with all that honey I thought I had a perfectly good medical excuse to buy? Actually, avoiding particular types of foods during allergy season can help reduce the impact of this plague. And, if all else fails, there are some makeup secrets to help mask the fact that we look like we just ran into tracker jacker nests.
It turns out that eating local honey to reduce allergies isn't the only untrue summer "cure" myth floating around. Richard O'Brien, MD, an emergency medicine physician at the Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton, helps debunk some of grandma's oldest at-home remedies:
1. Putting Butter On A Burn
No. And it's also not a treatment for sunburn. Just use some sunscreen.
2. Throwing Your Head Back To Stop A Nosebleed
This can actually cause you to swallow blood. Ew. The actual trick is to pinch the bridge of your nose.
3. Pour Peroxide On Cuts
Besides the fact that it hurts like hell, peroxide can actually kill off your body's cells that are rushing in to fight off bacteria. I'm having some pretty negative thoughts about my old softball coach right now.
4. Puting Vinegar On A Sunburn
"You shouldn't get a sunburn," Dr. Brian says. I think he would probably look down on the fact that I once used canola oil to tan. However, if you do get burnt, using an acid is not the way to go. If the burn isn't too serious than your only real option is to apply a cool compress, take some pain killers, and hope it turns into a tan.
5. Scratching Can Spread Poison Ivy
This is one debunk that's kind of good news. If you still have oil from the plant on your hands you can spread the rash, but itching the blisters will have no effect. If you come in contact with the plant, washing with alcohol and water right away can avoid the rash all together.
6. Put A Cold Steak On A Black Eye
Putting something cold on your eye like a bag of frozen vegetables will actually help with swelling, but a cold piece of meat can have a ton of bacteria you probably don't want in your eye injury.
On an ending note, I want to officially apologize to all the grandparents out there who now feel like their whole world has been a lie. I do feel your pain, though — I now have no legitimate excuse to chug honey out of the bottle.
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