10 August 2009

Pollen, honey and hay fever

Ian Douglas, who "writes about technology, science, the internet and beekeeping" in the Telegraph, says (and I agree) that honey does not cure hay fever.
He writes "Honey does not contain pollen." Oh Yes It Does. His theory is that because honey does not contain pollen, it will be no good in a homeopathicky way to cure hay fever.
He goes on to add a proper argument, citing a small trial, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11868925, the conclusion of which was "This study does not confirm the widely held belief that honey relieves the symptoms of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis." My only caveat is the small (36) sample size.

1 comment:

Ian Douglas said...

Should have been a little more accurate, sorry. There are, of course, traces of pollen in honey. It is not strictly an ingredient of honey though, as the bees store the pollen seperately, and it is by no means garaunteed to be from recent foraging. The few grains that make it into the honey wouldn't be enough to desensitise anyone, even if a small amount of pollen does desensitise you to it, which it doesn't.

Thanks for responding though, I've been enjoying your blog.