Honey: nature’s sweet sting against spring allergies


Imogen Rogers

There are various ways in which buying honey locally is beneficial to the consumer.

Imogen Rogers, Infographics EIC

In a world of shipping and transport, consuming local products is an often looked-over health practice. You might feel stung not knowing the benefits that honey and buying locally provides.

Honey is a very versatile commodity, enjoyable with fruit, tea, pastries, or even straight. 

“I usually use honey for smoothies and to put on toast. It’s easy to use because it can be the main flavor point if you really like it, or simply blended in,” said Natalie O’Sullivan (‘22).

Honey naturally provides dietary antioxidants, wound-healing and antibacterial effects, and is an anti-inflammatory agent. Mixing honey with tea is a common natural remedy for a sore throat. Unlike over-the-counter medication such as Ibuprofen, which alters the extremity of pain reception, honey is antimicrobial.

“Because it has antimicrobial properties, [honey] doesn’t just soothe your throat as it coats it; it can also kill certain bacteria. Because many types of bacteria can’t survive in honey, it speeds up healing, diminishes swelling, and gives tissue the opportunity to grow back more quickly,” said lifestyle author Julia Mangan.

Local honey can also relieve allergies over time through the process of mithridatism. Mithridatism is the practice of taking small doses of something the body resists in large amounts to build a tolerance.

“Raw honey also contains bee pollen and bee propolis, which is a sticky, glue-like substance bees use to hold their hive together. Regular honey may not contain the same levels of bee propolis and bee pollen as raw honey,” said writer Jon Johnson.

With spring in full bloom, many Amador students have watering eyes and stuffy noses. The solution may be right in front of them.

“My dad has always had really horrible allergies and a couple years ago he found out if you eat a spoonful of local honey every morning then your allergies are not nearly as bad. It’s definitely worked for him since we have lived here for so many years,” said O’Sullivan.

Buying local in any form is beneficial whether or not honey is at the core of one’s purchases. Opportunities around Pleasanton include the weekly Saturday Farmer’s Market and in surrounding supermarkets, including Trader Joe’s and Safeway.

“I support small businesses because I believe they bring diversity to our communities. They are the backbone of what makes Pleasanton so homey and nice to live in,” said O’Sullivan.