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Honey and Hayfever

on June 22, 2020
Honey and Hayfever

According to AllergyUK, Allergic rhinitis is the most common form of non-infectious rhinitis, affecting between 10% and 30% of all adults and as many as 40% of children.


Hayfever symptoms include:

Sneezing, runny nose, itchy watery eyes, itchy nose, coughing and congestion and fatigue.

A factor in the allergic reaction experienced by hayfever sufferers is an increase in histamine. Anti-histamines are classed into

  1. drowsy formulas such as chlorphenamine (Piriton) and
  2. non-drowsy formulas such as Loratadine (Clarityn).

Many people use over the counter and prescription-only anti-histamines to treat their hayfever symptoms.

Are there natural proven alternatives to pharmaceutical anti-histamines?

Since ancient times, honey has been used not just as a sweetener or food, but for its medicinal properties. Several in vitro and animal/human studies have demonstrated the

  • antimicrobial,
  • antiviral,
  • antifungal,
  • anticancer,
  • and antidiabetic activity of honey.

In addition, the protective effect on cardiovascular, nervous, respiratory, and gastrointestinal systems has been also proven.

There have also been studies involving honey and its effects on hayfever symptoms.

The autumn 2018 Journal of Australian Traditional Medicine contained details of a human clinical trial using honey in the treatment of hayfever.

Thirty moderate to severe persistent hayfever sufferers were divided into two groups.

Both groups received intranasal corticosteroids and antihistamines, but the trial group also received an intranasal honey spray.

Patients were assessed with regards to nasal congestion, runny noses and sneezing.

Both groups saw a reduction in the measured symptoms, but the group given intranasal honey had a more consistent reduction in symptoms.

An article in the Sept-Oct 2013 Journal ‘Annals of Saudi Medicine’ detailed a clinical trial involving participants with hayfever eating honey.

Forty patients were divided into a trial group and a control group.

Both groups were given loratadine (Clarityn) for 4 weeks, but the trial group received 1g of honey per kilo of body weight daily over the 4-week clinical trial.

There were no significant differences in the two groups during the 4-week trial.

However, at week 8 (a month after treatment had ended) the honey group showed continuous improvement in hayfever symptoms.

As there are a few studies showing the proven benefits of honey as regards hayfever symptoms, eating honey on a daily basis may be helpful to sufferers.

About the Author

Anita Chakraburtty is a Registered Naturopath (i.e. qualified to use herbal medicine and nutrition) with over 10 years of clinical experience.

Anita as well as her Bachelor in Naturopathy, Anita also has an MSc in Analytical Chemistry and has previous experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry.

Interested in a more natural, holistic approach to a new or chronic medical condition?

Call Anita on 07757 540 436 or email her at to book an online or telephone appointment.

All herbs/supplements can be posted to your UK address.

For more information please visit Anita's website 


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