Bee Pollen and Allergies
Firstly we need to dispel a myth. Many people assume that because they have allergic reactions to bee stings they cannot take bee pollen or other bee products for allergies. Generally that is not the case, the bee sting consists of bee venom, which is clearly intended to cause a negative reaction in the unfortunate victim, but bee pollen, propolis, royal jelly and honey do not contain bee venom. Many people suffer from seasonal allergies which can be quite debilitating in more severe cases; using bee pollen in the correct way may assist in minimizing the affect of allergies. Airborne allergens are those found in the area where you live and work. These allergens come from the pollen grains of flowers, trees, shrubs, and any other plant-life in your immediate area; with ragweed being a very common source of allergy problems. When honeybees harvest pollen and nectar in your area they are collecting these same pollens which are causing a negative reaction in your body, and small amounts of these pollens are present in the substances produced inside the hive. When people are treated conventionally for allergies it is generally one of two methods which is used – antihistamines or immunotherapy. Antihistamines rarely treat the cause of the problems, they merely lessen the effects. Taking prescription drugs containing antihistamines may be necessary to deal with severe allergy conditions, but should be avoided if at all possible, as they do little for the long term causes.
So can taking bee pollen benefit my allergies, is bee pollen an allergy cure?
Immunotherapy deals with basically introducing small and controlled amounts of known allergens into your system, allowing your body to slowly adapt and build up a self-resistance. For this reason, and for this method, using bee pollen as an effective allergy treatment has become very popular. Taking small amount of local bee pollen introduces small amounts of local allergens into your system and your body has a chance to adapt. Likewise, local honey can be used in a similar way.
But it is necessary to start out with small doses and to increase them over time. Also, to restate: using locally harvested products is going to deliver those allergens which are local and known to be causing you issues. Using an imported product, where the origin is unknown, may provide you with fewer of the benefits of bee pollen or no benefits at all. [Read more about the benefits of bee pollen here]
Many people claim to have benefited from or had their allergies cured by consuming bee pollen, with reduced susceptibility to bee sting reactions and other allergic reactions.
The product reduces the production of histamine in the body which is known to cause allergic reactions stemming from exposure to pollen dust or other airborne contaminants. Often the symptoms of allergies are grouped under the general heading of ‘hay fever’. So when used as an allergy treatment it may gradually desensitize the body and reduce its natural defensive reaction to the ingress of these airborne ailments.
In a sense you are training your body not to react negatively, thus reducing the severity of the allergic reaction to these airborne contaminants. In addition, users have shown a gradual strengthening of the respiratory system in general. Coupled with the desensitizing properties, this seems to improve the body’s overall ability to defend itself from allergic reactions.
We should say at this point that if you suffer from any medical condition, take this and/or any other supplement product only under the supervision of your medical practitioner.
Likewise if you’ve had severe reactions to bee stings and/or you suffer from asthma or other severe respiratory problems, bee pollen may not be safe for you. It’s good also to understand what the potential side affects can be: upset stomach, reddening of the skin, swelling of the tongue and respiratory problems are some of the more serious side affects. Of course there are a relatively small percentage of bee pollen users who exhibit any kind of negative reaction at all. When taking bee products for allergies or any other medical condition, introduce them slowly into your diet and in small doses.
If you are using capsules, it’s often easy to pop the capsule open and dispense half the powder into a cool drink. Or preferably, open the capsule and dab a small amount of the powder onto your tongue to see if any reaction is felt.
We recommend bee pollen for allergies and other benefits, but always under controlled and supervised conditions.