I alluded to my terrible, horrible, no good very bad allergies in my post on parietal cell signaling, and it struck me that I haven’t worried about my allergies in a very long time . They were the first medical problem of mine that I cured, and I cured them so thoroughly I’d forgotten they were ever an issue. There probably won’t be any long posts explaining allergic mechanisms because I don’t have a use case for the data, but I thought I could at least tell you what cured me.
To set the stage: it was my senior year in college. I was on three different medications for my allergies (a rhinocort inhaler, hydroxyzine, and a rotating anti-histamine like Zyrtec or Claritan). Those kept me from sleeping 14 hours a day or developing debilitating hives, and it even controlled the sinus headaches as long as I didn’t do anything stupid like get on an elevator. It took about two days for the motion sickness from elevator riding to dissipate. That’s nothing compared to pre-treatment, when I would arrange my books so I had to move my head as little as possible because that small movement would give me a headache.
A friend suggested local, unprocessed honey. I had nothing to lose, so I tried it. I almost immediately dropped down to one medication, and felt better than I had on three. When I moved to Seattle at the end of the year, my allergies were entirely controllable by honey, and then just gone. Every once in a while they resurface, I eat some honey, and the problem goes away.
After it worked I started researching. I remember finding a fair amount of scientific support at the time, but when I went looking for this post I failed to find any peer-reviewed support for the notion. Additionally, I realized that I’d been buying honey made from specific pollen based on what tasted best. But I was tested for allergies as a chlid, and I barely had pollen sensitivity: the majority of my symptoms were caused by dust mites. And yet, they had improved.
So I absolutely believe honey worked for me but I have no idea why or how.