Looney Labs Something Mailing list Archive

Re: [Something] Honey: was Agave Nectar: was- A Christmas Request

  • FromKen Stone <ken.stone@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateTue, 19 Dec 2006 20:16:13 -0500
If anyone wanted to try to use honey to overcome a severe 
allergy (to pollen, presumably), then they should start 
with a really, really dilute dose (for instance, one drop of 
honey in a glass of water, mix well, pour out 99% of the glass, 
refill, mix again, take one sip, toss the rest) and slowly work 
up from there. You would do this maybe once per week, pausing at
a dose for several months (or even taking a step backwards to 
a more dilute dose) when you get to a dilution that evokes any 
symptoms. You'd probably also want to have an EpiPen handy, just 
in case you had a severe reaction at some step along the way and
suddenly found yourself unable to breathe.

For a very general idea of the theory behind all this:

As mentioned in the article, using an oral approach instead of
an injected approach for desensitization is somewhat controversial 
and outside the mainstream of medical practice, at least in this 

*Warning: too much information in the lines that follow: *
Allergies are mediated by a type of antibody called Immunoglobulin 
E (IgE). By repeated re-exposure through very dilute injections, 
you can train the body's antibody-producing machinery (B cells) to 
permanently switch to making Immunoglobulin G (IgG) against that 
allergen instead of IgE. IgG doesn't cause nearly the same problems 
as IgE does (at least not against most foreign proteins like those 
found in pollens). By ingesting a dilute allergen instead of 
injecting it, you'd likely train the body to start making a 
slightly different (secreted) type of antibody called Immunoglobulin 
A (IgA) instead of IgE or IgG. I think this would still give you the 
desired effect, but I'm not absolutely positive about that.
(IgA is normally secreted onto the surfaces of mucous membranes--
mouth, throat, lungs, intestines, etc. and is the main antibody 
that protects you against inhaled or ingested viruses, etc. before 
they can enter the general circulation to do you harm.)

For more specific info, I'd ask an allergist; I'm only a generalist.


>On 12/16/06, Christopher Hickman <tophu@xxxxxxx> wrote:
>That's unusual. My wife's allergist "prescribed" honey to reduce her
>symptoms. Were you using local raw honey, or processed commercial
>honey?  All the beneficial stuff gets cooked out of the commercially
>produced stuff.  For any benefit, you have to use raw honey made by
>local bees (usually best found at Farmers' Markets).  Of course, it's
>probably too late for this advice, since I know that if my daughter
>had a bad reaction twice, I sure as hell wouldn't try again...  But
>just in case your story scares anybody else off honey, maybe they'll
>try it Pooh Bear's way first.
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