The Only Way to Get Rid of Seasonal Allergies

My allergies are the worst. No, seriously. The worst. They’ve been diagnosed as ‘severe grass allergies’ but I still think that’s still underselling it a bit. My eyes have itched to the point where I literally don’t feel safe operating a motor vehicle. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve needed to pull over and have my wife drive for me. My nose gets to the point where it feels like there are thousands of tiny ants running laps inside each nostril — and when I itch them they run even faster.

And that’s with medicine.

I’ve literally tried every imaginable combination of prescription, generic and over-the-counter medication. Eye drops, nose sprays, dissolvable tabs. Even steroid boosters. Some mask the itching better than others. Some last longer than others. But I quickly learned there is nothing in the medical profession that can tame my allergies to a manageable state through a full day.

A sample of what my life was like in 2011.

You’re probably saying ‘why not try the injections?’ That was the logical next step. I read every message board forum I could and asked anybody within earshot about their personal experiences. Not because I wanted to know about the demanding injection course — I’d make reasonable sacrifices to knock out these impairing allergies. But I wouldn’t allow myself to pay several hundred dollars and dedicate valuable time if there wasn’t a guarantee.

So when I found out injections are far from a sure thing, that it would be more or less an experiment on myself, I chose to seek an alternate path.

That’s where my friend Ian comes in.

Ian is the guy that has an answer for any question. And if you don’t like that answer, he has a secondary answer in his back pocket.

He’d been telling me for years, “dude, just eat honey”, to which I didn’t take serious, for obvious reasons. If full teams of scientists in medical labs can’t solve this, there’s no way something that simple can make a dent.

But at this point I was ready to try anything. So I swallowed my pride and consulted with Ian. If you thought his elevator pitch was simple, his instructions were even more simple: eat a teaspoon of local honey every day. That was it.

He mixed his honey in with his yogurt to tone down the strength of the taste. I figured I’d add it to my morning smoothie, which turned out to be a seamless adjustment.

Stopping at various farmers markets to pick up mason jars of honey became just as routine as my morning smoothie. After a couple of weeks it became a mindless habit. Couple months in it became so commonplace that there was no conscience connection as to why I was putting honey in my smoothies.

The first time I fired up my lawnmower the following spring, something felt different — something felt better. I couldn’t allow myself to get excited right away, so I controlled my reaction.

Realist to a fault, it took a several occasions of being outdoors at birthday parties, playing at the park and working in the yard to finally accept it. My allergies were gone! The “dude, just eat honey” remedy actually worked.

Since then, any time I see someone itching or scratching at their pesky allergies, I immediately empathize with them — then urge them to try local honey. Call it karma, but people typically shrug off the honey theory the same way I originally had.

Sometime last fall, after two years free of seasonal allergies, I grew relaxed in my routine. I got cocky. Instead going out of my way to hit the farmers market, I’d grab “local” honey from the grocery store. (Local as in, somewhere in the northwest.) By the end of the year I had stopped buying honey altogether. What a big mistake.

If I was a believer when honey originally helped me, I’m a full on evangelist now. It’s the spring of 2016 and my allergies are as worse as they’ve ever been. Back to the endless itching of eyes and embarrassing nose-rubbing.

I’m using over-the-counter medicine to try to mask it, but it’s like my allergies are mad that I fought them off for two years. They’ve awoken from a deep slumber.

Through this experience, I can definitively say that eating local honey is the only remedy for severe grass allergies. And you can’t just dabble in it, you gotta jump in feet first.

One tablespoon of local honey EVERY day for several months. Be disciplined. Don’t skip days or buy generic honey. And don’t expect it to happen overnight. Start the routine this summer and you won’t even realize it’s allergy season when spring rolls around.

Note: I once complained to no one in particular about my sweet-tooth. Ian told me to eat more fruit. Take that for what it is.

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