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Is local honey a cure for hayfever? © Getty Images

Is local honey a cure for hayfever?

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Sweet! Honey is thought to be a homeopathic cure for your pollen-related spring woes.

Asked by: Richard O’Neill, Glasgow

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No. The myth is that local pollen in honey can desensitise the allergic reaction, but there’s no evidence to support it. A 2002 study at the University of Connecticut compared locally-produced, unfiltered honey, with nationally-produced, filtered honey and honey-flavoured corn syrup.

In double-blind trials, there was no difference between the three in reducing hay fever symptoms. The pollen in honey is nearly all the heavy, flower pollen that doesn’t cause hay fever. The pollen that sets your nose running is much lighter and comes from grasses and trees that bees don’t visit.

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Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

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