If you fear springtime because of your allergies, local honey may be a source of relief. Allergies effect people all year, but most of the allergies that honey can help are strongest during the spring and summer months.

Allergies are usually fought with three different methods: antihistamines, avoidance and immunotherapy.

Antihistamines: It is often easy to take a pill to help alleviate the symptoms of allergies, but medicines can be expensive and who knows what side effects you may suffer from what you are taking.

Avoidance: Moving to another area is usually not practical. The reason you are suffering the allergy is you live in an area where the allergens are a problem for you. Most people cannot easily move to a new location just to avoid an allergy.

Immunotherapy: This consists of allergy shots or homeopathic remedies. These can be expensive, but effective. When the doctor gives you an allergy shot he is actually giving you a bit of the allergen that causes your allergies in the first place. This is to help your body build up an immunity to that item. Eating local, raw honey is a type of immunotherapy that can give you exactly the same benefits without the expense. And it tastes great too!

For honey to be used in this manner (immunotherapy) it needs to be from the local area. You are not going to get exactly the same benefits from a jar of honey that comes from grandma's house 3 states away. Eating a variety of local and non-local honey may help with allergies that are not currently bothering you, but would if you lived in another area. Both are helpful, but you will probably want to focus more on local honeys. The idea is that local honey is made with the same pollen that is causing your allergies. For a honey to be considered local it should be harvested by the bees in an area that has the same allergens from which you are suffering. That could be 50 miles or more from your home. However it could be less depending on how selective your allergy problem is.

The honey also needs to be raw. This means that it cannot be pasteurized which keeps the honey from fermenting because of yeasts that are present in the honey. Commercially produced and packaged honey is almost always pasteurized. Pasteurization also kills the enzymes in honey which are most beneficial to your health. Many consider pasteurized honey to be completely devoid of health benefits. Raw honey is more likely to crystallize than pasteurized honey, but honey can be re-liquefied easily.

The allergy fighting ability of local, raw honey has not been proven by a large scientific medical study. Since drug companies don't benefit from you buying a $4 jar of honey they are not interested in doing the research. However there have been many people who claim that eating local honey has eliminated or alleviated the symptoms of their allergies. It is worth giving a spoonful a try. The worst that can happen is that you enjoy a jar of honey with a stuffy nose.

Find a local beekeeper and buy a jar to give it a try. If you don't know any beekeepers you can usually find local honey in health food stores. Usually the local supplier will have their contact information on the jar of honey. Contact them to find out what other varieties of honey they have available. They may be able to get you in contact with another beekeeper who specializes in raw honey specific to your allergen needs.