At War with the Plants

My allergies are quite irritating right now. Even while staying indoors I am sneezing and my eyes itch, but I have already exceeded the allowed dosage of my meds for today. This is one of the great ironies of my life here in Black Vatican City - I bitch all the time about the cold, yet during our all-too-brief summer the plants outside are trying to kill me.

As for medications, the next step is steroids. I've tried the steroid shot in years past and it worked like a charm, but I'm less than excited about going that route. It is both expensive and not great for your innards, plus I'd rather be treated in a more natural way.

This brings me to one of the many thorny crossroads that all vegans face. It seems that there is a body of evidence (mostly anecdotal, unfortunately) that indicates that raw local honey or bee pollen taken daily can reduce or eliminate allergy symptoms. Honey is one of the grey areas of veganism - many will avoid it simply in the name of consistency, while others will tell you that honey is one of the only animal foods that doesn't actually exploit the animals producing it. I've done a bit of research of late on the subject, and the domestic honeybee is, in fact, probably far better off than his wild cousins, but some are killed during the harvesting of full honeycombs - it's unavoidable.

I know many of you will scoff at my concern for a few tiny bees, but I want to kill as few animals as possible in the years remaining to me in this incarnation. I choose not to eat animal foods because I don't need them to live a long, healthy life; avoiding unnecessary suffering and killing of any kind is the point. In this case, however, the animal producers don't appear to suffer terribly, the number of deaths is reportedly very low, and I may actually NEED the fruits of their labors in order to live a healthier, less pharmaceutical-dependent life

So, the long and the short of it is that after much thought, I've decided to give the honey and bee pollen treatments a try. I've read that it takes a long time to work, so this may not be particularly useful until next spring, but I think It's worth a try. If anyone knows of good ways to ingest bee pollen (I hear it's nasty) I'd be grateful for your recipes.


Cerus said...

If you decide to continue with this route, I'd recommend mixing the pollen in with some honey, or other sweetener and add it to something you're eating. In super small amounts, so you don't get an acute reaction and end up in shock.

However, as I wrote the above, I remembered an article I read a while back. After a few minutes of searching, I came across it here.
It is the negative side of the story, and lists some of the major issues that can emerge, along with the related research.

A little hair of the dog may not hurt, or it might, so I'm erring on the side of caution first.

Ducky said...

I would go the route of mixing it with honey into other things as well. Course, if you liked tea, this would be easy. I'm not a big honey eater, but I also like it on toast with butter (margarine).

On the other hand a small amount of steroids probably won't kill you. If honey causes you moral dilemma, I think the steroids for short periods of times won't have lasting effects. Course I'm always the one who likes pharmaceuticals, bitchy and money grubbing as the companies are, over "home remedies." Then at least you know the possible side effects.

Teh Dr. said...

Bee pollen should actually be applied under the tongue for full effect. Ingesting it can bypass most of your immune system. The point of the pollen is to desensitize your immune system to the antigens around you, so it is very important to try and get it a local as possible. Also, and I can't stress this enough, Cerus point about using a very small amount is paramount, a larger amount could lead to an acute reaction.

Before you use the pollen internally, please do a skin sensitivity test on yourself. Just give yourself a few tiny scratches with a pin or razor and apply a very diluted amuont of the pollen. This is just to see if there is an over abundant amount of a pollen you are seriously allergic to.

His Sinfulness said...

Thanks for the advice. I've never had a reaction to local honey but I've never tried bee pollen before. I'm planning on very small doses, and hoping that I don't swell up and die...

Mayren said...

Raw Honey and bee pollen is amazing!
My local farmer's market has a vendor and it's awesome. I always reccommend your local bee keepers because your allergens are well.. Local. Please remember that the wildflower honey and regular honey is a little different and that honey you are taking in is from the flora from roughly 2 to 3 months ago. Yes, it's still incredibly useful but you should have a little honey in or on something everyday to help build your immune system. Once you really place this in your regimen you will find how very little it will take to keep the effects.

I highly reccommed this Honey approach not only to long time residents but anyone who has JUST moved to a new area - that way you can avoid the new allergens before they have time to kick you around too much.

My Local Beekeeper says that his bees are much better off bee-ing tended to than the slightly feral ones in the wild. He says that busy bees are somehow more happy when they can bee more productive in familiar surroundings.

His Sinfulness said...

Thanks for the input Mayren - I'll be hitting the Farmer's Market this Friday to pick up some local honey. I hope it works! :)

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