The realization that we can have an allergic reaction to honey is quite a surprising one. Honey is supposed to be that golden food that never goes bad. It’s also known for having several medicinal properties and is a possible cure for a lot of ailments.
However, allergies to honey do occur, even if they’re not that common. In fact, the allergy is not to the substance itself but stems from reactions to bee stings, pollen, and other components that honey may include. We’ll be discussing the symptoms of such allergies, along with noting the relevant precautions and treatments. Since honey is also an ingredient in some foods, we should also talk about some of its substitutes.
- Eyes watering
- Throat itching
- Outbreak of hives
- Incessant sneezing
- Swollen tongue
- Inflamed skin or rashes on the body
- A high level of congestion
Prevention & Treatment
You may have a honey allergy if you are already allergic to pollen or bees. Hence, be sure to stay wary of honey itself and items that include it. Hence, it’s best to get a doctor to check you out for any honey allergies before you try to consume it, especially if you know you’re allergic to pollen.
Honey may be added to desserts, medicines, or even as a glaze on main courses. The best way to avoid reactions is to simply avoid items that contain honey. If your reactions are severe enough to be life-threatening, you should always take the precaution of asking what’s in your food before you consume it. However, the addition of honey is not very common in everyday dishes.
Allergic reactions to honey may exist, but they’re not usually too severe. Their treatment is also quite simple for the most part. If the reactions are very serious, a shot or ‘rush’ might be needed. If the allergic reaction turns into an anaphylactic shock, an EpiPen along with immediate medical support may be necessary.
If one wants to eliminate the threat of symptoms completely, they may consider taking Diphenhydramine before they ingest any honey. This could ward off mild allergic reactions, which is quite helpful if you’re going on a vacation where you don’t know exactly what the food contains. Of course, one could simply take antihistamines right after they eat honey.
It’s understandable why one wouldn’t want to avoid honey completely. Having honey in tea or hot water is a great remedy for colds and sore throats. It might be the only thing that helps, even when the mild reactions are taken into account.
Many people prefer to use honey as a sweetener, but allergies may prevent them from doing so. If there are health concerns with using plain white sugar, other healthy options might include:
- Brown sugar
- Agave syrup/nectar
- Coconut nectar
- Date Paste
- Brown rice syrup
- Light maple syrup
- Barley malt syrup
If you do use any of these alternatives, make sure they’re real, organic products. The generic brand variety may just be sugar concoctions with some artificial flavorings. These would hardly give you the honey-like benefits you’re looking for.