Probably not. Honey has been anecdotally reported to lessen symptoms in people with seasonal allergies. But these results haven't been consistently duplicated in clinical studies.
The idea isn't so far-fetched, though. Honey has been studied as a cough suppressant and may have anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, some experts point out that honey can contain traces of flower pollen — an allergen. And one treatment for allergies is repeated exposure to small amounts of allergens.
For now, however, it appears that honey may just be a sweet placebo. Don't let that stop you from using it in food and beverages. Just don't give honey to children younger than 1 year because of the risk of infant botulism, a rare but serious form of food poisoning.
May 18, 2017
- Asher BF, et al. Integrative medical approaches to allergic rhinitis. Current Opinion in Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery. 2015;23:221.
- Asha'ari ZA, et al. Ingestion of honey improves the symptoms of allergic rhinitis: Evidence from a randomized placebo-controlled trial in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Annals of Saudi Medicine. 2013;33:469.
- Garbo G, et al. Complementary and integrative treatments: Allergy. Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America. 2013;46:295.
- Honey. Natural Medicines. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com. Accessed April. 24, 2017.
- Botulism: Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/botulism/prevention.html. Accessed April. 24, 2017.