Monday, July 14, 2008

Local Wildflower Honey Recommended for Allergies

Fans Say a Teaspoon a Day Keeps Allergies, Other Ailments Away
By Robin Hindery, Daily Democrat (USA), 7/12/2008

When pollen counts are high, many Californians turn to over-the-counter allergy medications, which can leave them groggy, or shots, which can be unpleasant.

But as alternative medicine and natural health remedies have become increasingly mainstream, a sweeter alternative has emerged for allergy sufferers: Honey.

"It's been going on to some extent for years, but it never really caught on till this year," said Sacramento honey producer Frank Lienert Jr., of the use of his product to combat allergies. "My sales have skyrocketed in the last two months."

Lienert, who was born and raised in Woodland, sells his Lienert's Quality Honey varieties at area farmers' markets, as well as to local grocery stores, co-ops and alternative health

Many of those vendors have told Lienert they recommend honey to their own customers for allergy relief, he said.

One such proponent is David Villescaz, a chiropractor in Woodland, who said he has been purchasing honey from Lienert and selling it to his patients for more than 10 years. For allergy sufferers, Villescaz recommends Lienert's wildflower honey - derived from a variety of Sacramento Valley plants - and he said he has heard glowing reports of its effects.

"I have patients who tell me they use fewer antihistamines now that they've been using honey," he said, noting that the dry weather in California over the past two years has exacerbated people's allergies, and therefore increased the demand for fast-acting remedies.

What's more, he said, "if it works, and it's natural and organic, that's even better."

Villescaz and other honey fans believe the small amount of pollen found in locally grown raw honey acts in a similar manner to allergy shots: By desensitizing the body and increasing its tolerance to a particular allergen - a form of treatment known as "immunotherapy."…

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