When I first moved to Chicago five years ago today (wow, how time flies!) I woke up one morning with my eyes swollen shut. I started to panic as I had to drive 45 minutes to my job and it was only the second week. I went through a mental checklist; new detergent? no, new mascara? no, new soap? no. I had just moved to Chicago from St. Louis and my body was not used to the new allergens of this new city. I made it through the day at work with ice packs on my eyes and went straight to a pharmacy. The pharmacist gave me some prescription eye drops and told me to get my butt to the local farmer's market that Saturday and buy some local honey. Honey, really? Honey has "vaccine-like" properties to it.
"The idea behind eating honey is kind of like gradually vaccinating the body against allergens, a process called immunotherapy. Honey contains a variety of the same pollen spores that give allergy sufferers so much trouble when flowers and grasses are in bloom. Introducing these spores into the body in small amounts by eating honey should make the body accustomed to their presence and decrease the chance an immune system response like the release of histamine will occur. Since the concentration of pollen spores found in honey is low -- compared to, say, sniffing a flower directly -- then the production of antibodies shouldn't trigger symptoms similar to an allergic reaction. Ideally, the honey-eater won't have any reaction at all." -Source AAFP.
I picked up some local honey just as the pharmacist had told me and it worked! I started drinking a cup of tea in the morning and night with a spoon full of honey everyday. Slowly, the allergy symptoms got better and I haven't had them since! Needless to say, I'm a believer.