Allergy season is upon us once again, and most sufferers are looking for anything that can help. And, according to the National Honey Board, honey is a good choice for a sore throat that may come along with that nagging allergy.
While many things can cause sore throats, this time of year it is common for people to begin seeing that scratchiness of a sore throat associated with an allergy. A spoonful of honey, the NHB suggests, will coat and soothe one’s throat to relieve scratchiness. They suggest taking it straight, as needed, for relief, and sweetening cups of tea with honey, as well. Individuals should, however, check with their doctor if they have a fever associated with their sore throat, or if their symptoms continue for more than a few days, the NHB adds. Also, they warn, while honey is safe for children and adults, it should not be given to infants under one year of age.
Liz Barnes, Health Educator on Sparkpeople.com, indicates that honey will vary greatly in color due to the type of blossoms from which the bees collected nectar. As we have all observed, honey can be very pale and clear, and can darken all the way to a very dark brown. Tastes can vary, as well. A local honey distributor in my area sells many flavors of honey, and they do indeed each impart a different taste sensation. Although, for instance, I enjoy the orange blossom and the sourwood flavors, I’m not crazy about the wildflower variety; try various local flavors in your own area and discover your own favorites!
Also, Barnes points out, there are different types of processing for honey after it has been collected. Barnes describes the following in her informative Sparkpeople.com article, “The Buzz on Honey”:
- Comb honey. This is honey packaged exactly the way it comes out of the bee hive, still in the bees’ wax comb, and completely unprocessed.
- Raw honey. This honey has been filtered of its wax chunks and large particles but is not pasteurized (heated above 120 degrees Fahrenheit to extend shelf life). Because honey is naturally low in bacteria, pasteurization isn't necessary. Raw honey usually contains some residual pollen and small particles of wax.
- Chunk honey. Similar to comb honey, this product consists of a few chunks of wax comb surrounded by liquid honey.
- Strained or filtered honey. This honey is similar to raw honey, but has been filtered through a finer mesh material to remove all wax. It still may include pollen.
- Ultra-filtered honey. This honey has undergone fine filtration under high pressure and heat (over 150 degrees Fahrenheit) to yield a very clear and longer lasting product.
For more information on honey, including recipes for using honey in your everyday cooking, visit the National Honey Board website.
Image: Wikimedia Commons