Frequently Asked Questions About Using Bee Pollen to Bring Seasonal Allergies Under Control
Bee pollen has helped millions of people overcome hay fever and seasonal allergies-to pollen. Just why eating pollen should stop allergies to pollen is the subject of a lot of discussion, so here are the most frequently asked questions about using bee pollen to bring seasonal allergies under control.
Q. Wait a minute. Doesn't pollen cause allergies?
A. Windborne pollen is the source of hay fever and other seasonal allergies.
The kind of pollen that bees collect, however, is not the kind of pollen that is blown in the wind. This pollen sticks to the flower and sticks to the bee.
Q. Is eating bee pollen like taking allergy shots? That is, do you build up resistance to the pollens that cause your allergies by eating tiny amounts of them with the bee pollen?
A. No, for one very good reason. The pollen that bees collect is usually not the same pollen that causes allergies. The anti-allergy benefits of the pollen derive from its antioxidants.
Q. What are these antioxidants in bee pollen that fight allergies?
A. The main anti-allergy compound in bee pollen is quercetin. This antioxidant is found in many fruits and vegetables, but it is especially abundant in bee pollen. Quercetin stops inflammation caused by neutrophils, the white blood cells activated in response to an allergen. It also blocks the action of an enzyme called hyalouronidase, which breaks down collagen around an allergy-provoking pollen grain trapped in the lining of the nose.
A clinical trial in Japan found that quercetin is twice as effective as a medication called cromolyn sodium, sold as Nalcrom, when taken in the same concentration. The advantage of fighting allergies with bee pollen is that you don't have the drowsiness, drug interactions, and other side effects that are such a problem with both over-the-counter and prescription allergy medications.
Q. When do I start taking bee pollen to fight allergies?
A. Take a small amount of bee pollen (1 teaspoon or 8 grams a day) all year around. Then about a month before your regular allergy season, start taking 2 or 3 teaspoons of bee pollen every day, or an equivalent dosage in bee pollen wafers or capsules. With bee pollen, more is better. Since your body is responding to the antioxidants in the bee pollen rather than changing the way the immune system responds to pollen, you don't have to start small and work up to a full dose. You can fight allergies with full force.
Q. Are there any other supplements that will help?
A. Yes. Take 1,000 mg of vitamin C every day during your allergy season. Vitamin C is a co-factor for the quercetin bee pollen provides. Together, bee pollen and vitamin C will help you experience fewer allergy seasons throughout your allergy season.
Once in a great while someone has an allergy not to bee pollen but some flavoring or preservative used in the bee pollen product. To make sure you don't have these kinds of reactions to your bee pollen product, try a single dose of one scant teaspoon (2-3 grams) of bee pollen or one pill or one capsule, and wait 24 hours. If you don't experience any adverse reactions, then you can take the full dose. If you have any kind of allergic reaction to the product yourself, return it for a full refund.