Wednesday, 23 October 2013

spring, hayfever, raw honey, bee pollen, and a berry smoothie

A healthy berry smoothie with fruits, greens, raw honey and bee pollen.

It's springtime! We're more than halfway through the season, and this year I have some secrets up my sleeve: raw honey and bee pollen.

I've heard that these two things may be used as natural remedies for hayfever, and as this is an allergy that has given me grief over the recent few years, I figured it was worth a try. This requires some planning - it's not meant to be an instant fix, but is best implemented throughout the year to build up your immunity gradually, so your body is well-prepared by the time spring and summer comes around. Or at least, that's what I've read.

Thus, in autumn this year, I started incorporating raw honey into my diet a few times a week. In winter this year, I added bee pollen to my repertoire. While we're at it, can I heartily recommend the bee pollen from Windarra Honey in Swan Valley? At the time of purchase, it was the first time I had ever tried bee pollen, and I absolutely fell in love with their product, which, according to the label, is gathered by their bees "from the pristine forests from the South West of Western Australia". I've grown to appreciate it even more since sampling another brand of bee pollen that a friend bought from a health food shop, which I didn't particularly care for due to hints of astringency and bitterness. My little jar of Windarra pollen, in contrast, has a wonderfully bright, pure, sweet taste - like honey in tiny golden nugget form. Just gorgeous.

A major word of caution, however. Bee pollen can cause serious, potentially life-threatening allergic reactions for some people. When I got my jar, I was advised to take just two or three granules at first to gauge my response - if all goes well, I can slowly increase my dosage on subsequent days, a few granules at a time. Suffice to say, there were no adverse effects for me, and these days, I usually consume about one teaspoon's worth each time, a few times a week.

With delicious, great quality bee pollen, I love eating it like candy, just by itself! Alternatively, I also throw it into smoothies - if you're not keen on the taste of your bee pollen, this is a good way to enjoy it. Here's a smoothie recipe you can try out - I like the gorgeous juxtaposition of purple and gold, plus it's healthy and tasty, too.

gold-studded purple berry pollen smoothie
(serves 1)

1 teaspoon raw honey
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup mixed frozen berries
10 baby spinach leaves
1 small banana, peeled and broken into chunks, fresh or frozen
1 lime, or small lemon, juiced, approx. 2 tablespoons of juice
1/2 teaspoon bee pollen, plus an extra 1/4 teaspoon to garnish

Stir raw honey together with water until it all dissolves. Blend this honey solution with the rest of the ingredients. Pour and serve with an extra sprinkling of bee pollen.

A pretty purple smoothie with flecks of gold.

Oh, and if you're wondering if my regular use of raw honey and bee pollen has helped ease my hayfever? It's still early days, but I swear I'm feeling a difference. I'm not completely cured, but the frequency, severity and duration of my hayfever attacks have been easier to deal with this spring. I've still had to reach for my nasal spray a couple of times, but the same time last year, it would've been more like a dozen times, plus I was also taking fexofenadine tablets as well, which I haven't yet bothered with this year. It may be a placebo effect, or a coincidence, but I wouldn't be surprised if there really is something to this natural remedy.

Do you enjoy raw honey and bee pollen? Have you tried any natural remedies for hayfever? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments!

16 comments:

  1. What a beautiful smoothie! I've never had bee pollen, but I'm keen to try some of these golden honey nuggets. What a relief it must be to be able to enjoy spring again:)

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    1. Yeah it's been quite a pleasant spring so far! Happy. Hope you get to try bee pollen sometime, I suspect you'll like it. :)

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  2. Yes I've used both and in fact even use them on my skin too.

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    1. I've tried honey on my skin many years ago, your comment is a reminder that perhaps I should try that again!

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  3. I never had allergies in Melbourne but since I moved to the Uk I have symptoms all the time. Thanks for the tip about bee pollen. And the smoothie looks great!

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    1. Thanks! I hope you find something that helps your allergies, too.

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  4. This smoothie looks so colorful and delicious. I really love the idea of using some bee pollen.

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  5. Spring, hay fever, allergies... I totally understand you! Next time I'll prepare myself a delicious smoothie with raw honey and pollen and let's see if that works. Well, at least I will enjoy the trying ;-)))

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    1. I can say that I'm definitely enjoying it. :D

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  6. good luck - it is interesting taking something that could potentially cause an adverse effect in order to protect yourself! some warped logic there... but anyway, that smoothie looks amaaaazing :-)

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    1. I wasn't too worried as I've never had a reaction to any bee products, but yeah, certainly something to be used with caution!

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  7. What a lovely coloured smoothie. I suffer from allergies as well, but year-round, so I'm not sure if raw honey and bee pollen would be useful.

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    1. Even if raw honey or bee pollen doesn't cure your allergies, I can still thoroughly recommend them from a taste point of view, and I'm sure they have other health benefits, too. :D

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