DeForest Clinton Jarvis graduated from the University of Vermont Medical College in 1904 and opened a private medical clinic in Barre, Vermont in 1909. The story is told that not many patients were coming into his office, and he wanted to know why. When he started asking around, the locals replied that they always used home remedies for their illnesses. Only when such remedies failed did they seek out a doctor. For Dr. Jarvis, that started a life-long study of home remedies, eventually leading to the publication of his best-selling book "Folk Medicine" in 1958. Two of the ingredients that receive a lot of attention in his book are honey and apple cider vinegar. In the chapter on honey, Dr. Jarvis wrote: "Honeycomb is excellent for treating certain disturbances of the breathing tract. The value of chewing honeycomb applies especially to the lining of the entire breathing tract. In addition to chewing the comb, eating honey each day is also part of the treatment." Later in the chapter, Dr. Jarvis advises: "Vermont folk medicine divides hay fever into three classes: mild, moderately severe and severe. Its treatment is both preventative and symptomatic. If honeycomb cappings are chewed once a day for one month before the expected hay fever date, the hay fever will either not appear or will be mild in character."
At Smiley Honey, we cannot give you medical advice, but we can pass along comments and anecdotes from our customers. Over the years, a number of customers have reported that eating raw honey has done wonders for their allergies. This comment from May 2013 is fairly typical: "I take tupelo honey every day for allergies and have not sneezed from hay fever or been unable to breathe for a couple of years! Plus it just tastes so good! I have turned my sisters into users and have told many friends about it."
As for treating colds, we highly recommend a daily dose of some rooibos herbal tea with one or two teaspoons each of raw honey and unfiltered apple cider vinegar. You can adjust the ratio of honey and vinegar to suit your tastes. Allow the hot tea to cool down some before adding the honey as hot water can degrade the beneficial properties of raw honey. Dr. Jarvis (mentioned above) is a huge advocate of apple cider vinegar. This honey and vinegar combination gives a real boost to your immune system. You may find (as we have) that by drinking this tea/honey/vinegar blend every day, you can go cold-free for an entire winter season, or even an entire year! (Note: Celestial Seasonings makes a very good and reasonably priced rooibos tea. It can be found in most larger grocery stores.)
If you have successfully treated your pollen allergies or colds with honey and/or honeycomb, we would love to hear from you. Post your comment on our Smiley Honey Facebook page, or send an e-mail to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org