Pollen is in the air! And it’s blowing into your nose and mouth and eyes. Pollen is the body’s ultimate fake news that sparks a perennial histamine outrage. Histamine makes your body offended by a season and gives it an excuse to cry about something that doesn’t exist and shouldn’t matter.
In the Middle Ages, the symptoms of histamine were mistaken for possession by the Devil. Back then, the only solution available for an allergy sufferer was to slide their neck below a guillotine for temporary relief from demonic fluid draining from their faces.
But at some point between the Middle Ages and Johnson and Johnson, one man, running from the guillotine demon hunter mobs, began furiously rubbing his eyes to obtain temporary relief, even though he knew it would make it worse, and ran head first into a hollow tree. The tree was filled with bees. The man found his head and mouth covered in honey. And he felt a little better (despite the stings). The honey cured his allergies (for a few minutes)! He was proudly accepted back into his village and allowed to keep his neck*.
This moment in history marks the birthplace of natural immunotherapy allergy treatments. It works** because eating the pollen particles left in the honey obviously desensitize your body to the pollen you experience in the air, thus reducing your histamine response. It just makes sense! Just like how sharing heroine needles can help ward off non-hodgskins lymphoma and scheduling your spring break in Chernobyl might just be the best thing for that thyroid cancer – consuming more of the thing that hurts you just makes sense! Now everyone nod and agree!
Since I keep bees, I have my own honey that contains local pollen. In early April I tried eating my own bees’ honey. “It’s working! Local honey immunotherapy is a thing that works!” I screamed at a flower. As the season progressed, I realized I had judged far too quickly to start yelling to plants about something I didn’t know very much about. Honey with tea, twice a day was not keeping the face faucet monster away.
The honey immunotherapy kind of worked while I was actually consuming the honey. Naturally I filled a human sized hampster water bottle full of honey over my desk at work. My boss was totally on board with my productivity increase. However, work was not supportive of me purchasing a life sized hamster wheel with my AMEX and mounting it to the wall so I could blow off some that extra energy.
This immunotherapy just wasn’t working.
I went to my bees to get some answers.
Upon arrival, I threw a jar of honey at my bee hive, shattering glass and honey everywhere. “This stuff is busted!” I yelled at them.
The bees quickly began sucking up the honey and putting it in storage and worked together to fly the glass pieces to the recycle bin. One bee asked me to explain what all the fuss was about.
“Make the kind of honey that makes my eye lids not hurt and mucus pour out all of my head holes!” I demanded.
The bee answered, “Aren’t you the guy that makes us think that our hive is on fire and rips the roof off of our house every other week? Why would we want to help you?”
“You wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for me. I’m your dad and you do as I say. Make me immunotherapy honey, now!”
All of the bees started laughing at me with their little bee laughs. “Haha, whatever man! Don’t believe everything you read online!”
The worker jumped on to my veil, laughing and wagging her stinger at me. When she did, a puff of pollen flew at my face and I sneezed. The spray atomized through my veil and soaked the whole hive. The bees got right to work cleaning it up.
“Gross you sick bastard!” she said and flipped me the bird. “I’m going to tell the qu- CHOO!” The little bee made a cute tiny sneeze. Suddenly all of the bees started sneezing in a cacophony of cute bee sneezes.
“AH HA!” I told the bees. “That’s called histamine! And now your little bee bodies think the air is poison too. Now you really need to make some immunotherapy honey if you want to survive!”
After only a few moments of experiencing my allergies, the worker jumped on my mask again and pleaded for me to do something, anything! “Please!” she said with gross snot dripping down her face. “I can’t see where I’m going! My head feels like it’s going to explode and I don’t have enough hands to itch all 5 of my eyes!”
I considered her plea. I thought of the middle ages and building a little bee guillotine to help all of the bees out of their misery. But a hive of little headless bees sounded frightening, so I did the only thing I knew to do how when my antihistamines aren’t working.
I brought back a few bottles of Sudafed and Mucinex and set them in front of the hive. The bees immediately started going into the bottles, but the stupid workers couldn’t figure out how to get out of the bottle and they started drowning. Now I had two problems on my hands!
So, I shoved a yellow sponge down each bottle and decorated the rim with some flower petals. The sponge wicked up the medicine and the bees began feasting on it. Soon their sneezing slowed down and stopped altogether. The bees all fist pumped to me and let out several hearty bee huzzahs!
As an added benefit the bees brought the Sudafed nectar back to their hive and began storing it in their cells, mixing it with nectar and drying it out with their wings. The honey stores began to fill with a golden red color. It looked like I was going to get my all natural immunotherapy honey after all!
* The villager was allowed to keep his neck… until the villager’s latent demon caused a hypoglycemic diabetic shock after consuming vast amounts of honey the following spring.
**Does not work.