Tag Archives: pollen

Bee Allergy Free This Spring

This article by Tal Ewing originally appeared in our Spring 2014 catalog.

When you suffer from seasonal allergies like I do, you only want one thing: relief! You want your nose to stop running, your eyes to stop itching, and your throat to stop burning. You want to be able to go outside without having to take a pill or squirt something up your nose that you know is probably not good for you in the long run.

Bee Allergy Free This Spring from Beeyoutiful.comBut how can you get to a point in your life where you can live without the pills and the sprays? For most of my life, I thought that was impossible. I remember my parents giving me spoonfuls of liquid antihistamines and taking every over-the-counter and prescription allergy medicine on the market. I took allergy shots for almost a decade. However, nothing seemed to work long term, and the more medicine I took, the worse my allergies seemed to get.

When I first met Steve and Stephanie Tallent, they pretty much knew just one thing about me: Tal has bad seasonal allergies. I’m sure that my wife (the beautiful, wonderful Mary Ewing) had told them stories of my sneezing, hacking, and doctors visits, and that I was the perfect person to test a new elderberry product for them.

So, on our first meeting they came bearing a gift of a bottle of what eventually became Berry Well. It was that gift that helped lead me to finding a few natural solutions that have helped me achieve freedom from the pills and sprays. In fact, since that first meeting I have been able to stop all of my allergy medications and find true freedom from my allergies. Here’s how I did it and how you can, too!

Watch what you eat.

This is the part that most of us hate to hear, but it is vital. When I finally realized that allergies are all about inflammation, I started to look for those things in my diet that lowered my body’s natural immunity and caused it to overproduce histamines. I grew up eating the Standard American Diet (SAD). We did not know better, so by the time I met Mary, my diet consisted primarily of peanut butter and jelly, coke, and ramen noodles. (Hey, what’s a bachelor on a tight budget going to do?!) But I was also on antibiotics monthly because of it.

As we began to clean up our diets, we not only focused on eliminating things such as sugar, processed foods, and additives, but we made sure to also replace nutrients that had been missing. The body can only repair itself if given the correct building blocks, so ensuring adequate intake of healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, as well as nutrient-dense fresh fruit and vegetables, give the body the proper base for health. Eliminating the non-foods or foods that trigger inflammation in the body decreases the likelihood of over-producing histamines.

Take the essentials.

Be sure that you are getting the essential vitamins you need to build a healthy immune system. I finally realized that my allergies were a symptom of my body’s inability to regulate itself. I started listening to my wife, who encouraged me to take a probiotic, since a significant portion of immunity is regulated by the gut. I began with Tummy Tuneup, alternating with Gut Guardian. I also take Digest Best with my meals; Mary tells me this is because enzymes support digestion which in turn decreases the inflammation caused by poorly digested foods.

My daily regimen also includes SuperDadCod Liver Oil and B-Better to support and fill in the gaps in my diet.I added these to my daily doses of Berry Well, and I began to see a significant decrease in the time I spent dealing with my allergy episodes. This was the basis for my healing regimen, but there are several things that I also use, either when I know I am prone to more symptoms or when I am actually experiencing them.

First, I will add Vitamin D3. I usually consume it in two forms, as D3 itself and also in Cod Liver Oil where it is naturally paired with Vitamin A for an added punch. Vitamin D is a natural anti-inflammatory and also works to boost the immune system. Decreasing the levels of inflammation helped to decrease my allergic responses as well. The added benefit of fewer infections also helped keep me out of the doctors office! Although the spring allows for extra sunlight, I would often have to avoid time out of doors due to higher allergens. But as I took my D3, I was able to spend more time out of doors and naturally get my sunlight as well.

Then there’s a miracle substance called Colostrum Transfer Factor. Colostrum’s active components not only boost the immune system and help make it difficult for bacteria to attach to the mucous membranes, but they also regulate the immune response. This prevents over-production of some of the lymphocytes and T-cells that cause the allergic responses. So taking Colostrum can keep you from getting sick, and makes sure that allergies are not running wild at the same time.

Optimally, we would all have access to raw honey, and pollen too. These help give small exposures to local allergens and gradually decrease the body’s reactions to them. Finding a local beekeeper that has healthy bees and then using a teaspoon of their honey every day can help decrease your allergies. If you do not have access to good quality raw honey, Bee Strong is a great alternative!

When I start to feel like I am getting an allergy attack or a cold, I take an extra dose of Berry Well accompanied by a dose of D3 and Vitamin C. This helps my body boost its ability to handle the additional stress of illness.

Calm your allergies with essential oils.

This was the last step I took, but it has been one of the most beneficial in helping me find true allergy relief. If you suffer from allergies, you realize that you cannot always control your environment. Trees are going to pollinate, flowers are going to bloom, and the house is going to need dusting. There is something that you can do, though, to help neutralize those threats to your body: fight them with essential oils. I use a combination of Eucalyptus, Frankincense, and Peppermint essential oils to calm my body when my allergies begin to flare.

During allergy season, we run the diffuser with a base of Eucalyptus almost round the clock (or use Spearmint instead for a child-friendly option). We add to it either FrankincensePeppermint, or Rosemary, just depending on our mood that day! Frankincense and Peppermint both help tremendously when we feel short of breath or stuffy, and Rosemary has been very good for hay fever symptoms. (This bundle includes some of Beeyoutiful’s most popular essential oils for allergies, and there’s even a kid-friendly version.)

There have been times when my allergies have led to slight asthmatic symptoms as well. I used to carry an inhaler, and although I still own one for rescue purposes, I have rarely had to use it because I prophylactically use oils! We keep a small vial of pre-mixed oils that I rub on my chest twice a day when allergies are at their peak.

Allergy Chest Rub for Adults from Beeyoutiful.comAllergy Chest Rub for Adults

3 tsp Almond Oil
10 drops Frankincense Essential Oil
5 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
Always make sure to check for sensitivity when applying essential oils to the skin. This blend can be rubbed on the chest and neck as needed to prevent breathing difficulties or help open up the respiratory passages.

Rubbing the feet with diluted essential oils such as Peppermint, Thyme, Rosemary, or Frankincense can also help aid in relief. This can be done prior to bed or after a warm shower.

Sometimes, when all else fails and my allergies are still bothering me, it is time to reach for extra tools. While I still increase my supplements like Berry Well when allergies strike, sometimes I just want to breathe and open up my nasal passages quickly.

Enter the neti pot or similar nasal flushing device! I include sea salt and xylitol in my mix to help soothe my nasal passages. The salt helps to mimic the isotonic fluids present in the nasal passages and decreases irritation. Xylitol helps to eliminate germs and other toxins found in the nasal passages and makes it hostile for them to try to reestablish their reign. This can be used as needed throughout the day. Discard any leftover liquid at the end of each day, unless you add a few drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract to preserve the liquid.

Nasal Wash for Allergy Season from Beeyoutiful.com

Nasal Wash

1/3 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Xylitol
1 cup warm distilled water
4 drops Grapefruit Seed Extract (optional)

Mix well and use nasal washing device to administer as needed.

While I still might have to wear that paper mask when I cut the grass, by watching my diet, supplementing vital nutrients, and using essential oils, I’ve found that my body is healthier and better equipped to handle the allergens that come my way. That’s been the key to achieving lasting allergy relief.

Tal Ewing manages shipping and inventory for Beeyoutiful. He is married to our own Mary Ewing, and is the busy father of their five adorable children. He enjoys sports, outdoor activities, working in ministry opportunities as well as studying theology. He and Mary hope to soon have acreage where they can expand their backyard chickens into a small hobby farm!

3 Nourishing Gifts From The Beehive

3 Nourishing Gifts from the Beehive

This material was originally presented in a slightly different format in our Winter 2006-2007 catalog.

Honeybees are industrious little creatures and they produce highly nourishing food in abundance for themselves and for humans. Almost every compound they make is usable for building health; today let’s look at just three of their valuable offerings.

Honey

Honey begins as the nectar of herbs and flowers (wild or cultivated). The benefits of hundreds of herbs are carried in the stomach of the bee where the nectar is subtly altered by the bee’s digestive enzymes in ways that modern science has been unable to explain. New health-benefiting compounds are created by this process. Then the honey is regurgitated in the hive, concentrated by evaporation, and stored in the hexagonal cells of the honeycomb.

Because of its3 Nourishing Gifts From The Beehive-- from Beeyoutiful.com high natural sugar content, it’s very hard for bacteria to survive in honey. Many honeys contain large amounts of naturally-occurring hydrogen peroxide and in some traditions is used to disinfect cuts and scrapes. Most raw honeys also contain some propolis, a compound that can kill bacteria. In laboratory tests, honey put on seven types of bacteria killed all seven!

What is Raw Honey?

There is a difference between raw honey straight from the hive, and the processed honey that’s typically available in stores. Any honey is good for you, but raw honey is by far the best since it has not been through a heating process. Heat over 120 degrees melts the sugar and also kills wonderful enzymes and bacteria that are so rich in healing properties. Raw honey can often be purchased from local bee farmers in your area; check for nearby apiaries or ask at your farmers market for a good source. WARNING: Children under twelve months of age should not eat honey in any form as there is a risk of botulism.

Propolis, The Bee Glue

And you thought honey was sticky! Propolis is made from a sticky resinous material that western bees gather from tree buds or sap flows. The sap usually comes from coniferous trees and/or poplar trees. A worker bee will tear off tiny amounts of this resin and place the bits in her pollen baskets (the middle portion of each back leg) and then carry the resins back to the hive. House bees (young bees) unload the resins at the hive and mix them with pollen, wax, and their own enzyme-rich salivary secretions.

The finished propolis functions like cement or glue, and is used to build or repair the hive. Propolis covers virtually every centimeter of the hive, acting as an antibacterial sealant, and is a sanitary covering for all hive surfaces.

A Mummy Mouse in the Bee House!

From time to time, some unfortunate little critter (most commonly a mouse or a lizard) will get into a beehive. The bees will sting the invader to death, but they aren’t capable of removing the carcass from the hive. To keep the dead animal from rotting in the hive, the bees will coat it with propolis.

Amazingly, these propolis-mummified animals can remain undecayed for years. The powerful flavonoids in the resins, which the bees collect to make propolis, are a shield for the hive. Not only does propolis protect against viral infections, but against bacterial and fungal invasion of the hive. The same things propolis can do for a hive, it can do for you in the form of Bee Immune!

Propolis’ Healing Record

Propolis has been used topically for skin problems ranging from ordinary abrasion, to advanced herpes in the mouth, gum infections, eczema, acne, skin cancers, bruises, burns, and… well, pretty much anything that can go wrong with skin. The high percentage of flavonoids in propolis results in a remarkable immune boost when taken internally.

Because of this immune boost, my favorite way to take propolis is in capsule form along with vitamin C from rosehips. This combination can stop a developing cold in its tracks! If you wake up with a sore throat and swollen glands, try three Bee Immune propolis capsules, and 1000 mg of Rosehip C every other hour all day, and then get a good night’s rest.

Bee Pollen

Pollen is the dust-sized male plant seed, required for the fertilization of the plant, found on the stamen of all flower blossoms. Once a honeybee arrives at a flower, she nimbly scrapes off the powdery pollen from the stamen with her jaws and front legs, moistening it with a dab of the honey she brought with her from the hive.

The bee’s legs have a thick crowd of bristles called pollen combs. The bee uses these combs to brush the gold powder from her coat and legs in mid-flight, pushing the gathered pollen into her baskets. Her pollen baskets, surrounded by a fringe of long hairs, are simply concave areas located on the outside of her back legs. When the bee’s baskets are fully loaded, the pollen dust has been tamped down into a single golden granule.

This pollen-gathering bee now takes the pollen back to the hive where younger house bees unload the pollen. They secrete nectar and special enzymes into the flower pollen to create what we know as bee pollen [LINK] and young bees know as delicious food.

Superfood

Bee pollen is approximately 40% protein. It is considered one of nature’s most completely nourishing foods, containing nearly all nutrients required by humans. About half of its protein is in the form of free amino acids that can be directly absorbed by the body.

Bee pollen is often used by athletes and body builders to increase stamina and speed. There are countless stories of impressive athletic improvement attributed to the regular intake of this superfood. Most believe this is due to the pantothenic acid in bee pollen which helps the body build resistance to stress, aiding the production of the adrenal-cortical hormones and creating a powerhouse of vitality and energy.

Bee Pollen and Weight Control

Bee pollen also stimulates the metabolic processes, speeding caloric burn by stoking the metabolic fires. Bee pollen is a low-calorie food, containing only ninety calories per ounce (about two heaping tablespoons). By volume, it offers 15% lecithin, a substance that helps dissolve and flush fat from the body. Bee pollen also satisfies many cravings by meeting the body’s vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Cinnamon Honey Toast

Now that you know more about honey, propolis, and pollen, give yourself a tasty treat, courtesy of your local beehive! Drizzle raw honey on a slice of fresh buttered bread, sprinkle with a bit of ground cinnamon, and toast on a cookie sheet under the broiler or in a toaster oven until golden. Mmmm… thank you, busy bees!