LOCAL HONEY BUZZ: Sweet treat may help allergies

LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- The FDA estimates at least 36 million people suffer from seasonal allergies in the United States.

The symptoms can be brutal -- itchy, watery eyes; runny nose; and a constant headache. But many local residents have turned away from popping pills to treat those symptoms and instead have turned to Mother Nature for relief.

Coming Tuesday on News 3 at 5: There are people who swear that a teaspoon of raw honey a day keeps the allergies away. But a local doctor isn't buying it. He says the people you've heard from aren't lying. He thinks they really believe the honey is helping. But he'll explain that the science just doesn't support those claims.Modern medicine has produced countless medications for seasonal allergies, but sometimes the side effects like dry mouth and trouble sleeping are just as bad as constant sneezing.

Bob Alexander just couldn't take his allergies anymore, so he's going with some advice from a friend - local honey.

"I'm feeling real bad," he said. "And one of my friend's came here and he says every time he uses this honey, he feels better, so I'm trying it."

When you hear locally produced honey, does it need to come from a field full of bees? Not exactly.

"The term local, as it applies to honey, means that it comes from the indigenous plants in our region and our region is the Mojave Desert," said local honey distributor Dee Drenta. "It does not mean proximity in miles; it means the source is our same region."

Drenta has made honey a part of her morning routine for years, whether it's a teaspoon in the coffee or the oatmeal. She says she doesn't even suffer from allergies anymore, and she credits honey for her good health.

"This is 100 percent natural," she said. "I know the word natural is overused, but you can't get any more natural than honey."

As manager of Rainbow's End Natural Foods, J.C. Cox doesn't have to worry about keeping the shelves stocked with the sweet stuff because it's being packaged right here on the premises.

"This time of year, we sell a lot of it," Cox said.