The Weston A. Price Way

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Super Food Wednesday: Bee Pollen and Amalaki to Beat Allergies

A week or two ago a group of my friends and I were discussing the allergies that accompany the winds of spring. Our friend, Michelle, told of how she now takes bee pollen. Says she tried local honey in an effort to tame her spring allergies without success. But bee pollen? Bee pollen has caused my friend's allergies to be 'gone with the wind'.

I remembered that bee pollen was listed in Nourishing Traditions as a Super Food, and if you want to know about what makes a super food super, see here.

In refreshing myself on the attributes of bee pollen, I also saw that Amalaki, (also known as "Indian Gooseberry"), is good for allergies. So, although there are many foods that help us deter those dreaded histamines, (clean raw milk, for one), we will focus on these two this week.

Loaded with vitamin C, Amalaki is a fruit grown in India. It has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine, considered to be the world's oldest healthcare system that bases it's treatment on the concept that everything in life affects health-a holistic approach that strives to maintain balance between body, mind and spirit. Amalaki comes in veggie caps, tea bags and powder form, the powder being the most economical. The taste is quite sour, (as anything with vitamin C tends to be), and the powder form is to be mixed in a small amount of water before taking. A quarter teaspoon daily is the dose recommended by Nourishing Traditions.

Amalaki can be ordered through Bazaar of India, (recommended by Nourishing Traditions), at (800) 261-7662. It is also available at the Bulk Herb Store and several other online sources.

The first ailment on the extensive list of ailments successfully treated by bee pollen is allergies. Also included in Nourishing Traditions are: "asthma, menstrual irregularities, constipation, diarrhea, anemia, low energy, cancer, rheumatism, arthritis and toxic conditions."

In Russia's Province of Georgia, there are many who have lived well into their hundreds, as much as 150 years! Their common denominator? Beekeeping. And beyond that, they frequently consumed their own honey-unprocessed and raw, including the bee pollen.

Bee Pollen has over 5,000 enzymes, including coenzymes. Some of them have immediate detoxifying effects. Sometimes, rapid detox can cause the body to react allergically. Therefore, it would be wise to begin by taking small amounts, leading up to a tablespoon a day.

Additional attributes of bee pollen are its 22 amino acids, which includes all eight of the essential amino acids. There are 27 minerals and a long list of vitamins, hormones and good fatty acids.

Nourishing Traditions recommends Vitamin Shoppe as a source, and I would like to personally recommend Bee Pollen Buzz - because of their strong stand on keeping pollen cool and minimal processing. Be forewarned that there are many other sources, but most of them are processed in ways that cause you to pay good money for an inferior product. Do the research so you're not disappointed. If the pollen is dried at over 130 degrees, you will be getting much, much less for your hard earned dollars because most of its enzymes as well as other attributes, will have been killed.

The truth is, I'm a bit late for this year's allergy season-at least as far as the pollen is concerned. Most of us should start in small doses two or three months prior to allergy season. Still, starting now could help somewhat now...and will surely have the body prepared for the fall allergy season.

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