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Could a spoon of local honey a day cure hayfever?

A quarter of Londoners suffer the irritation of hayfever during summer months. Streaming eyes, tickly throats and a runny nose are just a few of the symptoms we spend millions each year trying to control.

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But rather than antihistamines could a spoon of local honey a day cure hayfever?

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James Hamill is a fourth generation bee keeper. He swears eating English honey rich in local pollen can acclimatise the body and prevent it reacting to airbourne pollen spores.

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Most people aren't coming in contact with local pollen. Where would they ever eat it in their daily diet unless they can eat fresh local honey so when the body comes in contact with it through fresh local honey the respiratory system goes into overdrive trying to produce histamines and basically trying to shut the body down because it's being attacked.

– James Hamill

James collects pollen samples from around the south east of England and enriches natural untreated honey.

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He says the honey doesn't need to come from your exact town (as much of the UK's plants are similar) but it does need to have not be overly refined.

If you get it from the supermarkets there's a very high chance that it's being made from outside the UK so the pollen is of no use. And in many cases they super heat the honey which bursts and kills the pollen and renders it useless.

And judging by the stream of repeat customers coming into his shop in Clapham many people seem to agree it works. Cheryl Edwards was buying two pots, costing £14.95 each for her and her son.

I don't know what stops people trying stuff that's natural... Within days the sneezing stopped my eyes stopped streaming and for my little boy who's four exactly the same.

Sounds convincing but what do medical experts say? I spoke to Allergist Dr Adam Fox from St Thomas's hospital to find out.

When it comes to looking at the scientific studies unfortunately there isn't good evidence that this is a useful treatment although there is a little evidence that honey may be slightly helpful there isn't any evidence that pollen rich honey can be helpful.

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He says that's because tests show to get the levels of pollen required to desensitise patients would require far higher doses than are in honey.

There is a new drug on the market called Grazax which uses extremely high doses of pollen to do just that but the levels are far higher than found in honey.

Whether it's a placebo effect or a genuine cure - there are plenty who'll try anything to help them breathe easily this summer.