Saturday, May 29, 2010

Taking Local Honey Gets Allergies to Buzz Off

With my fabulous (not) insurance I get through the city my regular allergy medicine (the only one that actually works) costs me $70 per month. Because of this I have explored other options. This is one that has actually helped. I do occasionally find myself needing to take an Allegra but at least my 30 day supply lasts me months now instead. Read below for some great info.

Taking Local Honey Gets Allergies to Buzz Off
By Valerie Carruthers, posted April 25th, 2010
Contributing author for Flagler Organics.

When it comes to preventing or easing seasonal allergies, local honey works far more effectively and safely than the immune-suppressing allergy drugs prescribed by doctors or sold over the counter. It also saves you lots of money. Horticulturist/author Tom Ogren ( has described local honey as being packed with pollen grains and other nutrients making it one of the most potent immune-system boosters.

How local honey works is similar to homeopathy’s concept of “like cures like.”

Allergies are caused by over-exposure to pollens found in our local plant species, such as the bottlebrush tree. Honeybees gather pollen from the bottlebrush and other local trees, shrubs and flowers that winds up in small amounts in the honey produced in this area.

Taking small amounts of local honey daily is like having ongoing allergy shots minus the discomfort or cost, say Ogren and It gradually increases your immune system’s tolerance to the pollens while decreasing the sneezing and other symptoms. [Important note: Never give local raw honey to children under the age of one. It can be highly dangerous to infants.]

For best results, take 2-3 teaspoonfuls of local honey daily, if possible beginning a few months prior to allergy season. (Highly allergic persons should start with a quarter teaspoon or less per day and slowly build up.) The more local the honey, the better it will work. Your body will then better adapt to its environment (See for more on local honey and health.)

One man's trash is another man's or woman's treasure

As many of you know one of my favorite things to do is take something that someone else no longer wants and make it new again. This was the case with an old pool deck at my in-laws old house that my brother in law and sister in law now own. The above ground pool has since been torn down but the small deck remained. The deck is pretty worn out since it is about 15 years old but there was so much potential still left in it. Sooooo they gave it to us and it is now our back deck. We did have to replace a few boards in the floor and re-brace the legs but overall we only have about $20-$30 in to it. Many of you may not know this but Lowes/Home Depot stacks up bent or damaged wood onto carts. Once the cart is full they sell the whole cart for pennies on the dollar. Because of this we were able to pick up wood for next to nothing to replace the damaged boards and build braces for the legs. We still need to put up a rail (I had sooo much fun with demolishing the old ones) and paint the deck but overall it is fully functioning right now as our deck. When all is said and done we expect to have less than $100 in to it. Now tell me where you can build a back deck for less than $100? Saving money and keeping stuff from the 2 favorite things to do!

Disposing of old medications

Unfortunately, old medication often goes straight down the toilet or the sink, but the problem is sewage wastewater treatment plants aren't equipped to filter out drugs so they wind up in our waterways.

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studies have found pharmaceuticals present not only in waterways, but also in aquatic creatures. Minute levels have also been found in drinking water. In addition to antibiotics and steroids, over 100 different Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products as Pollutants (PPCPs) had been identified by 2007 in environmental samples and drinking water.

Not a lot is known about the environmental and human health impact of the presence of pharmaceuticals in waterways as more research is needed; but it's a disturbing situation.

How to dispose of old medication

It's important not to flush prescription drugs down the toilet or drain unless information accompanying the medication specifically states you can do so.

Probably the best first course of action is to contact your local pharmacy and ask them if they have a drug take-back program as these initiatives are becoming increasingly common. Pharmacies that do will ensure the medications are disposed of in the proper manner; usually via incineration.

Another point of contact is your local council's waste department as they may offer a drop-off facility for old medications or may be able to direct you to a service that does.

Failing all that, the general advice is to dispose of the medications in your household trash, but to take some special safety precautions by take the medications out of their original containers and placing them into another airtight container, mixed in with something undesirable - such as used kitty litter or other substances equally as unappealing. It's not ideal as the drugs can contaminate the soil when landfilled and possibly contaminate groundwater; but that's really the only other option and according to authorities; the "lesser of the evils".

While some disposal programs incinerate old medications, do not attempt to incinerate medications at home as this can be just as environmentally damaging as landfill disposal and hazardous to your health, due to the gases produced. Medicine disposal programs use special incinerators that burn at very high temperatures.

Michael Bloch
Green Living