I have allergies…let…me…tell…you…do I have allergies. Indoor, outdoor, seasonal…everything makes my sinuses upset. When I was a kid I did the whole allergy shot ritual, which seemed to do absolutely nothing except make me afraid of needles. I lived at our ENT specialist, tried every allergy medicine, nose spray, antihistamine there is and after all these years I’ve decided that allergies are probably just something I may have to live with.
I’ve found, as an adult that certain things bother me more than others. Any type of aged food like wine, blue cheese, or sour dough can set off a sinus headache if I over-do-it. Also mowing the lawn can kill me…especially this time of year.
Knowing how my nose is, I was more than a bit concerned when we bought our farm and realized that the entire property was covered in Goldenrod!
I’m going to die. I’m going to drown in my own sinus mucus and die.
But the first fall came, and the goldenrod bloomed, and I was surprisingly fine. My allergies were no worse than any other fall.
I found this strange so I decided to do a little research on Goldenrod.
Goldenrod Gets a Bad Rap
The injustice of it all…
As it turns out, Goldenrod has kinda got a bad rap over the years. Many people who think they are allergic to Goldenrod, are actually allergic to Ragweed which blooms at the same time.
The ragweed pollen allergy affects about 23 million people, making it one of the most common weed allergies.
Ragweed often grows alongside Goldenrod in mixed open fields, prairies and grasslands that have not been mowed and along road sides. People often blame the Goldenrod as the source of allergy misery, when more likely it is Ragweed.
Just to clarify…some people are allergic to Goldenrod, but not nearly as many as Ragweed.
So why all this talk about allergies on a beekeeping website? Who cares if people want to mow over Goldenrod?
Goldenrod is an important plant to the bee and other pollinators. It is one of the last blooming flowers of the year before the hard frosts begin. Bees can benefit greatly if Goldenrod nectar and pollen is available as a late food source before winter.
The stems are also beneficial to overwintering native bees.
The first year we kept bees, our hives took full advantage of all the Goldenrod we have on our property. The field was humming with pollinators!
Goldenrod Honey is darker in color, and has a rich, almost spicy flavor.
If you do have seasonal allergies, you might want to look into Goldenrod Honey as a source of relief. Some say that consuming raw, local honey, acts in the same way allergy shots do. The honey, when consumed, exposes the body to small amounts of the allergen (like ragweed pollen). Your body recognizes it and learns to deal with the allergen without triggering an inflammatory, histamine response. Honey is also thought to be anti inflammatory, which helps the body to recognize the trigger and deal with it in a healthy way. (Check with your doctor before using honey medicinally).
So this autumn, if mowing “that weed field” is on your to-do list, leave it be! Use that time to eat a few cinnamon sugar doughnuts and a glass or two of cider.