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Alternative allergy treatments

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Ray is a longtime allergy sufferer.

"The stuffy nose makes your head hurt," he said. "You don't get enough air in."

And because he's allergic to most allergy medication, he generally stays indoors.

"Every spring-- flowers are pretty, but you know they're going to tear you up," he said.

Dr. David Forbes owns Nashville Integrated Medicine. He says Ray is the perfect candidate for alternative methods.

"First and foremost I'm going to talk to my patients about their diet because believe it or not, getting your allergy symptoms down from a 10 to a 2 is usually dietarily dependent," Forbes said.

So in order to stop the sneezing, you might want to cut back on the refined sugars, grains and dairy. You can also turn to herbal methods.

"Quercetin is one, butterbur is another," Forbes said.

Another alternative to traditional over-the-counter allergy medicine just might surprise you. It has to do with local bees, and people who use this method buy it by the dozens.

"A lot of my customers wait in line and stock up. They buy quarts from me," said Lynda Correll, who owns Lynda's Rose Garden Honey.

Correll sells honey at the Hip Donelson Farmer's Market.

"Honey, evidently, is a great deterrent to allergies," Correll said.

Some experts believe because bees take pollen and nectar from local flowers, when you eat the raw honey it's believed to desensitize your body just like an allergy shot.

"Some customers take it with vinegar, a teaspoon of vinegar and a tablespoon of honey, and they say it really helps their allergies," Correll said.

It's something Ray is anxious to try.

"I'd throw some on my coffee in morning, anything to get a little bit off of it," he said.

A warning about honey: doctors say don't give it to a child less than 1. The child could develop infant botulism. Click here for more on that.

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