There's nothing more "made by nature" than bee pollen, the substance that clings 1 to bees as they gather nectar from flowering plants. It is rich in vitamins A, B-complex and C as well as nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. Bee pollen also contains flavonoids that have been found to reduce inflammation. Bee pollen supplements mainly are used to reduce hay fever symptoms, treat arthritis and fight fatigue. Are they worth taking

My experience: One spring, I had a terrible bout of hay fever. None of the natural treatments that I had successfully used in the past were of any help. I was miserable. I tried bee pollen supplements. Bee pollen supplements have a homeopathic effect--they help to desensitize the immune system to the allergic reaction. They contain small amounts of the allergen, which help the body build up its defenses against the allergen and prevent future allergic reactions. These supplements helped me when all else failed. Now I recommend them to prevent or treat flare-ups in some of my patients with hay fever.

My advice: If you suffer from hay fever, start taking bee pollen about two months before hay fever season begins. If it is effective at keeping hay fever at bay, continue taking it throughout hay fever season

Dosage: Two to four capsules (500 mg to 1,000 mg) daily. To relieve acute symptoms, four to eight capsules can be taken as long as needed if no side effects are experienced. Do not take bee pollen supplements if you are allergic to bee stings. Even if you have never had an allergic reaction to a bee sting, test a small amount of bee pollen supplement before taking a whole capsule. To do this, open a capsule and place a small amount of the powder on your tongue. If you experience wheezing, a rash or any other reaction, do not take bee pollen supplements. If you experience digestive upset from taking bee pollen, stop taking it.

To ensure that a bee pollen product does not contain contaminants, such as pesticides, buy from companies that manufacture quality bee pollen supplements, such as Nature's Way (800962-8873, or Natural Factors (800-322-8704,

Some Hotels Cater to Guests With Allergies

In addition to cleaning rooms with hypoallergenic products and washing linens with fragrance-free detergents, Hyatt, Marriott and Hilton hotels now offer rooms that have medical-grade air purifiers and chemical and fragrance-free bath products. These rooms cost $20 to $30 more per night. To see a list of all hotel locations that offer these types of rooms, go to

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