Serious Allergies to Herbs and Spices
Answered by: Yvonne Tremblay
Question from: Irene Vondrak
Posted on: February 26, 2007

I have a very serious reaction to some herbs or spices. How can I find out which ones I am allergic to?

Allergies are no fun, I have a few food sensitivities myself. I recommend that you make an appointment with an allergy specialist. Make a list of the herbs and spices that you have had a reaction to, if you can isolate them even better. For example can you identify one particular herb that you added yourself to a dish that you got a reaction to. You may only be allergic to a few types of herbs that all contain the same natural compound. For instance basil, fennel and tarragon contain estragole. Where they fresh herbs or dried? Were they from your own garden? If fresh, did they irritate your hands when you were picking or chopping them. Do they make you sneeze when you smell them? What you need to do is find out if it was the herb or spice or something else in the food, a preservative for example. As you say your reaction is serious (trouble breathing, gastric upset, tingling in mouth or on tongue, skin rash?), try taking an antihistamine right away to avert it.

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