Blog, Herbalism

Raspberry Allergy?

Amber Shehan September 2, 2013

Aww, drat! After a few in-home experiments, I’ve got a strong suspicion that I have developed a mild raspberry allergy! I got some lovely fresh berries from Stepp Orchards via Mother Earth Produce and had a handful right away.  A bit later, I realized that my tongue was a little tingly and burning and that…

raspberries

Aww, drat! After a few in-home experiments, I’ve got a strong suspicion that I have developed a mild raspberry allergy!

I got some lovely fresh berries from Stepp Orchards via Mother Earth Produce and had a handful right away.  A bit later, I realized that my tongue was a little tingly and burning and that my stomach was rumbling and acidic.  Then a few small itchy spots appeared on my arms. The next day I had raspberries again and later noticed a similar feeling.  I recalled everything I’d eaten in the past two days, and only raspberries were both consistent and something I hadn’t had in a while.

Later that week, I happened to be at a lovely bar (The Thirsty Monk) and found that they had Framboise Lambic on draught.  Delicious!  I’ve often loved Lambic, and couldn’t pass up the chance to have it from the tap.  It was just as I finished the first sip that I recalled that Framboise is French for raspberry – and just like that, my tongue was burning and the tart flavor gave way to a sharp metallic taste.

It has been one week since my first uncomfortable raspberry experience and there were a few left in the fridge just now. One final test. A handful of yummy, sweet, tart raspberries later, and the results are sadly the same.  Acidy, achey tummy – a burning tongue, and oops…there’s a new itchy bump on my upper arm.  I hope this is just a random glitch, as I really don’t want a raspberry allergy!

My next experiment is going to be with red raspberry leaf – a longtime herbal ally for menstruation, cramps, and grounding in states of emotional turbulence. I hope that my new sensitivity does not reach to the dried leaves that I’ve so often used for teas and medicines!

Update: December 14, 2013

Well, there’s good news and bad news. I still have a sensitivity to raspberry fruit, but I can drink raspberry leaf tea without problems! I accidentally “poisoned” myself the other night. I had a can of roll-out croissants and decided it would be nice to fill them with cream cheese and strawberry jam before I baked them. I whipped the cream cheese and jam together and everything was going well until I popped them in the oven, turned around, and licked the mixing spoon. My tongue began to tingle and I realized that the jelly jar had raspberries on it – a jar that had been left by a visiting friend!  Augh.

Since then I’ve done a bit more research. It seems that most people who have allergies to raspberries are actually allergic to Salicylates, a naturally occurring chemical found in many fruits and veggies.  Salicylates are a pain reliever, and I first came to know it in the herbal arena because it is the main pain-relieving chemical in willow bark and aspirin. But when I looked through the list of salicylate-rich foods, I realized that I eat many of them quite regularly with no ill effect: avocados, apples, cucumbers, peppermint, broccoli, grapes, cheeses….the list goes on!

I’m really excited that I can drink raspberry leaf tea without any problems at all! Until I earn something more, I’ll assume that I am not allergic to salicylate and that there is something in the raspberry fruit that is not present in the leaves that is causing my negative reactions. I still ate one of those croissants, though. I’m quite stubborn sometimes. *sigh*

Amber Shehan

Hi! I'm Amber Pixie, and this is my site. Enjoy the recipes, information, posts, and please feel free to message me if you have questions!

11 Comments

  1. Maggie on January 21, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    You may be fine with the tea because of the limited amount of raspberries but mostly because the raspberries are/were cooked. People who react to fresh raspberries and even fresh strawberries are often fine when the fruits are cooked and in another dish or recipe.

    • amberpixi on January 22, 2014 at 9:28 am

      Thanks, Maggie! I’ll try, although jellies and wine with raspberries have caused reactions as well. Raspberry leaf is fine, too! I’ll try to cook some down at some point and see what happens. 🙂

  2. Debbie on July 1, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Did your itchy bumps look like hives and did they come out immediately? My daughter who loves raspberries hd them this week for the first time and has had hived more than once and we aren;t sure whats going on, they come out hours later after dinner though

    • amberpixi on July 2, 2014 at 8:24 am

      Debbie, the itchy bumps that I get aren’t the weepy sore kind of hives, but small red spots or splotches that aren’t very raised, but itch like the dickens. The tingling tongue comes first, then the tummy ache, and then the spots within an hour or so. I’ve found that black raspberries don’t bother me as much, though! Give those a try! 🙂

  3. AllergyEasy on May 22, 2015 at 11:12 am

    I think Maggie is right. There are allergies that only occur when you eat a raw food. But when it’s been cooked, the reaction changes. I never experienced it before, but I have heard it the same situation from friends.

  4. Debbie P on September 20, 2015 at 12:15 am

    I’ve found when accidentally consuming the fruit in any form, I almost immediately get stomach cramps… which progress to severe stomach cramps accompanied with nausea and 12 hours of vomiting & diarrhea. It is horrible… but all of the other symptoms you have mentioned are absent. No itching mouth or throat, no itchy spots on my body and no shortness of breath… What do you think is going on? Thanks for any help.

    • Amber Shehan on September 20, 2015 at 10:40 am

      Gosh, I don’t honestly know, Debbie! If I were you, I’d go to a nutritionist or allergy specialist – that sounds like a way more severe allergic reaction than I have! 🙁 It’s a generally good idea to keep a notebook or something to write down your food experiences into to help trace patterns or similar sensitivities.

  5. Pickle on November 2, 2015 at 5:22 am

    Sounds a bit like a fructose intolerance Debbie P

    • Amber Shehan on November 2, 2015 at 9:11 am

      Thanks, Debbie! What gets me though, is that no other fruit does that to me…just raspberries! *shrugs* Oh, mysteries of life…

  6. Shellie Schumann on May 17, 2017 at 1:29 am

    Please be careful as I almost died from eating them….also I have had severe burning skin from raspberry flavored bonine an anti nausea pill.

    • Amber Shehan on May 18, 2017 at 12:35 pm

      Wow, your allergy is WAY more intense than my own! Mine is about the same as it was when I first wrote this some years ago, but I also don’t test it out too often. Be safe with those raspberries, Shellie!

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