As with almost all food allergies, allergic reaction to spice often involves a combination of symptoms. Some of these symptoms include hives, swelling of the throat and skin, rash, stomach ache, diarrhea, indigestion, asthma, vomiting itching of the tongue, lips and/or face, severe lowing of the blood pressure, trouble breathing and the risk of unconsciousness or death in severe cases where anaphylaxis occurs. Allergies of this type are rare and serious reactions to these allergens are even rarer. However it’s always best to evade any spice or food than will bring on food intolerance or allergic reaction. The trouble is that to date most herbs and spices don’t warrant food label warnings by FDA standards and therefore close attention to ingredients is absolutely necessary.
Spices That Amy Cause Allergy or Food Intolerance
- Anis: Anis is widely used as a flavoring for drinks, candies and pastries. Alcoholic drinks like Ouzo, Raki, Pernod and Anissette all use this spice to flavor the drink. Licorice is one of the most common candies found with it as an ingredient. It’s also very common in a wide variety of Indian and Middle Eastern cooking. It’s also a very common ingredient in shampoos, toothpaste and other health and beauty aids we use every day.
- Curry: This spice is actually a blend of spices and other ingredients making it difficult to be sure exactly what might causing the reaction. Evading any foods that might contain it is often the best way to avoid a reaction.
- Paprika: Paprika can have a severe reaction for some who suffer allergies to it. If you have an allergic response to it’s best to avoid it altogether. It’s hard to do this however because many seasonings contain the spice under the label of ‘spices’, natural flavors, and natural seasonings. Seasoned snacks, especially those labeled as barbecue often carry it as an ingredient. A good way to look out for is to avoid anything that is red in color from seasonings as often paprika causes the coloring (also another use for the spice).
- Fennel: This flavoring is found is some foods and yellow and brown food dyes, perfumes, soaps, toothpastes, and air fresheners. Those who are allergic to fennel are also more likely to be allergic to celery, carrots, dill and anise.
- Garlic: Both the fresh and cooked varieties of garlic can cause an allergic reaction. It may also mean having to avoid similar food additives like chives and onions. Symptoms can be mild (where a person can eat them but deal with light symptoms) or severe (in which case garlic and it’s relatives must be avoided totally). This food allergy makes keeping the sufferer safe from exposure very hard as garlic is an ingredient found in thousands of foods.
- Celery Seed: This herb is found in many soups, salad dressings, broths and spice mixtures.
- Mustard: Mustard is particularly prone to anaphylaxis in those who are allergic to it. With this in mind, use it carefully and avoid offering it to small children in any form.