Aniseed is a spice, also known as anis or anise. As a very rare allergy it is not well studied and there has been no confirmation of which allergens are causing the reactions.
Aniseed is in the Apiaceae
family of plants, this family includes fennel, coriander (cilantro), celery and dill. Plants in this family contain profilin proteins
which can cause allergic reactions in uncommon circumstances.
Allergic reactions are most likely to be caused by Bet v 1-like proteins
, which cause reactions in people sensitised to birch tree pollen and give oral allergy type symptoms.
Aniseed oil (anise oil) contains the essential oil anethole, which may cause contact allergic dermatitis in some people.
Aniseed is a food high in salicylates
. Salicylates have the potential to cause worsening of asthma, swelling, itching and hives as well as food intolerance symptoms in people who are sensitive to salicylates.
You can read more about Food Intolerances
on the dedicated Food Intolerance Page.
Allergy to aniseed is loosely linked to Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome
. You may have Pollen-Food Allergy Syndrome if you suffer from aniseed allergy with oral allergy symptoms to 3 or more of the foods mentioned in the cross reactivity section.
Aniseed is in the family Apiaceae
, other spices in this family are coriander (cilantro), carrot, parsnip, caraway seed, celery, chervil, cumin, dill, fennel and parsley.
If sensitised to birch tree pollen you may have Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome and may also react to apple, carrot, kiwi, pear, peach, plum, nectarine, apricots, cherries, tomato, celery, potato, parsnip, pepper, dill, peas, fennel, hazelnut, walnut, almonds, peanuts, lentils and bean.
Note these food lists are not exhaustive, the most up to date information is on the Cross Reactivity Tool.
Science Direct - Anise Oil
AAAAI - Spice Allergies
Allergen Encyclopedia - Aniseed
Histamine Intolerance Food List
ATP Science - Salicylate Foods
Allergy information for: Aniseed (Pimpinella anisum)
Articles and Journals
Ethnobotanical Knowledge of Umbelliferae Family: A Review, 2023
BSACI guideline for the diagnosis and management of pollen food syndrome in the UK, 2022
New allergens from spices in the Apiaceae family: anise Pimpinella anisum L. and caraway Carum carvi L., 2020
Oral allergy syndrome–the need of a multidisciplinary approach, 2014
Cross-reactivity Syndromes in Food Allergy, 2011
Aniseed-Induced Nocturnal Tongue Angioedema, 2007
Characterization of allergens in Apiaceae spices: anise, fennel, coriander and cumin, 2006
Occupational rhinoconjunctivitis and food allergy because of aniseed sensitization, 2002
Occupational asthma induced by aniseed, 1996
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