Ginseng is a plant in the Araliaceae
family of plants. These are generally flowering plants and types of ivy.
The root of the plant is dried and ground and was traditionally used in Chinese medicine. In more recent times it is added to lots of different products including teas and supplements.
Studies have shown links to oral allergy type symptoms, which researchers think is from profilin proteins
in the herb. These proteins are more easily broken down by temperature changes and processing, so is not commonly linked to pollen food syndromes.
As ginseng is generally consumed in very small amounts it is very rarely linked to food intolerances.
You can read more about Food Intolerances
on the dedicated Food Intolerance Page.
As ginseng contains profilin proteins it can be linked to Celery Mugwort Spice Syndrome
, which is where similarly shaped proteins cause allergy like irritation in the mouth, nose and throat.
Other proteins which contain profilin include almond, apple, barley, pepper, carrot, celery, cherry, chilli, corn, cumin, fennel, fig, grape, hazelnut, kiwi, melon, mustard, onion, parlsey, peach, peanut, pear, plum, rice, soya, strawberry, tomato, walnut and wheat.
Please note this list of foods is not exhaustive, please visit the Cross Reactivity Tool for the most up to date food lists.
Science Direct - Ginseng
Articles and Journals
Effects of Red and Fermented Ginseng and Ginsenosides on Allergic Disorders, 2020
Clinical Manifestations and Risk Factors of Anaphylaxis in Pollen–Food Allergy Syndrome, 2019
First-reported pediatric cases of American ginseng anaphylaxis and allergy, 2018
Review of cases of patient risk associated with ginseng abuse and misuse, 2015
A Case of Korean Ginseng-Induced Anaphylaxis Confirmed by Open Oral Challenge and Basophil Activation Test, 2012
Korean Ginseng Makes Oral Allergy Syndrome in Birch-Sensitized Respiratory Allergy Patients, 2008
A Case Report of Suspected Ginseng Allergy, 2004
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