Parsnip is in the family Apiaceae
, other foods in this family are coriander, caraway seed, celery, chervil, cumin, dill, fennel, parsley and aniseed.
Parsnip is very rarely linked to food allergy, to date there are no recorded allergens for parsnips by the World Health Organization (WHO), because there have not been enough study into allergic effects from this food. If you are interested in what is needed by the WHO before they add an allergen to their allergen database you can check that out HERE
No allergenic proteins have yet been isolated from parsnip, but are most likely to be Bet v 1-like proteins
, which cause reactions in people sensitised to birch tree pollen and give oral allergy type symptoms.
Other plants in the Apiaceae
family contain Lipid Transfer Proteins
(LTP), these proteins are resistant to heat and are found in many types of plants. Patients suffering from a more severe allergy to cooked fruit may be sensitised to this group of proteins.
Other plants in the Apiaceae
family also contain profilin proteins
which can cause allergic reactions in uncommon circumstances.
Parsnips contain furanocoumarins
. These chemicals can get on the skin and in combination with ultraviolet light (sunlight) can cause a sunburn like rash. Furanocoumarins are found in higher concentrations in fresh herbs and are natural irritants which can cause allergic contact dermatitis. This is more common in occupations where you are frequently coming into contact with the food, like chefs, cooks, growers and pickers.
Parsnips are a low FODMAP food. FODMAP
stands for F
olyols. Foods high in FODMAPs can cause symptoms of food intolerance, affecting the gastro intestinal system and this can be mistaken for a true IgE food allergy.
Parsnips are a food moderate 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 parsnip is loosely linked to Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome
. You may have Pollen-Food Allergy Syndrome if you suffer from dill allergy with oral allergy symptoms to 3 or more of the foods mentioned in the cross reactivity section.
You may be suffering from LTP Syndrome
if you have reactions to various fruits, vegetables and nuts and your reactions continue to be severe after you have discarded the peel and have cooked the food.
Allergy to parsnip is sometimes linked to Celery-Mugwort-Spice Syndrome
, which is a subtype of Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome. This syndrome affects individuals who have become sensitised to pollen and then have oral allergy type symptoms to foods with similarly shaped proteins. The most common form of Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome is the one caused by birch tree pollen. In Celery Mugwort Spice Syndrome the sensitising pollen is mugwort.
The plant involved in latex allergy Hevea brasiliensis
, the rubber tree plant, has an allergen called Hev b 8 which is a profilin protein. Those very sensitised to latex may have a contact allergic reaction from other foods or plants containing profilin proteins, there is less evidence of this than sensitisation to other latex linked proteins like hevein and chitinases, but it still has an important role in Latex Food Syndrome
Parsnip is also associated with photocontact dermatitis. This is a skin condition that occurs when a person gets the juice from the plant on the skin and doesn't wash it off. The furocoumarins in the plant are activated by the sun and cause an itchy rash on the skin.
If sensitised to Birch 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, cumin, peas, dill, fennel, hazelnut, walnut, almonds, coriander, peanuts, lentils and beans.
Common foods involved in LTP allergy include hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, apples, dried fruit, lettuce and tomatoes.
Profilins are also found as food allergens in kiwi, celery, peanut, chilli, watermelon, orange, hazelnut, melon, carrot, strawberry, soya, walnut, lychee, lupin, apple, cherry, almond, peach, pear, mustard, tomato and aubergine.
Foods linked to Latex Food Syndrome may have linked allergies to foods which contain high levels of chitinase, like avocado, banana, corn (maize), kiwi, papaya, pomegranate and tomatoes.
Please note these food lists are not exhaustive, the most up to date information is on the Cross Reactivity Tool.
DermNet NZ - Parsnip
Anaphylaxis Campaign - Vegetable Allergies
Healthline - FODMAP Foods
ATP Science - Salicylate Foods
Articles and Journals
Lipid transfer protein allergy, 2023
Occupational asthma induced by exposure to celeriac, 2022
Systemic allergic dermatitis caused by Apiaceae root vegetables, 2013
Oral Allergy Syndrome - The Need of a Multidisciplinary approach, 2014
Plants as the cause of contact allergy diagnosed at the Dermatological Clinic, Medical Academy, in Białystok, 1990
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