ALLERGY RESOURCES

COMPREHENSIVE ALLERGY RESOURCES FOR EVERYONE - THE TOP 14 ALLERGENS AND BEYOND

COMPREHENSIVE ALLERGY RESOURCES FOR EVERYONE - THE TOP 14 ALLERGENS AND BEYOND
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STAR ANISE ALLERGY


Key Allergens

Star anise is a spice in the Schisandraceae family of plants. These plants are usually found in Eastern Asian. The star-shaped fruits of the plant are dried and used as spices. Star anise oil is used as an essential oil and fragrance in lots of health and beauty products.

Like Aniseed oil (anise oil), star anise contains the essential oil anethole, which may cause contact allergic dermatitis in some people.

Shikimic acid is derived from the plant Illicium and is used in antiviral medications.

Chinese and Japanese star anise are slightly different species, Illicium verum and Illicium anisatum respectively. There have been many incidents involving children who have had Japanese star anise or Chinese star anise contaminated with the other species and have been poisoned. Poisoning with this spice can look like a food intolerance, with symptoms of nausea, vomiting and gastrointestinal upset.


Food Intolerances

Food is low in FODMAP

Star anise is a low FODMAP food. FODMAP stands for Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. 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.

You can read more about Food Intolerances on the dedicated Food Intolerance Page.

Associated Syndromes

Star anise is associated with allergic contact dermatitis due the levels of essential oil in the spice.

There is a single case study of a patient who reacted to tamiflu, which contains shikimic acid after being previously sensitised to star anise and had a diagnosis of Celery-Mugwort-Spice Syndrome.


Cross Reactivity

There are currently no evidence that eating foods containing star anise is cross reactive with any other foods.

Other plants which contain anethole and can cause allergic contact dermatitis include aniseed and fennel.



Resources

Websites

Healthline - Star Anise

DermNet NZ - Contact Allergic Reactions

Science Direct - Illicium verum

Science Direct - Anethole

Science Direct - Shikimic Acid


Articles and Journals

Intake of Dietary Salicylates from Herbs and Spices among Adult Polish Omnivores and Vegans, 2020

Symptomatology of star anise poisoning in pediatric patients, 2020

Liver failure secondary to poisoning by a homemade product made of star and green anise in a 4-month-old infant, 2016

A Case of Infantile Star Anise Toxicity, 2012

Spice allergy, 2011

Anaphylaxis after Oseltamivir (TamifluĀ®) therapy in a patient with sensitization to star anise and celery-carrot-mugwort-spice syndrome, 2008

Cheilitis caused by contact allergy to anethole in spearmint flavoured toothpaste, 2006



Let me know if you found any of these interesting or useful. If you spot an article or research that you think is interesting you can message me or tag me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter - links at the bottom of the page.


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