You may not be aware that blackberries and other fruits, vegetables and nuts contain a naturally occurring chemical related to aspirin. If you are allergic or intolerant of aspirin, you may develop allergy symptoms after eating blackberries. MayoClinic.com states that adverse reactions to aspirin are common and need to be discussed with your doctor. If you notice allergy symptoms develop after eating blackberries, avoid consuming them until you can be seen by your doctor or allergist.
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Salicylates and Blackberries
Salicylates are chemicals that naturally occur in various plants and are chemically similar to aspirin. Although salicylates are a natural substance, you may have difficulty tolerating them or even experiencing an allergic reaction when you’re exposed to them. Even a small amount of the chemical can trigger symptoms that could range from mild to severe. If you’re allergic to salicylates, eliminate all foods that contain them, including blackberries, from your diet to prevent a severe reaction. Some medications contain salicylates, such as cough mixtures, antacids and flu medications, according to the Auckland Allergy Clinic.
Symptoms can develop within a few seconds to a few minutes after ingesting blackberries. You may develop itchy skin, tingling in your face, hives or eczema. Your sinuses can become congested, leading to a runny nose, sinus pressure, facial tenderness and sinus headaches. Itchy, watery and red eyes are a common symptom of a salicylate intolerance. You may become short of breath, wheeze and develop a consistent cough. In rare instances, you may develop anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction that could cause death.
The only way to prevent symptoms is to avoid blackberries and all other foods that contain salicylates. Common fruits that contain this chemical include cherries, oranges, prunes, pineapple, dates, grapes, raspberries, plums and blueberries. Hot peppers, olive and tomatoes naturally contain salicylates and need to be avoided. Other foods that may contain this chemical include jelly, mint flavor, almond, honey, chewing gum, water chestnuts, cayenne, gravy, sauces, curry, thyme and dill, according to the Auckland Allergy Clinic.
If you suspect that you’re experiencing a severe allergic reaction, call 911. An injection of epinephrine may be required to prevent death and other complications. Epinephrine is a medication that is administered in a needle for instant access to your blood stream. Even if you have an epinephrine pen that you use, you need to call your doctor and go to the nearest emergency room.