Talking Allergies

Basil and/or oregano allergy? OAS?
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Author:  Julie [ Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Basil and/or oregano allergy? OAS?

We are beginning to wonder if our son might be allergic (or have OAS) to basil and/or oregano. Has anyone heard of this, or experienced this? Over the past 18 months, our son has complained of having a very upset stomach from time to time, after he's eaten. At the allergists' office, the nurse wondered if he might be lactose intolerant, so we took him off all dairy for a couple of weeks, but the occasional stomach aches continued. We just could not figure out what was the problem as he had no other symptoms. We are already aware that our son has birch pollen allergy and OAS (in his case, to apples, pears, cherries) as well as watermelon and pineapple (unrelated to OAS). I recently read that basil, oregano (and dill) fall under the OAS category, and a lightbulb went on. I use basil and oregano quite a bit when I cook. I have eliminated both for the past few weeks, and NO stomach aches! I tried a tiny bit of basil on pizza recently, and the stomach ache returned. Tonight, I used salsa in a recipe, and our son had another stomach ache. It never occurred to me that basil or oregano could be in the salsa, but that "spices" word appears on the label. I will call on Monday morning to see if I can learn if basil or oregano are in the salsa. I'm not sure that testing at the allergists will help because I've heard that OAS may not show a positive in testing. But I don't want to see our son suffer, and I really want confirmation of a possible allergy/OAS. Is there anyway I can confirm if he's reacting to basil or oregano? The frustrating part is that I don't know for sure, and I also don't know if it's basil only, or basil and oregano, and I DON'T want to test him at home and watch him have another stomach ache. If anyone can help us out, I would really appreciate hearing from you!

Author:  _Susan_ [ Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Basil and/or oregano allergy? OAS?

Yikes! :frightened
Were the spices fresh or dried? Could they have been contaminated? :damnedcomputer

Author:  BC2007 [ Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Basil and/or oregano allergy? OAS?

There are many of these charts onlline and I too have seen different spices on different lists. I would trust your gut for now and avoid both spices as much as possible. Poor kid! Are dried spices considered cooked? I really have come to realize that allergies can happen to any food.
Is there any way the spices can be a different brand than what you usually buy....sesame contaminated maybe?

Author:  Julie [ Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Basil and/or oregano allergy? OAS?

Thank you for your replies! I had not considered the possibility of contamination :oops ... thank you for pointing this out. It could be a possibility. I can't believe I didn't consider this - this is why I love this forum :) . Is it Club House or McCormick brand that is safe? Or both? Thank you!

Author:  BC2007 [ Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Basil and/or oregano allergy? OAS?

McCormick is safe for peanuts/tree nuts but I've called 2x and both times I was told they DO manufacture sesame in the same plant/lines. Club House that a sister company to McCormick?

Author:  _Susan_ [ Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Basil and/or oregano allergy? OAS?

I thought so, too...

Author:  Julie [ Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Basil and/or oregano allergy? OAS?

Just wanted to post an update.... it looks like "safe" basil and oregano are okay!! :banana We purchased Club House brand basil and oregano... over the summer, we have slowly gone through the process of testing out both spices (herbs) and I'm happy to say that both seem to have passed the test! I am cautiously so happy to have learned that we can use these spices again. We're still taking it slowly, but so far, so good. Thanks for the advice and reminder to use Club House or McCormick brand.

Author:  BC2007 [ Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Basil and/or oregano allergy? OAS?

That is great news Julie, worthy of a dancing banana! :banana

Author:  Maman de 3 [ Sat Nov 19, 2011 3:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Basil and/or oregano allergy? OAS?

I know this is a few years later, but perhaps the original poster will read this post or this post might help another who is having stomach pain. Bottom line, I think the allergy might be GARLIC. Even if the preparer didn't "add" garlic to the dish, the herbs may be contaminated by being processed in the same facility on the same equipment. In salsas garlic and onion are always present. (I once made salsa using fresh tomatoes and spicy white radishes, with cilantro and lime. It tasted pretty good and made my daughter feel like she was eating something slightly "normal" like the rest of the family. Down side is that it doesnt keep well.)

My daughter, who is now 11 years old, has had stomach pain pretty much since she was born. I thought all babies went through bottles of anti-gas drops. We saw specialists who claimed she had lactose intolerance to IBS to constipation. At our last consulation at our local children's hospital, the doctor told me in some many words that my daughter had IBS and needed to learn to deal with her pain. I was so angry. My daughter dealt with her pain by not eating, and most days she was in a ball on the floor writhing in pain and crying. Now that is no way for a child to live. After trying an elimination diet we found the culpret. Once we removed garlic from her diet, there was an immediate releif. (Elimination diet: start with rice or potato or whatever the child isn't suspected of being allergic to. Eat that only for 3 days. I know it isn't fun, but when you're at your whits end, you're willing to try anything! Add one new ingredients every 2-3 days. Keep a diary. Even *iodized* salt might cause problems for some people. Google search it for more information.) I am happy to repot that my daughter has almost no pain. When she does have pain, it is from some type of cross contamination or eating out. For my daughter, her allergy includes garlic, onion, scallion, shallot, leek, and anything related. She is also allergic to aloe (believe it or not, aloe is a relative of garlic). We learned the hard way that my daughter cannot use the aloe creams to soothe her sunburns. Okay, so it seems easy enough to read labels and find the garlic right? NO! We live in the USA and according to our labeling regulations, garlic does not have to be included in labeling. So, here are a few of the words that might indicate garlic is present in foods: natural flavoring, flavorings, spices, spice mix, broth. Because my daughter's allergies are so sensitive, I make our own broths, spaghetti from scratch...straight from the tomato, etc. I have found that she gets sick from foods with absolutely no garlic in the product, but are processed in a facility which processes garlic. For example, one of the companies makes plain diced tomatoes and roasted garlic/red pepper diced tomatoes. That is a no no. You will find that people with garlic/onion allergies have to cut out mayo, some mustards, ketchup, most salad dressings, some brands of canned beans or refried beans, etc. It makes the food preparer think more in terms of whole, natural, unprocessed foods. Even though it takes a lot of time, I am glad to report that my daughter rarely has episodes of stomach pain. And that is very good news for my daughter and her mommy.

Author:  _Susan_ [ Sat Nov 19, 2011 8:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Basil and/or oregano allergy? OAS?

Thanks for your input Maman de 3, I am hearing of more garlic allergies...I wonder where I can get statistical info on some of these "uncommon" allergens.

Author:  Allergic_Vegetarian [ Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Basil and/or oregano allergy? OAS?

I actually met someone who was allergic to Sweet Basil. She gets hives from that spice. Also, I had a friend who reacts to all green things. He can't have any green spice or vegetable. But his symptoms are upset stomach and diarrhea.

Author:  walooet [ Thu Nov 24, 2011 10:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Basil and/or oregano allergy? OAS?

Some people don't realize that the stomach pains from an allergic reaction can be awful! Or milder but last longer in our cases. I have been doubled over in pain from what I think was an allergic reaction (waiting for the allergist appointment...)

Author:  laurpug [ Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Basil and/or oregano allergy? OAS?

I hope your son is feeling better. I have had a life long allergy to mushrooms and was having some other weird food reactions and had the MRT food sensitivity testing done. Tested highly and moderately reactive to 37 foods and food additives.
Like your son I am highly reactive to Basil, Oregano and Mint. After doing the food elimination and reintroduction I discovered my reactions to Basil and Mint cause anxiety, sleeplessness and rapid heart beats.

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