Allergic-Causing Chinese Herbs

This article made me remember that herbs are food and how vital it is to know what a person’s eating if they have food allergies. An allergy is the inordinate self-defensive reaction of the body over a specific foreign substance. Through our interaction with the world around us, we can be potentially exposed to allergy-inducing objects: by the contact of allergens with mucus membranes and the skin, by ingesting foods, and by breathing. Light to moderate allergic reaction may result in the symptoms of wheezing, shortness of breath, swallowing difficulty, throat, tongue, and/or lip swelling; as hives, eczema, redness of the skin, itchy throat and mouth; runny nose or nasal congestion, eye irritation, or a runny nose. Extreme allergic reactions may involve obstructive swelling of the throat, tongue, and/or lips. Some allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis are emergency-level and immediate and are potentially life-threatening and serious that requires prompt treatment.

Important classification of food allergies include wheat, soybeans, tree nuts, peanuts, crustacean shellfish, fish, eggs, and milk. Collectively, they account for almost all (more than 90 percent) of food allergies, according to the FDA or Food and Drug Administration. Moreover, CDC or the Centers for Disease Control stated that food allergies affect 4 percent of adults and four to six percent of children.

The following is a list of Chinese herbs based on allergen classification:

Chinese Herbs That Are Shellfish Mollusk:
• Concha Margaritiferae
• Margarita
• Concha ostreae
• Ge Chiao (Concha Meretricis seu Cyclinae)
• Hai Piao Hsiao (Endoconcha Sepiae)
• Mu Li
• Shi Chue Ming (Concha Ostreae)
• Zhen Shu (Margarita)
• Zhen Shu Mu

Tree Nuts and Peanuts

A peanut is not a tree nut cut is a legume (same family as lentils, peas, and soybeans). Tree nuts have their own come in many shapes and sizes. Though delicious, tree nuts may also be linked to anaphylaxis. Tree nut allergies often last a lifetime, and the chances of outgrowing tree nut allergies is less than 10 percent. Tree nuts associated with high risk of food allergy including: beech nuts, almonds, butternuts, brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, coconut, chinquapins, gingko nuts, hazelnuts, lichee nuts, hickory nuts, , pecans, macadamia nuts, pili nuts, pine nuts, walnuts., pistachios, and shea nuts

Tree nuts and Chinese herbs that are known to be high risk allergy triggers include lichee nuts and ginkgo nuts. Chinese herbs that are poorly associated with risk of tree nut allergies include bitter apricot seeds, Chinese dwarf cherry seeds,, Chinese arborvitae seed and peach seeds.

Tree Nut –Containing Chinese Herbs with High Risk of Allergy:
• Semen Ginkgo (Bai Guo)
• Wheat
• Semen Litchi (Lishi He)

Tree Nuts that are Chinese Herbs with low risk of allergy

• Semen Armeniacae Amarum (Ku hsing Re)
• Semen Platycladi (Bai shi ren)
• Semen Pruni (Yu Li Ren)
• Massa Fermenta (Shen Chiu)
• Semen Persicae (Tao Ren)


Gluten is found in rye protein, barley and wheat and is a protein. Gluten hypersensitivity may lead to the following signs and symptoms:

• Celiac disease in which the lining of the small intestine is damaged
• Fatigue
• Stomach pain
• Constipation
• Diarrhea

Gluten-containing Chinese Herbs:

• Fructi Triticus Levis (Fu Hsiao Mai)
• Rhizoma Pinellia Massae Fermentata (Ban Chia Chiu)
• Maltosum (Yi Tang)
• Fructus Triticus (Hsiao Mai)
• Massae Fermentata (Shen Chiu)
• Fructus Hordei Germinati (Mai Ya)


Allergies to wheat occur when the immune system of the body overreacts and becomes sensitized to wheat protein. Sevberal parts of the body, including the skin may develop allergic reactions (i.e., eczema or rash), lung (i.e., asthma), and nose (i.e., runny nose, stuffy nose,). Certain Chinese herbs or are made from wheat.

Chinese Herbs containing Wheat derivatives or wheat or:

• Maltosum (Yi Tang)
• Fructus Triticus (Hsiao Mai)
• Massae Fermentata (Shen Chiu)
• Fructi Triticus Levis (Fu Hsiao Mai)
• Rhizoma Pinellia Massae Fermentata (Ban Chia Chiu)
• Fructi Triticus Levis (Fu Hsiao Mai)

Asian Health Center
27059 Chardon Rd
Cleveland, OH 44143-1113
Phone: (440) 833-0983