Cumin Allergy – Symptoms and Treatment


cumin seeds allergyAllergies are very common and that too food allergy. Several people cannot take certain foods as they are allergic to them. Sometimes the food allergic reaction may be rare, but nevertheless it does occur. It is better to know the cumin allergy symptoms in order to look out for doctor if you have some of them.

Cumin allergy happens to be the immune system of our body’s adverse reaction to cumin. A person is allergic to cumin. Cumin seeds are ingredients which are often used in the preparation of food dishes in the East.

Cumin allergy is rare, but the reaction is serious and severe, although such a reaction is also rare. Our body’s immune system produces immunoglobulin E as well as histamine in response to the allergen found in cumin.

Symptoms of cumin allergy
Some of the primary cumin allergy symptoms are:

  • Respiratory problem.
  • Skin problem
  • Behavioral symptoms.
  • Watery eyes.
  • Runny nose.
  • Sore eyes.
  • Itchy eyes.
  • Red eyes.
  • Cough.
  • Hives.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Itching.
  • Wheezing.
  • Sneezing.
  • Asthma.
  • Lip swelling.
  • Swelling of the tongue.
  • Headache.
  • Sinus pain.
  • Tingling in the mouth.
  • Facial swelling.
  • Constipation.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Problem in swallowing.
  • Disturbed sleep.
  • Anaphylatic reaction can be serious.

Treatment of Cumin Allergy
Some of the top cumin allergy treatment options are:

  • No treatment is required if the symptoms are mild.
  • Antihistamine is useful for rhitinis allergy and some skin conditions. It is not all that useful for asthma, except for mild asthma that is seasonal.
  • Nasal sprays.
  • Eye-drops.
  • Inhaled corticosteroids as well as inhalation of beta agnonists for treating asthma.
  • Oral steroids for reaction that is moderate in form.
  • Desensitization for getting used to the allergen.
  • If one suffers from anaphylactic reaction, then hospitalization is required.

Caution note:
If one decides a particular course of treatment or decides to change it then it is essential to consult a physician.

Cumin seeds are often made use of in culinary dish preparation, but some people are allergic to these seeds unfortunately. These seeds, no doubt, have therapeutic value. In case one suffers from allergic reaction, then one must consult one’s physician.



  1. I feel like an alien. Like I am the only person on earth who has a severe reaction to this one spice.

    Please, is there anyone else like me? You have no idea how much it would mean to know even if it’s just one!

    It started when I was young. I was fine with it, Cumin I consumed in tacos which is the most common thing in the U.S. that Cumin is in. It’s also in Manwich, steak sauces and other things that seem to become more common these days.

    When I was a teenager I began getting extremely ill after I ate tacos or Manwich or most things at our families fav Mexican restaurant. Like a Chimichunga. I didn’t figure it out until it happened a number of times. My sides would hurt, then I would vomit for a few days. It was horrible but I got over it in a few days. I tried to stay away from cumin, which was successful for many many many many years..

    Unfortunately now that it is more common it’s it more items. At 33 years old I accidentally ate it in a McDonald’s breakfast burrito. I ordered one that was simple and didn’t come with a sauce. They apparently rant out and gave me a different kind with Sala Rolo, I didn’t know. I ate it a little bit and my body said WAIT! I don’t like this. I tried to continue becuase my husband went out to get breakfast and I didn’t want to be rude and just toss it, but for some reason I couldn’t. He said “Just eat it, it’s fine) As the day progressed I was feeling ill. Aching all over like I had the flu. I went to bed that night and woke up the next morning with the runs. Badly, I felt so sick. No vomiting but I was pretty miserable.

    I thought it was a bug with the aching and it would go away. I had no idea it was cumin as I didn’t know if it had ate any and I’d never had that reaction with it. I was so wrong, it was just the beginning. As days went by even though the runs stopped I got rectal pain, my body was throbbing. Literally I would lay in bed and feel my entire insides just throb. It was unreal and a horror I can’t explain. I waited 4 days. By the time I got to my Dr. I could barely walk. He thought I had a stomach bug and gave me antibiotics. Many more days passed, in hell. He tested a stool sample, it came back clean although he said when he examined me (sorry to be gross) there was a lot of mucus. He gave me another antibiotic and told me to see a Gastrointestinal specialist. I couldn’t get in for 2 months.

    So what happened? I laid in bed for a month and a half in the most severe pain ever, I cried, I could hardly eat, I prayed I wouldn’t wake up in the morning. I could only lay on my hip bones, and even then it was unbearable pain. Finally after all that time I begged to go back to the doctor. I didn’t care if he had to admit me on a morpine drip. In a series of events that I feel saved my life he wasn’t there, another doctor would see me.

    The first time the Doc looked at me he said I had a disease. He was shocked. He examined me and swore I must have a severe case of an intestinal disease. One of those that your body reacts with foods badly and you are in the bathroom all the time. I told him I’m not having the runs anymore. I only had them one day. I never ever had a problem with food before so how could it just suddenly appear. He was puzzled and immediately got on the phone with the Gastro office and told them it’s unexceptionable I needed to get in NOW! No dice, they wouldn’t budge.

    He examined me rectally and said I was completely inflamed, also a CT scan my regular doc had done was in and it stated that I had colitis! I just didn’t understand it. He explained my body must be having an allergic reaction so I must have Chrons disease or a Gluten allergy. It couldn’t be, I’ve been perfectly fine up until that one day. He tried to explain it’s my body having an allergic reaction to my food and that’s when it hit me. I put it all together and asked him if it’s possible that this allergy to cumin could do this. He said he didn’t know (he was an open thinking guy) but either way STEROIDS would treat both. He sent me for bloods and the biggets script for Steroids that he could possibly give.

    The Steroids had side effects of their own. They hurt my insides even more and made me feel all different uncomfortable ways but I did not care. Nothing compared to the hell I was already in. With in one week my symptoms started to subside. I could sleep, I could eat, I could sit up in bed when I had spent so long laying on just the sides of my hips. I went back into him where he informed me that my blood results showed my Histamines were very high and other things I don’t quit understand. I said again, could it be the Cumin? He said well, it’s possible.

    I finally got into the stomach doc, idiot that he was. I was still in a lot of pain but they did a scope of my intestines and it showed what was no big deal to them but told me a lot. It had a lot of redness like I had overdosed on Ibuprofen or something irritated it very badly but they couldn’t say. They were puzzled. I had no disease at all.

    I swore up and down that it was the Steroids reversing the cumin allergy but I waited for the call from the Gastro doc since again I wouldn’t be able to see him for a month. Seriously, horrible doctor. The nurse rudley said “Mr. Dummy doc can find no reason for your pain”. That was it.

    I was so frustrated. had they did the scope before the massive doses of Steroids I was taking for nearly two weeks they would have seen hell like my other doc saw and my CT scan showed.

    While the Steroid stopped whatever had started it (cumin) the amount of time I was forced to wait and the amount of time my entire body was attacking itself and inflaming my intestines, I ended up with Rectal Muscle Spasm. I know it sounds gross but it’s not what you think. It’s a muscle deep inside. It was so traumatized from the inflammation and pain it was spamming and causing such pain I couldn’t sit. This went on for nearly a YEAR!

    Still no one could say what started it all. The hell that had taken over a year of my life.

    Go forward about 4 months after the year. Incredibly my husband made dinner with a sauce on ham. I ate it and my body didn’t like it. I new that feeling, the YUCK feeling. I began to panic. The bottle simply said spice. So I went to bed and tried to ignore it, by morning I was miserable. It was back again, my whole body in attack. My husband called the company and they confirmed that yes, there was a small amount of cumin in the sauce.

    I immediately went to my doctor, got on Steroids and it again went away but left me with rectal muscle spasms that takes months and months and months to go away. I looked at my doctor and said…. NOW can you tell me if I have a Cumin allergy that causes all of this hell? Does it really exist? He said it did not exist for him but it obviously existed for me. I didn’t want to hear that. I wanted to hear that he has seen such a bad reaction from a food before but nothing you can do.

    Now here I am. Paranoid about everything I eat. Not able to find anything online about this happening to anyone else. The illness and the treatment is like walking through fire. Then the aftermath too. The weight gain from steroids even though I hardly ate.

    That was almost 3 years ago now and it was just a few months ago that spasms finally subsided. With a lot of work from a specialist. A specialist who never heard of this either.

    All of this, the whole nightmare, cumin. Such a tiny little thing, lingering in god knows what. Its TERRIBLE that the food industry is not FORCED to list exactly what their (spices) are. They hide under this umbrella of it’s their secret which can’t be patent so they should be allowed to not list exactly whats in it. BULL CRAP. If you are going to throw whatever you want into food then not list it, your garbage.

    Recipes rely on amounts… I’m not saying they have to give us exactly how much of what but to be able to list all the spices they put in as (spices) has made my life a living health. It’s like having post traumatic stress. If I end up eating something that the package did not fully list ingredients I panic and have to wait for the train to come hit me. I celebrate when it doesn’t because it means it didn’t have cumin, I don’t have to go through hell for another year. Even if I catch it, it takes a year at least of my life away dealing with it.

    Every time I am exposed to it the reaction is worse. Going to families and friends homes I have to bring food. I can’t ever eat out. I’m stuck…. in Cumin hell.

    Please, tell me someone else has a reaction that isn’t the sniffles. Seriously I can’t stand it when people complain about a reaction and it’s runny nose or a rash. I apologize if that offends anyone I just want to know if there are people with REAL bad reactions that go with the whole body or any other bizarre things that are not the norm.

    • I also have an allergy to Cumin. I become very nauseous, wind up with running to the bathroom for about 2 days, aching all over, queasy all the time. If I try to eat anything it comes right back up. I never use the spice in my cooking and I have to really really have to read the labels on Chile powder when I buy it because a lot of them are “blends” of spices including cumin. I also know which Mexican restaurants to stay away from. I also have a raw carrot allergy (not cooked carrots) and I believe they are in the same family. Raw carrots make my mouth swell up.I am not allergic to celery or dill which is also in the same family as well as Fennel. Fennel is questionable still as I don’t eat this a lot. Cumin makes me very very sick….but not to the point that you get as that sounds like a severe allergic reaction. But trust me I do understand…been there to a point also with this. It is SO frustrating. And I SO LOVE mexican food! Luckily for me if I choose to eat Mexican food at a restaurant I have never eaten at before, I know that I am risking getting sick for a couple of days. However cumin is in everything at some restaurants…even in their salsa. Take care of yourself and I hope you are feeling better.

      • Chris,
        I was not notified that I had a reply to what I wrote. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to know that I am not alone. I am so sorry you deal with this too.

        I can not eat anything out. Seems like they are using Cumin in all kinds of things you wouldn’t think of. Even some cheeses and no one has to list this ingredient which I think is terrible.

        The only way to get mine to stop attacking my system is to take some Prednisome which is a generic steroid. I’m at a point when I know I’m having a reaction I have a bottle of it at home and I only take it for a short time. The sooner I take the medication, the quicker I get a handle on it. Which is rare since I hardly eat anything but bland things at home now.

        Maybe if you discussed this with your doctor he would be willing to give you some to take so that you don’t have to go through the days of being so ill?

        Anyway thank you so much. All of your information and sharing your story means a lot!

        All the Best.

      • I wonder how many people have it and just do not know….how did YOU find out your problem was CUMIN!?…as it is NOT common at all, to my knowledge.

        • I too wonder about the people who go through such bad reactions and becuase an allergy to a spice is never heard of, they never find out. It took me my whole life of getting sick when I ate it that I connected the dots as to why but it took eventually getting so sick I needed medical intervention with a very smart doctor who was willing to think outside the box (books) and dig a little deeper for answers. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have CUMIN ALLERGY directly in my medical file. I did have doctors who refused to do this. Since they couldn’t figure it out within their specific by the book perimeters they shrugged and proclaimed “I don’t know what’s wrong with you”. That’s a hard pill to swallow.

          That wasn’t going to stop me or my doctor.

          For others though that is the end of the road for them. And they depend on people who don’t dig deeper and they get wrong diagnoses. Docs do not know everything there is to know, that’s why it’s called a “practice”. You’ve got to be your own advocate. Stand by what you feel is right or wrong and demand answers are found and focus on finding them yourself as well. Even when they say your wrong, or weird.

          We know our bodies better, we are with them every day, all day long. Finding a doc who will listen is not easy. So I can only imagine how many are like us but not as lucky as us to know what’s really going on. They are given other diagnoses, they are restricting their diets from Gluten or dairy and still getting sick. They blame it on their Colitis or Crohns acting up. The medication to treat a reaction to Cumin and those diseases is the same but they don’t have the knowledge of just staying away from a spice instead of a slew of foods they could enjoy. It’s upsetting to think about.

          Even though the road was so difficult I’m glad I took it so now my medical file states Food Allergy;Cumin. :o)

          And I’m so grateful I reached out and found you all. We might be a small group but at least we know what we have.

    • Hi I am at the ER with my husband now this is the 5th time we gave come in the last 2 years. Today was the worst. He felt his stomach was about to explode and passed away in pain!. The Dr run all type of tests including CAT Scan and nothing. I have been trying to target what makes him so sick and my last hypothesis was Goya seasoning. But today (after months of not having cumin) O bought it and made ribs. And here we are. The Drs can find anything however he had the worst pain ever.

    • Cumin makes my lips turn into balloons. I look scary. And all of the food I love contain cumin. I hope it goes away someday.

  2. I deeply apologize for my spelling errors and the fact that my post was long. My auto correct went crazy on me and corrected things on it’s own. And for the huge post, I’m just willing to pour out all of the information from start to finish in case something rings a bell to someone and they can post. Especially if it helps someone else.

    Remember that a reaction can get worse each time you are exposed (for some). At least that is the case for me through my life with this.

    And I greatly appreciate the privacy of my e-mail becuase this is probably the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever posted!

    • Hi,
      I love cumin and use it since I discovered it 40 years ago regularly….well, thank you so very much for your post I just ran into! I just might have found out I have a cumin allergie… I googled ‘Cumin Allergies’ because of an arising vague suspition of mine last night – again and again and now almost every night – having these unexplicable never ending syptoms (I also found out ‘by accident’ – being gluten intolerant last year) …well, after 40 ! years suffering of similar symtoms like you are describing them! Very much alike, thats for sure! I just hope I might FINALLY have found out! I’ll let you know. Will see my Homoeopath again tomorrow – I always did and do try to stick with natural treatments. Take care – and thanks again for you post! Astrid

  3. I have an allergy to cumin, the reaction gets worse anytime I unknowingly ingest it. I have become much wiser to which prepared foods may have it and I avoid all of them like the plague.

    At first I thought it was a tomato allergy (I’ve eaten them all my life, but allergies can start at any time). Ok, in the winter here in the northeast, I used to go to Wendy’s after I got shopping and such in the cold, and have some of their chili. I really don’t like spicy foods with heat, but theirs was mild. One day while waiting for an antibiotic to be filled, I had the chili. Later that day, I got into this horrific itching all over from head to toe, no rash. I thought is was the antibiotic, luckily I had zyrtec and took some. FF a year later. Dr. said I needed to take this same antibiotic, for a bad cellulitis to keep me out of the hospital. I don’t know which of us was crazier, him for insisting or me for considering it. I went home, Benadryl handy, and I took it. Absolutely nothing happened…..hmmm.

    There was a couple more incidents of allergic reaction to foods over much time but each reaction got worse. When I had the black bean soup in Panera Bread, that kinda clinched it, there was nothing else in that soup that I hadn’t consumed all along. About a year later someone added some McCormick seasoning with chili powder to pork chops each one having about a 1/16 of a teaspoon. I was more worried about the salt content. I had a reaction in the middle of the night, woke up clawing at my throat with both hands, airway narrowed, lower lip swelled. Cumin was not listed on the label, it doesn’t have to be. It could have been in the minute amount of chili powder or on the equipment used to grind it.
    Since then I’ve learned to avoid certain foods, such as anything labeled southwest, smoked, etc. No black bean soup, and Panera’s was the best!

  4. PS There’s even more than I can add, but cumin shows up in strange things sometimes, I can’t think of one right now, ugh. But I do want to warn everyone, Mrs Dash products have cumin. It is listed on the label as cumin. So please be careful out there.

    • I thought I would stop by and check my post and see if anyone else had any experiences.


      Like you I am so grateful when a product actually lists the spices they include. Even if it has the cumin I am truly grateful becuase they were honest and helped me protect myself.

      It sounds like you suffer too but in a different way. I am so sorry. And it seems like you found out in the same horrible way. Having to deal with many attacks before the culprit is finally figured out.

      I got to a point where just the smell of cumin made me feel nauseous. I am crossing my fingers that you never have to experience another attack again. Your suffering is just terrible.


      Wow! I thought my reaction was strange. I think you take first place now. 🙂 That must have been quit scary for you to feel that way. From a spice no less. This little spice sure wreaks havoc!


      I hope you were able to find out that you indeed have the Cumin allergy instead of the Gluten. I went on the Gluten diet just to give my body a chance to recover from the 2 months of uninterrupted attack on my insides that the Cumin did once Steroids did their job. It was a difficult thing to have to do! My heart goes out to everyone with a Gluten allergy becuase the food industry is not dedicated enough for the many who need to avoid it. I wish they would do better. It would be easier to just avoid Cumin. I am hoping the very, very best for you and I hope you were able to find answers after so long.

      This group of wonderful people you all are, you all have been soldiers in comforting me and inspiring to read your stories. I truly hope that you don’t have to suffer a single day further.

  5. I know that when I eat cumin I get the most hideous fat lips or swollen baggy around the eyes and have even experienced my tongue swelling or that thing that hangs in the back of your throat swelling like a golf ball. My symptoms go away in a day and everything is back to normal. I am sure that there is something else that I am allergic to but haven’t pin pointed that yet. This has been going on for about 8 years now. It sucks. You never know when its going to surface. I need to talk to my doctor more about this and try and get this under control.

  6. Hi guys, gluten intolerant here. I am also allergic to cumin, mustard seeds, and black pepper. Usually, If I eat any of these I get sick for a few hours, with body pains and severe headache. However, the worst part comes the next day – severe gum bleeding. I spit so much blood, my blood tests showed I’m actually anaemic. I’ve been struggling with this gum bleeding for over 4 years now. Just so you know, stay away from dairy. Dairy is the cause of all these conditions. The proteins in dairy mess you up big time in all sorts of way. One of them is gut inflammation which eventually leads to all sorts of food intolerance.

  7. I have finally figured out that I get severe hives and rashes after eating cumin, but saying that, my tolerance levels are reasonable high compared to other commenters as I must ingest it for several days until my hives on my neck and torso area flare up really nasty. Also I recently tried black seed oil and less than a week later I have flared up again after JUST getting rid of my last out break !!! as Black seed oil contains ” black cumin seeds ” 🙇 😩

  8. I was just googling Cumin allergy and found this page. I think Cumin may be my enemy also! In July while on our family vacation in the Rocky Mountains, I ended up in an ambulance several hours after eating dinner at a Tex Mex restaurant. After many trips to the bathroom with vomiting and diarrhea my body collapsed (and I face planted into the vanity under the sink). My hubby called an ambulance (and woke my daughter to get dressed 🙁 ). In the ER I received 3 liters of fluid and some anti-vomit meds. We had to fly back home to Fl 3 days later…not fun. It took a few weeks to feel better. The closest illnesses I’ve had to this were 2 times after eating Chinese about 10 years apart. I’ve previously gotten nauseous after Mexican food, chili and etc many times. I was thinking the culprit was MSG but last night I decided to make a new chili recipe and when I was mixing the spices that the recipe called for. I became instantly nauseated when I opened the cumin and put a teaspoon full in my spice bowl and thought there’s no way I will add that so I dumped the spices and started over omitting the cumin. The recipe also called for 3 tbs of chili powder. Since I’ve never really enjoyed heavy chili or taco seasoning, I just added 1 tbs to the chili. It ended up tasting more like an Italian sauce than chili but I have been feeling horrible ever since I ate 2 bowls of it last night. Nauseated, gas, burping, dizziness….almost stomach virus-like symptoms. So, I started looking at my spice bottles and see that Cumin is in the chili powder and I don’t see any MSG on the labels of anything that I used although I know that it can hide under other names as well. So in summary….I’m going to try my hardest to not ingest MSG or Cumin from now on. I know these ingredients are hiding in so many foods that it’s overwhelming to try to figure out what’s safe unless it’s just plain meat, vegetables or fruit. The list I printed out for MSG alone is mind boggling! I wish you all well in 2017 and beyond! Happy New Year!

  9. Honestly I’ve always avoided cumin like the plague, because to me it tastes like vomit. But at my best friend’s grandmothers birthday party all there was to eat were burritos with pre-mixed meat that contained cumin. I was hungry, so I ate 2- figuring out that if i went light on the meat and kind of wrapped it in cheese and lettuce- it wouldn’t taste so bad. But I was sick the whole next day, and slightly ill for at least a day after that. To my knowledge, no one else was sick. I never knew that cumin allergy was a real thing until my Dad mentioned that hie doctor had mentioned using an herbal mix containing cumin as an anti-inflammatory and that some people have adverse reactions to it. Then I began to wonder if that was why I was sick after eating that food.

  10. I think it makes my toungue swell up and feel itchy. It is uncomfortable but nothing serious. My wife has been making a lot of is Israeli dishes with cumin lately.

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