The Cashew Allery & the Secret Mango Culprit


A few years back I had my first bout with a food allergy. After eating cashews for a few days I started to notice that my mouth had a weird taste in it. I continued to eat more until I eventually developed a rash on my hands mouth and other parts of my body. This was the first time I had a problem with cashews and as it turned out I developed the allergy in my thirties which is not so uncommon.

Fast forward to a few days ago and I woke up with a rash on my hands, mouth and eyes. I wast sure what had caused it but it was similar to rash that I got last year around the same time of year. I knew from my cashew incident that it was most likely a food or contact allergy, but what could I be allergic to?

Lyndsey did some research and forwarded me some information on food allergies, their side effects and how to find out what it is you are allergic to, then it dawned on me, it is mango season and I just made some mango juice the other day, by squeezing mangos from the yard with my hands into a bowl. Not only that I had been eating mangoes and drinking the juice almost every day.

It seems that allergies come in pairs, what I mean is that if you have an allergy to bananas you probably have an allergy to avocado, so I thought I would see if people with cashew allergies also had allergies to mangoes and sure enough they do.

It turns out that cashews, mangoes, pistachios and poison ivy are all part of the evergreen tree family.┬áIt’s not actually the cashew or the mango itself but the Urushiol oil in the shell and peel. It’s the same oil on poison ivy that causes the rash. All of the sudden everything started to make sense, I always developed these rashes during mango season, even in my twenties when I was traveling around Central America and spending time at different surf towns I had similar types of rashes, and yes it was during mango season and I was always eating a lot of mangoes.

It looks like there will be no more mangoes in my diet anymore, which is actually quite a bummer since they are all over the place and will continue to be for the next few months.


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