Understanding Persimmon Allergy: Symptoms, Tests and Precautions

Wyndly Care Team
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Why do persimmons make my mouth feel weird?

Persimmons contain tannins, a type of plant compound that can make your mouth feel dry, chalky, or puckered. Unripe persimmons have a high tannin content, leading to this sensation. Fully ripe persimmons have fewer tannins, resulting in a sweeter taste and less mouth discomfort.

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What Is Persimmon Allergy?

A persimmon allergy is an adverse reaction by the body's immune system to the proteins found in persimmons, a fruit native to East Asia. The symptoms can range from mild to severe and can include skin irritations, digestive issues, and respiratory problems.

Key Allergens in Persimmons

Persimmons contain several proteins that can act as allergens. These proteins can trigger an allergic reaction when consumed or, in some cases, simply by touching the fruit. It's important to remember that not everyone who is sensitive to these proteins will experience symptoms. The severity and type of reaction can vary greatly among individuals.

Relation to Food Intolerances

Persimmon allergy should not be confused with food intolerances. While an allergy involves an immune system response to proteins in the fruit, a food intolerance is typically a digestive issue. However, the symptoms can be similar, which can lead to confusion. If you suspect you have a persimmon allergy or intolerance, it's important to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis.

What Syndromes Associate with Persimmon Allergy?

Persimmon allergy is known to be associated with certain syndromes, primarily Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS). OAS is an allergic reaction that specifically affects the mouth and throat, usually manifesting shortly after eating raw fruits, nuts, or vegetables. Other related conditions could include atopic dermatitis, a type of skin inflammation, and allergic rhinitis, often referred to as hay fever. It's worth noting that each individual's experience with persimmon allergy, including the associated syndromes, can differ greatly.

In the case of OAS, individuals may experience itching, burning, or mild swelling in the mouth and throat. This occurs because the immune system recognizes the proteins in persimmons as being similar to certain pollens, such as those from poplar trees or mulberry trees. This is a prime example of cross-reactivity, where the immune system reacts not only to the initial allergen but also to similar substances.

Atopic dermatitis and allergic rhinitis, on the other hand, can have symptoms that extend beyond the mouth and throat. These may include skin rashes, nasal congestion, and sneezing. These symptoms are often triggered by exposure to allergens, such as those found in persimmons, but also extend to other allergens like those from sycamore trees or English plantain.

In conclusion, while persimmon allergy can associate with various syndromes, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

How Does Cross Reactivity Impact Persimmon Allergy?

Cross-reactivity in persimmon allergy can heighten sensitivity and enhance allergic responses. For instance, individuals allergic to certain trees may also react to persimmons due to protein similarity, OAS.

This syndrome is observed when the immune system mistakes proteins in persimmons to be similar to those in some pollens. For instance, individuals with an allergy to poplar tree or mulberry tree pollen might also react to persimmons, due to this cross-reactivity.

Moreover, this cross-reactivity could extend to other allergens. For instance, individuals with allergies to sycamore trees or English plantain might also have a heightened sensitivity towards persimmons. Hence, understanding cross-reactivity is critical in managing and treating persimmon and other related allergies.

What Are the Clinical Relevance and Molecular Aspects of Persimmon Allergy?

Persimmon allergy is clinically relevant due to its potential to trigger severe reactions, including anaphylaxis. The molecular aspects of this allergy lie in the body's immune response to certain proteins found in persimmons.

Clinical Relevance

The clinical significance of persimmon allergy manifests as a range of symptoms from mild oral discomfort to severe systemic reactions. Persimmon allergies are particularly prevalent among individuals with allergies to certain trees like the sycamore, mulberry, or poplar. Understanding the correlation between these allergies is crucial for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.

Molecular Aspects

The molecular aspect of persimmon allergy is centered on the immune system's response to allergenic proteins in these fruits. The body mistakenly identifies these proteins as harmful, triggering an allergic reaction. Further studies are needed to identify the specific allergenic proteins in persimmons and understand their cross-reactivity with other allergens. This knowledge could significantly improve the management of persimmon allergies and other related conditions.

What Are the Side Effects of Persimmon Allergy?

Persimmon allergy, like any food allergy, can lead to a range of side effects, from mild symptoms like itching and hives to severe, life-threatening conditions like anaphylaxis. The severity of these side effects can vary based on individual sensitivity and the amount of persimmons consumed.

The initial side effects of persimmon allergy often involve the mouth and throat. Symptoms can include tingling, itching, or swelling in these areas. Some people may experience skin reactions, such as hives, itching, or eczema.

In severe cases, persimmon allergy can lead to anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening reaction that requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include difficulty breathing, dizziness, rapid pulse, and a drop in blood pressure. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical help.

It's also worth noting that persimmon allergy can coexist with other allergies. For instance, individuals with a sycamore, mulberry, or poplar allergy may also react to persimmons due to cross-reactivity. Therefore, if you have known allergies to these trees, be cautious when consuming persimmons.

What Special Precactions and Warnings Exist for Persimmon Allergy?

For those diagnosed with persimmon allergy, certain precautions can help manage the condition and avoid severe allergic reactions. These precautions include avoiding consumption and contact with persimmons, carrying an epinephrine auto-injector for emergency use, and informing peers about your allergy.

Avoiding persimmons is the most straightforward precaution. This includes not only the fresh fruit but also any products that may contain persimmon like jams, desserts, or beverages. Be sure to read food labels carefully to avoid accidental exposure.

Carrying an epinephrine auto-injector is crucial for individuals with severe allergies, as persimmon allergy can lead to anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction. An auto-injector can provide immediate treatment in case of accidental exposure.

Informing people around you about your allergy can be beneficial. This includes family members, friends, coworkers, and school staff. They can help prevent exposure to persimmons and provide assistance during an allergic reaction.

Furthermore, persimmon allergy can trigger cross-reactivity with other allergens due to similar proteins. Those with a known allergy to mulberry, sycamore, or poplar should be cautious when consuming persimmons. Also, certain types of pollen, such as English plantain and sheep sorrel, may also cause a cross-reactive response.

How to Test for Persimmon Allergy?

To determine if you are allergic to persimmons, a skin prick test or blood test can be conducted by an allergist. These tests identify whether your immune system reacts to the proteins in persimmons, which would indicate an allergy.

A skin prick test involves applying a tiny amount of persimmon extract to the skin using a small needle. If a raised bump or wheal develops at the test site, this likely indicates an allergy to persimmons. This test is quick, simple, and relatively painless.

In some cases, a blood test may be used to measure the amount of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies in response to persimmons in your blood. A high level of these antibodies can suggest an allergy. However, blood tests are typically used when skin tests cannot be performed or have provided inconclusive results.

Lastly, an oral food challenge may be performed under medical supervision. This involves consuming a small amount of the suspected allergen, in this case, persimmon, and observing for any allergic reactions. This test is the most accurate but is only performed in a controlled environment due to the risk of severe allergic reactions.

Remember, any allergy testing should be performed by a medical professional such as an allergist, who can interpret the results and provide appropriate advice and treatment options. If you suspect a persimmon allergy, it’s important to seek professional help to manage your symptoms effectively.

What Are the Health Claims Related to Persimmon Allergy?

Many health claims surround persimmon allergies, largely due to the various proteins found in the fruit that can trigger allergic reactions. Understanding these claims can aid in managing the allergy and informing dietary choices.

OAS, a condition characterized by allergic reactions in the mouth and throat upon eating certain fruits, vegetables, or nuts. This is due to the similarity between the proteins in these foods and those found in certain pollens, such as birch. Those with birch pollen allergies, for instance, may also react to persimmons.

Another claim suggests that individuals with latex allergies may also react to persimmons due to the presence of similar proteins, in a phenomenon known as cross-reactivity. Additionally, persimmons are part of the large Rosaceae family, which includes many fruits and plants that often cause allergies, such as strawberries and almonds. This suggests that individuals allergic to other members of this family may also be allergic to persimmons.

Finally, it's claimed that the cooking or baking of persimmons may reduce the allergenicity of the fruit. Heat can denature proteins, potentially reducing their ability to trigger an allergic reaction. This suggests that individuals with a persimmon allergy may be able to tolerate cooked or baked persimmons.

For more information on managing allergies, including those to common allergens like the poplar tree or hornbeam tree, visit Wyndly's allergy guides.

What Is the Botanical History and Composition of Persimmons?

Persimmons have a rich botanical history and a unique composition, making them both a flavorful fruit and a trigger for specific allergies. Understanding this history and composition can help in the management of persimmon allergy.

Botanical History

Persimmons, known scientifically as Diospyros kaki, originated in China over 2000 years ago and later spread to Korea and Japan. They were introduced to the United States in the mid-19th century. They are part of the Ebenaceae family, which includes around 500 species of trees and shrubs, some of which, like the mulberry tree and sycamore tree, are known allergens.


The composition of persimmons includes a variety of nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and dietary fiber, making it a healthy addition to the diet. However, it also contains proteins that can cause allergic reactions in some individuals, similar to what can occur in allergies to the poplar tree or pecan tree. These proteins can trigger the immune system, leading to the production of antibodies and causing allergy symptoms. Understanding the composition of persimmons helps in identifying the potential allergenic compounds and managing the allergy effectively.

What Is the Phytochemicals Profile of Persimmons?

Persimmons contain a variety of phytochemicals, which are plant compounds that may affect health. Although these substances may offer health benefits, they can also trigger allergic reactions in susceptible people, similar to mulberry tree or sycamore tree allergies.

Persimmons are rich in antioxidants, including carotenoids and flavonoids, which are known for their anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. They also contain tannins, particularly in their unripe state. Tannins can cause astringency, the drying sensation you may feel when eating an unripe persimmon.

In addition, persimmons contain a protein called Diospyros kaki Thaumatin-like protein (DkTLP), which is identified as a potential allergen. This protein, similar to allergenic proteins found in other plants like the poplar tree and pecan tree, can provoke immune responses in individuals sensitive to it, leading to persimmon allergy symptoms.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most common fruit to be allergic to?

The most common fruit allergy is to apples, followed closely by peaches and bananas. These allergies are often linked to birch pollen allergy, a phenomenon known as Oral Allergy Syndrome. Symptoms can range from mild itching of mouth and throat to severe anaphylaxis.

Are persimmons related to mango?

No, persimmons and mangoes are not related. They belong to different botanical families. Persimmons are part of the Ebenaceae family, while mangoes come from the Anacardiaceae family. Despite both being fruit, their nutritional profiles, flavors, and textures are also quite distinct.

Are some people allergic to persimmons?

Yes, some people can be allergic to persimmons. The symptoms can range from mild to severe, including itching or swelling in the mouth, lips, and throat, hives, stomach discomfort, or in rare cases, anaphylaxis. If you suspect an allergy, consult with an allergist for testing.

Are persimmons a latex-fruit?

Yes, persimmons are considered a latex-fruit. This means they contain proteins similar to those found in latex, which can cause an allergic reaction in some individuals. People with a known latex allergy should therefore be cautious when consuming persimmons.

What are the three most prevalent fruit allergies?

The three most prevalent fruit allergies are typically associated with apples, peaches, and bananas. These allergies often present with symptoms such as itching, swelling, and redness in the mouth and throat soon after consuming the fruit. Severity varies among individuals.

Can persimmons make you sick?

Yes, eating unripe persimmons can make you sick as they contain high levels of tannins, which can lead to digestive issues like stomach ache and constipation. Furthermore, consuming persimmons on an empty stomach or in excess can also cause health problems. Always eat ripe persimmons in moderation.

Can I eat persimmon with medicine?

Consuming persimmons with medicine is generally not recommended. Persimmons contain chemicals that can interact with certain medications, potentially reducing their effectiveness or causing adverse effects. Always consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist before combining any food with medication.

Are persimmons anti-inflammatory?

Yes, persimmons are known to have anti-inflammatory properties. They contain powerful antioxidants such as vitamin C and carotenoids. These antioxidants can help reduce inflammation in the body, making persimmons a beneficial addition to an anti-inflammatory diet.

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