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Mugwort Allergy

What is Mugwort, allergies caused by mugwort, foods to be avoided with mugwort allergy and the side effects of mugwort.

What is mugwort?

Mugwort is a perennial plant that is a member of the daisy family and a relative of ragweed. It is native to Asia and Europe and now grows as a weed in North America. It can grow to 6 feet tall, with stalks of small reddish-brown or yellow flowers in summer. The dried leaves and roots of the plant are used in herbal remedies.

Mugwort Allergies:

Mugwort is generally considered safe. Mugwort pollen is known to cause hay fever. Oral allergy syndrome is nearly always preceded by hay fever. It also tends to occur most often in older children and adults.It is usually associated  mugwort (more common in Europe). On rare occasions, it can cause reactions ranging from rashes to severe, life-threatening symptoms.Allergic responses have been associated with exposure to mugwort include

1. bronchoconstriction/asthma

2. upper and lower respiratory tract sensitization

3.  seasonal allergic rhinitis

4. conjunctivitis

5. pollinosis

6. contact dermatitis

7.  urticaria

8. atopic eczema.

 Mugwort allergy also appears to be related to several food allergies. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should not use this herb. In addition, the potential interactions between mugwort and other drugs and herbs should be considered.

    Foods to avoid with mugwort allergy:

Fruits:

Apples,melons, watermelons and kiwi fruit should be avoided in people with mugwort allergy. Mugwort also blooms in the late summer and early fall, and allergy testing may be needed to determine which allergen is causing symptoms.

Vegetables:

Celery and carrots should be avoided in people with mugwort allergy. Fortunately, the protein that cross-reacts with the pollen is changed with heat, and cooked fruits and vegetables do not typically cause the symptoms of oral itching. For this reason, soups that contain these vegetables can often be eaten without symptoms as can food products such as ketchup and tomato sauce.

Spices:

Spices such as caraway seeds, parsley, coriander, anise seeds and fennel seeds should be avoided in people with mugwort allergy.

Peanuts:

Peanuts may also cause oral-allergy syndrome in people with mugwort allergy. While ingesting peanuts may cause oral symptoms in people with mugwort allergy, the symptoms should be localized to the mouth and should not include rash, shortness of breath, vomiting or dizziness. If these symptoms are present, a food allergy is suspected and oral-allergy syndrome is less likely.

Side Effects and Warnings

According to traditional use and expert opinion, large doses of mugwort may cause abortion, nausea, vomiting, or damage to the nervous system.

Mugwort is on the German Commission E (Germany's regulatory agency for herbs) list of unapproved herbs. Avoid if allergic to birch, grass, hazelnut, olive pollen, honey, mustard, royal jelly, sage, sweet bell pepper pollen, tobacco, and sunflower because cross-reactivity has been noted. Avoid with food allergies to kiwi, peach, mango, apple, celery, and carrots due to cross-reactivity.

Pregnancy & BreastfeedingMugwort is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence. Traditionally, mugwort has been used to induce abortion (abortifacient).

Interactions with DrugsMugwort contains coumarin derivatives, which may increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen.Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

Mugwort contains coumarin derivatives, which may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or taking herbs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.

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