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  • neighbor has "allergy" to fig skin?

    I was sharing some of my figs with my neighbor and her daughter last night and her daughter said "my throat feels itchy" so they both stopped eating the figs. Her and her mother both have an allergy to apple skins.

    My neighbor had the "itchy throat" after a few minutes as well. Nothing severe just an "itchiness" that went away after a few minutes.

    Has anyone heard of this? Could it have been the fig skin that caused this?

    Luckily I had no issues with the figs and finished the rest I brought over.

    I guess there's more figs for me, they'll have to stick to the tomatoes in my garden.
    Kevin (Eastern MA - Zone 5b/6a)

  • #2
    Maybe the Latex? Try them with really ripe figs where the latex has diminished. Sounds like a genetic defect or disability to me if I could not enjoy figs
    Last edited by strudeldog; 08-28-2015, 10:06 AM.
    Phil North Georgia Zone 7 Looking for: All of them, and on and on,

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    • fitzski
      fitzski commented
      Editing a comment
      thanks for your response. The figs I shared were very ripe, almost falling off the tree. Like I said, more figs for me

  • #3
    Never heard of it from the skin but I start itching and burning when I touch just
    one particular fig leaf and that is Negretta.
    newnandawg 7b Newnan, GA

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    • #4
      My friend can't eat them, he says peaches give him problems also not sure if he is actually allergic or just sensitive to the fuzz. Found this also:

      Among 85 patients with isolated birch pollen allergy, 78% had a positive skin test to fresh fig, 10% to dried fig, 91% to mulberry, 91% to jackfruit, 77% to Rosaceae fruits and 83% to hazelnut. Sixty-six per cent of birch pollen-allergic patients positive for fig, reported symptoms after consumption of fresh figs, whereas dried figs were mostly well tolerated. In 60 patients with isolated Ficus benjamina sensitization, the reactivity rates to the same foods were 83-40-0-0-0-0%. None of 32 mugwort pollen-allergic patients reacted to Moraceae fruits. Rabbit anti-Mal d 1 and patient sera reacted to a 17 kDa band in all Moraceae extracts. IgE binding to these proteins was completely inhibited by birch pollen and rBet v 1. Mass spectrometry identified several peptides from the 17 kDa fig, mulberry and jackfruit allergen with respectively 60%, 56% and 76% homology to Bet v 1.
      CONCLUSION:

      Fig and other Moraceae fruits contain allergens homologous to Bet v 1 and represent clinically relevant birch pollen-associated foods.



      .

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      • fitzski
        fitzski commented
        Editing a comment
        thanks for the response. I think my neighbor and daughter also have seasonal allergies so that might explain it.

    • #5
      Very interesting.

      What about skinning them?
      Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

      “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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      • fitzski
        fitzski commented
        Editing a comment
        The next time I bring some over for them, i told them to just eat the pulp. The eat figs preserves periodically so I don't think the pulp will be a problem.

    • #6
      A close friend loves fresh peaches but has allergic reactions to the skin / fuzz. He always has someone peel the peaches for him. I've not heard of anyone having reactions specifically to figs other than Latex Allergies but figs also have a pubescent fuzz which is more noticeable when they are still green.
      Click image for larger version

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      Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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      • fitzski
        fitzski commented
        Editing a comment
        It's funny you mention the fuzziness. My neighbors daughter mentioned that the skins "are like peaches".

    • #7
      Once when visiting Joe (the J in Adriatic JH), my nephew was eating "not quite ripe" figs from his tree. He loved them so much he couldn't stop eating them even after sores had developed in his mouth from the latex still present in the fruit. As was mentioned, let them hang on the tree until fully ripe. It will minimize the amount of compounds that cause sensitivity. For me, it comes through in the taste as a hint of astringency.
      Littleton, CO (zone 5b) - In Containers
      N.E. of Austin, TX (zone 8b)- In Ground.

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      • fitzski
        fitzski commented
        Editing a comment
        In prior years when I was eating not quite ripe fruit I often noticed a tingling in my mouth. A little research led me to understand that the fruit wasn't quite ripe. Now I try to leave them on as long as I can but that leads to some fruit loss to squirrels and raccoons.

    • #8
      I get that when I eat kiwi, but eat them anyway There is a difference between an allergy and a sensitivity to a food item. Now the latex tears me up...leaves big burns on my skin if not washed off promptly but I can eat the unripe figs, have even tried the white latex and it does not bother me at all, just my skin. I know someone once posted the latex reaction of some peoples skin is only present if sunlight is present which would explain why I could ingest the latex with no ill effects.
      Cutting sales start Nov 1 at 9PM eastern time as always at willsfigs.com

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      • #9
        My son is allergic to fig sap. I asked him to help me prune our big fig tree and he broke out in a rash all over. He's never helped me in the garden again. I quarter figs for him to sample so he just eats the center and leaves the skin. He seems to tolerate it okay that way.

        I have a food sensitivity to peaches. I bought a bag of raw almonds at a roadside stand on a camping trip once and ate the whole bag. It made me really sick. I found out later that raw almonds contain low levels of cyanide. Now I’m sensitive to almonds. Peach pits are related to almonds and diffuse enough low levels of cyanide in the fruit to set of my sensitivity but they wouldn’t affect most people. Not everything “natural”, “unprocessed” and “raw” is wholesome.
        Mara, Southern California,
        Climate Zone: 1990=9b 2012= 10a 2020=?

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        • fitzski
          fitzski commented
          Editing a comment
          That's too bad that you lost a helper in the garden. Maybe he'll grow out of it

      • #10
        For many people the latex can be real @@@@@. Working in bright sun seems to make it worse. Before Adolph's came out, it was used as a meat tenderizer. My aunt will still strip the bark off a limb and skewer chunks of meat for kabobs. Generally, wearing gloves and long sleeves is enough to avoid the problem.

        As a reminder, the latex can be a huge friend while in the garden. It contains a compound called "ficin" which will disrupt the poisons bugs inject when they sting/bite. The sooner you swab the sting with it, the better.
        Littleton, CO (zone 5b) - In Containers
        N.E. of Austin, TX (zone 8b)- In Ground.

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