Lemongrass is an herb that is commonly utilized in Asian dishes, essential oil form and herbal teas. Depending on how lemongrass is utilized, this can determine the type of allergic reaction that can manifest. Always bear in mind that an allergic reaction to lemongrass is unlikely to occur, but capable of causing the usual food allergy symptoms if consumed or allergic contact dermatitis if applied on the skin. The manifestation of any undesirable symptoms due to lemongrass should be discussed with the doctor. It is vital to stop using any products that contain lemongrass until further instructions are given by the doctor.
Lemongrass is not listed as a common food known to trigger an allergy, but if it is ingested as herbal tea or an herb included in a particular meal, the individual will end up with the distinctive symptoms of food allergy.
Always bear in mind food allergy develops when the body mistakenly recognizes lemongrass as a safe substance. The body responds to the herb as an intruding substance by generating antibodies as well as chemicals such as histamine. This causes the soft tissues to tighten which starts to swell and become inflamed. Remember that this is the cause of most food allergy symptoms.
The indications of food allergy can affect the respiratory system, digestive system and the skin. The symptoms can develop within a few minutes or up to two hours after ingesting the herb. The lungs and sinuses are the main components of the respiratory tract that are affected.
The individual can develop shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, runny nose, nasal congestion and postnasal drip. The digestive tract can react with gas, bloating, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea and cramping. In most cases, the skin becomes dry, inflamed and end up with eczema or hives.
Allergic contact dermatitis
Allergic contact dermatitis is a reaction of the skin that occurs once the individual touches lemongrass. It is important to note that lemongrass is typically used as an essential oil that is applied on the skin for its fragrance. In case the individual is allergic, a reaction occurs within minutes of applying the oil on the skin. Once this occurs, you have to wash the affected area using water and soap and then apply a cold compress and hydrocortisone cream. A doctor should be consulted for further assessment.
Just like with any allergic response, a severe type can develop if the individual is highly sensitive to lemongrass. Anaphylaxis is a systemic reaction that is fatal if not treated properly. The signs and symptoms include facial swelling, inability to breathe, hives, increased heart rate and lightheadedness. Once these symptoms manifest, call for emergency assistance or bring the individual to the emergency room.