Bad Taste In Your Mouth That Won’t Go Away? It Could Be “Pine Mouth”!


If you have recently eaten pine nuts – especially uncooked, raw pine nuts – and you have a persistent bad taste in your mouth, you could be suffering from a bad reaction known as “pine mouth.” This problem is being tracked by the FDA, and reports of the issue are on the rise.

What's Wrong With Pine Nuts?

It all comes down to the rising cost of pine nuts. As the price of domestic pine nuts shot through the roof over the last few decades, manufacturers felt pressure to find a way to sell a cheaper product. Chinese sources of pine nuts promised the same gourmet item at a drastically reduced cost.

The problem? Not all pine nuts are created equal. At least one Chinese source has admitted selling the similar-looking nuts of a pine tree as pine nuts, even though the seeds from this species of pine tree are not classified as edible plant material.

These cheap imported Chinese pine nuts are sold at gourmet discount retail outlets like Trader Joe’s and Costco. If you have purchased pine nuts from either of these stores, or if you have found pine nuts for sale anywhere and thought, “What a deal!” then you have likely purchased imported Chinese pine nuts. And they may not all be edible!

Why Do Pine Nuts Leave A Bad Aftertaste?

People’s reactions to these bad pine nuts varies. Many people have no reaction at all. Others suffer the condition known as “pine mouth.” This is a reaction to a mild form of poisoning, and it creates a bitter, metallic taste in the mouth which does not go away. The taste cannot be banished, because it is happening on the level of your nervous system. This is why, if you are experiencing pine mouth, you can eat a banana or drink a cup of coffee, and it all tastes the same.

How Long Does Pine Mouth Last?

Most cases of pine mouth fade within a week. Some extreme cases may last as long as nine months. Some people swear that a treatment with activated carbon (which promises to cleanse the blood of toxins) helps clear it up more quickly. But the only true cure is time. (And avoiding cheap pine nuts!)

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