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Cilantro Allergy

Updated on April 14, 2009

Cilantro is very popular herb used in cooking Southern, Latin and Asian dishes. It has a unique taste and smell, which can be called polarizing as most people either love it or hate. Cilantro is part of Asian culture and has been grown and cultivated there for hundreds of years.

When used in large quantities cilantro is easy to identify. The problem with a cilantro allergy is that cilantro is often one of those hidden ingredients that people do n know they are consuming. It can be finely chopped and mixed into a salad and will look just like parsley. Cilantro can also be mixed in with other herbs and spices which makes reading labels very important for those with the allergy. Cilantro is also commonly used in Europe when pickling vegetables and is even used in the brewing of some beers.

With cilantro becoming more widely used by restaurants, you should ask your waiter or waitress if your meal has cilantro. Its even a good idea with any food allergy to have the waiter ask the chef as often they may e the only ones who know exactly what goes into each dish. View what cilantro allergy symptoms are.

Some people actually claim that cilantro is a herbal cure for their other allergies. Cilantro contains flavonoids which they say helps with gastric symptoms caused from other allergic reactions.

If you would like to substitute something else for cilantro in a recipe you can try parsley or basil instead.

Popular Recipes That May Contain Cilantro

  • Dipping Sauces
  • Meats, especially chicken
  • Salads
  • Used with other spices like Cumin
  • Staple in Asian cooking

What is Cilantro Fruit?

Another thing you might hear people mention when they talk about cilantro is fruit. This does not refer to your typical fruit like a orange. When cilantro fruit is mentioned they are talking about the seeds of the cilantro plant.

If you do not like Cilantro you can substitute it with a different spice or green but do not expect the meal to have as much impact as nothing has the kick that cilantro does in your meals.

Give your opinion on cilantro and vote yes or no to whether you like cilantro or not at the end of the hub page. I'm guessing it should about a 50/50 split.

Cilantro Poll

Do You Like Cilantro?

See results


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    • Bob Thorsen profile image

      Bob Thorsen 3 years ago from Canton, Georgia

      Although I always found cilantro to have a soapy taste (I have an affinity for strong/unusual tasting food and drink), I do not recall experiencing severe gastric distress after consuming cilantro until I was in my mid-fifties. Every time I have experienced severe gastric distress after consuming cilantro I had also consumed a fair amount of alcohol (may be no causality involved - I am not about to experiment to confirm or eliminate alcohol as a contributing factor). After the second episode I began to suspect that the cilantro was causing the severe gastric distress and the third episode (when I consumed a salad loaded with fresh cilantro) confirmed it for me.

    • profile image

      ccwest 3 years ago

      Cilantro/coriander makes me so sick. If I don't have a promethazine pill to take I feel as though I might die. My stomach cramps so severely that I pass out. It took years to finally find out what it was making me so sick. And it is so hard to eat out now. You would think this would be known more than it is. People look at me as though I am crazy when I ask if it is in my dish.

    • profile image

      Sydney 5 years ago

      i've never liked the taste of cilantro, and yesterday my mom asked me why i wasn't eating the chicken she had prepared (the dish contains a large amount of cilantro), and i told her i didn't particularly like it. when she asked why, i said (jokingly) "because it tastes like dish soap!" and she said "really?" i did not want to hurt her feelings, but she told me to tell her the truth. i told her i thought it really did taste like dish soap and she told me that i must be allergic to it.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Cilantro/Coriander makes me violently ill anytime from a few hours to a few days after ingesting it. I have severe stomach pain and vomiting. I feel like I've been poisoned. The vomiting lasts for 24 hours until I can't take anymore and head to the stat care to be hydrated. It is so hard to dine out since it can be in almost anything from seasoning salts to beers. Labels can just read spices or natural flavors when grocery shopping and makes it so difficult. Companies should have to disclose what spices and natural flavors are in their products since people's health and lives are at stake.

    • profile image

      another anonymous 6 years ago

      Interesting to see this many people who have trouble with the wicked, foul, inedible poison Cilantro. And I can't even print what I think of Curry and Coriander.

      Restaurants should be forced to disclose that this evil weed is in their dishes.

      Or better yet, Just.Stop.Using.It.

    • profile image

      docljj 6 years ago

      Tastes like perfume or soap to me. Worse than that though; I'm allergic to cilantro....causes gums to swell, stuffy sinuses and sneezing all of which can end up as a full-blown bronchial infection if I don't take Benadryl at onset. I avoid cilantro, but as was mentioned sometimes you just don't see it. I remove any that I DO notice. Unfortunately, just asking if it is in a dish does not always insure getting a true answer. I've even asked that Cilantro be held out of a dish, only to have it buried in it then only noticed after eating a few bites. The risk is so great these days due to its popularity, especially in the Southwest.

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      Beckieboo 6 years ago

      I think my four year old daughter may have an allergy to cilantro. We had a 3 week long episode of stomach cramps, vomiting and sore throat last month which she finally got over but last night, I cooked up a curry sauce and the same thing is now happening again. She is now complaining of a sore throat again and is having waves of nausea. So, I'll be heading to the doctors soon but in the meantime, can anyone suggest something to help with the nausea and sore throat? Is there any food that can ease the feelings?

    • profile image

      Donna 6 years ago

      My only known food allergy is to cilantro. I have only eaten gelato twice in my life, and both times I got sick in the same way that cilantro makes me sick. Does anyone know if gelato normally contains cilantro or coriander? It doesn't seem likely.

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      Ginger 6 years ago

      I have had an adversion to cilantro ever since I first tasted this herb. Recently I have had several allergic reaction and was not sure why. Last month in California I had handled and washed cilantro leaves from my daughter's garden....and an hour later went into a severe anaphylactic reaction. This included calling the paramedics because of airway closing, tongue swelling, horrendous hives and spending most of the day in the ER. Could anyone tell me what other things are related to Cilantro? Flowers, plants, etc.? I want to avoid them at all costs. I have been diagnosed with Idiopathic Anaphylaxis.

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      Marie 6 years ago

      I recently had a violent asthmatic reaction to Cilantro at least I think it was Cilantro. Many years ago I had a very unpleasant feeling after eating some Brazilian chicken. And then may years later, a similar sensation while eating a salad in San Antonio TX. But the third time was my undoing, it literally took the breath right out of me and I couldn't breathe! Dounright scary. I now carry an epie pin. I'm nervous when dining out.

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      Nanette 7 years ago

      I can tell there is cilantro in a recipe by the taste, it tastes like soap suds to me. Within 5 minutes my my eyelids and sinus area begin to swell. Depending on the amount ingested it can last several hours to several days.

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      Diana 7 years ago

      I have an allergy to cilantro that was brought on by some improperly made pesto---the cook used cilantro leaves instead of basil. After that exposure, I have been plagued by digestive distress after eating even the tiniest amount of cilantro, though I've noticed that cooked cilantro is much milder than fresh. I ordered Thai food without thinking and found the entire pad thai order covered with fresh cilantro leaves. I carefully removed them all, but the pad thai still made me violently sick, probably because the oils and whatnot seeped into the food.

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      Ah, one other thought - I think your survey below has an inherent bias: I'm guessing that people reading this page will be disproportionately those who found it while searching for references to a cilantro allergy and hence more will vote that they don't like it than their representation in the population at large.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I can sense even the most minute quantity of cilantro in food. I imagine what I am experiencing may be related in some way to an allergic reaction but I don't know for sure. The manifestation is a horrible taste-like sensation that overwhelms everything else in the food regardless of how sweet, sour, spicy, or otherwise strong. I assume that what I am experiencing is probably the flavor but magnified many times over. Parsley has no such effect on me no matter how large the serving. I have also come to suspect that the component to which I'm sensitive is highly volatile; if I walk by a live cilantro plant on a hot day, the vapors can be instantly overwhelming, causing watery eyes and the urge to sneeze, but mostly the urge to get away from the plant, but I understand that it's a major ingredient in certain soups in Persian/Iranian cuisine that have no such effect on me, suggesting that the hypothetical volatile has been cooked away.

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      Natanja 8 years ago

      There is no other thing on God's green earth that lays me out flat like cilantro. I can set my clock by the reactions that come from having ingested it. Within two hours I'm vomiting (violently!) and am wracked with abdominal pains and diarrhea. In reading about this monster, this while recuperating from a bout, I guess the only bright side is that it doesn't send me into shock! But just one whiff...