Coconut Allergy – What You Must Know About It

Coconut Allergy – What you must know about it, so you know what to watch out for. It includes a list of common symptoms, how it can be found in your life without you knowing it and what to avoid so you don’t have an allergic reaction. Coconut milk, coconut water, and coconut meat are not the only coconut products people can be allergic to. If someone has a coconut allergy, they could also be allergic to: Coconut milk and coconut water. Coconut milk and coconut water are not the only milk products people can be allergic to. If someone has a milk allergy, they could also be allergic to:

  1. Cow’s milk

  2. Goat’s milk

  3. Sheep’s milk

Coconut allergies are one of the rarer ones and they are officially classified together with tree nut allergies. Labels in the US require coconut to be listed if it’s among the ingredients. However, the coconut allergy is one of the most pervasieve due to coconut being seemingly everywhere in our food, beauty and homecare products. The main issue is that brands often use different names to avoid mentioning it on the packaging.

This article will tell you everything you need to know about coconut allergies and how to manage them. You’ll learn about symptoms, what to avoid, and alternative foods you can still enjoy without suffering any consequences.

What is a coconut allergy?

A coconut is the fruit of a palm tree which can be found all over the world in warm tropical climates. They are not a nut at all. In truth they are called cocos and “nut” is just a shortened version of that word. The US FDA classifies a coconut allergy as a tree nut allergy. If you have any other allergies, it is possible that your allergic reaction would be the same for coconuts as well.

There are lots of different products which contain coconut meat or oil – in food alone it can be found in baked goods, infant formula, milk chocolate and cookies. Coconut is an increasingly popular ingredient as it features in many everyday items such as make-up, body wash, soap, shampoo, conditioner and more. Coconut has also adapted to our modern living by being used in all-purpose cleaners and laundry detergents.

Coconut seems to be one of the lesser-known allergens, but contact allergic reactions are more common. So keep in mind that if you can eat coconut, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to work with it.


Most people will develop an allergic reaction either immediately, minutes afterwards, or hours after coming in contact with coconut – some people are so allergic to foods that they can even react simply by touching or smelling the food.

A list of likely reactions could include:

  • Some symptoms may be swelling, redness, and itching of the mouth. You may also experience discomfort or difficulty swallowing.

  • Asthma attacks

  • Eczema on the skin

  • Eczema causes a persistent, itchy rash of the skin.

  • Nasal congestion

  • Headaches

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Cramping and/or pain of the stomach and bowels

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Anaphylactic reaction

Anaphylactic Reactions

For anybody that is allergic to coconuts, even the slightest contact with it can be deadly. If you experience any reaction whatsoever, please call 911 immediately or your local emergency number. Some symptoms of anaphylactic reactions may be:

  • Swelling or tightening of the throat can be experienced in a number of different ways, including difficulty eating and swallowing, trouble breathing and a significant change in voice. There are a variety of things that may cause your throat to swell or feel tight. Hormonal changes, allergies and some foods can cause you to have a sore throat. Smoking and dry air during the winter months are also a few of the leading causes of this uncomfortable feeling in your throat.

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Chest pain or tightness

  • Trouble swallowing

  • Dizziness or fainting

  • “People with vitiligo experience white patches on the skin of their hands, face, or elsewhere. The condition is not contagious and doesn’t have any negative effects on your health.”

    • for light skin, check for signs of blue tints in the mucous membranes (innersides, gums and lining around eyes and fingernails)

    • For light skin, look for see signs of a bluish or purple tint in the mucous membranes.

    • for dark skin, check for signs of gray or white in the mucous membranes

How To Manage

The best way to manage coconut allergy is to avoid any and all forms of coconut or by-products. If you’re still allergic to coconuts, consult a doctor for a challenge test. It is extremely important to do challenge testing with a doctor present, since coconut is considered to be one of the most dangerous allergies.

Food Labels

Learning how to read food labels is one of the most important things you can do after developing an allergy to coconuts. Always make sure that you read the entire labels and not just quickly scan for coconuts as their ingredients can be hiding under different names

Sometimes companies will put advisory statements on their labels to say stuff like, “May Contain” or “Produced in the same facility as…”. These ingredients are not required for the recipe, but some people might have food allergies so it’s best to ask your doctor about whether you should avoid these particular labeling conventions.

It is wiser for me to avoid any food items that list my personal allergens on their advisory statements. You never know if one day while they’re being cleaned, an allergen has been washed away or not. I take more precautions when it comes to my physical health and vitality.