Balsam of Peru Allergy

Balsam of Peru is one of the top five most common allergens that come back positive when people undergo skin prick testing for allergies.

Balsam of Peru is a resin collected from the trunk of the Myroxylon pereirae, a tree native to El Salvador. It got its name because during colonial days, it was shipped to Europe out of Peru.

The resin has a sweet scent similar to cinnamon and vanilla. Because of this, it’s used in fragrances and sometimes in food. Because it comes in many names or is sometimes not mentioned at all, it’s tricky to identify products that contain it. Some names to look for include China oil, balsam and myroxylon.

Balsam of Peru contains at least twenty compounds, any of which may be responsible for an allergy to it. Complicating things further for allergic people is that these compounds are also found in many common foods like cinnamon, citrus and vanilla. Depending on whether a person’s unsafe compound is present in other foods, that person may need to avoid those other foods too. Some people diagnosed by skin prick testing have to use elimination strategies to narrow down the true culprits, assuming they can be easily identified.

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About This Diet

Foods that are restricted include:
BOP and food that may cross react with BOP.
Certain spices like cinnamon and vanilla.
Produce like tomato and citrus.
Grains like wheat and rye (they contain ferulic acid).
Beverages like alcohols, tea, waters, juices and soft drinks.

Dietary strategies for BOP recommend that people investigate which foods make them feel better. One of the best ways to do this is by elimination and re-introduction diets. You can use Selectivor to track how you feel while you eliminate certain foods for a short time and then re-introduce them. This may help you discover which foods help you feel your best.

Note 1: Many foods may contain BOP under a different name or without clear labeling. Also, cross reactivity of other foods with BOP can occur. Be sure to check all foods and verify safety with your doctor prior to consuming.

Note 2: Consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet.

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