Monday, May 2, 2011

Are You or Someone You Know Affected by Nut and Tree Allergies...

As many of you know our Diva R is severely allergic to...

*Peanut Butter
*All Nut's
*Mixed Tree's

These are popular in the hair world also, which is why i created this post.  If you or a loved one have established allergic reactions or allergies to nuts of any nature or trees of any nature it is important that you HEAVILY screen the products/cosmetics that you/they come in contact with.  We just found out via testing a few months ago that Diva R was allergic to Tree's on top of our found by trial and error fact that she is allergic to all kinds of nuts.  

This was puzzling and very vaguely put at that, the immunologist concluded that this was going to be a two-part panel test and because of Diva being nearly 4 at the time shes way to young for the full panel so they must bunch up some of the specific categories of allergens into one skin prick per category versus doing for example the full 13 skin pricks in the mixed tree category, the did one.  By this having to be done per protocol we will not be able to find out for a few years what she is specifically allergic to in the nut and tree categories, unless we find out by direct exposure.

This is a very hard thing to deal with because not only do alot of products contain tree elements as well as nut elements but our environment is TREE LOADED... All of the parks have trees by the dozens and we just cant escape them.  At certain parks she has started sneezing right off bat when she steps out of the car and/or break out in a rash. So we had to narrow down the parks we visit, to ones that are more open and partially tree-less or tree-free.  Even with this being done tree pollens circulate pollen consistently in the air in all directions ranging from as far as 30-100 feet meaning that even if you cut down all of the trees in your yard your neighbors trees will still taunt your allergies.  

So by us noticing that some of the products we have on hand had quite a bit of tree and nut elements in i immediately though ON NO i have to get rid of these!!! Then i decided to stop the usage of them completely for a short period and then i used one product at a time and isolated it solely for a week and would do the same for the rest and i was able to determine what products and then what ingredients she reacted too. We experimented with each one of them individually so that we could determine what was upsetting Diva R's allergies so bad.  

Before i detail, in case anyone is wondering what a Mixed Tree allergy consist of, here's a tid-bit i found on

(Listed below are different types of trees that are tested in the allergy panels that we as children and adults receive, this is the adult panel of course because it consists of ALL of the Trees.)

Tree Mix I—allergies to Alder, Ash, Birches, Cedars, Cottonwoods, Cypresses, Elms, Firs, Hemlock, Hickories, Junipers, Maples, Mulberries, Western Oaks, Eastern Oaks, Pines, Redwood, and Spruces.

Tree Mix II— allergies to Acacia, Aspen, Bay, Elder, Eucalyptus, Fig, Flowering Apple, Flowering Cherry, Lilac, Magnolia, Mesquite, Oleander, Olive, Pepper, Privet, Sycamore, Tulip, and Willow.

What Is Tree Pollen Allergy?

Trees are the earliest pollen producers, releasing their pollen as early as January in the southern states and as late as May or June in the northern states.
Trees can aggravate your allergy symptoms, even if they are not on your property, since trees release large amounts of pollen that can be distributed miles away from the original source.

What Causes Tree Pollen Allergy?

Of the 50,000 different kinds of trees, less than 100 have been shown to cause allergies. Most allergies are specific to one type of tree or to the male cultivar of certain trees, such as:
  • Catalpa
  • Elm
  • Hickory
  • Olive
  • Pecan
  • Sycamore
  • Walnut.   
The female version of these species are totally pollen-free:
  • Ash
  • Box elder
  • Cottonwood
  • Date palm
  • Maple (red)
  • Maple (silver)
  • Phoenix palm
  • Poplar
  • Willow.   
Some people, however, do show cross-reactivity among trees in the alder, beech, birch, and oak family, as well as the juniper and cedar families. ALSO, some people could be allergic to just the oils of the tree, just the pollen of the tree and/or the tree in its entirety. 
In case your curious about tree/nut allergies...

Trees we have to be aware of when considering Diva R's allergies locally are...

*American Elm
*Red Birch
*Red Oak 
*White Ash
*Sugar Maple
*E. Cottonwood
*Black Walnut
*E. Sycamore
What is a nut/tree nut allergy?
An allergic reaction happens when someone's immune system mistakenly believes that something harmless, such as a tree nut or peanut, is actually harmful. The immune system responds by creating specific antibodies to proteins in that food. These antibodies — called immunoglobulin E (IgE) — are designed to fight off the "invading" proteins.
IgE antibodies trigger the release of certain chemicals into the body. One of these is histamine (pronounced: hiss-tuh-meen). The release of histamine can affect a person's respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, skin, and cardiovascular system, causing allergy symptoms like wheezing, stomachache, vomiting, itchy hives, and swelling.
Most reactions last less than a day and affect any of these four body systems:
  1. Skin. Skin reactions are the most common type of food allergy reactions. They can take the form of itchy, red, bumpy rashes (hives), eczema, or redness and swelling around the mouth or face.
  2. Gastrointestinal system. Symptoms can take the form of belly cramps, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  3. Respiratory system. Symptoms can range from a runny or stuffy nose, itchy, watery eyes, and sneezing to the triggering of asthma with coughing and wheezing.
  4. Cardiovascular system. A person may feel lightheaded or faint.
In really bad cases, tree nut and peanut allergies can cause a condition called anaphylaxis (pronounced: ah-nuh-fuh-lak-sus). Anaphylaxissomeone's airways swell and blood pressure drop. As a result, the person may have trouble breathing and could lose consciousness.
Peanut reactions can be very severe, even if a person isn't exposed to much peanut protein. Experts think this might be because the immune system recognizes peanut proteins more easily than other food proteins.
(Listed below is a list of the nuts that are incorporated into nut allergy testing, i borrowed this from
Nuts: almond, coconut, filbert, peanut, pecan, sesame, sunflower seed, walnut
Foods always or almost always containing tree nuts include:
  • Nutella
  • Marzipan
  • Pesto (unless specially prepared without pine nuts)
  • Baklava
  • Pralines
  • Nut liqueurs (Frangelico, Amaretto, and Nocello)
  • Nougat
  • Turr√≥n
  • Gianduja
Foods that commonly contain tree nuts include:
  • Macaroons
  • Granola bars
  • Trail mix
  • Cereal
  • Fudge
  • Caponata
  • Ice cream
  • Divinity
  • Candy bars
  • Baked goods
So all of this is very important to keep in mind when having a child or family member who is allergic to or that you suspect may be allergic to nuts or trees.  I had no idea bout many of these elements being in products because a decent amount of them are "masked" by their foreign names. For every ingredient listed on a bottle there IS a more specific name for it or its bi-lingual name.  SO here is what i found out on my quest for nut/tree less products.
Products to stay away from if you have this allergy are ones that have...
*Tree Nuts

*Tea Tree Oil
*Coconuts ( Some may or may not be affected by coconut)
*Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate ( derived from coconut oil)
*Cetearyl Alcohol (fatty acids from coconut oil)
*Murumuru Butter ( if there is a present allergy to coconut oil one may be sensitive to this)
*Almonds, Cashews, Walnuts
*Sesame seed
*Poppy seed
*Brazilian Babassu
*Bean Trees
*Sunflower seed

*Shea Butter
*Olive Oil
      *Both of these are potential concerns because they come from trees and are derived from trees.*
I'm sure there are hundreds more ingredients to avoid if you have the certain allergies but these are the main ones that are often in products cosmetics and beauty items as well as the ones we've encountered first hand..
YOU MUST READ AND KNOW YOUR INGREDIENTS because this type of allergy is severe, serious and life threatening at any given time, so you sure don't want to be using hair products that have these oils or elements in them.
Here's an FYI, if you are unsuccessful with finding tree or nut free products contact an organic product maker through any natural hair care blogs, websites  or search engines and ask if they will make a special formulation of their products eliminating the nut or tree elements. It may cost a little more or you may have to search around for a while BUT they are out there!. We use Bee Mine and Darcys Botanical's mainly. Or you could simply begin making your own products from scratch so that you know what is in the product, how much is in it and most importantly that you, your child or anyone for that matter could possibly have a severe reaction that could have potentially been avoided.There are many out there that will do that and some will not charge you extra even. 

If a company does have to charge you extra ITS WORTH every penny and probably because it takes more work to alter their recipes. Once a reaction to a nut takes place there is no home remedy to reverse it and an Epinephrine Pen is your only hope o-t-w to the ER. AFTER Benedryl is given and no reduction in reaction takes place quickly.

There is a very good chance that if you have these allergies and your products contain these ingredients, that you may be suffering from using them. Its even harder to determine if your children who may have these allergies are suffering from these products. 

There is nothing wrong with using these ingredients in products for those who don't have these allergies. 

Just please be weary :)

Hope someone can benefit from this post :)

God Bless
Diva R's Mommy- Kim


P. R said...

What products do you recommend for someone with a tree nut allergy - especially a moisturizer?

P. R said...

What products do you recommend for someone with a tree nut allergy? Especially a moisturizer.

LYGBC said...

Hello P.R, I must say the only thing that i can recommend is that you become a label reader and become familiar with all the strange, foreign,long and latin terms... Companies often try to hide the bad ingredients behind more sophisticated or foreign names... I google everything, every ingredient and this is how Ive become a pro at spotting nut and bad ingredients. There are tons of nuts out there and to narrow these products down is not easy but very possible with much research... Ive even asked companies about specific products to make sure they dont contain nuts and almost always im told the products dont contain nuts but when i receive them they have Argan oil which is a very popular and obvious nut product. So you cant always rely on companies either whether they are small or big. Hope that helps <3