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The Allergy Scoop: Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, and Cocoa Butter

Tree nut allergies are on the rise and can often affect those with eczema. This type of allergy can be just as fatal as a peanut allergy and is for some reason often overlooked by those outside of the medical community. My son has eczema and is allergic to almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, and pecans, but not peanuts. I prefer to use natural, non-toxic products to moisturize his chronically dry skin, but most these products contain variations of oils that seem to be in the tree nut family, such as coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter. Even some drug store creams contain these oils, so they almost seem to be unavoidable these days.

If you have a tree nut allergy, should you stay away from these oils? The answer I’m afraid is not so cut and dry. I’ve rounded up some facts to share so you can make an informed decision with your physician.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil and Palm Oil are the primary base in most natural soaps. They are also in many balms and salves marketed for those with eczema. And recently many physicians, even Dr. Oz, have begun to encourage anyone with eczema or severely dry skin to try this nutrient rich oil either in cooking or applied directly to the skin. Coconut oil is one popular and diverse oil!

My son has tree nut allergies and if eats coconut one day, he’s fine. If he eats it a second day in a row, he may break out in eczema and/or itching. We used to apply coconut oil to his skin, but now it makes him itchy. Elizabeth from Onespot Allergy also has a son with tree nut allergies, but he doesn’t seem to have any trouble consuming coconut. She wrote a very thorough post here on Coconut Oil and tree nut allergies.  She points out that there seems to be a lot of confusion around coconut and possible allergic reactions. Essentially, Dr. Watson from Allergic Living Magazine states the coconut is actually a large seed from a tree of the palm family. The FDA defines it as a tree nut. FAAN recommends speaking with your doctor if there is concern of an allergic reaction. It seems to be that most allergic reactions to coconut have occurred in individuals without a tree nut allergy. So in theory you should be able to eat a coconut or apply coconut oil to your skin if you have a tree nut allergy.

Shea Butter

Like coconut oil, my son was originally ok with shea butter applied on his skin, but after time he developed a reaction to it. Products containing shea butter in high doses make his skin very itchy.

FAAN and the FDA classify shea as a tree nut. According to Dr. Watson, shea nuts are indeed a tree nut, but there have been no documented allergic reactions to it. He states this is likely because the oil, used in skincare products, contains little protein, which is what triggers an allergic reaction. Dr. Kanwaljit K. Chawla of Mount Sinai School of Medicine conducted a study and found that shea butter only contains 1/3oth of the amount of proteins found in cashews and even less than the amount found in peanuts. Dr. Chawla introduced shea butter into blood samples from individuals with tree nut allergies and found the immunoglobulin E antibodies barely attached to the shea butter, so no allergic reaction occurred.

Although allergies to pretty much anything are possible, a true allergy to shea is very rare.

Cocoa Butter

We have yet to try cocoa butter on my son’s skin, but I hope to soon. He eats chocolate with no problem, so it’s unlikely he’d react topically.

Cocoa butter is derived from the cocoa bean, the same origin as chocolate. The beans grow in pods, and much like coconut, in different circles it is considered a tree nut, a seed, or a fruit.  Allergies to the cocoa bean itself are extremely rare. In fact, reactions to chocolate are usually related to a shellfish allergy or cross contamination with nuts, dairy, soy, etc. So, if you have a severe allergy to peanuts or other tree nuts, make sure your cocoa butter or chocolate is free from contamination with other nuts. As it turns out, cockroaches are quite fond of the cocoa bean and larger quantities than you’d like of these critters actually end up in many products derived from cocoa beans. Ick! Since cockroaches are related to shellfish, as are dust mites, some people with allergies to any of these items could potentially react to cocoa or cocoa butter.


The Bottom line: Speak with your physician if you have doubts about using coconut oil or shea or cocoa butter and always apply a very small amount of the oil/butter as a patch test before applying liberally to ensure you don’t have a reaction.

Please note that I am not a medical professional. You should speak with your physician before trying any of the oils mentioned above if you or your child have a tree nut allergy. It’s always better to be cautious.


If you have a tree nut allergy, please take a look at our tree nut-free products at The Eczema Company.

52 Comments Post a comment
  1. Carlota #

    I am SEVERELY allergic to cocoa butter! It took forever for me to figure it out. Make up, body wash, sun screens and lotions all caused allergic reactions because they all had cocoa butter AND Shea butter in them. I asked a pharmacist about it and she said cocoa butter allergy is real and common. She said people think it’s so good for you but it can actually cause sever allergic reaction just like peanuts. It’s harmful, painful and just plain miserable! I am not allergic to chocolate however. It’s just the cocoa butter.


    August 15, 2014
    • Hi Carlota – Thank you for sharing your story. I find it really interesting that you’re only allergic to cocoa butter and not chocolate, since it always contains cocoa butter. I wonder if it’s just a topical issue and not a true IgE allergy if you can consume cocoa butter. Jennifer


      August 18, 2014
  2. Amy #

    I will never look at cocoa the same way again, lol! I’ve have been wondering about the safety of shea butter for my family. I have one child with a life threatening allergy to peanuts. We were told to avoid all nuts, peanut and tree, in case he cross reacts. I think we’ll just stay away from the shea!

    Also, two weeks ago we finally figured out that our two year old has a contact allergy (possibly food as well) to coconut. It’s been really hard to find coconut free products but I am slowly making progress from reading allergy blosg and following up on the suggested products different people have written about.


    August 3, 2014
    • Hi Amy – Coconut oil is in a lot of skin care products, especially soap and shampoos. Trying to go without coconut in those products is next to impossible. I see you’re helping others find coconut alternatives on your blog. That’s great! Jennifer


      August 4, 2014
  3. Jewel #

    Hi, im jewel. I have seasonal, dust, and hay allergies and im afraid I could possibly be allergic to beeswax but im not sure. I had gotten on of those EOS lip balm eggs and it made my throat swell and lips itch. I noticed it had beeswax in it and I dont typically use that. That was months ago but today I realized it was in my Dark chocolate chex mix and some gummy bears I was eating today. I didnt understand what I could be allergic to tho. And I can eat honey (I love it and always put loads of it in my tea!) And im not allergic to bee stings. Im just curious as to what else could have made me have a reaction like that


    June 3, 2014
  4. Soaplicity #

    I am allergic to SO many things and my son has psoriasis. I started out creating formulas for myself and my son because of this and I now own a company called Soaplicity that makes all natural products. I get how frustrating this can be!

    My psoriasis/eczema soap was the very first one I ever made in order to help my son, and it was the longest to develop (over a year). Now I have a whole system that includes a bath soak, lotion bar, and soap that have been doing wonders for a lot of people. That being said,
    I do use a lot of tree nut oils in my products so I tell those with that particular allergy to not use my soap/lotion/lip balm products because I would be fearful of even a minute amount getting in there and setting off a reaction.

    What I can tell you for your son’s eczema is to experiment with Emu oil, Neem oil, and the cocoa butter you were already talking about. These oils have been used for centuries in other countries to help treat these conditions. Neem oil in particular is absolutely amazing, but I will warn you that it has a very pungent smell (like garlic peanut butter – yeah…)so you will want to also put in some essential oils that are good for eczema (like frankincense) to help mask the smell. It only need be used in a very small amount (like 3%) to get its wonderful results.

    I wish you all the best in your discoveries! If you have any more questions, I will happily answer them. You can contact me at


    January 17, 2014
    • Thanks so much for all your helpful advice – I really appreciate it as I’m sure everyone else does as well.


      January 21, 2014
    • I can share my experience with eczema. I developed an allergy to Cosmetics that contain SPF after giving birth to my daughter. It took a while to figure out what was causing my horrible eczema. Once I discovered what was causing my allergy I could easily avoid those products and I used a mixture of coconut oil and you sensual oils to soothe my skin. Apricot kernel oil or almond oil are also good choices if you are not allergic to almonds. Chamomile and lavender were the two Oils I added to my blend to help soothe and heal my skin. Best of luck! Feel free to message me if you would like to know more.


      March 2, 2014
      • Interesting. What is the exact ingredient that makes SPF? I though it was more about f a rating than one particular ingredient. Many. Natural products are rated SPF. It don’t contain SPF. Can you explain this a little more?


        March 14, 2014
  5. Denise #

    We have also been successful with using this on our treenut allergic son:


    November 25, 2013
  6. Linda #

    I have had allergies my whole life. They were first discovered when I was 5 when my family got a cat. Over the years I found out I was allergic to all animal dander, cockroaches, dust mites, penicillins, etc. It wasn’t until many years later that I reacted to tree nuts & peanut butter. The reactions became worse over time. My next problems came with Shea butter. Any amount causes a reaction in me and the more I accidentally use a product containing it, my reaction is worse. Lipsticks & body lotions are usually the culprits. B&BW just increased their lotions to 3X the amount of Shea butter. I have recently been using Carmex on my lips (no listed Shea butter) and now I’m suffering with swollen, painful, blistered lips. I would say I am a documented Shea butter allergy sufferer.


    November 1, 2013
    • I’m sorry to hear about your worsening and expanding list of allergies! I hope you’re able to find some great shea butter free products to use.


      November 1, 2013
      • Linda #

        Thanks! That seems to be harder said than done. Manufacturers are adding Shea butter more & more to their products and others are increasing the amount. There seems to be no line that has Shea free products.


        November 2, 2013
      • Linda – we offer quite a lot of products that are shea free. The big commercial brands usually contain refined shea butter, but it’s easier to find smaller companies that do away with any type of shea.


        November 7, 2013
  7. Judy Simon #

    I just recently discovered I have an allergy to Shea butter. Shea butter is derived from the nut of a tree related to the rubber tree where latex comes from. If you have a latex allergy, it is very likely you will develop a Shea butter allergy and vice versa.


    October 25, 2013
  8. Sandy #

    Have you tried Waxelene? It seems to work well on eczema without allergic reactions.


    October 22, 2013
    • Hi Sandy – Thanks for the recommendation. I have to say I’m impressed with their ingredients. Although I’m not a fan of soy, I’m happy to see they used GMO-free soy. Looks like they’re in a lot of big box stores, so it’s easily accessible too. Great stuff! Thanks for sending. Jennifer


      October 24, 2013
      • Denise #

        I have used waxolene but like Jennifer, I am not a fan of using soy on a young boy due to hormones concerns. I have used another product that I love that has beeswax and sunflower oil through Poofy Organics. My son is also treenut allergic (walnuts/pecans). He has done fine with this product.*Poofy-Organics*-Greener-dsh-Than-dsh-Petroleum-Jelly/Detail
        we also will use – if I have no other options. We most recently purchased this oil that seems to work great. It is nut free as well:
        We continue to search for products as well. He gets very dry skin in the winter months. Hope this helps.


        November 25, 2013
      • Thanks so much for sharing what works for your son, Denise!


        November 26, 2013
  9. Thanks for the detailed description it surely helps realize what people with nut allergy go through. I use shea butter for my exzema formula but for people with tree nut allergy I usually test non conventional oils such as Kalahari Melon, cucumber, papaya, passion, Avocado, or strawberry and Pequi. I suggest you alternate your products so that you can reduce the allergies that may develop through sustained long term exposure. I design individual formula with my brand NadiaZ because more and more people have special needs that can better be addressed through individual formulations.


    October 17, 2013
  10. Balloon Face #

    Used Palmer’s cocoa butter formula for men yesterday. After a very itchy night I woke up this morning looking like Eric Pickles


    September 20, 2013
    • Oh no! I’m not sure, but I don’t believe Palmer’s is straight cocoa butter either – you may want to check the ingredients to confirm if you reacted to cocoa or something else.


      September 20, 2013
  11. Maybe I overlooked some of these comments but I didn’t read any comment stating that you tried a natural handmade product. My company The Perfume Chick Co. specializes in natural perfumes, whipped shea butters, handmade soaps etc… and we created a natural unscented handmade soap called herbal remedy that contain goats milk, palm kernel oil, organic coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil. We also have a whipped eczema shea butter and eczema sugar scrub all using unrefined shea butter, black seed extract, organic coconut oil, hemp seed, organic unrefined jojoba and organic unrefined argan oil and we have helped hundreds of people with this recipe that was suffering with eczema including my twin daughters. If you have tried and tried and want results give us a try today stop buying chemical laced products from the pharmacy and blaming the minute amounts of natural ingredients that they claim exist in those products for your problems. All natural products are not the same because just like with any/everything else that you eat, drink or use is not processed the exact same way. I always tell my customers that just because you’ve had a burger from McDonalds dont mean that you have tasted all burgers. So I’m telling you that just because you’ve used one product dont mean you’ve tried every product. Give us a shot I believe you will see a difference. 1800.691.1733


    September 4, 2013
    • Thanks! Yes, everything we use is all natural and non-toxic. Thanks for the tips.


      September 6, 2013
    • LOVE your points on all of these oils. My 4 year old son does have an allergy many things (over 15), a few of which are cocoa and peanut; however, we did use a peanut-based oil on his skin (prescribed) and that worked well for about a week. After that, while he did not have any reaction, we also did not see any improvement, so we kicked that one. With cocoa, my son cannot eat it nor can we apply it to his skin (he breaks out in an itchy rash on contact – discovered via blood test). Because he’s also allergic to roaches…I’m wondering if that plays a role (BTW…EWWWW!) For whatever reason we had the same reaction when using raw shea butter.

      We are in the process of using coconut oil and he really likes that; however, it’s not as thick as creams, so we mix it with good ol’ reliable Vaseline! I will also be checking out a few of the other items that you’ve mentioned as I’ve never heard of them before. Thanks for the post!


      September 12, 2013
      • Hi Barbara –

        I know, how gross is the cocoa and cockroach connection. Ick! Very interesting that your son reacts to both. Does he react to shellfish as well? Cockroaches and shellfish are in the same family. I’m glad you’ve found the coconut oil to be helpful! And very inventive to add it to Vaseline :) Jennifer


        September 12, 2013
  12. Hi, just saw your comments while surfing. Indeed everyone has a different allergy pattern. Fortunately, most of the time it is linked to the proteins rather than the oil itself. I have my own natural brand and produce natural plant cosmetique products on design and request ( and I have been using shea butter amongst other african and amazonian butters to manage my exzema since year. The allergy may be a reaction also to other ingredients put in your product, or due to bad quality products. There are thousands of plants producing oil and it is a matter to find the right one. If I were to design a product for your son I would try testing with avocado oil, which is extracted from the fruit and not the seed. We also use Kalahari Melon oil here in Africa which may fit your son condition as well. Hope this helps.


    August 30, 2013
  13. KGebara #

    Hello :) I’m looking for a natural alternative to eucerin original moisturizing cream(the really thick cream that comes in a jar). Our little one has eczema that makes him dry, itchy,& absolutely miserable if we don’t keep up with his regimen of showering him in the morning & at night for 5mins each only using soap if needed (we use aveeno baby soothing body wash) to wash his hair hands feet underarms and bottom, and then gently pat dry as quickly as possible so we can apply cream on him head to toe. We’ve tried everything from glaxal base to vaseline to urea creams to aveeno. I’ve tried organic: Shea butter, tree oil, coconut oil, olive oil, and I’m sorry to say even unscented baby oil and vegetable shortening, all of which again made him dry out and itch like crazy. It really is frustrating and very very heartbreaking to see your little one suffer like that. & although eucerin works wonders on him, i can’t help but to wonder about all those chemicals in his cream. <3


    August 1, 2013
    • Hi there –

      Have you tried to determine what’s triggering his eczema? Maybe a food sensitivity, not necessarily a full blown allergy? This is very often at least one part of the puzzle – environmental and pet allergies are also very common, just to name a few. Regarding a cream, we’ve had excellent luck with Calendulis Cream and Manuka Honey Skin Cream. Perhaps you could try them and see how they work for your son? Good luck! Jennifer


      August 5, 2013
  14. Jennifer M. #

    Allergies are tricky things! I’ve had them all my life. Food & environmental. I’m pretty good at controlling by avoiding. I tried making a home made eye cream this week and used Palmer’s cocoa butter creme as the base. I had one of the worst allergic reactions of my life! I broke out in a rash on my chest and face, & eyes swollen. I was surprised because I had used the palmer’s cocoa butter lotion for stretch marks during my pregnancy. The difference: beeswax. The creme has it & the lotion does not. A lot of lotions & creams have it in them, especially the natural ones. I’m very allergic to bees. My reaction was to the beeswax. Just a thought that might help!


    July 19, 2013
    • Hi Jennifer – It’s not the first time I’ve heard of the beeswax allergy. Glad you figured it out! Make sure to stay away from propolis too then. Curious, do you tolerate honey well? Jennifer


      July 24, 2013
      • Jennifer M. #

        Actually I have never had problems ingesting even raw honey and never had problems with vitamins with beeswax in them. I can’t figure out why the topical caused such an extreme reaction. Maybe the quantity or concentration of it. Regardless I’ll just stay away. 3 days of swollen eyes, itching & benedryl with a 4 yr old and infant is way to many!


        July 25, 2013
      • Yes, staying away sounds best! At least you figured out what was causing the reaction. Jennifer


        July 25, 2013
  15. Amber #

    I have never had any kind of food allergy, but when I was pregnant with my son I used cocoa butter and quit using it because it didn’t work. When I was pregnant with my daughter I tried the cocoa butter again and immediately developed a red, itchy rash. When my son was little I tried some shea butter wipes. I felt terrible because I noticed he was getting such a red bottom. A few days after I started using them I started to scratch my ankles all the time (it was summer time and I have a tendency to sit cross legged and touch my ankles). The prolonged exposure of using the wipes caused the oils to seep into my hands and the touching of my ankles transferred it. It was HORRIBLE! I had to wrap my ankles at night since I would wake up clawing at them, and my poor little guy’s red tushy cleared right up after we got rid of the wipes. I used to always have cats growing up and always had really bad allergies (hay fever, etc). Turns out my hay fever is really mild, I am extremely allergic to cats and so is my son. (We discovered that when he was 1 year old). Both my kids have very sensitive skin, but no food allergies as well. It’s crazy how much shea butter is in everything lately-and not properly labeled as well. Bath and Body Works put shea butter in all of their shower gels over a year ago and I recently bought a can of sensitive shave gel that had shea butter listed nowhere on the front of the can, but listed in tiny print on the back of the can. Even if it’s not “technically” considered an allergy you know your body better than anyone else.


    May 9, 2013
    • Hi Amber – Shea butter is not a common allergy, but then again, we can develop allergies to literally anything – so it’s really not surprising. I wonder if you developed the allergy during your pregnancy or earlier in life, but didn’t experience a reaction until later in life. I’m sure with shea companies often use the latin name, just make sure you’re aware of what that is. Thank you so much for your comment. Wishing you a lifetime of shea free days :) Jennifer


      May 13, 2013
      • Lisa Marie #

        Actually, shea butter is a common allergen, just not a well documented one. Since it is in so many natural products these days, its hard to avoid, but I recently threw all the products I had containing shea butter out. I was having what looked like adult onset acne, and with all the other co-occurring factors in my life at the time, it took awhile to realize it was the shea in many of my favorite soaps and moisturizers that was causing the problem. My reaction did not seem like an allergic reaction as it did not itch, but like painful acne. I would definitely say avoid use on face, as use on my body seemed fine, but I won’t even do that anymore as I don’t want to risk cross contamination. I have recently found out sensitivity to shea is quite common in those who are sensitive to latex, which I am. Hope this information helps!


        July 8, 2013
      • Very helpful, thanks Lisa! I’m glad you’ve shared this here for anyone worried about a shea allergy.


        July 9, 2013
    • Abi #

      Shea Butter may sound out warning bells for those who have nut allergies but for those who have a LATEX allergy be warned. I have a latex allergy. After months of using this product, my eczema got worse. Now that I have stopped using this butter, my eczema has improved.


      June 23, 2013
      • Hi Abi –

        I’m so sorry to hear about your latex allergy and that it’s linked to shea butter. Thank you for sharing your experience. Jennifer


        June 25, 2013
  16. Julia #

    I’ve been using a body butter that consists of Shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil sweet almond oil and macadamia nut oil on my 5 mo old.. Her skin is still dry, flakey and she itches like crazy the next morning. I’m just wondering if this would be considered a “reaction”? Any insights as to whether I should be concerned and switch to another type of moisturizer?

    The calendulis cream by homeopathic Quebec has really helped her eczema patches on her face, but as soon as I stop using it her skin flares up again. Is it safe to use on a daily basis for long term? I’ve been using it on her face and am abit worried since we can’t seem to stop using it.


    April 11, 2013
    • Hi Julia –

      It’s very possible she’s reacting to the body butter you’re using. Is there any way for you to get your hands on at least raw shea butter and virgin coconut oil to try them individually on her skin and see how she does the next morning? I sell raw shea butter, but it’s a very big container. Maybe you can visit a local African store, usually the only place you can find raw shea locally. Whole Foods or health food stores shoudl sell virgin (cold processed) coconut oil you can buy. If you have to buy a big container, you can use the rest to cook with. If you test these out on her skin, at least then you’d know if one of those ingredients is one you need to avoid from now on. They are in a lot of natural balms and creams as you know. I don’t think jojoba would be an issue, but you never know. But I am concerned about the almond and macadamia nut oil because she could be be reacting to the tree nuts. Try testing just shea and coconut separately. See how she does. Then I’d try a cream without any nut oils whatsoever. Maybe something with sunflower seed oil, hemp, avocado, etc. I can help you, I’m sure I have something at the store you could try. In fact, I think the Eczema Ease Balm is free of all that, but I’d have to check, if you’re interested.

      About the Calendulis Cream. That’s really interesting, because most the parents I’ve spoken with say the opposite. My son reacts horribly when we were giving him steroid cream and then took a break, but with the Calendulis, he’s fine and doesn’t depend on it. What the homeopathic doctor told me is that if the cream doesn’t work, then there are more than likely still issues going on inside the body. He makes an oral homeopathic tincture that goes with the cream that I hope to start selling. He claims that if the cream by itself doesn’t work, the drops will allow you to see results. My guess for your son is that maybe there are some triggers he’s still dealing with that haven’t been identified. I’d love to talk to you about this more. Please call me or email me if you prefer. And I can send you the homeopathic doctor’s email if you’d like to reach out to him directly as well.


      April 12, 2013
      • Julia Luong #

        Hi Jennifer

        Thanks for your prompt reply to my inquiry. I first wanted to say your website has been a tremendous help for people looking to find something to help their babies with eczema. I know for me it has given me great insight on where to start looking for answers about eczema. In addition the scratch me not mitts and the calendulis cream have been great tools to control my daughters eczema.

        I would like to try a cream without any tree nuts to see how it goes. Would you recommend the eczema ease balm or the manuka cream? Any pros with going with one over the other? Would one help more with the itching than the other?

        I would like to contact the homeopathic doctor and ask him what exactly is in the calendulis cream to make sure I am safely using it on my daughter. We have been using it off and on for about a month now and since there is no real instructions or a complete ingredients list I am getting abit concerned.

        I am about to place another order for some more scratch me not mitts, calendulis cream and moisturizer but will wait to hear your feedback.

        Thanks for your time and your excellent website!



        April 26, 2013
      • Hi Julia – Thank you so much for comments! I’m thrilled the ScratchMeNot mittens and Calendulis Cream have been so helpful for your daughter – they’ve been lifesavers for my son as well. As far as the other creams, the Eczema Ease Balm helps my itchy eczema outbreaks pretty quickly, but doesn’t moisturize as well as the Manuka Honey Skin Cream. You could try a small Eczema Ease Balm and the Manuka Honey to see which you prefer. Please email me and I’ll send you Michel Groleau’s email – he’ll be happy to discuss the Calendulis Cream with you.

        Thank you.


        April 30, 2013

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    March 9, 2013
  18. Sheri #

    I never had issues with cocoa butter until I was pregnant with my son 25 years ago. During pregnancy I tried cocoa butter topically for stretch marks and as the pregnancy went on, I developed a reaction that began as slow and mild but which became very fast and strong. It should also be noted that I’d had a very problematic pregnancy with my previous child (toxemia and preeclampsia) but the pregnancy where cocoa butter became an issue was incident free and easy–until the baby came 5 weeks early. Any lotion, soap, or sunscreen (the biggest issue for me) with cocoa butter causes intense burning, rash, and sometimes hives. Yet I can eat chocolate without problem. I don’t like white choc or milk choc, but frequently eat dark chocolate. In the past few years I was diagnosed with autoimmune disease and began to develop food reactions. Sometimes–but not always–coconut doesn’t feel right on my tongue. I suspect I will have to use the once every 3 or 4 days rule to avoid developing a problem. I can no longer eat chicken, wheat, gluten– because of strong reactions. Oh yes–that premature son is also very allergic to cocoa butter.


    January 29, 2013
    • That’s very interesting and a little scary about the cocoa butter. It’s hard to imagine the cocoa butter caused early labor, but I guess there is really no way to know for sure. At least you now know to avoid it and the other foods that cause you trouble. I’m able to eat a food I’m sensitive to every other day and it seems to be ok – at least for coconut and almonds. Gluten, dairy, and refined sugars, I try to stay away from as much as possible, but do enjoy them as a special treat now and then. I mean, who can resist a good baguette or chocolate croissant when it’s just within reach? Certainly not me :)


      January 30, 2013
      • Sheri #

        Oh I’m not suggesting cocoa butter led to Alex being premature because by late in the pregnancy I was no longer using it. I believe thyroid disease and autoimmune disease is what led to early delivery. I just find it interesting how allergic reactions and sensitivities can develop after a pregnancy (or post-surgery or after a trauma). It also was interesting to me that Alex developed the same issue with cocoa butter products. And no, I never indulge in the foods or products I am strongly reactive to or allergic to. Chocolate croissants are off my radar forever (unless the gluten vaccine being studied actually ends up working)–although what I miss much more is French bread, anything made with a roux, and true French toast. But they aren’t worth it.


        January 30, 2013
      • Mmmm, yum. But I understand – knowing pain and discomfort will follow certain foods makes them so much less appealing. And you are right – it is interesting how intolerances or allergies can develop at any stage in our lives.


        January 30, 2013
  19. Sabra #

    I am an adult with a tree-nut allergy [not peanuts] and have never reacted to cocoa butter/shea butter/ coconut oil topically but like your son have troubles eating coconut. If I eat coconut [like in a cookie with coconut meat in it] I react a little. However, I am fine with coconut milk and coconut oil in cooking. I also used to be allergic to chocolate but out grew it! The world of allergies is a confusing one.


    January 16, 2013
    • It certainly is a confusing world! Did you find you reacted worse if you had coconut more than one day in a row?


      January 16, 2013
      • Sabra #

        I cannot remember all the details it was a long time ago. I am actually not fond of coconut desserts but there was this bakeshop that made really tasty cookies and I would walk by and get them more than once a week. I soon realized when I ate them that the joints in my fingers would swell and hurt the next morning. I also have a dairy sensitivity [not anaphylaxis] and if I eat it more than one day in a row it bothers me [headaches, low mood and if I eat too often, eczema]. I usually eat it on a 4 day rotation or not at all or stick to raw milk cheese or goat products which bother me less. I also have less or almost no problems with European dairy products. I think it is because of the different protein structure of Euro milk. This is a good read about it

        It’s a journey of self discovery :)


        January 16, 2013
      • It’s possible, but more than likely it’s what we put in our milk here, unless you drink organic milk.


        January 16, 2013

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