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What Is Arugula?

Arugula can be used to make pesto.
Arugula salad with cheese, tomatoes and pine nuts.
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  • Written By: S. N. Smith
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 June 2014
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Arugula (Eruca vesicaria sativa) is a leafy green herb of the mustard family. Known also as rocket, Italian cress, roquette, and rucola, it has elongated dark green leaves that are lobed like the leaves of an oak. In the ground, the plant resembles a loose lettuce with long, slender leaves.

This herb is related to both the radish and watercress, and the flavor of the leaves is similarly hot and peppery. The leaves can be between 3 and 8 inches (7.5 and 20 centimeters) in length, depending on the maturity of the leaf. Native to the Mediterranean region, arugula has been grown as a vegetable since the Roman era. The Romans ate the leaves, used the seeds to flavor oil, and made aphrodisiac and medicinal compounds from the plant.

Arugula is very low in calories and is a good source of vitamins A and C, folate, calcium, and magnesium. It can be eaten raw, added to salads with other salad greens, or cooked. The leaves are excellent sauteed lightly in olive oil or steamed and added to pasta dishes. The plant can also be made into pesto and served with pasta or potatoes or as an accompaniment to roasted or grilled meats.

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Wild plants have smaller, spicier leaves than the cultivated variety. Arugula is relatively easy to grow in the home garden. When the plants go to seed, the edible flowers may be collected and used in salads. Succession plantings ensure a supply of fresh leaves all summer long. It is worth noting that the older the leaves, the more intense the flavor. Younger leaves are tender and have a milder taste, and therefore are best for salads. Older leaves may be slightly bitter and are more appropriate for sauteing or steaming.

Once harvested, the leaves spoil quickly and should be used within a couple of days. Cooks should rinse them thoroughly to remove any sand or soil and dry them well in a salad spinner or between layers of papers towels. They can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator until ready to use.

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Discuss this Article

anon956569
Post 84

I have been growing a eating a lot of arugula this year and suddenly after a few days eating it, I too began to develop first thick tongue, then rubbery mouth feel, then after eating more days later, swollen upper roof of mouth, and finally recently some irritated, near ulcer like sores on my lower gums along with lymph node soreness under the chin.

With the latter symptoms I thought I was coming down with a throat infection but did not suffer the other usual symptoms of throat infection, except minor sinus drainage/mucus production.

The sores continue to sting over a day later which is a pity because I have several healthy plants outside that were waiting to be eaten.

P.S. I think it affected me more due to the times I had an acidic, vinegary salad dressing on it. That seems to break down the leaves more while they are still in your mouth, or at least that is my suspicion. However, even cooking it to make it taste far more mild it still caused the swelling allergic reaction.

anon951227
Post 83

I thought I would try baby arugula. So I ate it for a few days and noticed that my nose and eyes are itchy. That's the only thing I had different in my diet, so I am thinking I am allergic to it. I am glad I had none of the other symptoms. So I have stopped eating it. Just wanted to throw my 2 cents in. Hope it helps someone else.

anon945903
Post 81

A couple of years ago, I found out, that after eating arugula I got a stomach ache, and had pain around my solar plexus and through to my back, which could last up to several hours.

I also get nausea, sweating and just feel thoroughly sick. I wonder what it is that causes this reaction. I get the same reaction even if I just eat one arugula leaf by mistake, almost as severe as well. I hate it. No more arugula for me. --Denmark

anon945075
Post 80

I wondered if my problem rings a bell with anyone. I recently developed a problem swallowing. Water felt like hard bubbles going down my gullet. My GP thought it could be reflux and gave me medication to suit. I also had a pain in my back as well. I am waiting for a hospital appointment with ENT. I had a salad which contained rocket and suddenly my symptoms became worse. I felt as though the back of my throat had something stuck in it. I realised I had also been adding rocket to my morning smoothies in small quantities. A light went on and I checked online and found this site. I wonder now if this could have been building up in my system and is now causing me this terrible, painful swallowing.

anon942719
Post 79

I love this stuff and have been eating it for years. Last week I had a salad and had a mild reaction. It felt like my mouth was burnt (like when you have a drink that's too hot). Ulcers followed but all went back to normal after a few days. I could not pinpoint the cause at the time because I'd eating a few different things and had also been to the dentist that day.

This week however, I had a similar salad and the reaction was more severe. Firstly, my throat glands swelled and then my gums inflamed, tongue went numb, my mouth became very sore and it's the third day now and most of my mouth has ulcers, blisters or feels like it's been slashed with a knife. My digestive system has also mildly been affected too. I'm pretty sure it's the rocket. It's a shame because I love it but I'm not going through this again.

Interesting that I have developed this reaction as rocket is something I've eaten many times over the years. Has the leaf evolved somehow or am I just less resistant to its effects now?

anon941387
Post 77

I have never heard of this website until I made a Google search for arugula. I am so pleased that I found it since it answered a mystery. A few days ago, I bought a bay of baby arugula which I used as the main ingredient in a salad. The arugula was absolutely delicious, mild but with a peppery tone, and the large salad was all I had for dinner.

A few hours later, I went to bed and was horrified to awake some hours later with terrible diarrhea (frankly I did make it to the toilet in quite enough time). I had never had anything like this happen to me in my life. I felt immediately that it was the arugula, but have never heard of this happening to anyone after eating arugula. I thought maybe the arugula was contaminated.

It hit me that I should go online to see if there were any comments regarding arugula. I now realize that I may have had a reaction to the arugula. Thank goodness I found this website. Thanks for the information.

anon930144
Post 76

I am so thankful to have found this string of posts. After months of trying to narrow down what could possibly be making me so sick, I figured out today that it's arugula.

I love it and have eaten it most of my adult life, but in the last few months I have been getting extremely sick after eating salads. At first I thought it was the restaurant or bad fish, but I recently started buying it again to add to my salads at home and wow. Horrible burning pain in my stomach and intestines that turns to nausea, extremely painful gas and bloating, chills, the mouth waters, sweating, followed by watery diarrhea. I have been close to throwing up several times.

It has been seven hours today since I ate it, the pain has subsided but the gas and rumbling are so insane I had to quarantine myself for the rest of the night.

anon350972
Post 74

Sorry to all the people who suffer by eating arugula, especially since I just learned arugula is a 'healthy food' that promotes a healthy pancreas. I did a search on what foods to eat for a healthy pancreas and arugula is on the list. I cannot remember if I ever added this to my salad-fixings(?), I'm almost afraid to give it a try after reading about mouth sores and projectile vomiting, etc.

I will give it a try keeping in mind all the symptoms I've read here in case it happens to me. God richly bless everyone!

anon336979
Post 73

Thank you all for posting. I have eaten small amounts of arugula that I have grown organically in my garden for several summers. Now that it is available in my grocery, I have been eating it more, incorporated into salad. Yesterday I had a mixed salad at lunch and felt very fatigued in the afternoon. Just before dinner, while out walking around our garden, I consumed just a couple of leaves off a very young arugula plant. By dinner time I had canker sores at the base of my tongue and my mouth was very dry. My mouth is still abnormally dry feeling this morning. I have also had a sore spot in my gut for a couple of days, which I hope will go away since I will stop eating arugula.

Thank you all again for posting your arugula allergy symptoms.

anon335940
Post 72

It has been a long time since I ate arugula. Now I have it in my garden. One week ago I put it into my usual salad, and today I did it again. After two hours, my daughter, who is five years old, complained she had a sore tongue. I told her it was a blister. Now I feel the same in my tongue and throat. It must be the arugula.

anon334635
Post 71

I bought two large bags of arugula two weeks ago and have been sprinkling in it dishes and salads. Over the course of these two weeks, I began to feel progressively more ill with constant nausea, fatigue and headaches. Finally last night, after having an arugula salad, my face began to go numb. I'm glad I have finally made the connection.

anon330832
Post 70

Wow, am I glad I found this website. love arugula and have it in my garden. After eating a lot of it, my tongue, mouth tissues, roof of mouth, and throat all have canker sores. The pain at times is unbelievable. I kind of suspected it was the arugula. Had the dryness also after eating it.

anon324697
Post 69

I like the taste of rucola (arugula or rocket salad) very much. But I suffered a lot from unexplained cramps and severe watery diarrhea after many meals before I cut it out of my diet. I also have occasional similar problems with kale and broccoli. They are related, but other vegetables in that family like cabbages or cauliflower never gave me problems. I wonder what is the common factor? I have an allergy to spinach as well, but this is not from that plant family. Any ideas?

anon310834
Post 68

I used to have bouts of vomiting and diarrhea on a regular basis and couldn't figure out the cause. Then I accidentally bought a bag of arugula salad because I thought it was spinach, and that helped me pinpoint my allergy.

About two days after I ate the arugula, I started feeling nauseated and had stomach cramping and bloating. Later that night it developed into projectile vomiting and diarrhea with hives. I threw up an entire, whole leaf of undigested arugula that was still in my stomach after almost 36 hours. My entire body swelled up and turned beet red, especially my genitals and my face. I did not go to the hospital because my throat didn't close, plus we were on vacation staying in a hotel. My husband got me some ice and put it on my back and after about an hour the swelling and redness went down.

In retrospect, I know I should have gone to the hospital. I saw an allergist who did not believe it could be arugula, but after a full battery of allergy testing we couldn't find another cause. He said there was no test for arugula allergy, prescribed an Epi-Pen, and advised me not to eat any more arugula. I stopped eating it and the symptoms went away, but a few months later I accidentally ate some at a restaurant. I downed some Benadryl right away but still had vomiting later that night. That confirmed it and I haven't eaten it since.

I've noticed I get similar symptoms on a milder scale sometimes when I eat related vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, radish and mustard. I try not to eat those now, too, but it's difficult. Last night we went to a Japanese restaurant and were served plates garnished with kaiware. I ate it and noted the peppery, bitter taste. We googled it and and saw that the daikon sprouts are related to arugula. Luckily I did not get sick! I won't eat them again now that I know what they are.

moonbeam
Post 67

Just a quick update. I am now over one year on since I cut Arugula (rocket) out of my diet and I have not had one single incident of throat/tongue swelling, blisters, ulcers, etc. So glad I found this site. I thought I was stuck with the symptoms for life!

anon308666
Post 66

I have been eating rocket(arugula) for about six months and enjoyed it, and then suddenly, I ended up with extreme dry mouth with burns and ulcers on my tongue. I have worked out that it is definitely rocket, so back to good old lettuce.

anon294757
Post 65

I looked up "arugula allergy" and found this post. All of your symptoms match mine. My throat swells up, tongue swells and is blistery, and my cheeks also swell. I thought it was a dental issue but it happened today as I was eating a salad, and I've experienced milder symptoms eating arugula before. It was even an organic salad. I'd like to learn more about what exactly is causing it.

anon289280
Post 64

I used to eat arugula regularly from my garden, but I have developed an intolerance to arugula. If I happen to get even a couple leaves in a salad, I'm puking the whole night.

I have hay fever, but no other allergies.

anon287274
Post 63

Wow. I stumbled upon these postings. I've been growing arugula in my garden for about a year. I'm a vegetarian and have been a raw vegan for the last couple of months. I really like spicy foods and have been munching from the same patch of self-propagating arugula all season. I've had no adverse reactions to arugula until recently, about two weeks ago. I got blisters, swelling, numbness, sore throat, run down, and sometimes felt a bit itchy -- many of the same symptoms mentioned by others. It happens two or three hours after eating the arugula. I feel better anywhere from a day to two days later. I narrowed my reaction down to arugula last night.

I grow my arugula along with a mixture of other greens and it's all strictly organic. As it's now August and the arugula is more bitter now than earlier in the season, I wonder if that has something to do with the reaction and potency of the plant chemistry.

I was going to tear out the arugula and compost it, but think I'll just open the fence and leave it for the rabbits. Thanks for the postings. I thought I'd have to go to a specialist to figure this out.

anon283962
Post 62

I must be an alien. I can eat dirt. I'm genetically Hungarian, 100 percent. We eat all kinds of stuff. My wife is Dutch and ate this salad green in Rome years ago. I planted wild arugula for her. It is an acquired taste. I don't spray or poison my plot.

It is very interesting to hear about all the reactions to this vegetable. I can only presume that the more civilized we become, the farther away from natural foods we move. The Salicylates may be the culprit! I've been known to eat this while picking it, without washing it. We prefer the really hardy taste of fully mature arugula. I'm truly shocked everyone has had these reactions.

anon261934
Post 61

I'm so glad I looked on this site! I ate arugula happily last summer, but this year, I have had awful ulcers along my tongue and a swollen and numb feeling on my tongue. I had put it down to a bit of filling falling out, and had booked in to see the dentist, but then wondered if the arugula was the culprit. I've never been allergic to anything in my life, but many of the comments seem to fit with what I have experienced. Cutting it straight out of my diet.

jabuka
Post 60

anon234791: small, young baby arugula leaves are not peppery or spicy, but when they get a little bigger they have loads of flavor. I mix some arugula leaves with other lettuce because by itself the salad would be too strong. But you are right, baby arugula is kind of bland but still very nice.

anon245392
Post 59

I had arugula yesterday and it didn't bother me but, I think my husband had a reaction to it because he became ill hours later. We were trying to figure out what made him sick because I ate it too when we went to an Italian restaurant. I had no reaction -- strange.

anon234791
Post 58

The description of arugula says it's supposed to be hot and spicy. However, I recently bought some fresh arugula at a farmers market, and then I used it as a topping on a pizza.

Not only did I find the arugula to be not hot or spicy, I found it very boring and determined that it really didn't add much flavor to the pizza.

The only other topping I had on the pizza was canned mushrooms, so it wasn't like the arugula had any other strong flavors it could be overpowered by.

Sorry to say, but I was a bit disappointed with it. I'm glad I paid only $1 for the bunch.

anon233589
Post 57

I like arugula but had a severe reaction (nausea, stomach pains, projectile vomiting)after consuming a few bites of a salad at an upscale Italian restaurant. I was having dinner with business colleagues and barely made it to the restroom before becoming violently ill. Very embarrassing, and I will be sure to avoid arugula at all costs and keep a bottle of Benadryl close at hand!

Thanks for the informative posts.

anon230187
Post 56

I've had a crazy craving for Arugula all through the summer and now into fall. I could and would eat a bag of freshly harvested organically grown Arugula. Then in the past two months, I have also had a sudden onset of sore, dry mouth and swollen tongue episodes. I felt that it had/has something to do with my "love" for Arugula.

My doctor and my TCM practitioner said it wasn't possible. Subsequently I am being tested for Lupus, Sjogrens Syndrome, HIV, and a bunch of auto-immune diseases. Thanks to this forum I think I have found the problem.

anon216481
Post 55

Wow I just eat a whole bucket of this stuff. I love it. I put olive oil and white balsamic vinegar on it, and stir it up good. Do not eat it dry. It is awesome. Eat it young and tender.

anon215862
Post 54

Just had arugula at daughter's wedding and missed every part of her wedding reception after the first bite of an eggplant arugula dish. Violent vomiting and stomach pain as though I'd been poisoned. Spent the whole night back at the hotel clutching the toilet bowl or lying with my fevered head on the cool bathroom floor tiles. Not fun. Total bummer.

moonbeam
Post 53

P.s. thought I should also mention the loss of taste! As if it's not bad enough that its like chewing on razor blades to eat while my mouth is so sore, I can't taste anything for at least a week after each episode, certainly not anything hot, spicy or acidic.

Plus, the throat swelling almost had me driving to A&E because it was like breathing through a pinhole. Fortunately. I waited and eventually after sucking ice cubes it came down a little. I will definitely take the advice on here to keep liquid antihistamine in the medicine cabinet to swish if I accidentally eat some in a salad or on a sandwich. Thanks everyone!

moonbeam
Post 52

I think I'm allergic to rocket (arugula). My Doc says there's nothing wrong with me and I might be depressed! The reason I'm depressed is that for months I have suffered from throat, tongue and cheek swelling followed by the most horrendous burns, blisters, ulcers and sores in my mouth and throat that last weeks and then I start to eat again and the whole process starts over.

I'm going to cut it out and will update soon. Fingers crossed. I only started eating rocket in salad a couple of months ago, so it all makes sense!

anon191699
Post 51

This goes with post #50. I forgot to mention that i also had a small side salad that had arugala in it with my meal that night

anon191397
Post 50

Wow. I thought I was the only one this ever happened to. I got the same symptoms as the first posting about the burning mouth. It happened to me when I was drinking cocktails with rum and dipped bread into olive oil with some hot spices in it. It nearly choked me to death, and then I felt run down and sick with scalding mouth for two weeks.

I looked it up and found “scalding mouth syndrome,” which I have never heard of before. It's somehow related to an oral allergy syndrome, where if you are allergic to some types of pollens, there are certain foods that are related that can be cross contaminated and cause severe allergic reactions.

anon187187
Post 49

I never had a reaction to arugula until today . I work on an organic farm and discovered that I love the bite that arugula has and I often munch on it while harvesting. I even grew some in my own garden this year. Today though, I ate some and within a few hours my mouth, throat and tongue all felt like I burned them on a hot drink or food. I started feeling blisters in the top of my mouth and when I looked, there were white raised blisters and one big red blister toward my throat. My tongue feels a little thick, but luckily, my throat did not close up. I took an antihistamine, but it doesn't seem to be helping. Arugula was the only thing I'd had this afternoon besides water.

The only reason I can come up with that the arugula caused this effect on me this time and not any other is the time of year. The weather has gotten really hot, some of the arugula is bolting (putting on flowers), and it was spicier/hotter than usual so maybe some chemical has built up in the plant causing this. I will not try arugula again this season, but may again next spring while it's still cool and the plants are new, just to see if that was the cause. Hopefully, this does not cause a weakness in my system to other similar greens.

anon172051
Post 48

Since reading these posts I am convinced I also have an allergic reaction to arugula. I get mouth and throat ulcers, sore gums, swollen tongue and virus like headache symptoms which seem to start a couple of hours after eating it. It can take weeks to clear up the ulcers and feel better.

It's a shame because I do like it in salad! But definitely not worth feeling so unwell!

anon171399
Post 47

I've been googling to try and find out if rocket is high in salicylates. I've been super itchy with hives and occasionally get the swollen up throat and mouth thing - exactly as described above, and experienced it again after eating dinner with rocket in it.

The dermatologist in the hospital thinks it is salicylates sensitivity. Lots of fruit and veg are high in salicylates, which is hard because I'm a vegetarian.

anon170260
Post 46

I've never liked the stuff and pick it out of my salads. I wish these chefs would stop using it as I find it to be an irritant to my mouth and throat. I don't care how "cool" everyone else thinks this nasty stuff is, please spare me the irritation. --nrbill

anon164769
Post 45

These comments on eating arugula confirms that I too have an intolerance to this leafy herb/veg. Within two hours of eating it I have to stay close to a loo for the rest of the day! I'm grateful for finding this information.

anon164233
Post 44

I want to thank you guys - and whoever is running this board.

For the past week I have had the weirdest thing going on in my mouth. It was painful to eat and especially affected the tongue. I remember last week, when I had a salad with arugula in it, and it was after that.

Weird thing. Then I went today to buy packaged spinach and accidentally got arugula because it looks so much like it. I had not made the connection about the arugula until I came here.

I came here because I looked up arugula, thinking I would keep it instead of the spinach. I wanted to know the nutritional benefits. Thank God I hit this site. I had been wracking my brain wondering why the tip of my tongue still hurts so bad after a week and why it's whitish.

I am super healthy and have no stds, etc. Thank you, all of you, for your posts. I am highly suspicious arugula is the culprit. I'll be returning the arugula.

anon157832
Post 43

Thank God I'm not crazy! Why don't food allergy sites mention this allergy? My family and friends thought I was mad when I wondered if it could be rocket that caused me to have severe nausea and stomach cramps after eating certain salads and sandwiches.

They convinced me it was the other ingredients (bleu cheese, chicken, etc.) as the rocket was always organic or home grown.

Today is the third time having this reaction after eating it and it is the only common ingredient I have eaten. I certainly won't be eating it again!

anon155139
Post 42

My wife just ate arugula for the first time. She had a few medium size leaves and with in the hour her tongue, lips, throat began to swell. She was unable to swallow and fortunately did not go into acute anaphylactic shock.

My question is why is there no information on any of the medical sites other than "lettuce allergies" with none of these dramatic symptoms noted. be careful out there.

anon142697
Post 41

I've always wondered if I was allergic to Arugula because I get a weird numb feeling in my mouth a day after I eat it. Everything tastes weird and bland for about a week after I stop eating it except for very mild sauces and such. Mild salsas and other spicy food is all of a sudden too hot to eat -- and I eat hot peppers for snacks all the time. I love arugula so much I eat it like popcorn and can't get enough. Is this a particular reaction to arugula?

anon134740
Post 39

it is recommended to have Benadryl at home if you are an allergy sufferer, especially food allergy. please before you eat arugula next time have the presence of benadryl in the house.

anon119036
Post 38

Arugula poisoning! That's what I call it. I recently discovered that I am allergic to arugula. Two doctors, two ENT specialists and a dentist all misdiagnosed my condition.

While suffering through the sore mouth, tongue, lips and cheek, I would occasionally have a salad with arugula in it and each time would observe that something in the salad made my condition worse. I saw a dentist about the blister behind a tooth and he said it was a bad tooth and scheduled a root canal. He showed me the x rays of my teeth (which looked OK to me) and said that the 'untrained eye' probably couldn't see the bad root.

He did one thing right. He gave me antibiotics to bring down the infection. That did clear it up, but just as I was completely healthy again, I ate some more arugula. That night I relapsed into stomach cramps, diarrhea, and extremely sore mouth (again). I am not allergic to anything else but this became all too obvious that arugula was the source.

I was originally diagnosed with stomatitis, then oral thrush and none of the treatments for these helped. I cancelled my appointment for the root canal as I did not need it. That dentist, like many other docs, just wanted another paying patient. That's why they are 'practicing' medicine. They do these things at our physical, financial and emotional expense.

I am now in day six of my relapse and each day is progressively worse. It will probably run its course in a few more days, as seems to be the pattern, but I cannot help thinking that there must be help available for this affliction. I cannot find any info about this and would appreciate any data anyone can share.

anon117466
Post 37

So relieved to see these posts. I am also sensitive or allergic to arugula. First time I realized it was two summers ago. Ate it daily for about a week and ended up with the worst bout of canker sores I could have possibly imagined. Hundreds and hundreds that became infected. I had to eat nothing but ice cream or popsicles for two months straight. Ruined my summer!

So, yesterday, I decided to try some again just to see whether the sensitivity had been a fluke or worked itself out. Unfortunately, no. Haven't felt this uncomfortable in ages. Terrible indigestion, swollen throat, inner cheeks, gums, tongue. Nearly rushed myself to the hospital because my throat was closing up. I'm sure the only thing that saved me was doing breathing and relaxation exercises to stay calm. That and a bit of coffee to help bring down swelling.

Will never eat the stuff again.

anon113349
Post 36

I ate organic arugula salad four days ago and when I ate it I thought there might be a leaf of a different species in it. It tasted hot like coriander seeds and seemed to stick to my throat. I swallowed it. My throat has hurt ever since. It feels swollen and I've felt ill and run down with pains in my stomach and abdomen and now I have awful diarrhea. I have been put off eating rocket and I loved it before.

anon111833
Post 35

I'm lucky I have no allergy to it. Great taste. I love it. Maybe beer protects me.

anon111196
Post 34

Arugula tastes awful. I don't like the way it tastes.

anon107177
Post 33

I have a bad reaction to rocket as well. Just a little reaction in my mouth, just itching a little. But a very bad reaction to my intestines. This starts 30-60 min after eating it. Cramps and running to the toilet where everything comes out: diarrhea until watery. It feels like my intestines are completely empty after this. I have D-IBS, so it may be a severe trigger for that.

anon100270
Post 32

if I eat even a small amount of arugula, I get badly swollen eyelids, tingling and sometimes swelling around my mouth.

It's very weird. I am not allergic, never have been, to anything else.

I do suffer from chronic, long term candidiasis. Would this be significant?

anon82970
Post 31

For two years I couldn't figure what I was allergic to. It was arugula and I recently ate arugula this week again by accident. My entire mouth, and gums swell with a lot of discomfort. My throat gets sore and the outside corners of my lips/mouth go numb. It all seems to return to normal within a couple of weeks.

I am surprised and bummed I cannot eat this delicious summer veggie. I only eat organic as well!

anon82735
Post 30

I ate rocket leaves in a mixed salad along with crab. The following morning my mouth was swollen on one side, lips were sore and throat and tongue feeling strange.

As the day progressed the swelling became worse, took some anti-histamine to alleviate the problem. It didn't work. Husband took me to the hospital and I was diagnosed with oral thrush! Sent home with an anti fungal. Over the course of the next few days the symptoms got worse I had hundreds of ulcers all over mouth, tongue, soft palate and problems swallowing. Visited the doctor and she thought it was nothing to do with the rocket salad.

Have been unwell for over a week now and still have the swollen mouth, the sores have joined together. I think back to last summer when I visited a consultant who specialised in oral problems. I had been getting clusters of ulcers that took a long time to heal.

Now I look back and think about the salad leaves I had been growing in my garden, including rocket. After eating them I have to say I did get a bitter taste and then a sore mouth but just thought that the salad aggravated the already erupting mouth ulcers. I can only think that these leaves contain some chemical that causes allergic reactions for some people.

I can't seem to find very much about allergies to leaves. Usually the regulars, nuts, pineapples, kiwis. Hope someone has better evidence of rocket being a source of allergy!

anon80960
Post 29

Does anyone know of having symptoms to eating spinach? When I eat spinach, my stomach hurts, I get burpy and heartburn, my body temperature drops, and then a few days later I get a horrid breakout of pimples. I am trying to figure out if it is the oxalates in spinach that make me sick. Do you have suggestions for seeing any sort of doctor?

anon80050
Post 28

This is a weird plant for some and I did not know what it was until I had the symptoms for the third time in my life and found the jar of pesto sauce my friend used had this herb.

I can taste it in food and even smell it before I eat I am so sensitive to it. If even one bite gets in my mouth I can't even force myself to swallow it is so bad. Nice to know others have made the same find to really nail it down to this plant.

anon79471
Post 27

Thanks to those who shared about their allergies to arugula. I narrowed my symptoms down to arugula several years ago after first thinking it was shrimp then ruling that out. At the time there was no web info on arugula allergies.

It was my Mom's favorite garden veggies and she would bring bags to our home for us. After a while I had increasing symptoms of swollen mouth tissue, tongue, lips and finally swollen throat. The allergy doctor ruled out shrimp so I knew it was arugula. Does anyone know the chemical or compound that sets this off? Thanks and good cheer.

anon78414
Post 26

Is cultivated arugula the same plant as what we know as rockcress here in the Texas hill country? The leaves smell the same as arugula, the flowers are very similar (4 petals windmill shaped, white) and it grows best in cool weather. Anyone?

anon76874
Post 25

I love arugula. But now I can't have any. Let me explain.

A few years ago I developed pain in my thoracic/scapula region. I suspected gallstones, but ultrasound said no. HIDA scan said 11 percent ejection fraction. Something definitely wrong with my gallbladder. Doctors were not able to determine the problem.

I stopped eating any fat at all. No cheese, dairy, oil, etc. etc. The pain has stopped.

However, now any time I eat arugula, I get the same pain. So I understand it stimulates bile. I'm wondering why it would trigger pain. Any ideas anyone? Thanks.

anon66092
Post 24

I like the taste of arugula, but hate the after-effects that plant gives me: painful and swollen throat which can last days.

Those symptoms may happen because I have a pseudo allergy. I cannot eat any food containing preservatives, even only citric acid, MSG and E number agents.

I cannot drink stinging nettle, roiboos tea or orange juice either. I heard that bio resonance can help people with allergy problems. Has anybody ever tried the treatment?

anon63539
Post 23

To anon63213: I'd be careful before testing your theory out! From my experience I got sicker and sicker each time I ate arugula (the vomiting, fever and chills kind), until the last time I was ready to go to the hospital. Thank God I figured it out that time, or I don't know what would've happened the next.

I've been told that when you ingest something you're allergic to, it builds up in your system and so each time you eat it you get a stronger reaction. I don't know if that's technically true, but it certainly was true in my experience!

anon63213
Post 22

Wow, how enlightening to find these other posts. I did a search for arugula allergy not expecting to find anything.

A few times over the last year I, too, have been violently sick (vomiting with some diarrhea, and low grade fever) after eating arugula salads - but only when I also ingest alcohol. I'm talking one beer over a long period of time, so I don't believe it's the alcohol, but the combination of arugula and alcohol.

I may try eating arugula without alcohol to see if that makes a difference, but as sick as I got this last time I don't know if I have the courage to eat arugula again. I'm thinking about visiting a naturopath to investigate further.

anon61629
Post 21

Ah yes--arugula--once my favorite green. I'd have it every week On our trip to Paris last year, I bought it at the farmer's market and ate it every day.

On the plane home, I noticed my tongue had become sore and I could barely swallow. I didn't make the connection and continued at home (after my tongue got better to eat arugula). Then I got a huge long white blister on the side of my tongue which prevented me from eating anything. My dermatologist diagnosed it as pemphigus, a dangerous, sometimes fatal condition.

I was scheduled for a biopsy, but the condition went away. At that time I searched the web for other accounts of arugula sensitivity and could find none. I'm delighted finally to have my suspicions confirmed.

anon60528
Post 20

I love arugula because I love the taste as well as I understand that it has good health benefits. However, whenever I eat arugula I get a skin rash. Maybe, like anon5650 said I believe I might need to check on my gall bladder --nfzn

anon55668
Post 19

I am deathly allergic to cilantro (think acute anaphylactic shock), but I have had no issues when eating arugula. Reason being is that cilantro is completely different from arugula -they're from entirely different plant families.

Just wanted to put out there that being allergic to cilantro is in no way indicative of you possibly being allergic to arugula.

anon53657
Post 18

i aree with anon51508. i love arugula. i put in my salad, and i eat it plan with no reaction. it also helps clean out my system.

anon52650
Post 17

Now I am not a doctor or claim any sort of experience in the field of medicinal training, but I do have a suggestion if you have a reaction to this plant.

I have had problems with the gall bladder lately due to eating too many fatty foods and sugar. I have learned that arugula is an important plant for cleansing the gall bladder. The reactions that some are having to this vegetable may be a sign of detoxification of the gallbladder.

An extremely compromised gall bladder may be cause of the adverse reactions and could be your body telling you something is not right within your digestive system. Peace

anon51508
Post 16

I just became ill from an arugula salad as well. I am also allergic to cilantro, so they are probably related.

anon47030
Post 15

I *love* arugula and eat it daily with no side effects. I usually have a small salad with arugula for lunch and dinner.

anon39975
Post 14

i ate a whole plate of arugula last night for the first time in a salad, and felt mildly nauseous and then sort of lightheaded and then i got cotton mouth! it was so weird. it went away in a few hours but after reading some of these posts and realizing that it is an herb, i'm not so surprised! won't be eating it again.

anon38630
Post 13

i discovered, and fell in love with, arugula last summer. unfortunately, i am very allergic to it. my mouth and tongue and throat swell and i get lesions on them. it is very painful to swallow and the swelling can be seen in my face too. i have 'tested' with a few pieces because i loved it so much, and still get a reaction from just two leaves. i have no other allergies. the arugulas were organic too. some were grown by farmers and others from the grocery. as for the person posting about cleansing, i do cleanse and don't think this has any bearing on the reaction.

anon37791
Post 12

I recently ate an arugula salad before work. It was organically grown in my garden. By the time I got to work I couldn't swallow, felt there was a golf ball in my throat, my mouth and tongue were so full of sores I couldn't even open my mouth. I had no idea it was the arugula that caused it. Four days later the symptoms finally tapered off so I could eat again.

So, I was nibbling on a few arugula leaves in my garden and one hour later I noticed the swallowing symptoms again and my tongue felt swollen. I took a benadryl and targeted the arugula as the culprit of my illness. In the morning my cheeks were even swollen.

So, although I love the taste, I will be cautious not to eat this particular leaf. I'm sure it could close off a throat of someone who has an allergy. Thanks for sharing....

anon35209
Post 11

I also found that I have an allergy to arugula; The interior of my mouth gets red and swollen ; sometimes the lips also; the reaction does not occur immediately after eating the salad but 3 or four hours later and can last for a day. I am glad to see that it is not my imagination.

anon28374
Post 10

I am also allergic to arugula, but the reaction I get is quite different from the ones described. I was wondering if anyone else got a reaction from eating arugula that involved the swelling of the tongue and throat, itchy/scratchy/sore feeling on the tongue, and overall feeling rundown? I don't get any of the effects that are described in some of the other posts.

After I realized I was feeling this way, as a result of eating arugula, I have obviously cut it out of my diet completely (since the swelling of the throat worried me). I have no other food allergies (or any allergies for that matter) and this one only developed when I turned 16. Does this happen to anyone else?

narwhalann
Post 9

I, too, get horribly ill for hours every time I eat arugula, and until now thought I was the only one this happens to.

It took me a few years to figure out it was arugula making me so sick, but once I did (about 12 years ago) I have never eaten it again. I know it's not a a question of its not being organic, because the stuff I was eating was. There is apparently just a strong concentration of some phytochemical in it that I can't tolerate. And like anon2214 I am not allergic to anything else. It's strange.

I'm sorry for everyone else suffering with this problem, but it's kind of nice to know that I'm not the only one. It would be nice to have some explanation for it, but I don't have much hope of that happening.

anon16525
Post 8

The last few times my husband has eaten arugula he has also been extremely ill, vomiting and diarrhea. As organic farmers raising our own arugula, we are not concerned about contamination.

It has taken us a while to pin point the cause of these late night "sick sessions" due to a diagnosis of Lyme disease about a month ago; we weren't sure whether they had something to do with the disease. We are still wondering if this new intolerance to arugula is something brought on by the Lyme disease. Curious, isn't it?

jjstoyfarm
Post 7

Once arugula has gone to seed, how do you harvest the seeds? Or do I need to. Do they just reseed themselves? My arugula has gone to seed and I would like to continue raising it.

catapult43
Post 5

I am sorry to hear that arugula causes allergies in some people. I do not have any experience in that area, but for those who are not allergic, arugula is such a nice addition to the salad. It has a nice peppery taste and it adds a little kick to the salad.

I grow it in my garden, it is so easily grown. Actually it propagates itself. Every spring I have a new crop, without even trying. Very often I just go to my vegetable garden and eat the leaves right there and then. I do not use any pesticides.

harmony33
Post 4

Allergic reaction or over reactions wile eating or after eating Arugula... Arugula the super healthy and nutritious Lettuce greens can only cause trouble ...1) if it not organic and eventually contaminated/ toxified through chemicals used by farmers !

so make sure that you find a organic source and also learn to do/use kinesiology tests on the all the foods you eat ... to find out if the food is compatible with you and you will never have reactions like that. It also enables you to find the best quality of foods on any market by testing it on the spot!.

2)If you have a parasite manifestation, parasites don't like Arugula at all and can cause cramps around the navel section after eating it... and also the clear indication of detoxification after you eat arugula the body release the toxins through the skin only if the colon are clogged full of toxins fungus and waste ...When you eat arugula you always kill plenty parasites and funguses .. so when the body want to get ride of the free radicals and can’t eliminate it through the natural digestion it come sometimes out through the skin as a reaction...

3) Good to know ! Any form of skin reactions are an clear indication of a psychosomatic illness /Problem ...

Emotional Blockages cause that distance you create. you maybe don’t like to open up to people because you don’t want to get hurt you don’t trust… you don’t want to get intimate.

What happened ? I recommend you to do an REB session to clear up past childhood programming.. and you will set your self free instantly. open up your heart experience bliss and unconditional Love

You have to learn again to trust and love your Brothers and sisters all around you... we are all one...we are all God children and we need to feel love to resonate to connect to vibrate and be able to give true love to each other … this is the only way to live a happy and successful life.

The skin is the border to the outer world and you need to let us in again. let the one’s who love you come closer. don't shy back...

You deserve to be loved. you are lovable and there are out there so many wonderful people who love you.

Love and light for your optimum health recovery

Sigrid Ribbe H.H.P.

SNSmith
Post 3

Sometimes, those with plant allergies such as hay fever or rose fever may experience unpleasant symptoms after eating plants in the same family as the ones they're allergic to. I don't know if this is the case with your reaction to arugula, but it's worth thinking about.

I'd avoid arugula! Each time you eat it, you may be increasing your chances for a more severe reaction. Perhaps discuss this with your physician, particularly if you have any other allergies (even nonfood). And remember, you can develop food allergies at any point in your life, so just because you grew up eating a particular food, doesn't mean that one day you won't become sensitive to it. Bummer! -- S. N. Smith

caribbeankit
Post 2

Too sad. I can only say that if I don't consume arugula on a weekly basis I get your symptoms. I am an aruguladict. My favorite is arugula with: (1) pignoli nuts, (2) parmagianno and (3) vineagrette (virgin olive oil + balsamic vinegar). It's the perfect antipasta before veal.

Suggestions: Take some Benadryl before eating your arugula. AND don't drink wine while eating the arugula.

anon2214
Post 1

I get deathly sick every time I eat arugula. I was wondering if this happens to anyone else. I do not have any other food allergies. Something in arugula makes me have the dry heaves for three days after ingesting it. I also have disorientation symptoms and the effect of eating arugula is like some sort of chemical poisoning. I would really appreciate some sort of information if anyone has any.

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