Can You Be Allergic To Olives Symptoms & Diagnosis & Treatment

One kind of tree fruit is the olive. They provide a wealth of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and antioxidants.

It has been discovered that olives are a good source of the vitamins E, K, D, and A. Green and black olives are both good sources of calcium and copper, while black olives have a lot of iron.

So, can you be allergic to olives?

Yes, you can be allergic to olives. Olive fruit and oil allergies are uncommon but possible. Your body can actually become allergic to any food.

The prevalence of food allergies has grown over the past ten years, and children who have them are more likely to also have other allergies like asthma and eczema.

For more details, please keep reading.

Olive Allergy: What Is It?

It’s likely not the reason you came here, but there is a common allergy to olives. In Mediterranean nations, it is typical to be allergic to olive tree pollen rather than olive fruit, olive oil, or any other olive-derived products. Olive pollen is actually one of the main causes of seasonal allergies in the Mediterranean region, according to a 2012 study.

According to the study, there have been a few instances of food allergies to the olive fruit or olive oil as well as contact dermatitis. Twelve allergens have been found in olive pollen, though additional information may be revealed in follow-up studies. Olive fruit has only one known allergen. Due to this, allergies to olive fruit or oil are extremely uncommon but not unheard of.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) reports that there have only been three cases in which a patient has reported having a severe allergy after eating olives. According to one of these reports, a patient who had received allergy shots for olive pollen later developed an allergy to olives. An employee of an olive mill in another instance developed an airway disease.

Symptoms Of Olive Oil Allergy

An allergic reaction to food can cause a variety of symptoms. Most food allergy symptoms appear within an hour.

Symptoms of the respiratory system, gastrointestinal issues, or skin reactions may occur. The most common food allergy symptoms are respiratory and include:

  • swelling of the sinus cavity
  • increased head pressure
  • postnasal drip
  • sneezing
  • congestion
  • sinus headaches
  • asthma
  • excessive coughing
  • wheezing

Skin sensitivity is a common occurrence. Symptoms include:

  • redness
  • itching
  • tingling
  • swelling
  • hives
  • rash
  • eczema

Stomach aches, constipation, nausea, and vomiting are examples of gastrointestinal symptoms. Anaphylaxis may happen in extreme circumstances.

While olive oil can be a very beneficial oil for skin health, other healthy alternatives are available:

  • Antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E are all abundant in argan oil. The skin’s elasticity is increased by this non-greasy moisturizer.
  • Vitamins E, C, D, and beta-carotene are all present in rosehip seed oil, an anti-aging oil. It hydrates, protects, and nourishes the skin.
  • Marula oil has hydrating properties and can lessen irritation and inflammation. It is excellent for skin that is prone to acne because of its antimicrobial properties.

There are also alternatives to olive oil when cooking:

  • Coconut oil is a saturated fat that contains lauric acid, which may raise levels of “good” cholesterol.
  • Salad dressings are a great use for flaxseed oil, which is a great source of soluble fiber. Since it is not heat-stable, neither baking nor cooking should be done with it.
  • Oleic acid and antioxidants abound in avocado oil. Additionally, avocado oil might lower blood pressure. It is suitable for grilling, sautéing, stir-frying, baking, as well as for use in marinades, dressings, and sauces, and it can withstand high temperatures.

Diagnosis Of Olive Oil Allergy

It can be challenging to diagnose food allergies, including an allergy to olive oil. A skin prick test, blood work, or an elimination diet may be advised by your healthcare provider. These can detect an olive allergy but not an olive oil allergy.3

Keeping a journal could hasten the process of diagnosis. Keep a journal of your diet and note any symptoms as they arise. This can assist your doctor in determining the potential allergen that is causing your allergy. Remember, even if you are diagnosed with an olive allergy, it’s unlikely that you’re allergic to olive oil.3

Treatment Of Olive Oil Allergy

Olive oil should be avoided by anyone who is allergic to it. Given that olive oil is frequently used in foods, cosmetics, and other products, that can be challenging. Use caution when using the following and always read their labels:

  • Olive oil
  • Cooking spray
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salad dressings
  • Chips, popcorn, and other manufactured foods
  • Baked goods
  • Facial cleansers
  • Lotions
  • Shampoos and hair products
Can You Be Allergic To Olives Symptoms & Diagnosis & Treatment
Can You Be Allergic To Olives? Symptoms & Diagnosis & Treatment

Olive Oil Substitutes

If you want to use less or no olive oil, there are excellent substitutes that you can use. For skin health, try:

  • Almond oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Argan oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Apple cider vinegar

For cooking substitutes, try:

  • Grapeseed oil
  • Canola oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Walnut oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Butter or ghee

What’s In Olive Oil?

Take a quick look at the production process for olive oil before moving on to allergens. You can better understand what might result in an allergy to olive oil by understanding the procedure and the ingredients.

Although every region has its own procedure, there is a general process for making olive oil. Here is how olive oil is made:

  • The olives are first picked. As with fine extra virgin olive oils, or EVOOs, some olives are still hand-picked. But shaker harvesting equipment is used to harvest the majority of olive oils worldwide. The vibrations from this device cause the branches to tremble, letting the olives fall to a net or catcher below.
  • The cleaning follows. To remove any dirt, leaves, and stems, olives are washed.
  • Making olive oil as soon as possible after harvest is advised. In this manner, the oil acquires the crisp, peppery flavor of a recently picked olive.
  • Without using heat or chemicals, olives are ground to a paste using stones or a mechanical mill.
  • The paste is then placed into a centrifuge in most modern mills to separate the oil from the pulp as well as the water and solids that are naturally present in olives (in the past, woven mats and a hydraulic press were used to separate the solids). The oil is cleaned once more by a second centrifuge.
  • The remaining dirt and water are then removed from the olive oil using a filter or rack.

As you can see, virgin olive oil only contains olives as an ingredient. As a result, people who are allergic to olive oil are probably also allergic to olive fruit.

Should I Visit The Doctor?

Call 911 right away if you or anyone else is experiencing a sore throat, shock, a drop in blood pressure, anaphylaxis, breathing problems, or loss of consciousness.

It is best to see your doctor if you experience any unsettling symptoms after consuming olives or olive oil. To ascertain whether you are allergic, they will perform a skin prick test.


Although uncommon, an allergy to olives or olive oil is conceivable. Consult your doctor if you experience any symptoms after consuming olives or olive oil, including sneezing, congestion, postnasal drip, skin rashes, or stomachaches. To determine whether you have an allergic reaction to the olive fruit, they’ll probably conduct a scratch test.

The good news is that people who are allergic to the olive fruit can frequently consume olive oil. This is due to the fact that an allergy to olives is brought on by an olive protein. Olive oil only contains traces of the protein, so there may not be any reaction.

Unfiltered olive oil contains fewer proteins, making it a better option for those who are particularly sensitive.

Of course, before consuming olive oil or any products containing olive oil, anyone who thinks they may be allergic to olives should see a doctor.

It is much more likely that you have an allergy to olive pollen if you reside in an area where olive trees are grown. If so, you can probably eat olives and use olive oil in cooking. And that’s good news for you because we know your local olive oils are delicious.

Many thanks for reading.