Kale Allergy | Allergy

Kale Allergy

by Allergy Guy

Kale allergy is rare but not unheard of.  Several people have reported a suspected kale allergy on this site.

It is possible to become allergic to almost anything of course, but some allergies are more common than others.  Most allergies are suffered when people are highly exposed to the food.  Some people report allergies to kale the first time they eat it.  This does not fit the usual pattern of an allergy, but does not necessarily rule out an allergy either.

A more likely scenario is that someone became sick at the same time as trying the new food, and their body now associates that food with getting sick.  This is not the same as an allergy.  It is also possible that something else with the suspected food is causing the reaction.

Here are a couple of reports from people who think they have an allergy to kale:

I happen to love kale, but if I eat it, I suffer (from 8-24 hours later) severe cramps, chills, diarrhea, nausea, exhaustion….I feel like I have the flu. I get none of these symptoms from anything else in the kale family. And it doesn’t matter if it’s cooked, raw, baked, whatever. -Susie

I’ve eaten kale twice in my life. I made baked kale crisps and woofed them down one evening. Within hours I was nauseous, had stomach/intestinal cramps, achy muscles, and a fever of 101 degrees. A few weeks later I ate some kale in the school cafeteria and soon after experienced severe intestinal pains, achy muscles, and a fever of 100 degrees. Because I never get sick I was able to narrow down the reason I was sick was due to eating kale!!! Crazy. I’ve never heard of a kale allergy, but it’s good knowing others have experienced the same thing.  -Jean

Brassica Oleracea

Kale is a member of the Brassica oleracea species. This includes the following cultivars:

  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Collard Greens
  • Savoy
  • Kohlrabi
  • Gai Lan

If you feel you are allergic to one of these but not others, it is unlikely you have an allergy.

What is your experience with kale allergy?  Did you eat kale for a long time and then develop a kale allergy? What else are you allergic too?  Please leave a comment and share your experience.




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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Johanna March 10, 2018 at 01:43

I have eaten kale before. Today I ate more than I ysually do, Now 12 hrs later I am understanding that it is the kale that got me really sick.5


2 emily piescki February 18, 2018 at 10:00

I’m allergic to kale but no other cultivar of Brassica Oleracea. When I eat kale raw or cooked my throat get very irritated and swells a lot; my eyes water, and my sinuses and ears feel like they or burning and itchy. I feel it only a few moments after eating it, without medication this can last hours and its really scary and uncomfortable. Which is unfortunate because I love kale…


3 Kathleen January 29, 2018 at 06:35

I forgot to mention that my energy levels have desperately plummeted and my pain levels have increased. I thought it was because I quit Vicodin this past year. I’ve gotten off all medications. Anyway, I can hardly function these days. I kept thinking it was flare up with Fibro/Chronic Fatigue, but now I’m wondering because it’s become so bad (with no stressors, etc.). I’ve been going round and round trying to figure out what’s going on. Kale allergy? Hmmmm……thank you for informative article so I can check and see.


4 Kathleen January 29, 2018 at 06:27

I have been consuming large amounts (4 cups or more a day) in my smoothies for the past year. I had 2 kidney stone surgeries so wanted to stay away from spinach. I have changed my diet to organic, little chicken, rarely beef and some dairy (no milk). I had some excema on my heels for about 4 years, not terrible, but bothersome. The rashes there changed, spread to my toes, and now my arms from elbow down are constant with small hives. The dermatologist said she thinks my foot rashes are psoriasis. The rashes changed dramatically. The itching is insane! I can’t sleep much because of it. Hydrocortisone treatment isn’t helping. The itching/hives? seem to be spreading. It’s taking over my life. I have weaned myself off my BP med and Tramadol (for Fibromyalgia) which I’ve taken since 1999, thinking these meds might be causing the problem. Anyway, now reading about eating too much kale has me thinking this might be the cause. Things escalated since I’ve been doing my 2 daily smoothies. I’ve also gained weight, especially around my middle, where I’ve never experienced it before! I’m going to quit the kale and see what happens. I should have known~you can have reactions if you eat too much of any one thing. Feedback? I’m reading also that broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, sprouts may be a problem (?). Of course, I wouldn’t put those in a smoothie, but I eat a lot of these, as well.


5 Irene October 19, 2017 at 00:39

I have eaten kale, raw or cooked, and I love it. Yesterday I cleaned up around the kale in my garden – cut off old leaves, harvested some new. I had gloves on and my hands were find but the skin above the gloves broke out in large hives and a few oozing blisters. It was scary. Now I am afraid to eat kale. I cannot find anywhere if curly leaf kale has irritants in its curly margin tips. I would like to know – I found one post of a person who had the same thing happen but there were no follow-ups on that site.


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