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LuckyGuy's avatar

Did I just overdose on ginko nuts?

Asked by LuckyGuy (34857points) December 2nd, 2012

I used to love ginko nuts in Japanese custard. There would always be one hiding in the dish as a pleasant ending.
I was recently at an Asian market and bought a 100gm pack of about 50 ginko nuts. About an hour ago I tried eating a few and they were bitter so I decided to try deep frying them. I wihipped up an egg and flour and dropped them into bread crumbs and salt and then into hot canola oil to deep fry them. They were delicious! I ate 1, then 5 more, then 5 more then…. Now the package is gone!!!
I just read that they are toxic and you should never eat more than about 5 in a day! I did not know that.
Am I going to die? Should I have Ipecac at the ready? Will this give me prostate cancer?
Has anyone here ever eaten a full package of ginko nuts – and lived to tell about it?

I promise to check in tonight so you don’t need to worry.

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16 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

Holy Carp! I just read this on Livestrong:
“Ginkgo seeds can cause serious health effects and are not considered safe. Roasted ginkgo seeds, when taken in doses higher than 10 seeds, can cause difficulty breathing, seizures, loss of consciousness, a weak pulse and shock. Raw seeds are even more poisonous and can cause seizures and death, MedlinePlus reports. In addition to the seeds, the fruit of the plant also can cause serious health effects and should not be consumed.”

I ate about 30 (to 40) raw seeds, deep fried, at 4:30 PM. it is now 5:11 PM and I feel fine. How much time do I have left?
Should I write a letter to my future grandchildren?

bookish1's avatar

Have you thought of calling a poison control center, @LuckyGuy ?
I’m going to look this up and post when I find out more.

bookish1's avatar

Just found this on a foodie blog:

“The taste is complex and utterly good to eat—so much so that when I returned home that evening, I toasted in my cast iron skillet the entire bag of ginkgo nuts that Kenji and I had collected, and ate them all in one sitting, perhaps 30 nuts in all.

Handle With Care

The next morning I awoke to find that my hands were molting. Thin flakes of skin were falling like dandruff from my palms and my fingers still reeked of eau de Camembert. Yet I did not think much of my molting until I Wikipedia-ed “Ginkgo biloba” and found that it had this to say about my delectable treat:

When eaten in large quantities (over 5 seeds a day) or over a long period, especially by children, the gametophyte (meat) of the seed can cause poisoning by MPN (4-methoxypyridoxine). MPN is heat stable and not destroyed by cooking. Studies have demonstrated that convulsions caused by MPN can be prevented or terminated with pyridoxine.

Some people are sensitive to the chemicals in the sarcotesta, the outer fleshy coating. These people should handle the seeds with care when preparing the seeds for consumption, wearing disposable gloves. The symptoms are dermatitis or blisters similar to that caused by contact with poison ivy. However, seeds with the fleshy coating removed are perfectly safe to handle.

By Monday morning the molting had subsided. I never did fall ill from consuming more than five nuts, which just goes to show that that even the all-mighty Wikipedia should be read with a good dose of rational deliberation. So now I’m back at it, scouring the city for ginkgo nut trees. Next time I’ll clean the flesh off wearing gloves and perhaps limit my intake to 20 rather than 30 nuts in one sitting, but such will be the extent of my caution.”


bookish1's avatar

Do you live alone, or can you have someone check on you overnight and tomorrow, @LuckyGuy?

bookish1's avatar

According to Wikipedia, “The toxicity of ginkgotoxin can consequently be relieved by taking vitamin B6 supplements.” But I found nothing about whether this is for emergencies or over the long term. Might not hurt to go get some from a pharmacy if you can.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@bookish1 Thank you! I love this place.

No, I don’t live alone. It is 7:00 and I am fine. I’m watching “I Dream of Jeannie” on MeTV as part of a Larry Hagman tribute.

I believe I detect a hint of tumescence below my waist. Is that from the ginko nuts or the images of Barbara Eden.

“Jeannie! What are you doing?”
“Master! If you do not know, then I am doing it wrong! ”

bookish1's avatar

You’re welcome. I love it too, @LuckyGuy.
Good luck and may turgidity be the worst of your problems tonight!

LuckyGuy's avatar

9:00 PM – No effects seen .
Turgidity and/or tumescence are nowhere to be seen. I might need to go to another website for that.

Lest you all think I was unprepared… I had activated charcoal and Ipecac at the ready.

chyna's avatar

I hope you haven’t overdosed.
Of course you are at the ready for anything that may happen in life.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Don’t use the Ipecac, it is just another poison. Dose yourself with charcoal BEFORE you have any symptoms.

I am not a doctor

My kid’s pediatrician had me throw out the Ipecac twenty years ago. Call 1–800-222–1222 the Poison Center. Don’t wait for effects.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’m fine. All systems working normally.
Exxxxcept for thissss nervvvous twitttttch and my blinnnnking leffffft eyeee.

I saved the empty package and looked carefully. There was no warning label anywhere. Then again, it was “product of china” so I should not be surprised.
I promise I will be more careful next time.

You guys are great!

Unbroken's avatar

Glad you’ll be around for future fluthering.

LuckyGuy's avatar

It’s now 5:30 AM, 13 hours post-consumption. I had a peaceful, normal sleep.
I’m fine. :-)

I guess you learn something new every day.

Unbroken's avatar

That you shouldn’t wake up at 530?

LuckyGuy's avatar

That if I drank about 80ml less fluid before bed I’d reach my 500ml capacity at 6:30. :-)

bookish1's avatar

How is your skin looking today?

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