General Question

nebule's avatar

Why does celery make my tongue go slightly numb?

Asked by nebule (16436points) January 28th, 2010

..the tip of it generally… and is this a bad thing? because it doesn’t feel very good! :-/

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

12 Answers

The_Idler's avatar

most probably allergic reaction.

Do kiwi fruit and sometimes bananas make you mouth feel funny?

EdMayhew's avatar

Is it just celery that does this? I’m no doctor but if you don’t experience the same sensations with any other types of food I’d doubt it was an allergic reaction as there are many other foods with the same allergens in as celery. Perhaps could be that you have a sensitive tongue, and the fibrous texture of the celery acts as an abrasive, causing numbness. Try finding something else coarse textured, sugar coated candy springs to mind, and see if it prompts the same reaction.


Cupcake's avatar

I get the same thing… I thought everyone did.

marinelife's avatar

It is not an allergy. That happens to me with celery too.

Steve Mack, Post-Doc Fellow in Molecular and Cell Biology Roche Moceular Systems says:

“To start, here is a list of all the chemicals found in celery. Many of these have a broad range of activities, but I’ve narrowed things down into three categories of compounds. Third, and I think most likely, is the compound Eugenol. This is the active ingredient in Clove Oil, and is used in temporary dental fillings to deaden the nerve pain of a cavity. The numbness that you experience from celery might be due to the numbing effects of Eugenol on your tounge.”

TheLoneMonk's avatar

I get the same thing with certain types of almonds, apples and and ice cream. Oh, and cantaloupe. I wonder if they all have Eugenol.

shego's avatar

I was eating celery yesterday, and was wondering that. I thought it was normal, and never thought about any chemicals.

EdMayhew's avatar

Eugenol, that’s probably it! Good thinking @marinelife. I should’ve cottoned on to that on, as I make an all natural homemade local anaesthetic from cloves but I didn’t make the connection with celery.


Harp's avatar

I wonder why the effect wouldn’t be universal, then. I assume oil of clove has a numbing effect on everyone, but I don’t experience this with celery.

nebule's avatar

cool… thank you guys… specially @marinelife xx @Harp I’m interested in this too actually…why doesn’t everyone get it… it must be extra sensitive or something… hmmm…

EdMayhew's avatar

Well, celery is a plant and the amount of any substance within it is never exact, nor are peoples reactions. Maybe the area in which you live (or the area from which your local store buys their groceries) has celery that is naturally lower in eugenol. Also, if you get your vegetables super fresh it’ll be different to if you buy them from a supermarket where they’ve been on the refrigeration shelf for 3 days.


Garebo's avatar

It’s the phermones-they’re loaded with them, and you know it. Sorry, I can’t spell anymore because my spellchecker has been turned off somehow and someway,mysteriously. But I know celery is a strong (pher…) So, its hard for me too see you getting numb rather then excited.

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