Q. Both my husband and I ate pine nuts last Sunday. On Tuesday we both began to experience a horrible bitter taste. Now, nothing tastes good. Mint tea is the only thing that doesn’t taste bad.

Reading on your site that some pine nuts can cause this problem was helpful. I think it is imperative that we tell the grocer where we got the nuts about this problem.

A. Pine nuts are a delicacy that has been treasured for thousands of years. Native Americans prized pine nuts for their taste and nutritional value.

There are at least 20 different species of pines that produce nuts people eat. In Europe they are popular in pesto, salads and desserts such as baklava.

“Pine mouth” or “pine nut mouth” is a taste disturbance that can be triggered by eating nuts from Chinese white pine (Pinus armandii). The unpleasant metallic taste can last for days or weeks but eventually goes away. Although the underlying cause of this mysterious disorder has not been determined, researchers have suggested that chemicals used in the processing of these Chinese pine nuts might contribute to the taste disturbance (Journal of Toxicology, online, March 10, 2011).

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  1. Lou G
    Reply

    As one growing up in NE NM and eating pine nuts (pinons), I never had this problem. My problem is finding them from NM, and when I do they are very expensive. Thank goodness, cashews don’t affect me either with taste.

  2. AA
    Reply

    We experienced the same metallic mouth symptom after eating some pine nuts (from China) years ago. Now I make all of my pesto with blanched, sliced almond.

  3. MR
    Reply

    I had a similar problem, and I think it was from some pistachios. I did not have metallic taste, but my taste buds just seemed “off”. Even water did not taste right.
    Online, someone suggested taking alpha lipoic acid for this problem, which I did. My taste buds were back to normal within a few days.
    I’ve also read that activated charcoal can help. That would be two capsules with 8 oz. water, one to four times a day. Remember not to take charcoal anywhere near the same time you take medicines, as it will probably absorb them as well as anything bad you’re trying to get rid of.

  4. KVS
    Reply

    I keep all my nuts in the refrigerator after the bag has been opened because I hear they go rancid – this includes sesame seeds as well.

  5. AMM
    Reply

    Well since many cases linked to” the bitter mouth syndrome ” are linked to the ingestion of chinese pine nuts why the FDA still not acting on stopping the imports to the US?

  6. WEC
    Reply

    Once again products from China cause a problem. My question is and has always been, “Why are manufactured products, such as clothing and appliances, identified with the country of origin, but food items almost never are? Food products usually list only the distributor, but never the country of origin.

  7. CTB
    Reply

    I also had this problem from eating cashew nuts.

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