Hatte Schneewittchen Heuschnupfen?

"What did Snow White have to do with hay fever?" - most will ask themselves that now.

Well, the Grimm Brothers' fairy tale may need to be rewritten. It is much more likely that Snow White fell into a deep, shock-like sleep not on a poisoned piece of apple, but rather because of a cross allergy.

What is a cross allergy?

At first glance, apples and birch pollen don't necessarily have much in common, but some proteins in nature are really so similar that even our body's immune system no longer recognizes the difference. This is particularly common with food and pollen. In allergy sufferers, this can lead to a so-called "pollen-associated food allergy".

In this allergic cross-reaction, the body reacts with an excessive immune reaction, although it does not come into contact with the allergen to which it was originally sensitized.


Common symptoms due to a cross-reaction can be: tingling, itching and swelling of the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat, gastrointestinal complaints, redness, itching and rashes on the skin as well as circulatory problems that can lead to shock and loss of consciousness.

Such cross-reactions can occur in many variations and are often difficult to identify. It is also difficult to predict how high the risk of reactions to certain foods is. However, some cross allergies are very likely, others are less common.

Most common combinations

Cross-reactions often occur between tree pollen and apples, pears, apricots, cherries, kiwi, nuts and soy. There are also frequent cross-reactions between mugwort pollen and lychee, mango, grapes, carrots, celery and spices, or herbs, as well as cross-allergies between grass and grain pollen on the one hand and mango, tomato, soy and legumes on the other (the examples do not place any value on Completeness!).

A special case is the so-called mite-crustacean-mollusc syndrome, in which the sensitization takes place via house dust mites and the allergic reaction finally occurs when eating invertebrates such as mussels, oysters, shrimp or snails.

Poison or allergy?

So the range is wide and the symptoms are often simply not recognized. What is interesting for the patents is that desensitization treatment often not only alleviates hay fever symptoms, but also downregulates cross allergies.

In order to save the honor of the Brothers Grimm, one must finally admit that a poisoned apple is better suited for the dramaturgy of the story than an anaphylactic shock.

You can find more tips about skin health here: https://le-manoir.de/dermablog/

Your dr. med. Peter Kessler