Balsam of Peru

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Handy Turnip

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I feel like this is a bit of a random question but here goes! My girlfriend gets quite bad eczema and has been undertaking patch tests to work out what her skin is allergic\intolerant to. One of the initial things that has come up is Balsam of Peru (Myroxolon balsmum\pereirae) which apparently used in fragrances and flavourings, in many things from perfumes, deodorants to spicy chili sauces and ketchups.

Another is wine. This has obviously rang alarm bells straight away. We obviously drink my kit wine on a weekly basis, and she doesn't seem to come up (eczema) in a way that would fit this pattern. Whereas if she has anything with chilis or red peppers in, then she comes up within 5 hours without fail. However, her skin definitely doesn't like it!

I just wondered if anyone had come across anything like this before, or was aware of balsam of peru being used in wine, especially in winexpert kits. I can pop them an email to ask but thought I'd try here first..
 

winemaker81

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Never heard of anything like this -- it may be a rare enough question that you should go ahead emailing the vendors whose product you use.

While I do not expect Balsam of Peru to be added to the grape bag, it might be added to F-Packs. The wines you're drinking that she is not reacting to -- any with F-Packs?
 

Handy Turnip

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Never heard of anything like this -- it may be a rare enough question that you should go ahead emailing the vendors whose product you use.

While I do not expect Balsam of Peru to be added to the grape bag, it might be added to F-Packs. The wines you're drinking that she is not reacting to -- any with F-Packs?
That's a really good point, I hadn't thought of f-packs. That would make sense if balsam of peru is used generally as a flavouring. I only make dry white wines, so have never made a wine with an f-pack, which could explain why she doesn't seem to come up with my wine. I'll send winexpert an email and hopefully they can confirm.
 

mocha

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Yes my friend, when I drink wine I get flushed almost right away, I have whats called MCAS its an overreactive immune/allergy response. Look it up online and see if her symptoms are consistent, many people have this condition and it may be the cause of her eczema. I found out after years of ignoring my symptoms that I am intolerant to dairy and gluten and its lead to a super reactive allergy response to all the things I love. I gave up dairy and gluten and I feel much better but the MCAS is here to stay. There are treatments. First get labwork including a CBC with differential to count eosinophils, then an elimination diet to figure out what's bothering you, eliminate dairy, wheat and soy for 30 days, see how you feel and if the eczema improves, then reintroduce soy over 2 weeks, then wheat over next 2 weeks then dairy last as its usually the culprit. Lastly after all that, take pepcid ac and zyrtec liquigels each night, it's an h1 and h2 blocker combo that may help diminish the symptoms. And before any of this, check with your Dr and allergist to approve, but I had eczema and this was my journey so far. It may help you guys too. If you ever want to discuss any of this you can friend me on Facebook at Mocha lamonica
 

mocha

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Oh it caught my eye when you posted balsam of peru, I'm a nurse and we put this cream on patients all the time, im going to be more cautious of this now because every once in a while I've told people in some cases it seems to make the patients skin worse.
 
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