Some say celery makes their mouths feel numb. I definitely cannot concur, but apparently, this is a very real phenomenon for many people. It turns out, tingly tongues aren’t just a coincidence. Celery actually does have the ability to numb mouths, and an allergic reaction may be to blame.
The link between leafy stalk and oral sensation came to my attention on Twitter, where users gathered to fact check the feeling. "Is this normal?" some wondered. "Does anyone else feel this?" more mused. Tweeters came through, sharing explanations and solidarity. As it turns out, people whose mouths go numb upon eating celery are in no short supply.
Celery contains eugenol, a chemical compound scientists liken to an anesthetic. Apparently, it’s the presence of eugenol in celery that accounts for its tongue-numbing properties. The compound can also be found in cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, among other places. People react differently to celery and degrees of severity range from mild to severe. Please, acquaint yourself with your allergies before barrelling into an uninformed taste test.
Nonetheless, if you find your tongue tingling after a celery snack, know you’re not alone and there actually exists an explanation for the confusing feeling.
How many of you have felt your tongue go number after eating celery? Tell us about it in the comments.