What causes ‘pine mouth’? © Getty

What causes ‘pine mouth’?

Strange taste in your mouth after that pesto dish you ate a couple of days ago? The mysterious and bitter ‘pine mouth’ may be at work.

Asked by: Mark Buckmaster, via email


A few days after eating pine nuts, some people get a bitter, metallic taste in their mouth, which can last for weeks.

Research has linked the taste to a species of pine nut from China (Pinus armandii), but scientists are still trying to figure out what causes the strange taste and why only some people are affected. The good news is that while the symptoms are unpleasant, there are no long-term negative health consequences.

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