What do you call anything that can cause allergic reactions in you? For instance, when you drink soya milk, your body may react to having it. So, what is "soya milk" called confronting you? Or a particular brand's olive facial cream which can cause some problems to your skin after rubbing. The only word that comes to mind is allergic that according to the dictionaries it doesn't have such a connotation. I wonder if you let me know what do you call all the eatable/useable stuff that can cause such allergic reactions in you?

Example: Eggplant is a / an .......... vegetable to all people specially those who suffer digestive problems.

What adjective should I use to fill in the blank?


Anything which causes an allergic reaction is called an allergen.


The adjective form would be allergenic, though I don't believe it's very widely used.


  • Thank you very much @Showsni. :) But please let me know what adjective would you use for that? – A-friend May 28 '19 at 11:28
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    "Allergenic" is actually pretty widely used, though I think its antonym, "nonallergenic," may more common – and "hypoallergenic" (meaning "unlikely to cause an allergic response") is probably even more so. – Nanigashi May 28 '19 at 21:06

I am not sure there's a good specific word you can use to fill in the blank in your sentence. You could describe something that is unsuitable for human consumption as toxic or poisonous, or maybe unhealthy if the effects on one's body are less severe. You could also use indigestible if the specific problem is that it is not easily digested. Regarding eggplant, it is not true that everyone reacts badly to it - in fact, a lot of people like it and consider it healthy, so I wouldn't use any of the above italicized words to describe it. If someone has an allergy to eggplant, as @Showsni says, you would describe eggplant as an allergen. AFAIK, an allergic reaction to food will often manifest itself as a skin problem like an itchy rash, or may cause throat tightness or swelling. If someone gets a stomachache or experiences other digestion issues after eating something (and especially if this particular food doesn't normally cause these problems) they might say "I had a bad reaction to the eggplant I ate last night." Even if the particular food normally causes some sort of digestive issue for someone, I am not sure you would describe that as an allergy (though I could be wrong). You could be more specific about the particular problem and say "I can't eat eggplant; it gives me terrible heartburn and gas and makes me bloated" (for example).

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    An allergic reaction is a specific medical condition involving release of histamine, with fairly characteristic symptoms. A digestive reaction to a food may be an allergic reaction, or may be some other sort of issue. – David Siegel May 28 '19 at 21:03
  • Thank you @Mixoltdian. Just would it be possible to say: "I had a bad allergic reaction to the eggplant I ate last night."? – A-friend May 29 '19 at 3:16
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    A-friend - you should only use the term allergic reaction if you know you are actually allergic to the thing you’re describing - as @DavidSiegel points out, an allergic reaction is a specific medical issue where histamine is released. – Mixolydian May 29 '19 at 12:14
  • @A-friend The sentence "I had a bad allergic reaction to the eggplant I ate last night." would be perfectly grammatical. It might, however, be inaccurate if the reaction was digestive but not allergic. – David Siegel May 29 '19 at 15:25
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    @A-friend I am not sure “I have...” works well in this situation. If you just ate something, say eggplant, that you’re allergic to and let’s say you’ve started breaking out in hives you could say “I’m having an allergic reaction to eggplant”. But if the situation is that you are allergic to something but you’re not currently experiencing that reaction (since you haven’t eaten it recently) you would just say “I am allergic to eggplant” or “I have an eggplant allergy”. An allergic reaction is something you have only when you are triggered by an allergen. – Mixolydian May 29 '19 at 18:24

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