What to do if I accidentally swallowed a cherry pit?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “what to do if I accidentally swallowed a cherry pit?” with an in-depth analysis of what should be done if you accidentally swallow a cherry pit. Moreover, we will also discuss what happens when you swallow a cherry pit and methods to eliminate any side effects.

What to do if I accidentally swallowed a cherry pit?

If you have accidentally swallowed a cherry pit as a whole, there is nothing to worry about. Drink plenty of water so that the cherry pit passes out of the body via stool. Swallowing cherry pit without chewing does not cause any harm. 

However, if you swallow a cherry pit after chewing it, it can cause the release of cyanide leading to nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms of mild poisoning. In this case, consult a doctor immediately to get rid of cyanide poisoning.

What happens if you accidentally swallowed a cherry pit?

Ingesting whole cherry pits is unlikely to be toxic. However, if you chew the pits, hydrogen cyanide is produced. Accidentally chewing and swallowing several pits may lead to symptoms like headaches, seizures, and difficulty breathing.

Cherries contain cyanide compounds (called cyanogenic glycosides) in small amounts found inside the hard-outer shell called the pit or stone. If someone accidentally swallows the pit, it will pass through the system intact and come out in the stool. Cyanide is released only if the pit has been crushed or chewed.

How long does it take to pass a cherry pit?

It takes two days for a cherry pit to pass if you swallow it; it stays in your digestive system for no more than two days.

Can you pass a cherry pit?

Unlike the fruit flesh, cherry pits are indigestible and will pass through your system whole and intact. So, when it reaches your intestines, it will pass right through without being broken down.

How many cherry seeds can kill you?

A cherry pit roughly weighs 1 gram. So, 30 cherry pits each weighing 1 gram having a Hydrogen Cyanide level of 0.17% will yield about 50mg of Hydrogen Cyanide, which is enough to kill you.

Does it hurt to pass a cherry pit?

Although the seeds of stone fruits naturally contain cyanide, small unintentional ingestions generally do not cause harm. However, swallowing, crushing, or chewing the seeds should be avoided.

What happens if you swallow a cherry pit while pregnant?

All parts of the cherry tree are toxic except the fruit. Poisoning is not expected when the hard pit is swallowed whole. The body does not digest the pit so it just passes through the gastrointestinal tract and is excreted in the stool.

Can a cherry pit get stuck in your intestines?

Swallowed fruit pits are no doubt much more common than realized. Rarely, they cause symptoms,and more rarely, intestinal obstruction.

Which fruit pits contain cyanide?

The seeds (also known as stones, pits, or kernels) of stone fruits like apricots, cherries, plums, and peaches do contain a compound called amygdalin, which breaks down into hydrogen cyanide when ingested. And hydrogen cyanide is a poison.

Signs and symptoms of cyanide poisoning:

  • General weakness,
  • Confusion,
  • Bizarre behavior,
  • Excessive sleepiness,
  • Coma,
  • Shortness of breath,
  • Headache
  • Dizziness,
  • Vomiting,
  •  Seizures 
  • The skin may be unusually pink or cherry-red, breathing may be fast, and the heartbeat may be slow or fast.
  • Acute ingestion of cyanide will have a dramatic, rapid onset, immediately affecting the heart and causing sudden collapse, a seizure, or coma. 
  • Chronic poisoning from ingestion or the environment has a more gradual onset.

How can you treat cyanide poisoning caused by chewing and ingestion of cherry pits?

The cyanide antidote kit consists of three medications given together: amyl nitrite, sodium nitrite, and sodium thiosulfate. The amyl nitrite is given by inhalation for 15 to 30 seconds, while sodium nitrite is administered intravenously over three to five minutes. Intravenous sodium thiosulfate is administered for about 30 minutes.

Hydroxocobalamin will detoxify cyanide by binding with it to produce nontoxic vitamin B-12. This medication neutralizes cyanide at a slow enough rate to allow an enzyme called rhodanese to further detoxify cyanide in the liver.

Can cyanide poisoning lead to any complications?

If left untreated, acute or chronic cyanide poisoning may cause:

  • seizure
  • cardiac arrest
  • coma

In some cases, cyanide poisoning may result in death.

If you suspect you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of severe cyanide poisoning, seek immediate emergency medical attention.

You can read more about cyanide poisoning here.

Conclusion:

In this brief guide, we have answered the question “what to do if I accidentally swallowed a cherry pit?” with an in-depth analysis of what should be done if you accidentally swallow a cherry pit. Moreover, we have also discussed what happens when you swallow a cherry pit and methods to eliminate any side effects.

If you’ve enjoyed ”What to do if I accidentally swallowed a cherry pit?”, take a look at ”What to do if I accidentally swallowed tea tree oil?” too.

Citations:

https://www.mashed.com/162371/what-happens-if-you-swallow-a-cherry-pit/
https://missouripoisoncenter.org/cherry-pits/
https://emergency.cdc.gov/agent/cyanide/basics/facts.asp

 

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.