Raw Runner Beans Can be poisonous, you are warned … Updated

runner beans please cook them first

last night I was very ill, with what I thought was food poisoning and spent 4 hours in the bathroom performing an excorcism on my stomach contents via any available route, The cause turned out to be Raw Runner Beans !

raw runner bean remnants

I ate in total 15 whole Raw Runner Beans in their pod casings, remnants shown above, and then proceeded to feel extremely ill, this morning I feel drained but a lot better. Symptoms left over include tiny little flat dark red spots around my eyes. including as you can see quite a big red veiny mark on eyeball, so as you can see a real poisoning :

Props go to

rawfoodinfo.com which is where i pulled the quotes from the web in relation to this.

other green beans have similar issues, but I never experienced a reaction personally, like I did with Raw Runner beans, I swear previously I have eaten the odd raw runner bean, and not felt ill at all, I think maybe the quantity was the issue, but i would say the packet from Tescos was duly labeled with the words “do not eat raw”, although way to small to have registered on a visual scan, it needs to be in a much much larger typeface, it was in the second to smallest typeface on the packet. Some people may perhaps be immune to symptoms from this but I doubt it, as the chemicals involved are similar to cyanide, if youve safely eaten in the past the odd green runner bean direct from a plant and felt fine, and think im over reacting here, its probably just because you ate one young pod etc, ie a healthy person can tolerate a small amount probably with limited ill effects, and other varietys may contain less of the chemical etc, but certainly 15 large whole Raw runner green beans definately was, quite a severe poisoning, I guess out in the wilds ancestors would have informed you of this danger and passed the knowledge down, But in modern times this “Runner beans must be cooked” info, should definately be more widely known and promoted, and hopefully this post will serve as a warning to others.

Always cook your Runner beans properly and always cook other green beans also as this removes any danger by altering the chemicals in them, unless your sure your raw variety contains less of the poisonous chemicals.

allot of info here :

this page has allot of info :

Raw beans are poisonous because they contain prussic (hydrocyanic) acid, which is rendered not dangerous only by cooking. It was only in 1957 that prussic acid protein was discovered in green beans. A few hours after eating raw beans or bean seeds, some individuals become sick from low blood pressure, vomiting, stomach ache, circulation problems, convulsions, or heart palpitations. These poison symptoms are possible with all beans. The susceptibility to these reactions to beans is heriditary.

Because they contain protein – Phasin?, raw beans can result in nausea and vomiting in sensitive people, which can be disrupted by heat.

Green beans nourish the blood and strengthen the nerves and bones. They help reduce high blood pressure and improve the function of insulin. However, they cannot replace medical treatments for diabetes. They are prophylactic/preventive. Correct preparation: Always eat green beans cooked or steamed — as a side dish or a salad. Careful: raw beans are poisonous.

Plant poisonings are the most common cause of calls to the poison control center. Poisonous plants include arnica, Aronstab, henbane, raw green beans, holly, dieffenbachia, yew, monkshood, foxglove (digitalis), laburnum, autumn crocus, cactus with poisonous spines, lupine, cockchafer, narcissus, oleander, castor, poppy, hemlock, thornapple, deadly nightshade, Christmas star, meadow hogweed, bryony, green and unripe potatoes, green pieces of grown potato tubers lying on the ground, and also green, unripe tomatoes and many other flowers and berries.

I think all plants might have a little cyanide (correction apparently its lectins (phytohaemaglutinins)) as part of normal metabolism, but this is usually not a problem due to the small amounts involved. Most beans have a little, but the older, darker type of lima or butter beans have quite a bit. The modern white varieties have very little. When it exists in raw beans, cyanide is mostly bound to other chemicals as a cyanogen, which can release the cyanide when reacted with an enzyme also present in the plant. If the plant is injured or frozen, cell structures burst that normally keep the cyanide separate from the cyanogen and CN can be relased. In some plants, at some dosages, this can harm livestock or humans eating the material.

This doesn’t happen as often as you might think though because we soak, cook and dry foods like casava and beans so the CN is driven off into the air. Also, cooking can inactivate the enzyme so the realtivly indigestible cyanogens pass from us without releasing the cyanide. Most green beans would be OK to eat raw, but I would be careful about raw lima and butter beans of the old dark heirloom varieties, especially if wilted for a while before being eaten.

update 21/09/10 :

a quote below from : were you wondering site article here

“It came as a shock to me to discover that Scarlet and other runner beans should be thoroughly cooked before eaten due to the presence of lectin phytohemagglutinin, a chemical that causes red blood cells to clump together. This same hemagglutinin is responsible for giving the influenza virus its heartiness.”

63 thoughts on “Raw Runner Beans Can be poisonous, you are warned … Updated

  1. the bean as pictured at the top of this post, runner beans in the usa are probably called something else, anybody else know what their called outside the UK ?

  2. fine beans are probably ok, but to be safe lightly poach then chill them them when using them cold in salads, as cooking them is assured to break down the chemicals involved in the reaction.

  3. Are fine beans same as runner beans? I can’t seem to dig up anything on this. I bought a bag of Carrot and Fine Beans (200G) from Tesco, tempted to eat it raw. I just gobbled up sugar snap peas raw, and fine beans look somewhat similar. Can anyone confirm whether fine beans okay raw? If not, I’d stay away and find other edible raw vegetables – that’s the best!

  4. nod another person has said the same previously, in this case your right the spots went after a week not a day or two, its not exactly a selling point for runner beans though is it ? and when your throwing up so violently you burst blood vessels your not thinking about whether they’ll go away in a day or two, and note there are many things that dont go away after a day or two, and you should attempt to get a medical person to take them seriously.

  5. The red spots aren’t from the poisoning. They are burst blood vessels from you throwing up. Throwing up puts a lot of pressure around your eyes. They will go away in a day or so.

  6. I ate a couple of handfuls of raw green beans yesterday as a snack at work. by 1am I was in severe pain, weak and had a bucket in my lap. (sorry to be so graphic) but it is what it is. this lasted a good 6 hours. no fun when you have to work the next day.

  7. I ate cooked green beans out of our garden over the weekend. Our power had been out so I cooked them on the woodstove. I thought they were completely cooked. But by the middle of the night I had such pain in my stomach. not much vomiting or the other. The severe pain lasted until Monday nite. Could not belch, by last nite the pain has improved but my stomach feels like I was in a prize fight. I can’t stand to even touch it. I finally found out what I think caused this. Been to ill to look anything up. Any response to when this will go away would be helpful. Have only had broth and chicken noodle since. Don’t know what to eat?

  8. I was given a load of runner beans from a farmer I had been working for, I popped all the beans out and ate them throughout the day as a snack, the farmer told me he often rips off the odd bean and eats them raw so i assumed it was all good, a few hours later, very sick, vomiting, diarrhea!!! Now i know!!!!!!

  9. I felt very sick last night, nearly threw up, bad tummy this morning. I did some juicing last night, which included some raw runner beans! Now I know! Never again! Googled it this morning and found your site. Thanks for the info.

  10. Wow! This can be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Excellent. I’m also a specialist in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

  11. Tesco British runner beans from warwickshire, I ate just over half of a 225gram bag = big mistake. 4 hours after consuming the raw runner beans I was ill, stomach cramps, pains in my arms and chest and vomited over a 3 hour period.
    I’m sure most people can recall a time when they’ve drunk too much alcohol, you can’t stop being sick right! Even when you have nothing left your stomach spasims trying too clear all the contents. It cleared enough for me to go to work the following morning. I felt that bad I nearly called an emergency doctor. I can safely say they’re off the menu for the short term

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