Are Cherry Pits Poisonous

Cherry seeds have a substance called amygdalin, which releases cyanide when metabolized. The seeds have enough amygdalin in them to release cyanide when you chew them. So, the cyanide only results in minimal toxicity, and the body is capable of eliminating it.

How many cherry seeds can kill you?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “how many cherry seeds can kill you?”, the reason behind the harmful effects of cherry pits, ways to tackle the swallowing of cherry pits, and detailed steps to pit cherries.

How many cherry seeds can kill you?

No, cherry seeds do not kill you but, cyanide poisoning may be caused by eating 3–4 Morello cherry pits or 7–9 red or black cherry pits. Chewing cherry pits causes the release of amygdalin, which the body converts to cyanide. Cherries contain between 3.9 and 65 milligrams of amygdalin per gram of weight, depending on the variety.

Cherries contain trace amounts of cyanide compounds (cyanogenic glycosides) in the pit or stone, which is why they are called cyanide cherries. If it is accidentally eaten, it will pass through the system undamaged and exit via the stool. Cyanide is released when the pit is crushed or eaten. When eating a fresh cherry, it is very difficult to separate the pit from the fruit. The amount of toxin present in a normal meal is so minimal that it seldom results in food poisoning.

Is it harmful to consume cherry pits?

Knowing how much is too much when it comes to cherry pits may be tough to determine at times. After eating a few cherry pits, it is very rare to get ill from cyanide poisoning. Minor cyanide poisoning manifests itself in the form of dizziness, headache, extreme anxiety, and vomiting. Symptoms of cyanide poisoning include high blood pressure and trouble breathing; kidney failure; convulsions and coma; and other symptoms.

How to Swallow a Cherry Pit?

Do not be concerned if someone consumes a cherry pit (s). Rinse their lips with water and give them some. If you have any concerns, you should contact the Poison Center. Every day of the week, the poison center is available to react to poisoning emergencies and to provide information.

Facts about Cherry Pit Poison

Cherry pits may be pulverized in smoothie blenders to make a smoother smoothie. There is just a tiny amount of cyanide emitted. Keep an eye out for signs of poisoning and call the Poison Center for comprehensive information as well as follow-up phone calls.

What happens if I eat a cherry pit?

Don’t be concerned if you or your child accidentally consume one or two cherry pits.

While cherry pits in their whole are not toxic, they may suffocate young children and cause intestinal obstruction.

It is dangerous to chew and swallow more than a few pits at a time, especially for small children.

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The ingestion of pits from fruits such as cherries, apricots, and peaches has been related to poisoning in children. Headache, nausea, seizures, and convulsions are some of the signs of acute poisoning.

Cherry pits should not be used in smoothies

Cherry pits contain cyanide, which is poisonous. As a result, your body is only able to detoxify a tiny percentage of the poisons it encounters. This indicates that you will be OK if you accidentally consume a large number of seeds. Putting 20 entire cherries in a smoothie may result in cyanide poisoning, which can be fatal.

It is thus not recommended that cherry pits be used in smoothies! They are much more harmful and lethal than any other kind of seed. If you eat an excessive amount of cherry pits, get medical attention immediately.

How to pit cherries?

  1. Remove the seeds from a bowl of cherries before eating them or using them to make a delicious smoothie. Pitting your cherry may be done using a pitter or by hand, depending on your preference.
  1. Remove the cherry stem first, and then the rest of the cherry. Take hold of the stem and pull it out.
  1. Make a longitudinal cut in the cherry. Take, for example, cutting a globe in half. Make a large incision in the cherry using a sharp knife.
  1. Tip number three: Use a cherry cut to open it. It should easily separate into two pieces, one containing a seed and the other containing none.
  1. Separate the cherry pit from the rest of the cherry. Remove it and place it in the same container as the rest. Once the cherry halves have cooled, arrange them on a serving dish and serve immediately.
  1. This technique is effective whether you’re preparing a dark chocolate cherry smoothie or an orange cherry blossom smoothie. Keep in mind that the seeds should not be consumed. Cherry pits are very poisonous and should be avoided at all costs.


In this short article, we provided an answer to the question “how many cherry seeds can kill you?”, the reason behind the harmful effects of cherry pits, ways to tackle the swallowing of cherry pits, and detailed steps to pit cherries.

Are Cherry Seeds Poisonous? Know The Facts

Are Cherry Pits Poisonous?

The last time you were at a birthday party or a wedding and had that piece of cake with the cherry on it, did you have the cherry and eat the pit too? The chances are that you took it out from your mouth and placed it neatly on your plate. We’re pretty sure you’ve often asked yourself, “Are cherry pits poisonous?” The answer is, yes!

The seeds in cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, and pears contain cyanogenic glycosides or cyanide. So, does it mean that if you swallow the pit from a cherry or eat apple seeds, you will get poisoned? Well, not really. It depends on many factors including how many seeds you consumed.

Read on to find out more about this tasty and nutritious fruit, and really, are cherry pits poisonous enough to kill a human.

Cherry Pits Contain Cyanide

Cherry seeds have a substance called amygdalin, which releases cyanide when metabolized. The seeds have enough amygdalin in them to release cyanide when you chew them. So, the cyanide only results in minimal toxicity, and the body is capable of eliminating it.

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Chewing cherry seeds can be hazardous, as they break down and mix with the saliva in our mouth to the release the cyanide. Children are the most vulnerable, as they may not know how to eat the cherries correctly.

How Many Cherry Pits Can You Eat?

So, are cherry pits poisonous? What is the lethal dose? The answer depends on many factors.

If you swallowed the seeds whole, you might not have to worry about it. But, do not grind them and put them in smoothies or shakes. That will definitely release the cyanide and make you sick.

The amount of cyanide needed to prove lethal is equal to 1.5 times the numerical weight of that person in milligrams. So, to kill a 150-pound adult human, you would need around 100 grams of cyanide.

A single cherry contains 0.17 grams of cyanide per each gram of seed. So, depending on the size of the pit, it will take a lot of freshly-ground cherry seeds (approximately 588) to give you a lethal dose. So, swallowing one or two of them accidentally won’t kill you.

What Happens If You Eat a Cherry Pit?

This will depend on three primary factors:

  • The number of seeds consumed
  • How the seeds were consumed (swallowed or chewed)
  • Were the seeds ground or roasted?

The answers to the above three questions will more or less tell you if you should rush to the emergency room or sit it out and let your body do the detoxifying. Of course, if you have symptoms like vomiting or a headache within a few hours of eating the cherry pits, you should see your doctor immediately.

Now that you know fruit seeds are poisonous, be sure to spit them out when you consume cherries, apricots, or plums. It is also advised not to experiment with the dried seeds of these fruits either. Simply dispose of them in the trash bin.

Cherry Seed Poisoning Symptoms

In cases of mild poisoning, the symptoms include a headache, dizziness, confusion, anxiety, and vomiting.

More severe cases will show signs of high blood pressure, difficulty breathing, and heart and kidney failure. And, in extreme cases, severe poisoning can even cause coma, convulsions, and death due to respiratory arrest.

Case Studies and Experiments

An experiment carried out at the Department of Pediatric Intensive Care at Erciyes University in Turkey revealed the poisonous effects of apricot seeds, which have similar ingredients as cherry pits. A total of 13 patients with cyanide intoxication due to apricot seeds were admitted, and a retrospective review was done on all of them.

They had symptoms like coma, convulsions, hypotension, metabolic acidosis, hyperglycemia, and more. They were accordingly treated and discharged in three days on an average.

So, the study proves that apricot seeds are poisonous. But in this case, we do not know the number of seeds consumed. Similar results may be applicable for cherry pits as both have cyanide, but further research is required.

Final Word on Eating Cherry Pits

In conclusion, cherry pits are poisonous. But, your body has a defense mechanism to detoxify the naturally-occurring toxins in certain types of foods you eat. Your immune system protects you against these mild intakes.

So, be mindful when consuming cherries, as you do not want to end up in the ER as a result of cherry pit poisoning.


“Is it true that cherry pits contain enough poison to kill you?” Quora;, last accessed August 2, 2017.

“Yes, Apple Seeds and Cherry Pits Contain Cyanide,” Science Notes, June 9, 2016;, last accessed August 2, 2017.

Sun, J., “8 Foods That Could Kill You (If You Eat Enough of Them),” Bon Appetite, October 15, 2013;, last accessed August 2, 2017.

Akyildiz, B.N., et al., “Cyanide poisoning caused by ingestion of apricot seeds.,” Annals of Tropical Paediatrics, 2010; 30(1):39-43. doi: 10.1179/146532810X12637745451951, last accessed August 2, 2017.

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Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for his studies of ageing, genetics and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics NAS of Ukraine. His scientific researches are printed by the most reputable international magazines. Some of his works are: Differences in the gut Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio across age groups in healthy Ukrainian population []; Mating status affects Drosophila lifespan, metabolism and antioxidant system [Science Direct]; Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Increases Lifespan, Stress Resistance, and Metabolism by Affecting Free Radical Processes in Drosophila [Frontiersin].
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