Side Effects of Bird's Nest? Is It Bad For You?

Picking of Raw Edible Bird's Nest
finchfocus - GETTY IMAGES

Edible Bird's Nest has become very famous these days, and you've probably heard or read about the excellent health benefits it brings. Many people are even using it as a natural remedy to strengthen their immune systems, especially amid the pandemic.

Although Edible Bird's Nest is generally safe to consume, there might be potential adverse side effects caused by allergens or poisoning. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headaches, dizziness, fever, chills, and muscle aches. 

Side Effects

1. You could have too much sugar

Different types of Raw Sugar

Most commercially ready-to-eat Bird's Nest are treated with sugar-heavy ingredients to act as a preservative. Sugar serves to preserve the integrity and quality of the item, but this compromises its nutritional profile.

Every product is created differently, so be sure to turn over the package to review the nutrition facts panel or inquire at the store about sugar content.

Consuming too much sugar has been associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. In 2014, 440,000 Singaporeans had diabetes, which is estimated to go up to 1 million by 2050.

TIP: Ingredients will be listed in order of highest to lowest concentration as a general rule of food composition.

Zhen's Bird's Nest with Chamomile
(e.g) Ingredient List: Water , Bird's Nest Strands, Rock Sugar, Chamomile.

So water makes up most of the composition and chamomile the least in the product.

2. Allergies

Common Food Allergies

Food containing protein, such as eggs, milk, and soybeans, are considered common allergens to which people react after their body becomes sensitized to protein. Since a major composition of Bird's Nest is protein, it is best to avoid Bird's Nest if you are known to be Protein Intolerant.

Like any food or health supplement, it is always best to consult your doctor before consuming Bird's Nest if you are pregnant, on medication, or have an existing medical condition.

3. Infection

Raw Unclean Edible Bird's Nest

Bird's Nest is a natural product harvested from the nests of swiftlets. These birds build their nests in caves or houses, which are usually composed of saliva, feathers, twigs, etc., before undergoing a stringent process of cleaning & processing for human consumption.

There have been cases where people who had Bird's Nest developed infections after consuming it. A probable cause of the condition could be that the Bird's Nest has not been cleaned well and still contains foreign materials when ingested.

TIP: Always ensure you purchase from a reputable retailer that has a local presence with good track records & certifications. At Zhen, our products are lab-tested for your optimal enjoyment in our ISO, HACCP, HALAL facility in Singapore.

 4. Food Poisoning

Bird's Nest Food Poisoning side effects
Dima Berline- GETTY IMAGES

Like any raw food, Raw Bird's Nest contains microorganisms & bacteria. If it is not processed, cleaned & stored well, it might cause food poisoning.

Bird's Nest is considered a prized commodity. There have been incidents where unscrupulous suppliers resort to bleaching the Bird's Nest as a cheaper alternative to traditional labor-intensive handpicking or adding additional chemicals to the Bird's Nest to make you feel you are paying less for more.

These actions may pose certain health risks when consumed instead of being beneficial to you. For individuals who want to consume Bird's Nest, ensure they are from a reputable local source with traceability and food safety credentials.


Bird's Nest is considered safe to consume, and many have already taken them to supplement their health. However, there are still cases of people who encounter negative side effects after taking Bird's Nest. Unlike allergies, the risk of food poisoning & infections can be prevented by purchasing from a reliable & ethical source. If you have any questions, do feel free to leave a comment below or contact us! 

1 comment

We want to know who want to buy Birds Nest? We have here in the Pholippines.

Leonarda Daylusan April 13, 2023

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