Salicylate Intolerance - Aspirin sensitivity
Classified as pseudo allergy
Salicylates occur naturally
Salicylate is a natural chemical which occurs in many fruits, and vegetables as a preservative, to prevent rotting and protect itself against harmful insects, bacteria and fungi. It is chemically related to aspirin, which is a derivative of salicylic acid; stored in the bark, leaves, roots and seeds of plants.
Sensitivity reactions are due to the Salicylates contained in certain foods, substances and products.
Salicylate sensitivity is the body’s inability to handle more than a certain amount of Salicylates at any one time. A salicylate sensitive person may have difficulty tolerating certain fruits, vegetables, or any products that contain aspirin. Although natural salicylates are found in wholesome foods, some individuals have difficulty tolerating even small amounts of them.
The reaction to a natural salicylate can be as severe as that to a synthetic additive if the person is highly sensitive. Many foods with high salicylate content also have high amine content (Histamine, Tyramine). Salicylate Intolerance may be a key player in many gastrointestinal disorders, such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Colitis and Crohn’s Disease.
Rashes, hives, chronic urticaria & angioedema. Swelling of hands/feet/face/eyelids/lips/throat. Stomach aches and upsets, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, mouth ulcers, raw hot red rash around mouth. Headaches, asthma-like symptoms, such as trouble breathing and wheezing, nasal congestion nasal polyps, sinusitis, persistent cough, Frequent need to urinate/urgency to pass water, bed wetting, hyperactivity, dizziness, memory loss, poor concentration, depression, fatigue. Eye irritation, vision, ringing in the ears. Trigger for eczema, asthma, rhino conjunctivitis.
Salicylate containing Foods:
Peppers / Capsicum
paste / puree
Savoury flavoured items
Herbs & Spices
Tea (camomile tea)
Beer /Cider / Wine
Rum and Sherry
All jams, except pear
All jellies & Marmalade
Health and beauty products:
muscle pain ointments
salicylic acid /
Artificial food coloring and flavoring:
Salicylic acid methyl ester
Oil of wintergreen
Further ingredients to watch out
BHA, BHT, disalcid
red dye (#40)
yellow dyes (#5, #6)
(including: Aspirin / Acetylsalicylic Acid, Benzyl Salicylate, Ethyl Salicylate, Isoamyl Salicylate, Isobutyl Salicylate, Methyl Salicylate, Octyl Salicylate / Octisalate, Phenethyl Salicylate / Phenylethyl Salicylate, Phenyl Salicylate, Salicylic Acid)
More information: http://salicylatesensitivity.com
Salicylate level in food can vary with raw foods, dried foods and juices containing higher levels than the same cooked foods. The occurrence of Salicylates is so wide spread, that it is almost impossible to cut all sources. Individuals have differing sensitivity thresholds to Salicylates, and the tolerated amount varies from one person to another. Some people are troubled by only a very few, while others are troubled by all of them. Some adults and children have a low level of tolerance to Salicylates and may get symptoms that are dose-related.
Your observation can help you to identify those Salicylate containing foods that may cause problems.
Temporary avoidance is suggested, followed by introduction of a small amount of a single food, to determine the level/amount you can tolerate on a daily basis. Often all of the foods can be tolerated provided they are eaten in small amount (eg. Half a tomato per day) and provided that not too many of Salicylate containing foods are eaten at any one time /day. Bearing in mind that this may fluctuate due to circumstances, conditions and overall health as described in the 'rain barrel effect'.