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Salicylate Sensitivity

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My low BP (OH) episodes are triggered by Yellow and Red food dyes. I am sharing this list from the mast cell forum. Note that FD&C Yellow 5 and 6 and Red 40 dyes are very high in salicylates.

There are a variety of different products containing salicylate and it is sometimes difficult to determine if a product is salicylate free or not. Hopefully this page will help.

Products that often contain Salicylates:

•Acne products

•Air fresheners

•Alka Seltzer

•Breath savers

•Bubble baths

•Cleaning products



•Essential oils

•Fabric conditioners

•Fragrances and perfumes


•Hair sprays, gels and mouses

•Herbal remedies

•Lipsticks and Lip glosses





•Muscle pain creams

•Pain relievers


•Razors with aloe strips adjacent to the cutting edge

•Shampoos and Conditioners

•Shaving cream

•Skin cleansers or exfoliants


•Sunscreens and tanning lotions

•Supplements derived from rose hips or bioflavoniods


•Topical creams

•Wart or callus removers

Terms/Ingredients to Avoid:

•Acetylsalicylic acid

•Aloe Vera

•Any coal tar derived dye

•Artificial flavorings

•Artificial food colorings


•Azo dyes

•Benzoates (preservatives)

•Benzyl salicylate

•Beta-hydroxy acid



•Choline salicylate


•Ethyl salicylate

•Eucalyptus Oils

•Isoamyl salicylate

•Magnesium salicylate


•Methyl Salicylate




•Oil of Wintergreen


•Phenylethyl salicylate

•Red Dye (#40)




•Salicylic acid


•Sodium Salicylate


•Yellow Dyes (#5 & #6)

Brand Names of Common Drugs containing Salicylate

This is not a complete list of all drugs containing salicylate, but it is a start and hopefully will aid and help you in avoiding drugs/medications that contain salicylate. If you are taking a medication and you are not sure if it contains salicylate or not check with your pharmacist or doctor. Never start the elimination diet with out checking all medications and first and consulting a professional. Never start taking a medication with salicylate in it directly after the elimination diet and shock can occur from introducing too much salicylate into your body after it has gone a long while without salicylate. This list was put together by the Mayo Clinic.

•Acuprin 81


•Anacin Caplets and Tablets

•Aspirin Regimen Bayer Adult Low Dose

•Aspirin Regimen Bayer Regular Strength Caplets

•Bayer Children’s Aspirin

•Bufferin Caplets and Tablets


•Extra Strength Bayer Asprin Caplets and Tablets



•Norwich Aspirin

•P-A-C Revised Formula

•Regular Strength Ascriptin




•St. Joseph Adult Chewable Aspirin




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My 17 year old with POTS is on the Feingold diet which is an elimination diet with 2 stages. She is allergic to dyes and preservatives, and had great difficulty with medium and higher salicylate foods until more recently. Her first very noticeable reaction came at 18 months of age. She was a colicky baby but with continuous tweaking of her diet she did okay. The reaction at 18 months was probably due to a preservative and she had hives the length of her calves which were followed by dime-size hives covering her body. For her higher salicylate foods gave her migraines, icky behavior, and vomiting. We joined the Feingold program to receive a book that lists products from companies that had submitted their list of ingredients to the organization. Stage one is low salicylate foods and products which my daughter was on from age 7 until a year ago. When my daughter was 15 we tried the GAPS elimination diet and she went gluten and casein free for about half a year and then we reintroduced medium to higher salicylate foods. She was able to handle smaller amounts of them and had few issues except for apples. She eats organic fruits if they don't have a tough skin like a grapefruit. We reintroduced casein after about a year and she continued to do well. She has been off gluten for over 2 years now. They list the following foods as being higher salicylate foods: almonds, apples,. apricots, all berries, birch, cherries, chili powder, cider and cider vinegar, cloves, coffee, cucumbers and pickles, currants, grapes and raisins, nectarines, oranges, paprika, peaches, peppers (bell and chili), plums and prunes, tangerines, most teas, tomatoes, wine and wine vinegar, oil of wintergreen (methyl salicylate) and rosehips. Also aspirin or products with aspirin are on the high salicylate list. She now doesn't have near the issues she had when she was younger.

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Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with your daughter's intolerances. What a tough thing for a little one to have to go through. I am very interested in this information and have been reading about the Feingold diet. I am so glad to read she can tolerate some of these foods again and is dong well. I really appreciate the list of foods that you posted, as it is more inclusive than lists I have found online. What is the GAPS elimination diet? Have you found a tea that is low in salicylates? Can she tolerate peppermint or spearmint?

Thanks again, this information is helping me sort out my triggers.


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Sorry you have these sensitivities/allergies as well to salicylates. Being sensitive/allerigic to dyes and preservatives is a challenge but being off them would probably be beneficial to most people. There is more pressure being put on the FDA to consider the studies done on the risk of dyes to all children but especially those with compromised systems. I think it was about a year ago that the FDA finally agreed to hear from scientists and parents about the mounting evidence of concern about food dyes. Very interesting how the major food companies in the United States make one product for the U.S. and another without our dyes for most of the European and some of the Asian countries since they have deemed our dyes to be toxic to children. We also get a newsletter online when we joined the Feingold association so it keeps us abreast to a variety of information concerning health issues and connections to nutrition. The information we got from Feingold did not list peppermint or spearmint as a concern for those sensitive to salicylates, only the oil of wintergreen. My daughter drinks Celestial Seasonings peppermint and chamomile teas. She has also had a chai tea which I think is a higher salicylate but I don't know which brand. The GAPS diet is one of the most restrictive elimination diets often used by families with children in the autism spectrum. The diet comes from a book called, "Gut and Psychology Syndrome". It wasn't too difficult for us to go this next stage as our daughter was already following the Feingold way of eating (no dyes/preservatives, low salicylates). The natural doctor we saw suggested trying this because this book addresses the salicylate sensitivity in some people and often with healing the gut some foods can be reintroduced. He said he often saw gluten as a culprit. I don't know if eliminating that helped my daughter or not. From age 7 to 15 she was on lower salicylate foods so maybe she outgrew some of this sensitivity but it seemed like doing the GAPS diet maybe it easier to pinpoint when something was bothering her system. She had not been diagnosed or treated for her POTS before we did this diet and had reintroduced previously bothersome foods for her. While she no longer seemed as sensitive to many foods she still had severe ostipation. That did not improve until she started the beta blocker and now 9 months later she is pretty much off her twice daily laxative and finds plain yogurt is enough to aide digestion. I guess her peers and their parents find the way she eats to be unusual but basically she eats whole foods, a meat, vegetable, and fruit at most meals, very plain at times but we do vary it with some prepackaged natural products. She can't eat out most places, and if she goes to camp or out of state with her school I precook and freeze everything so she can still take part in things. She brings her own food to her friend's houses but now in high school her friends and their parents try to find out what she can eat and sometimes fix things for her. She is also finding more families that eat very naturally and healthy and want to provide meals for her when she visits. Also wanted to mention that some online lists of salicylate levels can vary so it really is an individual trial on some things. When younger my daughter could eat small levels of frozen pineapple which is considered a lower salicylate but the fresh pineapple brought on memory loss and defiance.

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I truely appreciate your post. It is packed with so much valuable information for me. especially that peppermint and spearmint are not on your masterlist. This is a relief. Also been wondering about my beloved tea. I always knoew I didn't do well with wintergreen, but never knew why. Now I know. And can't wait to start with frozen pinapple!

I really appreciate this information.



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