A salicylate is part of phenol family. A phenol is a chemical that occurs naturally as an immune hormone that protects plants such as herbs, fruits, and vegetables. The produce or plant herb emit this chemical to help protect plants from bacteria, bugs, animals, and diseases. It is a naturally occurring substance to protect these plants, it is found in 99% of fruits, about 85% of vegetables and 95% of herbs and spices.

Symptoms of salicylate sensitivity


  • Behavior problems such as irritability, restlessness, inattention and learning difficulties ADHD
  • Headaches, migraines
  • Itchy skin rashes such as hives (urticaria), eczema. Itchiness is often worse after hot shower and/or exercise
  • Irritable bowel symptoms – reflux in babies or adults, nausea, vomiting, stomach bloating and discomfort, wind, diarrhea and/or constipation
  • Bedwetting, cystitis and increased frequency of urination
  • Asthma, sinus congestion, itching, sneezing and excessive phlegm
  • Sleep disturbance and sleep apnoea
  • Anxiety, depression, panic attacks
  • Tinnitus
  • Joint pain, inflammation, and arthritis
  • Swelling and fluid retention
  • Mouth Ulcers or raw hot red rash around mouth
  • Persistent cough
  • Sore, itchy, puffy, watery or burning eyes
  • Muscle cramp, tremor, twitch

Why Do People React to Salicylates?

In a normal body, one with the correct levels of sulfates and liver enzymes, and phenols and salicylates are easily metabolized and digested. The body utilizes what it needs from the chemicals and properly disposes of the rest through the bowels. In those whose levels are abnormal, or in the case of leaky gut syndrome, intolerance to this chemical family can occur rather quickly. Many people with gut issues, such as yeast/bacteria overgrowth or digestive diseases, can develop salicylate intolerance as a result of leaky gut Syndrome. Leaky gut is a result of various digestive problems and occurs when the small intestine becomes too damaged to properly filter the size and types of food particles or chemicals that enter the bloodstream. When these improper particles are allowed to repeatedly enter the bloodstream, the body tries to get rid of them by triggering an immune system response. Because phenols/salicylates are so common in most foods, a person with a leaky gut will have much higher than normal levels of these chemicals in their blood and can very quickly develop intolerances to these specific particles.