Watch out for these six common causes of salicylate sensitivity this summer…



What are salicylates?

Salicylates are a family of natural plant chemicals that protect plants against diseases, insects, fungi and harmful bacteria. They’re often concentrated just under the skin or outer leaves of unripened fruit and vegetables and can also be created synthetically.


What are the symptoms of salicylate sensitivity?

Salicylate sensitivity is any adverse effect that comes about when a normal amount of salicylates are ingested. Be on the lookout for:

  • Itchy skin, hives or rashes
  • Stomach pain, nausea and/or diarrhoea
  • Asthma and other breathing difficulties, such as persistent cough
  • Headaches
  • Swelling of hands, feet, eyelids, face and/or lips (angioedema)
  • Fatigue
  • Sore, itchy, puffy or burning eyes
  • Nasal congestion or sinusitis
  • Memory loss and poor concentration (salicylate sensitivity has been linked to ADHD)
  • Ringing in the ears.


Watch out for these six common sources of salicylates this summer …

  1. Sunscreen – contact rashes to sunscreens can occur as a result of reaction to one of the many ingredients found in these products, especially to fragrances and preservatives which are very high in salicylates.
  1. Chlorine – reactions to chlorine (mainly in pool water) can result in itchy, red skin or hives, and can trigger existing allergies by irritating the respiratory tract. Our body processes chlorine in the same way that it processes high-salicylate foods, such as fruit. So if you react to salicylates chances are you will react to chlorine, too. This also means that, if you can only tolerate small amounts of salicylates, exposure to chlorine may push you over your salicylate ‘threshold’.
  1. Seasonal fruit – seasonal summer fruits such as berries, grapes, oranges rockmelon, plum and watermelon are all very high in salicylates.
  1. Mosquito spray – mosquito repellent is a great way to keep mozzies at bay, especially for those who are allergic to mosquito saliva. But the ingredients contained in mosquito repellent products can be high in salicylates and may cause rashes or hives in those sensitive to it.
  1. Summer salads – salads are a light, easy way to reach your veggie quota in summer. But vegetables like capsicum, radish, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, avocado and spinach, are all very high in salicylates, as well as salad dressings such as vinegar, olive oil and coconut oil.
  1. Alcoholic drinks/cocktails – as the social calendar fills up, so does our glass! Beer, wine, and liquors are all very high in salicylates. So too are the cordials and soft drinks used to make yummy cocktails and summer-loving jugs.


Natural salicylate sensitivity treatment

At Health & Wellness Australia & Auckland (HWA), we use a technique called muscle testing or kinesiology to help identify your sensitivities. Following testing, you can work with your practitioner to manage your symptoms using a natural allergy treatment called Positive Association Technique (PAT).

PAT is a non-invasive holistic therapy, which:

  • draws on acupressure and kinesiology techniques
  • aims to re-train your body
  • may reduce your reactions to environmental allergens that may be causing or exacerbating your sensitivities.

Some cases can be complex, so our naturopaths may also recommend supplements and herbs, and provide lifestyle advice to help you achieve the best long-term results.


Want to know if PAT is right for you? Get in touch!

Send our practitioners a question using our Ask a practitioner service, and you’ll get a call-back or reply straight to your email inbox.

You can also request an appointment with one of our experienced PAT practitioners in one our clinic locations – North Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth or Auckland – by:

  • using our Request an appointment online service
  • calling our head office on 1300 853 023 (Aust) / 09 479 5997 (NZ), Monday to Saturday, 9am-5pm (EST).


This blog is intended as general information only. PAT cannot cure allergies – it is intended to decrease reactions and help manage symptoms. It is not intended to raise unrealistic expectations. If symptoms persist, consult your GP.

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