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Food intolerance is a general term used to describe an adverse reaction to certain types of foods. An intolerance to Salicylates is a relatively common condition which can be managed by avoiding foods which contain these substances. The main food sources of Salicylates are fruits, vegetables, dried spices, tea and food flavourings. The average ‘Western diet’ has an estimated Salicylate intake ranging from 10 to 200 mg per day. In comparison, the average dose of aspirin contains 650 mg of Salicylic acid.

An intolerance to aspirin produces symptoms of asthma, skin rash, nausea, vomiting, nasal polyps, swelling of the face, neck, lips, larynx, hands, feet, genitals etc. Salicylates found in food may cause a similar reaction if consumed in high amounts by a person with Salicylate intolerance. A Salicylate-free diet can help to prevent these reactions and may also improve the clinical symptoms of asthma and skin rash in some cases. Following is a list of foods which contain Salicylates in significant amounts. A complete list can be obtained from a Dietitian.


Apricot, avocado, blackberry, black currant, blueberry, boysenberry, cherry, cranberry, currant (dried), date, grape, grapefruit, guava, Jonathan apple, kiwi fruit, lychee, mandarin, mulberry, nectarine, orange, passionfruit, peach, pineapple, plum, prune, raisin (dried), raspberry, red currant, rockmelon, strawberry, sultana (dried), watermelon etc.


Alfalfa sprouts, broad beans, capsicum, champignon mushrooms, chicory, cucumber, eggplant, endive, gherkin, hot pepper, olive, radish, tomato, zucchini, watercress etc.


Almonds, cashews, water chestnuts etc.


Golden syrup, honey, liquorice, peppermint etc.

Herbs and spices

Allspice, aniseed, bay leaf, black pepper, caraway, cardamom, cayenne, cinnamon, clove, cumin, curry, dill, five spice, garam masala, ginger, mace, mint, mixed herbs, mustard, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, pimiento, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme, turmeric, white pepper, white vinegar, etc.


Honey, marmite, Worcestershire sauce etc.


Alcohol (especially apple cider, beer, sherry, brandy, liqueur, port, wine and rum), coffee, tea (black, caffeinated, decaffeinated, rosehip and peppermint), some coffee replacements, cola, fruit juice etc.


DISCLAIMER: This information is an educational aid only. It is not intended to replace medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, nurse or naturopath before following any medical regimen to see whether it is safe and effective for you.