Welcome to an introduction on organic chemistry for people with salicylate sensitivity. This lesson will teach you basics between inorganic chemistry (NaCl salt, H20 water) and organic chemistry (benzene rings, phenols, and salicylates).

Thanks so much for watching. Here are some screenshots of what is in the video.


  • Intro - learn what a salicylate is based on shape using ChemSpider 0:00
  • What is organic chemistry 3:13
  • What is inorganic chemistry 12:23
  • What is an aromatic 16:00
  • What is a benzene, phenol, and salicylate 20:05
  • Different salicylate molecules 21:43
  • Bound vs unbound salicylates 24:54
  • Test what you've learned (examples) 28:57




The following are slides that are shown in the video. Please watch the video (captioning and transcript available through YouTube)

Organic Chemistry relies on covalent bonding and includes a "carbon backbone" in most cases. Organic does not mean natural, healthy, or free of chemicals.

Above are four examples of organic chemicals including a portion of Chlorophyll B, Methanol, Octanol, and Monounsaturated fat.

There are many ways to symbolized compounds in organic chemistry. It can be listed as a formula with letters and numbers, but this doesn't tell you anything about shape and structure. If you search for a compound, you can often find a 3D shape of a molecule. Letters and lines are the most common, and often tells us so much right away. Hydrogens are often assumed and don't need to be written out. We make the assumption that Carbon can form four bonds, Hydrogens can only make one. If it appears a carbon is missing a bond or two, we can assume a hydrogen is in each spot.

One single line means there's a single bond. These are easier to break than double or triple bonds. Double bonds are with two lines, Triple with three lines (although quite uncommon).

A minus sign, means that there is the capacity for another bond, but it is missing one. This usually means it can hook up with a hydrogen or another chemical.

In the case of the lower right image/scribble - there is a benzene ring- hexagon with three double bonds. This can also be written as a hexagon with a circle inside - faster to write. This molecule is a benzene and has 6 Carbons and 6 Hydrogens (not shown, but implied)

The OH group cirlcled is an alcohol group.

Inorganic chemistry covers all of the other chemicals (organic features carbon, there's still carbon in this world, but not as much) and they use ionic bonding. Chemicals are attracted to one another by having a positive or negative charge (kind of like magnets) and come together.  This lesson assumes - if it's inorganic, then it's not a salicylate. Table salt, Potassium chloride, sulfate, sulfite, ozone, water, barium sulfite, barium sulfate, iron oxides and many more are not salicylates. One place to start is that they don't have carbon, and they use ionic bonding. You can check ChemSpider for the molecular structure and information about the chemical if you're not sure where to start. PubChem is another one. I like to check both, and they sometimes have different information.


Aromatics were first named because the early chemicals we knew about in this group were smelly, but that has changed, so the term has now been broadened out. Aromatics no longer mean odorous in the chemical world and are strictly used for carbon circles with covalent bonding that meet certain criteria. We won't go into that here, but the above images show three different examples of aromatics. Salicylic acid is an example of an odorless aromatic. You can check out the profile on PubChem and search for odor within the page.


Functional groups are shapes/chemicals that group together and attach to a carbon or molecule group.

  • OH is an alcohol group (usually adds -ol or -nol to a molecular name)
  • COOH is a carbocylic acid, or just called acid sometimes.
  • N(H,R)2 is an amine - not going into that, but thought some people might find that helpful.


This is the progression from benzene ring to salicylate. A phenol is a benzene ring with an alcohol group. A Salicylate has the acid group (this one is missing a hydrogen) and the phenol on there.

All salicylates have a phenol or benzene, but not all benzenes are salicylates, and not all phenols are salicylates. Some benzenes and phenols comprise needed chemicals in our body and are safe.


Here are some examples of different salicylates. You can see that for the most part, there's a partial phenol and a partial carboxylic acid group in both examples. Also the OH group and the COOH group are next to each other on the carbon ring - let's call it Carbon 1 and Carbon 2 - the next four carbons are left alone.




Items reviewed:

The rest of the video covers several examples of molecules and why they are or are not a salicylate. Some are a little too close for me to make a call, so I explain why that is.



Citric acid and Ascorbic acid

Magnesium stearate/Calcium stearate


Benzoates/Benzoic acid

Dyes: Manganese Violet C188842, Iron (III) oxide, Iron (II) oxide, and Curcumin (Tumeric)



Thanks for learning along with me!