Is Luteolin or Quercetin high in salicylates

Reviewed date: May 12, 2024

Uploaded date: May 12, 2024


Why I'm interested:  

Question: I am sal intolerant and dealing with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. In treating it I am looking for the best natural bioflavinoids to treat it with. Do you happen to know if luteolin is high in salicylates?

Key Takeaways:
Luteolin or Quercetin are plant-derived polyphenols that function as a mast cell stabilizer. Calming down mast cells may decrease salicylate reactions. However, these phenols are quite close to salicylate molecule and may be challenging to onboard.
Why this is interesting or informative:

Thanks for reaching out! I'm in the same boat, working through an MCAS diagnosis now. I've heard that luteolin and quercetin are both great mast cell stabilizers (some of the only natural stabilizers out there).

By looking at the molecular formula, it does have phenols, but I don't think it's close enough to be considered a salicylate. That phenol on the top right with the OH on the 1 and 2 carbon - that's a little too close for my liking. It is probably processed in the same manner as salicylates.

Salicylic acid (hexagon/phenol with 3 interior lines, and an OH on the 1 carbon, and an COOH off the 2 carbon)

Luteolin (phenol with an OH off the 1 and 2 carbon)

Quercetin (phenol with an OH off the 1 and 2 carbon)

I have tried onboarding quercetin twice and reacted to it after being on it for a week at 1mg daily. I'm not done trying though. Some MCAS websites and forums recommend splitting capsules and starting small, working up to a full dose over a few weeks. I haven't tried that yet.

Another thing I'm also working through with my immunologist is getting some antihistamines on board (I think I'm good with levocetirizine and about a month in, and now trying to onboard an H2). Once those are in full action, then maybe I could test the quercetin again.

I will add that I haven't had a typical salicylate reaction when testing quercetin, just mostly nerve tingling on my face (could be from something else) and increased dystonia/back pain.

The last thing to remember is that lutein and quercetin are sourced from plants. That said, we can assume that there is always a risk of using plant-sourced supplements, as 100% purity cannot be acquired for this molecular formula/active ingredient alone.

Have you had any luck with other mast cell stabilizers? I'd been working on my vitamin D levels (now normal and trying to go higher). I have that dopamine/muscle issue and trying to keep my dopamine up (also a stabilizer). I recently saw that caffeine (which I tolerate) and chocolate may have some stabilizers in them due to methylxanthines, so I'm not surprised I tolerate them well! I haven't dug into those sources yet though.

Let me know if you find something that works for you and how you tolerate the lutein.


This message is not medical advice, but provided for educational purposes.

Source Information

Source Type: Email response-review by Sarah


mast cell stabilizers, supplements