Tag Archives: pain

If You Can’t Stand the Heat………..!

Wear gloves to protect your hands when using fresh or dried hot chile peppers. Capsaicin oil, the substance that is the source of “heat” in chiles, can cause severe burns.

If your bare hands and fingers do come in contact with your hot chiles, wash thoroughly with soapy water (a dish washing liquid that cuts oil works well). If burning persists, soak your hands in a bowl of milk. Also, be careful not to touch your eyes or other sensitive areas.

When grinding dried chiles, use a mask as the chile dust in the air can irritate your eyes and throat.

If you eat a chile or food that is too hot, don’t try to extinguish the heat with water! Capsaicin is an oil that will not mix or be diluted with water (or beer!) and will instead distribute the heat to more parts of your tongue and mouth. To cut the heat as quickly as possible, drink some milk (rinsing the mouth while swallowing it), or eat some ice cream or yogurt. Eating starchy foods like rice or bread will also absorb the heat.

Drinking tomato juice or eating a fresh lime or lemon will help as well as the acid will counteract the alkalinity of the capsaicin oil.

“Fire” Extinguishers

Hot food is usually served in small quantities with foods that cool the palate. If you’re new to hot foods and hot sauces, start slowly.  Always start with a small amount and add more to taste as desired.  Your tolerance for heat will increase the more often you indulge in fiery foods!

Because capsaicin, the chemical that created the heat in chiles and peppers, is an oil based substance, the worst thing you can do is to drink water or beer when your mouth is on fire.  They just spread the pain even more!  Instead, try some bread, rice, beans, yogurt, sour cream, milk or cheese as they will help absorb the oil and take away the burn.

Hot Sauce Trivia

  • Hot sauces are excellent in sauces and stir-fry’s, make quick and handy marinades before grilling food, and are always welcome condiments on the table.
  • Research has proven that adding hot sauces to your foods can help your body burn calories faster (up to 45 calories more per meal than if you eat bland dishes).
  • When people eat hotter sauces, they experience pain in their mouths and throats.  The nervous system reacts to the pain by releasing morphine-like endorphins.  Endorphins create a sense of euphoria similar to the “runner’s high” that some people get from exercise.  People who regularly eat hot sauces and chiles will find that they develop a tolerance to the heat and will have to eat increasingly hotter sauces to get the high.
  • Hot sauces are North American’s favorite way to turn up the heat and add some extra flavor and spice to their food. Most hot sauces are a blend of chiles, vinegar and salt, but many are variations that may also contain ingredients such as carrots, onion and papaya.
  • By adding lots of flavor to food with hot sauces, chiles and spices, you can reduce the amount of fat, oil and salt in your diet.
  • The stinking “rose”, otherwise known as garlic and a common ingredient in hot sauces, is an excellent antioxidant that can help reduce free radicals that exist in the human body. Garlic reduces cholesterol, clears arteries and helps maintain healthy blood circulation.The true hot sauce collector and aficionado looks for several qualities when evaluating a new sauce: appearance, originality, aroma, heat and flavor. Why not invite friends over for a hot sauce tasting party with evaluation forms for the sauces you’ll be trying? Try each sauce on unsalted crackers or tortilla chips and have some fun.
  • Half the fun of collecting hot sauces is laughing at the names that their creators give them. The names are as original as the sauces themselves and range from reference to fire and explosion, animals, religious, crime and punishment, controversial, erotic, naughty, mental health, and western themes. The names and labels make us laugh and represent much of the fun that enjoying hot sauces bring us.

Chile Peppers May Tame Pain

The Associated Press recently released an article that reports that scientists are testing to see of the stuff that makes hot sauces so savage can tame the pain of surgery.

Doctors are dripping capsaicin, the chemical that gives chile peppers their fire, directly into open wounds during knee replacement and a few other highly painful operations.  These experiments use an ultra-purified version of capsaicin to avoid infection – and the patients are under anesthesia so they don’t scream at the initial burn.

You ask how could something searing possibly soothe?  Bite a hot pepper and, after the burn, your tongue goes numb.  Chile peppers have been part of folk remedy for centuries, and heat-inducing capsaicin creams are a staple for arthritis and aching muscles.

In a pilot U.S. study of 50 knee replacements, the half treated with capsaicin used less morphine in the 48 hours after surgery and reported less pain for two weeks.