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Are hot peppers medically dangerous?


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#18 Michaelangelica

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 09:09 PM

Just to clarify, I didn't mean to refer specifically to allergies, just a similar response.

I'm thinking that since capsaicin is an inflammatory, it can cause swelling, and might cause the airway to close when too much is ingested. The whole, "OMG... I can't breathe" response...


Another potential issue which just occurred to me... If you get any on your fingers, be sure to wash your hands before using the mens room. :hyper::lol::)

Yes also don't affectionately intimately fondle your girlfriend either after chopping chillies, especially with habaneros.
it is almost impossible to get capsaicin off your hands Wash a lot of times with strong detergent soap, cooking oil and/or alcohol, and watch under fingernails. Capsaicin is not soluble in water.
If you get done by the cops don't let them put water on you as is the practice here. that will make the effect worse.

Usually the asthma/air type problem comes only if your are allegic or asthmatic. Some people are allergic but often the effect is more psycholocal than real (of couse that can be a problem too).
Also the extreme amount of capsaicin used in police sprays can and has caused death.
There was one study whre some boared gastro. doctors poured almost pure capsaiacin into some poor bugger's stomach and then watched with a camera. There was a lot of blood going to the stoamch wall (capsaicins are hyperanemic rather than inflamatory) and that's about it. Really quite tame.
The hyperanemic effect is another reason capsaicins are good in sports and arthritic rubs they pronbaly promote digestion as well.

#19 mynah

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 01:58 AM

I can vouch for the heat of habanero on the hands...:lol: Nothing helped until someone suggested fresh tomato juice, which seemed to bring instant relief.

We often serve side dishes of diced bell pepper and of diced tomatoes with hot chilli to dampen down the heat, or add potatoes to an over-hot curry while it is cooking. Is it mere coincidence that all these vegetables are quite closely related to each other? Any members of this forum willing to volunteer for a scientific test? :hyper::)

#20 pamela

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 05:14 AM

well i have entered jalapeno eating contests( made it to 14), but you havent lived until you have eaten 2 whole habeneros.As the water is gushing from my eyes, my face is beet red, and no sound is coming out of me, although my mouth is open, terrified my mom so badly, that she tried to take me to the emergency room.I wouldnt go of course, but it took quite a while for me to recover. Crackers, bread, sugar- nothing worked to stop the burning heat. Aside from the pain, it was quite a rush!:hyper:

#21 mynah

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 05:24 AM

You ate two habaneros at home? You've got to be crazy! For all that pain I would have demanded performing before a huge audience at least...:hyper:

#22 pamela

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 05:50 AM

i am crazy!:hyper: it wasnt that long ago either...you may have just assumed i was an idiot kid, just an idiot mom, showing off for her sons while my parents were visiting. Believe it or not, those boys wanted to try it too. I gave them a speck and that was it. And that was all they needed. But i rock in their eyes now, ALPHA MOM!

#23 mynah

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 06:01 AM

I was wrong - that's a great audience to have!:hyper:

#24 pamela

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 05:21 PM

well, maybe the boys, but my mom was sure as hell mad at me after the initial fear subsided:D

#25 Moontanman

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 05:49 PM

I love hot spicy food, habaneros are pretty spicy, i used to eat them to impress my sons. They thought they could do anything dad could do, good thing they didn't see me go to my room and cry ! Too many and I get uncontrolled hiccups, I did grow some little purple peppers that once broken open i couldn't even hold them in my hands much less eat them. they left red burning marks any where you touched them. I went back and read the seed case and it said they were ornamentals only. Ok guys, and ladies, if you have eaten to many peppers and thinking you have eaten hell and you can't get out, just drink milk! Milk takes the heat away almost immediately, I prefer peepers for their taste, many very hot peppers do not taste very good, habeneros and jalapeƱos are very good and make great hot sauces and hot vinegars, I love collards soaked in habanero vinegar.

#26 pamela

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 06:15 PM

yeah, i got ornamental pepper residue in my eyes- talk about a screaming 12 year old girl- like to thought i was going blind!
Milk? will soy milk work? i shudder at the udder thought of drinking that cow juice:eek:

#27 Moontanman

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 06:24 PM

I've never tried to use bean juice for that, it gags me so the cure might be worse that the disease but cow juice works very well.

#28 freeztar

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 06:56 PM

I tried milk after eating half of a homegrown habanero. Actually, I tried everything in the kitchen! Milk, butter, ketchup, baking soda, flour, and all kinds of other whacky ideas. (it's amazing what you'll do when you have a habanero burn ;) )

The one thing that I found that worked was an ice cube on the tongue. That took away most of the burn, but only as long as the ice cube lasted. I had to suck on ice cubes for about 4 hours. I know that water is supposed to be bad (spreads the capsaicin), but the ice worked well for me.

I know other people that swear by milk. Perhaps it's just a matter of personal chemistry or... ;)

#29 Michaelangelica

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 12:26 AM

I tried milk after eating half of a homegrown habanero. Actually, I tried everything in the kitchen! Milk, butter, ketchup, baking soda, flour, and all kinds of other whacky ideas. (it's amazing what you'll do when you have a habanero burn :eek: )

The one thing that I found that worked was an ice cube on the tongue. That took away most of the burn, but only as long as the ice cube lasted. I had to suck on ice cubes for about 4 hours. I know that water is supposed to be bad (spreads the capsaicin), but the ice worked well for me.

I know other people that swear by milk. Perhaps it's just a matter of personal chemistry or... :shrug:

You need to build up your tolerance to be able to tackle habaneros. This could take months of eating hot chillies every day.
You could try telling your body that you are not dying and mentally " drop into" the pain and enjoy it. Just tell your head that pain is fun!!B):hihi::hihi:

#30 InfiniteNow

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 12:39 AM

Milk is too runny. Get a dairy product which will stick to your tongue and coat it better... like sour cream, or better yet... yogurt. B)

#31 Mercedes Benzene

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 08:50 AM

According to the MSDS for capsaicin, it is indeed a toxic substance in high enough concentrations. "Target Organ Effect, Toxic by ingestion, Toxic by skin absorption, Skin and respiratory sensitizer, Irritant"

Mind you, this is for the pure substance.
The Oral LD50 (rat) is 148.1 mg/kg.

#32 freeztar

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 03:57 PM

According to the MSDS for capsaicin, it is indeed a toxic substance in high enough concentrations. "Target Organ Effect, Toxic by ingestion, Toxic by skin absorption, Skin and respiratory sensitizer, Irritant"

Mind you, this is for the pure substance.
The Oral LD50 (rat) is 148.1 mg/kg.


So, 0.01% of your body weight in kg is pushing it, eh?
I weigh about 82kg, so I guess I should not consume more than 8.2g of pure capsaicin. As much as I like peppers, I think I'm safe. B)

#33 Mercedes Benzene

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 04:02 PM

So, 0.01% of your body weight in kg is pushing it, eh?
I weigh about 82kg, so I guess I should not consume more than 8.2g of pure capsaicin. As much as I like peppers, I think I'm safe. B)


Yeah, definitely! I tried to find data on how much capsaicin is present in your average Habanero. No such luck. I want to see how many of those suckers you'd have to eat to have a 50% chance of dying. :D