Chili pepper and pain.

Botanical name: 

Date: Sat, 10 Jun 1995 22:37:57 -0400
To: Medicinal and Aromatic Plants discussion list <HERB.TREARNPC.EGE.EDU.TR>
Subject: PEPPERS and PAIN?

Why does hot pepper appear to reduce pain? Does anyone know exactly what the mechanism is that causes this to happen?

From: Dave Harvey <warrior.INFINET.COM>

> Why does hot pepper appear to reduce pain?

I have fibromyalgia and cluster migraines, cayenne peppers have capsasin, which blocks substance P, a neurotransmitter for pain. For muscle aches I use Zostrix HP which is capsasin on tight muscles, for migraines I put it on a swab and insert it in my upper nasal passages. This does burn but the pain is less than the migraine and it does stop it. Hope this helps some.

From: Robin <jrobin11.UNM.EDU>

We take our chili very seriously here in New Mexico, and while the article I quote from the current issue of "Crossroads", a local publication, deals with Chili addiction, I believe it may have some relevance to the discussion of peppers and pain:

"When you bite into a hot chili, the capsaicin activates the pain receptors on your tongue and in your mouth, sending a message to the brain that you're on fire.

"Your brain, in order to save you, responds by making your mouth salivate, your nose run, and your gastrointestinal tract into high gear. Your heartbeat increases. Your face sweats to cool itself.

"Although no physical damage has been done, your brain has been tricked into thinking your body's been hurt. And as it tries to get rid of the capsaicin, it secretes endorphin, thus producing a sense of well-being and a "high" similar to that produced by a shot of morphine.

"The hotter the pepper, the more endorphin produced. . . . "

Whatever the motivation or reason, we here consider chili to be good and good for you, and we don't care if they're addictive; besides, it supports our local economy.

From: adamtfg.OZEMAIL.COM.AU (Michael Bailes)

I was talking to a customer (ex Californian still going west) on the weekend. He used to suffer from severe shingle pain. A mexican friend told him to eat a couple of halapino chillies (Australian Spelling) (jalapeno -Henriette). Within 20 minutes his pain had gone. He was amazed. He felt Chillies might be virocidal. He eats chillies everyday now. He has not had a recurrence of the shingles in several years.