Chili peppers! They're for more than just seasoning. Hot chili peppers actually contain a substance that is known to help ease pain and soreness. Can’t seem to believe it? Here’s the science…
Whenever you have an injury the brain releases a chemical called substance P. This substance is sent to the injured area and generates the feeling of pain that you experience. Now here’s where things get tricky…
The brain does not release any chemical to dissipate substance P after it’s been generated. This is the reason pain is experienced differently by everyone and for every circumstance, for example, the pain you feel from a bruise can last anywhere form a few hours to a few days.
Now, here’s where the chili comes in. Chili peppers contain a substance called capsaicin. It is in fact the only natural substance outside of our bodies that can help break down substance P!
So how do you use it? Eating chilis won’t actually help with pain relief as consumption doesn’t allow it to affect an injured area. By making a chili paste and adding it to the injured area topically and carefully, the tingling sensation will help to relieve pain from the surface area, and after time the skin will absorb it to help dissipate the substance P on a deeper level.
Don’t go rubbing pure chili paste on your skin please, it’ll burn. It’s best to dilute it with natural oils like coconut, cocoa, or Shea and be sure to use gloves!