Pepper, a spice that comes from dried, unripe fruit of a vine called Piper nigrum, can actually help cool you down when you eat it. That’s because pepper contains an ingredient called capsaicin. The molecule binds to natural heat-sensing receptors in your mouth and stomach, causing them to send messages to your brain that you’re eating something hot. Your brain reacts by sending signals that cause blood vessels to dilate, lowering your body temperature.
Dilating blood vessels allows more blood to flow through them, increasing the amount of heat that dissipates from your body. Capsaicin also stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which increases heart rate and blood pressure, slightly raising the amount of heat released into the environment by the body’s internal operations.
So when you eat peppers with a nice juicy steak or spicy curry, you’re getting a twofer: the food heats your mouth, but then capsaicin kicks in and makes you feel cooler than you would otherwise.
This cooling effect could be useful for athletes who must stay cool because they’re wearing heavy clothing or exercising in hot environments. Wearing clothing treated with pepper could help prevent athletes’ core temperatures from rising too high during exercise.
And what about people who live in hot
Pepper contains an oil called capsaicin. When pepper is eaten, the capsaicin binds to pain receptors found in the mouth and throat, causing a sensation of heat. The higher the amount of capsaicin oil in a pepper, the more noticeable the “heat.”
When capsaicin oil comes into contact with a mammal’s skin, it lights up that mammal’s TRPV1 pain receptors. This leads to a sensation of heat which humans experience as a burning sensation.
Treating peppers with capsaicin changes their pungency. When peppers are dried and allowed to rehydrate before eating, they become hotter than when they were fresh. The reason for this is that although dehydration causes an increase in the concentration of capsaicin oil in peppers, it also allows more water to penetrate deep into the pepper cells. The resulting dilution of the capsaicin oil reduces its effect on mammals’ TRPV1 receptors and therefore reduces heat sensation.
The key to understanding how capsaicin works is that it doesn’t just burn. It’s a chemical, and it burns in a particular way.
The burning sensation you feel when eating spicy food is really the same as the burning sensation you feel when touching something too hot to touch with your bare skin. The heat from the peppers travels into your mouth and nose, just as it travels through metal or water, and it triggers the same pain receptors.
The difference between ordinary heat and fiery peppers is not that spicy food feels like fire in your mouth. It’s that fiery chili peppers produce their own special kind of fire, which hurts more than the kind that comes from outside.
The alligator pepper’s heat is caused by a chemical called capsaicin, which stimulates the nerve endings on your tongue. When these nerve endings are stimulated, they send a message to your brain that says, “Hey, I’m being stimulated!” In response, the brain sends a message back down to the mouth saying, “I don’t like this! Stop doing it!”
When you eat something spicy, the brain’s response creates a sensation of “heat.” The heat isn’t really there; the chili pepper just tricks your body into thinking it is. Your brain then makes you sweat and dilates your blood vessels to dissipate that heat. That’s why spicy foods can make you feel uncomfortable.
Nerves in your mouth were also stimulated by eating the pepper. Once again, your brain sent a message back down saying, “I don’t like this!” But instead of sending another message out asking for more cooling, it sent a message out down another set of nerves telling the rest of your body to shut down the parts that were feeling too warm. The result was not actually any kind of cooling at all—it was just that your mouth felt hot because it simply wasn’t getting any messages from those particular nerves anymore.
The chili pepper was causing damage to
On a hot day, a frozen alligator pepper feels cool, but if you bite into it, the heat will blow your head off. Other peppers are hotter than alligator peppers. The hottest is the habanero, which is a kind of super-pepper.
Tasting hotness is not merely a matter of measuring how much heat something generates or absorbs. It also depends on how fast your nerve endings can signal to your brain that something hot just hit them. The alligator pepper and habanero generate lots of heat, but they don’t feel as hot as jalapeño peppers do because the capsaicin in their juices takes longer to activate the nerve endings in your mouth. (A pepper’s overall spiciness—the feeling it leaves on your tongue—depends on its total heat content and its capsaicin content.)
Some animals’ mouths are more sensitive to capsaicin than ours are. Birds can eat cayenne peppers without getting burned and spread the seeds to new locations that way. On the other hand, some birds can eat habaneros without getting burned; instead they just get drunk from eating them (because alcohol activates nerves that are similar to those activated by capsaicin).
Even birds can’t eat all
The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, showed that capsaicinoids were responsible for inhibiting the ability of sensory neurons to transmit pain signals to the brain.
The research team tested the effects of capsaicinoids on sensory neurons by exposing them to heat and capsaicin. Sensory neurons without capsaicinoids did not respond to heat, but those that were exposed to capsaicinoids responded normally.
After identifying a protein known as TRPV1 as the binding site for capsaicinoids, they used genetic engineering and pharmacological inhibitors to block TRPV1. This caused the neurons’ response to heat and capsaicin to return.
The discovery may lead to new ways of treating chronic pain using capsaicinoids, according to the researchers.
The alligator pepper is a pepper which is found mostly in Florida, and it’s called the alligator pepper because of the way that it grows. It has this really weird spiky looking leaf. There’s just like spikes everywhere, and when you get it to grow on your garden or in your field, it looks kind of like an alligator. It kind of looks like a crocodile with spikes on its back or something like that.
Alligator peppers are used for their flavor mainly. There’s not a lot of them out there, and they’re not used for anything else besides just their flavor, at least as far as I’ve been able to find out. But they are very good for flavoring stuff, like if you’re making salsa or something else, or if you want to make a nice flavored rub for meat or something else that has good flavor in it already, then these are perfect for that because they add a lot of flavor to whatever you’re eating. And that’s how most people use them out there in Florida.