Hot Peppers – The Next Thing in Pain Control

Lots of movement in lots of different areas with this chemical from hot peppers.

clipped from www.baltimoresun.com
Bite a hot pepper, and after the burn your tongue goes numb.
Doctors are dripping capsaicin, the chemical that gives chili peppers their fire, directly into open wounds during some highly painful operations.
The hope is that bathing surgically exposed nerves in a high enough dose will numb them for weeks, so that patients suffer less pain and require fewer narcotic painkillers as they heal.

“We wanted to exploit this numbness,” is how Dr. Eske Aasvang, a pain specialist in Denmark who is testing the substance, puts it.
And at the National Institutes of Health, scientists hope early next year to begin testing in advanced cancer patients a capsaicin cousin that is 1,000 times more potent, to see whether it can overcome their intractable pain.
Harvard University researchers are mixing capsaicin with another anesthetic in hopes of developing epidurals that wouldn’t confine women to bed during childbirth, or dental injections that don’t numb the whole mouth.

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