Chili peppers are little powerhouses of phytonutrients and vitamins. Because of Capsaicin, only under certain circumstances do chili peppers make a good sleep aid.
What is Capsaicin?
Capsaicin is a colorless phytonutrient with the chemical name of C18H27NO3. Capsaicin is found in various hot peppers and is responsible for the hotness of peppers.
Is Capsaicin addictive?
Although some people enjoy eating hot peppers and purposely search out the hottest peppers, there is no scientific evidence that capsaicin is addictive.
How Does Capsaicin work?
According to Dr. Mercola, chili peppers trick your brain (http://bit.ly/2t6YbXt). “Your nervous system contains heat-receptor proteins known as TRPV1 receptors. Located in cells in your skin, tongue, mouth, stomach and other parts of the digestive system, these receptors remain inactive unless you're exposed to temperatures above 107.6 degrees F (42 degrees C). When you eat a hot chili pepper the TRPV1 receptor is stimulated by capsaicin to send a signal to the brain to release substance P. Substance P is a neuropeptide that mediates pain transmission.
How is the heat in chili peppers measured?
Chili peppers hotness is measures by the Scoville Heat Scale. The Scoville Heat Scale is a measure of the concentration of capsaicin found in the chili pepper. The name capsaicin comes from the scientific classification of the pepper plant, the genus Capsicum. The scale is named after Wilber L. Scoville, a pharmacist who worked at Parke Davis pharmaceutical company in Detroit Michigan, USA. For more interesting facts about the inventor of the Scoville Organoleptic Test click this link: http://www.brobrubru.com/2012/07/who-was-wilbur-scoville/
If you want to know where your peppers rank on the Scoville scale, you can look that up on Pepper Joe’s Hot Pepper Heat Scale. I was surprised to learn that Jalapeno, Poblano and Chipotle are rank pretty low on Pepper Joe’s scale. To find out how your favorite chili pepper’s heat compares to its cousins’ check Pepper Joe’s Hot Pepper Heat Scale here: : https://pepperjoe.com/pages/hot-pepper-heat-scale
What are the health benefits of Capsaicin?
Capsaicin is used in topical creams for its analgesic properties and can help reduce the need for addictive opioid prescription pain pills. Some patients with painful forms of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis find that rubbing capsaicin cream over painful arthritic joints relieves osteoarthritis symptoms.
Capsaicin is said to lower blood pressure, prevent or control prostate cancer, prevent blood clot formation and stop heart attacks. Because Capsaicin relieves arthritis pain, people with arthritis may find chili peppers, when eaten in moderation, are a good natural sleep aid.
Do chili peppers cause insomnia?
Chili peppers may cause indigestion and stomach irritation and this can cause temporary insomnia. However, if you suffer with painful osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or Fibromyalgia eating Capsaicin peppers or taking a supplement may relieve pain and help you sleep. Use a trial and error method to find the amount of peppers or Capsaicin that relieves pain without causing insomnia.
Can eating hot peppers be dangerous?
In moderation, you can safely eat chili peppers. In fact, there are significant health benefits associated with eating chili peppers. That said, YouTube is full of “insane” people taking the hot chili pepper eating challenge.
One of my favorite YouTube videos is The Crude Brothers video of a father and his 14 year old son eating what is currently the world’s hottest chili pepper, the Carolina Reaper. The Carolina Reaper can tip the Scoville scale all the way to 2,200,000! I must add currently the hottest pepper because gardeners are continuously breeding new peppers to bump the Carolina Reaper from the number one place in the Guinness Book of World Records. You can see the YouTube video of the Crude Brothers by clicking on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWQnx84cVAk
If you eat too many chili peppers or get one that is extremely hot, you could get an upset stomach. If you vomit up the chili, you could burn your esophagus. Other adverse effects are minor such as burning tongue and lips sensation. But the burn doesn’t stop at the tongue. I like to say the burn is from the tongue to the bum.
You can get a skin rash from handling peppers and if you accidently breathe in pepper fumes, your airway may become irritated. Some people with asthma who breathe the aroma of chili peppers experience asthma attacks. Therefore, handle hot chili peppers in a well ventilated room.
I learned to make Kimchi from a Korean lady. Koreans are known for eating spicy foods and making some of the best kimchi in the world. She advised me to wear rubber gloves to keep from burning my hands and I advise you to do the same. Wearing gloves also reduces the risk of rubbing your eyes and getting hot pepper juice into your eyes. If you accidently introduce capsaicin into your eyes, flush your eyes with lots of clean water and contact your healthcare provider.
My YouTube Video: How to Eat Habanero Chili Peppers without the Burn
You can enjoy the phytonutrients and health benefits of chili peppers without burning your tongue. Here’s a short YouTube video to teach you more about chili peppers and how to eat a Habanero pepper without burning your skin, eyes or mouth. If you like the video, give me a thumbs up and subscribe to my YouTube channel.