Friday, June 25, 2010

Foods that help stop the burning

Sometimes you crave certain foods when you are feeling down (comfort foods like ice cream) or dehydrated (grapes, watermelon) or pregnant (um, I have no explanation for that one!), I have noticed I feel regular cravings for foods that temporarily cure the burn.

Interestingly, these are some of the same things that are recommended to stop the burning of hot peppers or spicy food. The capsaicin in peppers is an alkaline oil, and needs to be counteracted to stop burning. Foods that do actually help temporarily stop the burn without the need for pharmaceutical intervention include:

Sugars- Bananas, apple slices, marshmallows (the big kind), dairy products
Fats - spoonful of peanut butter, cheese, cheesecake and chocolate milk (a 2-for-1, sugar and fat) Well, I never promised you'd lose weight with this injury.
Starches & Carbohydrates - bread, tortillas, rice, mashed potatoes, cornbread
Acids - lemons, lemonade, oranges- while these may burn themselves,, their interaction with spicy foods cools the burn

What makes it worse: alcohol, soda pop, salty chips, dry mouth, very cold water.

I read on another site about the brave guy who ate hot peppers for two weeks straight and states he's finally cured himself of the burning. I am way too much of a wimp to make that attempt, but if it has worked for you, I'd love to hear about it.

I hear there are also capsaicin "candies". Oh, joy, I can't imagine the feeling of sucking on that all day. The theory with this therapy is that the use of these hotly spiced candies depletes the substance P, which is the neurotransmitter for pain. The active ingredient is cayenne pepper. Curiously, capsaicin is also thought to be an anti-inflammatory. Hmmm.

Testing this theory (which you know I can't resist,) I had tortilla soup today and, I must say, afterwards felt a markedly reduced pain sensation of the tongue for a little while. Wonder if I have the cojones to do this every day for 2 weeks, and if it will "cure" me? Stay tuned....

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