A hot bowl of soup with lots of peppers sprinkled over it, a well-known recipe to fight against common cold or soothe nose congestion. Certain households prefer a glass of hot pepper water to get the same relief. This is called “Grandma’s treatment”. Ever wondered why is this done or how it works?
The black peppers are an important ingredient in food that has been followed by many cultures. It is used not just to enhance flavors in food, but has a wide range of medicinal properties as well. Our ancestors have known the effects of pepper from time since. Its presence has been dated back to about 6000 years BC. It helps in enhancing and also maintaining the body.
This wonder ingredient has the main chemical called the Capsaicin. This gives the food the spicy nature that is being relished by many people around the world. Researches have confirmed that Capsaicin can be used in topical ointments, and also as a dermal patch to relieve the pain of peripheral neuropathy.
Hot pepper when included in the diet has a positive effect on the mental and physical health. It acts by reacting with the pain receptors in the mouth. This when reacts, triggers the endorphin release. Endorphin release generally gives a relief from pain, as such giving a soothing relaxation from any form of aches.
Many manufacturers in their diet control pill are often using the capsaicin. This is because; researches have confirmed that they increase the metabolic rate there by helping in weight reduction programs. The physiology that lies behind this concept is that peppers produce heat and this sends neurotransmitters to relieve the burning sensation. AgriLIFE Extension explains; “that in an effort to eliminate the chemical irritant, body begins to sweat, heart rate begins to speed up and salivary glands produce more saliva. During this time, nose also might begin to run as mucus secretion increases. This response in turn increases the metabolism.”
Apart from the above-mentioned properties, capsaicin has been found to have certain other benefits like Pain Relief on Skin (as a topical application), relieve stomach discomfort, positive effect to relieve idiopathic rhinitis.
There have been a lot of misconceptions on consuming hot and spicy foods from time since. Many believe that consuming hot peppers or spicy food is associated to cause ulcers in the stomach and duodenum or even irritate an existing ulcer and worsen the problem. But the truth is that they have an antibiotic effect on the digestive tract, which aids in preventing diarrhea or other infectious diseases of the digestive tract.
Peppery seasonings have a nutritional benefit to humans as they are taste bud stimulators, which can be used as an alternative to salt, the one that is responsible to increase blood pressure.
Though this have been followed for centuries, now its been validated with scientific evidences. Though our ancestors had no labs to research on they have identified the good effects by daily usage and have passed on the same for generations for us to benefit. So lets get hold of our grandma’s treatment and gain the best effect of the wonder ingredient. Thus it is good to add this wonder ingredient to our daily cooking thereby improving lifestyle and preventing illness.