Hot Topic

The Jalapeno peppers are doing really well and are in bloom, with many buds yet to open. Each plant is about 3′ high now, much larger than I thought they would grow.

Ever wondered what to do when you experience the intolerable afterburn of one of these peppers? Well, in the mouth, try consuming a cold dairy product, such as milk, yogurt, or ice cream. Dairy products contain a chemical called casein which counteracts the capsaicin, the source of the heat in these and other peppers.

On the skin, try rubbing alcohol to remove the irritating oil and then soak the skin in milk or another dairy product. Another method that may help is to wash with warm soap and water and then rub the skin with a cooking oil, leave for a few minutes, and then rinse. The best thing to do if you find hot peppers irritating is to wear gloves during preparation.


Author: nancybond

A writer, photographer, naturalist from small town Nova Scotia, Canada.

12 thoughts on “Hot Topic”

  1. Yes Nancy, the dangers of not using water as so many people tend to want to do after a bit of capsaicin. Great tip.

    We’ve had more frost so things are not so rosy in my garden but it’s a delight to see peppers in yours. Autumn is here though today I’m enjoying the sweet ordinary as I wrote about. It’s always such a pleasure to see your photos and read about what’s happening in your corner of the world.

    Have a beautiful day Nancy!

  2. That is timely advice…spot on with the milk. Apparently carbonated drinks will make the burn worse. Especially with the hotter peppers, gloves are a must — and don’t scratch your eyes or go to the washroom without a thorough wash.

  3. Chris – my hubby found out about a thorough hand wash the hard way after chopping up some Scotch Bonnets! He loves heat in food, but not, um, in other places. I had an experience with Scotch Bonnet oil on my lips one time, and that was after several thorough washings using a nail brush. Lessons learned!

    Thanks everyone for your visits and comments. :)

  4. I always like a cold beer after I’ve been scorched by peppers. I think the alcohol dissolves the oil (it doesn’t work as well as milk, but I’m lactose intolerant so don’t drink the stuff). Anything with oil in it should work, since the oils will dissolve in other oils. I’m thinking avocados would be good for us lactose intolerant types, though I’ve never tried it.

  5. I’ve found Tequila works well to cut the burn. Either that or it makes you forget all about it. ;^D Water is the absolute worst. I can’t have dairy products either, so I follow my dad’s old advice to eat a piece of bread on the rare occasions when hot becomes too hot.

  6. Wonderful Jalapeno Peppers and their blooms are quite pretty! I have to laugh at what MMD said about the tequila! LOL I’m not crazy about spicy stuff, but my hubby loves them!

  7. Wow, thanks for the info. I didn’t know that. Nor did I know they produced such pretty blooms. Maybe I’ll grow them now!

  8. Good advice on handling hot peppers. A friend of mine made the mistake of rubbing her eyes while handling them and ended up in the hospital.

  9. OH my goodness, great advice but it makes me scared to try them. If you have to go to such measures to get rid of it, then I think I’ll stay away.

  10. I hadn’t realized pepper blossoms were so beautiful–never looked closely at them, the way your first photo shows them.

    And thanks for the afterburn info–very useful. I hadn’t heard about dairy. But like Mr. McGregor’s d., I learned that any starch (bread, tortillas, rice, or whatever is closest) works a lot better than water or soda for mouth burn.

    Nice to have some tips for skin burn, too!

    Anna, if you are scared, try Anaheims or some other very mildly hot pepper, they are delicious even to my wimpy N. European palate.

  11. The blooms are lovely and the advice is wise. I can vouch for the milk working very well. I even had to use it on my fingertips once when, after being pricked by my roses all day, I got some hot stuff in them. A bowl of milk was what gave me relief… I felt like the old Palmolive commercials. :)

    Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

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