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Observations placeholder

Chili peppers, migraine and pain



Type of Spiritual Experience


Not at all what one might initially expect.

Capsaicin is the active component of chili peppers, which are plants belonging to the genus Capsicum.

The paper shows that the pain induces vasodilation and may stimulate the release of endorphins - the body's own pain killers - as such if one can cope with the initial burning sensation, the overall effects may be positive.

Not too often though - endorphins are opioids

A description of the experience


Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2013 Jul-Sep;26(3):597-600. Impact of capsaicin on mast cell inflammation. Frydas S, Varvara G, Murmura G, Saggini A, Caraffa A, Antinolfi P, Tete' S, Tripodi D, Conti F, Cianchetti E, Toniato E, Rosati M, Speranza L, Pantalone A, Saggini R, Di Tommaso LM, Theoharides TC, Conti P, Pandolfi F. Parasitology Department, Veterinary School, Thessaloniki University, Greece.

 Mast cells are inflammatory cells, and they are prominent in inflammatory diseases such as allergy and asthma.

Mast cells possess high-affinity receptors for IgE (FcERI) and the cross-linking of these receptors is essential to trigger the secretion of granules containing arachidonic acid metabolism (such as prostaglandin (PG) D2, leukotriene (LT) B4, and LTC4), histamine, cytokines, chemokines, and proteases, including mast cell-specific chymases and tryptases.

Activation of mast cells provokes the secretion of cytokines and mediators that are responsible for the pathologic reaction of immediate hypersensitivity.

Sensory nerve stimulation by irritants and other inflammatory mediators provokes the release of neuropeptides, causing an increase in vascular permeability, plasma extravasation and edema.

Trigeminal nerve stimulation actives dura mast cells and increases vascular permeability, effects inhibited by capsaicin.

Capsaicin causes release of sensory neuropeptide, catecholamines and vasodilation.

Several studies have reported that capsaicin is effective in relief and prevention of migraine headaches, improves digestion, helps to prevent heart disease, and lowers blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels. The findings reported in these studies may have implications for the pathophysiology and possible therapy of neuroinflammatory disorders.

PMID: 24067456

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps