Guide to Stopping a Chili Pepper Burn

Chili pepper burn, my husband once made the mistake of saying “it must be worse than childbirth”. Having been through childbirth, I’m inclined to agree with him because at least in childbirth they can give you the good drugs to stop the pain.

There will come a point in your life when you find yourself screaming with pain after an encounter with a chili pepper that was too hot for you to handle. Or in my case, your mother-in-law gives you a plant claiming it’s “sweet peppers” when it’s actually a chili plant which may have been grown in the fires of Hell. Lucky for you, I have some tried and tested methods to help you in your hour of need. (These have all been tried and tested by myself after I popped one of the “sweet peppers” in my mouth. What followed was several hours of pain and the sneaking suspicion that my mother-in-law secretly hates me.)

How to Stop a Chili Pepper Burn – Tried and Tested

Water– This is the go to remedy for anyone who finds their mouth on fire. But it doesn’t work all that well on your mouth. The only thing water is good for is rinsing your eyes out. If you have accidently rubbed your eyeball with a chili infected finger, water is your friend, but for your mouth and fingers it’s pretty useless. Eyes are self-cleaning but rinsing them with cool running water can help ease the pain until your eye gets the burning to stop. Or if you are fortunate enough to have an eye cleaning station in your house, that will work too.

Oil– Vegetable oil and olive oil are surprising good at taking the burn from your skin and mouth. Simply rub some oil over the infected skin or take a shot of your chosen oil to relieve the burning within a matter of seconds. It’s best to rinse the oil all around your mouth so that you get your entire mouth covered and no sneaky burning bits are left under your tongue. It’s not the nicest thing to do but it beats having an inferno in your mouth. I have no idea why this works but it does.

Soap– Washing your hands (or whatever other body part you got chili on) with soap is another great way to remove the burn. But it depends on the type of soap that you use. Liquid soaps have little or no effect on removing the sting of chili pepper burn. Soaps which contain animal fats or essential oils are by far the best. It’s probably the same idea as using oil (see above).

Sugar– This is a pretty surprising one but it works great. When your mouth is on fire, simply pop a spoonful of sugar in your mouth and swirl it around. It did take a couple of spoonfuls of sugar to get the burn away completely but it wasn’t the worst thing in the world. Unfortunately drinking a fizzy drink didn’t have the same effect. I’m sure drinking a good litre of coke would clear the burn but I’d rather not try that.

Dairy products– Dairy products have long been rumored to be the best thing to remove the burn but they aren’t really. We tried milk, ice-cream, even cheese to see if it helped. It may sooth your mouth for a short period but it doesn’t neutralise it completely. Ice-cream does work if you hold it in your mouth but as soon as you swallow the burn returns. After extensive diary testing, cheese seemed to be the winner of the diary group.

The winners – Sugar and oil for your mouth, water for your eyes, and a bar of soap and water for your skin.

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