Wednesday, 31 October 2007 by Phil Lees
Doctors are dripping capsaicin, the chemical that gives chili peppers their fire, directly into open wounds during some highly painful operations.
These experiments use an ultra-purified version of capsaicin to avoid infection -- and the volunteers are under anesthesia so they don't scream at the initial burn...
The hope is that bathing surgically exposed nerves in a high enough dose will numb them for weeks, so that patients suffer less pain and require fewer narcotic painkillers as they heal.
"We wanted to exploit this numbness," is how Dr. Eske Aasvang, a pain specialist in Denmark who is testing the substance, puts it.
I love the idea that the cure for blinding pain is higher doses of blinding pain.
See: The Baltimore Sun