Chili: the perfect drug

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


    "exploiting numbness", I like this term

    it's a philosophy I think I've sub-consciously subscribe to in my daily life...

    both physically (I lie on my mouse arm to make it go dead and then hit with my fist....strange I know but it seems to work on the old carpel tunnels)

    and possibly emotionally, but lets not go there, lets just say that I think people who live in Cambodia for 3 years tend to experience a degree of emotional shut down...I know of worse however - a number of my alumni from development studies in Melbourne spend their lives chasing humanitarian disasters....


    (un)comfortably numb?

    have you ever used one of the herbal pepper heated pain relief stickers, then when you take it off and shower, owch the confused heat receptor nerve endings!!


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