Devil’s Revenge. Spontaneous Combustion. Hot sauces have names like that for a reason. Now scientists are testing if the stuff that makes the sauces so savage can tame the pain of surgery.
Doctors are dripping the chemical that gives chili peppers their fire directly into open wounds during knee replacement and a few other highly painful operations.
Don’t try this at home: 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.
How could something searing possibly soothe? Bite a hot pepper, and after the burn your tongue goes numb. 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.
Yikes!!! I guess it’ll only hurt at first and then you’ll be pain-free, so maybe it’s worth it.