Why does the tongue burn after eating chili? What is the quick remedy for it?

Your midnight hunger pangs tempted you to order your all-time favorite mouthwatering Pepperoni and Hungarian pizza from your favorite online pizza kitchen. On each order, you always note adding extra hot sauce that gives you more appetite when eating. On top of almost everything that you eat (except for sweet desserts), you like to add extra spicy hot-burning sauces. You tried nearly all types of it, Caribbean, Hawaiian, Mexican, Louisiana, American, Asian, African, Indian, etc.

There is a myth that spicy foods kill your tongue because, after eating them, your tongue temporarily feels numb. It happens because of the compound capsaicin, the main ingredient in common-chili peppers that creates a hot, spicy, burning sensation to your tongue that makes you feel your mouth is on fire. However, the numbing is the natural response of the mouth to protect itself against the pain caused by spicy foods, but receptors eventually go back to normal.

If you can’t stand the pain after eating spicy food with jalapenos, habanero pepper, hot sauce, or wasabi, you may opt to relieve the pain with the following:

 Eat sugar

Granulated sugar will help reduce the heat effect from spicy foods. If you’re a sweet tooth, well, you’ll enjoy this remedy and be glad at the fact that you can enjoy binging on spicy dishes with just sugar on your side to help neutralize the heat-causing pain to your mouth. According to IndiaCurry.com, the Scoville Heat Unit will determine the amount of sugar you need to counteract the heat. The spicy substances like oil will be absorbed by the sugar and will provide a different taste. (click here for more details)

Drink a glass of milk

Dairy products, specifically plain milk, cool down the heat from eating spicy dishes. It is already a popular antidote since 8000 years back during the time Central and South Americans began to add hot chili to their food, leaving people searching for ways to cool a burning tongue. The protein called Casein is contained in the milk, which, according to the American Chemical Society, helps break the bonds of the capsaicin formed on the nerve receptors.

Munch some milk chocolate

This is another right way or alibi for you to eat more chocolates. Choose high-fat content chocolates as it can remove some of the capsaicin because it is more soluble in fat than water-based solutions. Milk chocolate, which mostly has fat and casein content, will provide more benefit than dark chocolate, thereby providing better relief.

Eat starchy foods like bread or fries.

Capsaicin, a compound that causes the burning sensation will be blocked from penetrating the tongue using a slice of bread or with mashed or fried potatoes. The starch in the bread o potatoes acts as a natural barrier. Although potatoes and bread won’t dissolve capsaicin as fats do, they will serve as a crude mop to soak up the molecules and stop the scorching feeling. (click here for more details)

Eat tomatoes or lemons.

Aside from its many health benefits, lemons and tomatoes will help neutralize the capsaicin by binding with them, similar to what dairy can do. Prepare this side salad and munch them for immediate relief every time you crave for spicy foods. Fruits like oranges, pineapple have similar properties. (click here for more details)

Beer or Wine with alcohol content.

Drink, but don’t get drunk with alcohol, just enough to relieve the heat from spicy foods you have eaten. It can dissolve capsaicin, but only if the beverage has a relatively high proof. On his blog post “Bon Appetit,” Amiel Stanek tested several ways to squash the burn of spicy chili peppers. He was surprised at how well a few sips of vodka worked. “I’m sure some of the success is because it made me feel a lot mellower about having a burning mouth,” Stanek says. (click here for more details)

Your remedies to the burning tongue may be literally on your reach, but it’s not an excuse to abuse on eating spicy foods as it also poses health dangers. The Insider.com has posted on the possible effect on one’s health of eating too many spicy foods.

According to Dr. Janette Nesheiwat, MD, hot peppers, spicy curry, and other spicy foods trigger the reflux of gastric juices of the stomach into the esophagus, which causes heartburn.

You may experience heartburn when your stomach acid flows back up into your food pipe, causing a burning feeling in your chest. And capsaicin can slow down the rate of digestion. The food, therefore, will stay in your stomach longer, increasing your risk of heartburn. (click here for more details)