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Thursday, July 26, 2007 Bookmark Now! | Email to a friend  

Why does my nose run when I eat spicy food?

A runny nose seems to go hand-in-hand with spicy food. But why? We love a challenge, so we grabbed a fresh hankie and went in search of an answer.

Thankfully, we found one almost immediately. This post from the Deccan Herald explains that most spicy foods contain something called "capsaicin," a chemical found in peppers. When ingested, it's believed to affect "the quantity and thickness of mucus and other fluids secreted in the nasal passages." In other words, it's a kind a nasal decongestant.

You might think ingesting a lot of spicy foods would help clear out allergies or a cold. But, according to Organic Authority, you'd be wrong. While spicy food like peppers and wasabi "offers brief relief," in reality, "your nasal congestion will worsen, making you even more miserable." That's because spicy foods cause greater congestion in the long term.

Finally, a quick footnote. While trawling the Web, we learned capsaicin is the active ingredient in pepper spray. So be nice to cops.

Source: ask.yahoo.com

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