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Author Topic: Can we taste through our skin?  (Read 14779 times)

Offline Atomic-S

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Can we taste through our skin?
« on: 18/12/2008 04:51:16 »
Has anyone heard of, or experienced, the phenomenon of detecting the flavor of a substance or object by touching it with some part of the skin well removed from the mouth? Perhaps even one's fingers.


 

Offline dentstudent

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Can we taste through our skin?
« Reply #1 on: 18/12/2008 07:45:30 »
I'm sure that I've heard that it is possible to come into skin contact with some essential oils that can then be detected on your breath. Thus, if they are on your breath, it follows that it would be possible to taste them.

However, I've no idea as to the validity of this, or the mechanism by which it would work.
 

Offline Alandriel

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Can we taste through our skin?
« Reply #2 on: 19/12/2008 19:59:24 »
Hmm this is a nice one.  ;D


Are you up for a little experiment?

Take a clove of garlic - fresh is best. Peel and rub it onto the bottom of your foot.
Start the stopwatch



How soon until you can detect the taste on your tongue?






Usually only a few seconds   :)

This works with all strong aromatic substances though I would caution you if you're sensitive.
Works also with mint essential oils.
 

Offline JnA

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Can we taste through our skin?
« Reply #3 on: 19/12/2008 23:41:10 »
since taste consists mainly of smell, one would have to block their nose for this experiment to be even slightly valid.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Can we taste through our skin?
« Reply #4 on: 20/12/2008 18:43:26 »
There's a solvent used in labs called dimethyl sulphoxide. If you get it on your skin you can taste it shortly afterwards because it penetrates the skin rapidly and is then converted in the body to dimethyl sulphide.
 

Offline Alandriel

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Can we taste through our skin?
« Reply #5 on: 21/12/2008 14:48:09 »


But does dimethyl sulphide 'taste' nice? Have you tried it?
How would you describe the sensation?


Yeah - sure, garlic is not that great either except if you're on a vampire banishing
mission. The mint, however, is rather pleasant.


On further thought, I really need to test this with some fake chocolate essence and see,
though something tells me it won't come close to the real thing
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Can we taste through our skin?
« Reply #6 on: 21/12/2008 16:07:07 »
Dimethyl sulphide tastes a bit like garlic- sort of metalic and generally quite hard to describe. Not particularly nice. One of the problems with using DMSO is that when it soaks through the skin it sometimes carries whatever is dissolved in it thorugh the skin too. It also tends to diffuse through gloves.
 

Offline Alandriel

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Can we taste through our skin?
« Reply #7 on: 23/12/2008 22:19:27 »
One of the problems with using DMSO is that when it soaks through the skin it sometimes carries whatever is dissolved in it thorugh the skin too. It also tends to diffuse through gloves.

So the 'metallic garlicky' taste might carry undertones of latex?

 :o  Yikes!


Hmmm..... isn't there another, more pleasant substance available for easy testing?
 

Offline Karen W.

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Can we taste through our skin?
« Reply #8 on: 28/12/2008 13:32:56 »
Has anyone heard of, or experienced, the phenomenon of detecting the flavor of a substance or object by touching it with some part of the skin well removed from the mouth? Perhaps even one's fingers.

This happens to me when using a sharpie Permanent marker!

What a nasty foul taste it leaves in your mouth from just writing with it! I think its the odor that causes the taste!
 

Offline DrN

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Can we taste through our skin?
« Reply #9 on: 28/12/2008 23:01:22 »
Don't try this at home kids - DMSO is a carcinogen! please don't taste it, or even dip your finger in it. Although I suspect anyone with access to it is all too aware of this!
 

Offline Atomic-S

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Can we taste through our skin?
« Reply #10 on: 29/12/2008 07:20:32 »
Interesting reports here about various organic substances that seem to have this property. Especially the foot thing. Of course we need to be sure that what we are "tasting" is not being simly smelled through the air, but it seems clear from the above that in some cases the transmission is not by air.

However, I was thinking more in terms of metallic substances. Such as the handling of certain metals and getting a flavor from them. As I recall, copper is one, perhaps depending on its state of tarnish. Or placing a metal object on the back of the neck, or maybe other locations. By the way, what about these copper bracelets worn by some people to relieve arthritis? They have some kind of a pharmacological effect due to the diffusion of the metal into the skin (the diffusion having been demonstraed by experiment), so, the possibility that your taste apparatus might pick up something like this is not farfetched. A worthwhile inquiry,however, is how fast the substance is detected, because that would help identify the process by which the body detects the substance.
 

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Can we taste through our skin?
« Reply #10 on: 29/12/2008 07:20:32 »

 

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