why does pepper make you sneeze

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why does pepper make you sneeze
« on: 29/08/2007 01:12:21 »


Offline Karen W.

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why does pepper make you sneeze
« Reply #1 on: 29/08/2007 15:25:32 »
I don't know but I assume because of its hot flavor and the size of the

tiny flakes etc.. flakes isn't a good word, pepper particles as well as

the powder, that its spiciness may irritate the nasal passages in which

the lining is extremely sensitive, causing your body to try to ex-spell

the foreign substance.. I believe all those tiny hairs in our nose are

for detecting such things as pepper or the passing by bug which tries to

climb inside and feast on our nasal discharges...LOL.. Seriously, I

believe the sensitive little hairs are guards which sound an alarm and

are aroused by the presence of a foreign invader and thus begin the

process of removing the foreign presence from the midst of the warm

environment which we call our nasal passages...by in fact sneezing

ourselves silly! LOL!  Now, I could be wrong but I think in my opinion

that is what happens! LOL
« Last Edit: 29/08/2007 15:28:56 by Karen W. »

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Offline yor_on

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why does pepper make you sneeze
« Reply #2 on: 06/02/2009 22:26:46 »
Taste and smell are both information processed by receptors in your nose tongue mouth and throat.
If looked at down to their molecular constituents, they are like geometric shapes 'grains' of molecules.
Depending on their general shape they will get stuck to different receptors and then translated into 'information' of what we taste or/and smell by the brain.

It is the way the brain treat that information that makes us experience different 'taste/smell sensations'.
And they work together.

"Smell versus taste. Physiologically smell and taste are produced differently. With smell, the volatile chemicals in the substance flow in through the nostrils, whereas with taste, they go through the mouth to the back of the soft palate, which pumps air into the nose as a person chews.

The nose senses the same smell in both cases, but the brain also registers the difference in the direction of air flow, thereby differentiating smell and taste. As a result, sniffing from a glass of red wine, even sipping it and putting it in the front of the mouth as a wine taster would, produces a different experience than actually swallowing it. “Both give true representations of what they are,” says Clark. “One is smell; the other is taste.”

In the case of wine, both smell and taste are pleasant, but that’s not true of everything. Most people who smell a rose, for example, enjoy the fragrance, but if they taste a rose petal, most don’t like it. Of course that’s cultural too, because in Turkey many people like the taste of roses.""


" When people eat hot chili the brain secretes endorphins, the opiate-like substances that block pain. Endorphins are produced when runners "hit the wall" and get their second wind. Who needs to jog and watch their diet? Just eat peppers and keep on burning!"

As for why pepper make you sneeze?
Some say that it irritates the membranes of the inner nose so I think Karen has got it right:)
Although the hair inside your nose doesn't really experience anything more than pressure.
They are there as a air filter mostly and, perhaps, as a minor help for keeping the humidity at a constant level inside your nose.

But I don't know why strong sunlight makes us sneeze, Karen could very well be correct suspecting those hairs?
Although I have a vauge memory reading that this also is connected to the optical nerve somehow??
« Last Edit: 06/02/2009 22:43:22 by yor_on »
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Offline DrN

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why does pepper make you sneeze
« Reply #3 on: 09/02/2009 23:52:47 »
I did a quick search and found this:

Pepper, be it white, black, or green, contains an alkaloid of pyridine called piperine. Piperine acts as an irritant if it gets into the nose. It stimulates (or irritates) the nerve endings inside the mucous membrane. This stimulation will cause you to sneeze. Actually, the nose wants to kick out this irritant and the only way it knows how to do this is by sneezing.