Saturday, November 10, 2007

Would you do this?

A friend of mine sent me this article and asked me if I would stick a hot pepper up my nose if it meant headache relief. I know I've tried some wacky stuff trying to get rid of my migraines, but I don't know if I could do this. I'm not a big fan of hot sauce and one time I tried to use capsaicin in my bird feeder to keep a determined squirrel away from the sunflower seeds, and the squirrel only ended up liking them more. Knowing my luck, Chuck The Migraine Squirrel would dig the hot spicy stuff and it would only make my migraines worse.

The Claim: Cayenne Peppers Can Cure Headaches

Published: October 30, 2007 in The New York Times

Times Health Guide: HeadachePeople who suffer from chronic headaches have been known to try all sorts of pills and home remedies. But cayenne peppers?

Behind the folk wisdom is capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne. It is said to bring relief by depleting Substance P, a neurotransmitter that helps transmit pain impulses. Sounds unlikely, but a number of studies have tested the claim, and most have found evidence to support it.

One prominent study was published in 1998 in The Clinical Journal of Pain by researchers in the department of anesthesia and critical care at the University of Chicago. In it, the researchers analyzed data from 33 prior studies and found that capsaicin seemed to work better than placebos for headaches occurring in clusters.

But simply eating hot sauce isn’t going to help. Most studies suggest that capsaicin works just when applied topically. A study by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital recruited sufferers of chronic headaches and randomly split them. One group had small amounts of diluted capsaicin applied inside the nose for a week. The other received placebo. The study found “a significant decrease in headache severity in the capsaicin group,” but not the placebo group. Other studies, including one this year, published similar results.


Studies have found that capsaicin may help relieve headaches.


deborah said...

I saw this article! Lastnight I made nachos NACHOS!! With 4cheese and black beans and chipotles. Guess what I woke up with? Yep, migraine. Guess what I'm NOT shoving up my nose? UM HMMMMM you're right. There are just certain things a girl will NOT do for the sake of migraine pain. but you let me know if it works, you know, if you do it, that is

Migraineur said...

No way. Absolutely not. I've had too many incidents where I was chopping a habanero pepper and didn't wash my hands thoroughly enough before rubbing my eyes or touching my face.

I saw the picture before I read the text, and I thought it was a picture of what a migraine feels like. My sinuses hurt like the bejeesus when I get one.

Sherry said...

Ok, I actually have tried this spray that has that in it. It was called Sinus-Buster or something like that. But it was suppose to help migraines,too. So, I sprayed it up my nose and it stung like crazy, but did not help my migraine whatsoever!!

I have tried many stupid things over the years - hey, I guess somebody's gotta do it - huh?

Anonymous said...

I tried it, and although it stings for about 20 seconds, it Really worked! It's a crazy concept, I know, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

I used it every 30 minutes or so, and I didn't have to take any meds!
I didn't think I would be a believer, but now I am!