If you’re like me then you love spicing your food up a bit. I just love that burn I experience when eating my favorite Mexican or Indian dishes.
The standard hot spice is of course the chili. These are now grown all over the world and have been developed into many thousands of varieties ranging from totally mild to seriously dangerously hot. Mexico is where chilies originated, and if you visit a local food market there, you’ll find hundreds of different ones available to purchase.
The thing to note however is that all chili varieties contain a substance called Capsaicin. This substance is used by the chili plant to protect itself, because it serves as a skin irritant. In fact capsaicin is the active ingredient in defensive pepper sprays.
In low to medium heat chili varieties, the amount of this substance you’ll consume in a normal serving is small enough to not pose as a danger. But in the really hot ones it’s a different matter. Some chili varieties contain so much capsaicin that it can cause permanent blindness if it gets into the eyes and can even kill if digested raw.
So, please continue to enjoy your chili enhanced dishes, but just add in reasonable quantities and heat levels.