Category Archives: biology

“If, in the midst of a Szechuan pepper-heavy meal, you…



If, in the midst of a Szechuan pepper-heavy meal, you have the presence of mind to ignore the searing hot pain that fills your mouth, you might notice a more subtle effect of eating the hot peppers: a tingling, numbing sensation that envelops your lips and tongue.

What’s behind this strange phenomenon, scientifically known as paresthesia? Scientists believe that it has something to do with a molecule called hydroxy-alpha-sanshool, naturally present in the peppers.”

For more, see “Why Szechuan Peppers Make Your Lips Go Numb,” at Smithsonian.com (10 Sept 2013)

Image: by di.wineanddine

h/t @EatingAsia