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What Makes Chillies Hot?

Chilli as we all know is hot and stimulates the taste buds when eaten. It gives off a burning or tingling sensation which newbies hate and old timers absolutely love – they want more and more.

The active ingredient in chillies is called capsaicin which we are told is an alkaloid (whatever that is!) Capsaicin makes the brain to release a neurotransmitter (zoikks) called substance P. This makes brain think that the body is in pain, the heart beats rapidly and the natural painkiller endorphin is released.