Posted April 16, 2005 by Nick Lindauer in Hot Sauce News

Hunan Hand

Okay, my wife is a lot smarter then me. I admit it. And I benefit greatly from her being smarter then me, the following case in point. She was reading an old edition of the New England Journal of Medicine and came across an article / letter regarding “Hunan Hand”
Apparently an afflicted young man had rushed to the hospital, moaning and waving his hands all about. The patient was experiencing dizziness, acute pain and his pulse was dropping. The young man had been sanding furniture and after a days work, had decided to prepare a traditional Chinese lunch with peppers and chicken. While washing the peppers, the pungent chemicals got to the pain receptors at the tips of his fingers, the largest concentration of pain receptors in the human body.

Talk about scary, I’ve experience chile pepper pain, but nothing this intense apparently. The young man was treated with lidocaine and released with not long lasting effects, except quite possibly a new found respect for chile peppers.

In response, yet another doctor wrote in and described very similar incidents, with all the cases he described coming from the Texas ~ New Mexico area. The treatment he recommended was vinegar. Apparently the vinegar neutralizes the pain.

I’m going to be sure to try this one out, or at least buy some vinegar for the next time I do something stupid. And believe me, I’ll do something stupid soon.

Nick Lindauer

The Original Hot Sauce Blog