Spicy Cure


Ever wondered why a dash of szechuan peppers delivers a lip-rattling experience? It has been found that the spice mimics sense of touch in the brain. It chemically activates light-touch fibres on the lips and tongue, and sends 50 light vibrations to the brain every second. People experience the sensation when a machine vibrating at a particular frequency is placed on their lips. The finding offers insight into the complex interactions between the senses of taste and touch, and could help understand the cause of tingling sensations experienced by chronic pain patients.


Down To Earth, October 2013