Having suffered several days with a common cold, JTL (hereafter referred to as "Subject") wondered if the effects of a helping of spicy food could relieve him of his nasal congestion. Subject has been coping with nasal congestion and sneezing most of the day; previous days' symptoms have included sore throat and coughing.
Subject also has very spicy Cashew Chicken leftovers in his refrigerator.
Will the consumption of spicy foodstuffs help alleviate nasal congestion in a common-cold sufferer?
Many tissues will be used, but there will be no overall net effect on the congestion itself.
- 1 serving of Cashew Chicken, spiced medium (albeit with abundant dried chili peppers, perhaps more than Subject originally bargained for), from Satay on the Road
- 1 mid-30s adult male, suffering from a cold (day 4)
- 1 cup water (approx. 500 mL)
- Leftovers were reheated in a microwave oven. Approximate serving size: "enough."
- Reheated leftovers were consumed. Despite Subject knowing water has absolutely no healing powers on the effects of spicy foods on the mouth, Subject consumed water as he ate. Thus, Subject is a dumbass.
- Subject experienced moderate to severe oral discomfort while eating.
- More peppers were consumed than Subject would normally ever contemplate in a single sitting.
- Subject questioned his sanity more than once during the process.
- Much mucous was expunged from the nasal cavity during the consumption, and Subject's eyes watered slightly.
- After initial increase in mucous output due to the consumption of spicy food, and the removal thereof via tissue, Subject's nasal congestion returned within ten (10) minutes.
There appeared to be a temporary effect on congestion, but this was short-lived and Subject is back to sniffling. Sources of error include inconsistency in the type and size of dried chili pepper, lack of an experimental control, and an overall incompetence on the part of the experimenter.* Subject also wanted to note his concern for the overall state of his gastrointestinal tract in the coming hours.
* I used to put this as the final source of error in every one of my university physics labs.