Another possible use for capsaicin: Treating CHS symptoms

In the past, capsaicin’s shown promise in helping to treat a variety of health conditions, from arthritis and headaches to minor muscle sprains and strains.

In turns out capsaicin may also have another use. Scientists want to know if capsaicin can be used to help with cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. Often called CHS, it’s a condition tied to the long-term daily use of marijuana.

Patients with CHS suffer from severe bouts of vomiting, nausea and sometimes, severe abdominal pain.

A newly published study says topical capsaicin may produce some relief for CHS sufferers. The study looked at people who visited the emergency room with CHS symptoms. It pointed out many times CHS sufferers don’t benefit from standard antiemetic therapies, which commonly are used to help ease vomiting and nausea. A few years ago, another study showed that when other treatments failed, people were able to see some improvement with topical capsaicin. Capsaicin, of course, is the chemical derived from hot chili peppers. All 13 patients who received the topical capsaicin in a 2017 study experienced some type of relief afterwards. In the new study of 201 patients with at least suspected CHS, researchers also found positive results. When topical capsaicin was applied to a patient’s abdomen, researchers discovered it resulted in a shorter time period between their treatment and discharge from the emergency room.

More research is needed to figure out how well capsaicin works when it’s used earlier, even as early as the original diagnosis of CHS. Researchers also want to know the result if it’s used before any other supplementary medications are used. While CHS is rare, it’s just one more example of how capsaicin may help your health. Of course, even if you just want to spice up your diet with some capsaicin-rich hot pepper products, you’re in luck. There are all kinds of ways to heat up your meal, and possibly help your health at the same time.

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