General Question

JackAdams's avatar

I have heard it said that when you eat something that is very spicy hot, the way to stop the burning sensation inside your mouth is with milk, instead of water. Is that true?

Asked by JackAdams (6492points) August 21st, 2008

I try to avoid super spicy foods, but if I ever eat some super-hot chili, for example, would milk be the drink to use, to stop that burning sensation inside my mouth?

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15 Answers

brianru's avatar

yes, because chemically milk is a base while capsaicin – the spicy component – is an acid. So the milk neutralizes the acidity.

JackAdams's avatar

What about capsicum?

marissa's avatar

Yes, they actually did an episode about this on Myth Busters and milk even beat out beer.

brianru's avatar

also on food detectives

naina's avatar

Even plain bread helps. But yeah, milk is the best.

robmandu's avatar

NOTHING beats beer!

Shocked someone would even consider such a thing.

dalepetrie's avatar

I hadn’t heard brianru’s specific argumetn before about milk being a base vs. spices being acidic. What I’ve always understood to be the case is that spices, including the spiciest ones, are oil based. When you use something such as water or a water based beverage, well we all know that oil and water do not mix and it essentialy spreads the spices around your mouth, exacerbating the pain. Milk is also oil based (because of the milkfat content), and therefore it binds to the spice, washing it down instead of just moving it around a bit.

JackAdams's avatar

My mother once caught me exacerbating. Boy, was I embarrassed!

Summer's avatar

bread works great too!

ezraglenn's avatar

But who wants to drink milk with their wings?

in all seriousness, Jackson, in the future, you might want to phrase a question like this in a bit more of a concise manner. For example, this question could have been:
“Is it true that milk is more effective than water at putting out spicy mouth-fires?”
instead of:
“I have heard it said that when you eat something that is very spicy hot, the way to stop the burning sensation inside your mouth is with milk, instead of water. Is that true?”

the details field is your friend! :)

JackAdams's avatar

Jackson?????

robmandu's avatar

Maybe he meant Jack-san? What do you think, @ezra-san?

Hobbes's avatar

@dalepetrie – I had heard that too. I had also always thought that bread was good to eat because it soaked up the oils. Anyone know if this is true?

ezraglenn's avatar

sorry I was having a temporary reading problem.

JackAdams's avatar

@ezraglenn: No problem at all, really.

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