The Spicy Future Of Anesthesia

Anesthesia hasn't evolved all that much since the late 1800s, but a recent Harvard-based study zeroed in on an unlikely potential catalyst for change: hot peppers.

Ironically, the active ingredient in the painfully spicy vegetable seems to assist a lidocaine derivative, allowing it to effect only pain-sensing nerves without effecting movement or touch. This could mean eliminating procedural pain while also eliminating the temporarily disabling effects of today's common anesthesia.

For example, if you're undergoing an elaborate cosmetic dental procedure, this combination would ease the pain, but wouldn't leave you numb and drooling as you leave the office.

Researchers believe this discovery could also lead to improved treatment of chronic pain and even eczema.

Human trials for the hot pepper/lidocaine-derivative combination are underway.