Science: Health: Defecation
Cure for the "Ring of Fire"   (+40, -5)  [vote for, against]
The "morning after" solution for Chilli-heads

If you eat a lot of chilli-rich food - say, a Chicken Vindaloo for dinner every night for a month like I once foolishly had - you may be familiar with the "Ring of Fire" - that irritating early-morning problem that really requires you to have put some toilet-tissue in the freezer the night before...

Well, here's a proposed solution - it's really a new use for an old product rather than a new product per se.

Anyway, as you may know, the "heat" in chilli-based food comes from a chemical compound called capsaicin. Capsaicin is not soluble in water, so when your mouth is burning a glass of water or even a cold, tasty beer brings no respite.

Now, casein - an enzyme found in milk products - disrupts the weak bonds between capsaicin and the mouth's pain receptors - so a nice glass or milk - or Lassi for you curry fans - is just the ticket for quenching a firey mouth.

But what about the other end? Obviously for the same reason that a glass of water fails to help, those moistened or "medicial" toilet tissues won't do the trick. So it has to be something milk based, preferably in a handy toilet-tissue sized format.

But wait! Such a thing already exists....the Kraft Single Cheese Slice. *could* work. You could also try a cream-cheese enema, but I don't think the general public is ready for that sort of thing just yet...
-- darsy, Aug 04 2000

(?) More Info http://student.biol...u/honors98/group12/
lots of info about capsaicin etc. [darsy, Aug 04 2000, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Cream Cheese Rings for Bagels http://www.halfbake...Rings#974404508-3-1
Cream cheese enemas? Now I know why bagels are the shape they are... [Lemon, Aug 04 2000, last modified Oct 06 2004]

(?) Tucks http://www.womens-c...irs/tuckspads.shtml
bout the size of a kraft single too [raisin, Aug 04 2000, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Why Chillies are so hot
No theories yet on why I find spicy food so addictive though [-alx, Aug 04 2000, last modified Oct 06 2004]

(?) Short article on curry addiction http://www.thefoodd...m?/curryarticle.htm
for alx. [DrBob, May 21 2002, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Culture and spice. http://www.sciencen...98/3_14_98/food.htm
[bungston, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Cheese Gun http://www.halfbake...Melt_20Cheese_20Gun
May be useful for administering the cheese enema [spacemoggy, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

too heavy task husband http://web.archive....heon/in_sunjintrad/
still around thanks to the waybackmachine [Worldgineer, Nov 04 2004]

Oh, different problem. I thought you meant the Lucent logo. Well, I guess it is the same problem really, since that's what I've always thought the Lucent logo was based on.
-- brouhaha, Aug 05 2000

I can't wait to try this the next time I get the ring of fire. I'm not sure if I'll do yellow or white cheese food.
-- cwest03, Nov 17 2000

Using processed cheese for this purpose is very slightly less disgusting than actually eating it, so there's probably an upside to this idea. As demand for processed cheese products drops -- due to the world collectively taking a second look at it and recoiling in horror -- this idea may gradually increase in popularity, so that jobs (chemists and so on) are saved in the processed-cheese industry without anyone having to continue eating it. All are happy.
-- Monkfish, Nov 22 2000

Given the principle: individually-wrapped slices of processed anathema are effective anti-ring-of-fire devices, perhaps a number of related products can be developed.

The original product should be marketed to travelers (samples could be distributed on flights to India, Mexico and Thailand).

A more upscale variant can be marketed for home use: a bidet utilizing aerosol cheese.

Men who have urinated after handling hot peppers (and are, consequently, suffering from "chilli willi") could find relief in a deeper-than-currently-available jar of the --appropriately-named-- Cheez Whiz.
-- Sanscravat, Dec 01 2000

witch hazel on a guaze pad for about 20 mins cools all fires, otherwise known as a Tucks Pad.
-- raisin, Dec 11 2000

My 10 month old son was just seen by his doctor for a very bad diaper rash. We were told that the acid in the stool is what causes the rash and inflamation of the skin so using a mixture of liquid antacid (such as Malox) mixed with Johnson's baby cream (this cream was chosen because it washes off easier than some other baby ointments) applied at each change would reduce the acid before it could irritate the skin. I suppose the same would be true here, maybe apply it before you "potty" and you can avoid the problem.
-- oic, Dec 11 2000

I will laugh if this idea gets developed...Cheese slices on a roll, multi-ply cheese slices, quilted?
-- nick_n_uit, Dec 12 2000

The goal is to both neutralize/absorb the casein, and to get it away from the area it's irritating. Why not use yogurt as a local "cleansing" cream?
-- djanaba, Apr 11 2001

I find that those 'cheese' slices squash and break up to easily for the suggested purpose.
-- rjswanson, Apr 15 2001

Who cut the cheese?
-- thumbwax, Apr 15 2001

I find the naivete implicit in believing that Kraft Cheese Singles contain any dairy content entertaining, in a quaint sort of way.
-- mino, Jun 01 2001

This is a very, very good idea.
-- hob, Aug 05 2001

You folks are missing the historical connection: Back in the days before refrigeration was invented, food didn't keep very long. Those were the days when plain ordinary black pepper was literally worth its weight in gold, because it (as well as other spices) could hide the rancid taste of old unrefrigerated food. (SOME of them even had antibacterial properties.)

Well, those days are historical, and hopefully will remain historical. As far as I am concerned, the only way a cook these days would want to spice up the food is to hide bad cooking or bad food. I want to KNOW that my food is fresh and prepared right, so I simply avoid all those "hot" spices -- including plain black pepper.

The OTHER relevant fact, as implied in the first sentence of the original post, is that "If it burns going in, it's gonna burn going out." Which means that the REAL cure is simply not to consume those spices in the first place.

So there you have two reasons, folks. Anyone stupid enough to ignore the facts deserves the consequences.
-- Vernon, Aug 05 2001

//"If it burns going in, it's gonna burn going out." Which means that the REAL cure is simply not to consume those spices in the first place.//
er, no. Surely if our digestive tracts were more accustomed to capsaicin (which over human evolution of only a few thousand years, maybe 10-13 or so, is not going to have taken place yet) but if they were, we could break down this chemical. If as [darsy] states, casein can do the trick, why not just drink a lot of Lassi with your curry, or just milk. And those little pots of bio stuff that they sell, like Actimel and so on, isn't one of their major 'good bugs' something called "L.casei immunitass"... I'm no biologist but I'd say that casei has to be pretty close to casein, wouldn't you think?
For what it's worth, the morning-after invasive method I'd suggest involves those Mini Milk ice lollies. They're not very wide, and I presume they're made with something dairy. I guess another solution would be to make your own, by freezing something high in caseins.
-- lewisgirl, Aug 05 2001

"the only way a cook these days would want to spice up the food is to hide bad cooking or bad food"

On the contrary, Vernon. I find you have to be a very good cook indeed (and use only the finest ingredients) to be able to whip up a tasty curry.
-- -alx, Aug 05 2001

lewisgirl, sure, we could invoke Genetic Engineering to eventually let us compete with the cows to eat grass, if we wanted, to say nothing of dealing with mere hot spices. UNTIL that day arrives, the simplest cure, as I said, remains simple avoidance.

-alx, there is, as we all know, no accounting for taste. Note the "As far as I am concerned" in my prior post. My personal tastes don't include self-torment for "pleasure".
-- Vernon, Aug 07 2001

Chili is a marvelous thing But it leaves a fiery ring. I ate my chili with great desire But I woke up with a ring of fire.

I woke up with a burning ring of fire It burned, burned, burned as my crap piled higher. It burns, burns, burns, My ring if fire, my ring's on fire.
-- dfowler, Aug 07 2001

[Vernon] Though the "As far as I am concerned" has been noted, so has the "Anyone stupid enough to ignore the facts deserves the consequences", which suggests a slightly more dogmatic view of the topic.
-- -alx, Aug 07 2001

Vernon, dear, at no point did I even vaguely indicate a wish to invoke genetic engineering to accustom digestive tracts to natural chemicals. The word I used was evolution.
The one evolutionary change that does appear to have happened already is that we humans now need a varied diet, whereas other species manage fine on grass or meat or nuts or berries alone. Not many animals eat both meat and grass (or other vegetable) and if they do, they don't eat so many kinds of vegetable, or add carbohydrate to meals. (In fact, what other animal eats anywhere near as much carbohydrate as us?)
Why do you have such a thing against spicy food? - you're almost calling [-alx] a lesser being simply because he enjoys a chilli or a curry now and then. My understanding of why the use of spices is so common and such food was developed in hot countries is that it helped the body sweat out toxins - another reason that tea is drunk in India. Vernon: technical expert to the point of geekery, verbose to the point of not-getting-to-the-point-ery, and finally a gastronomic snob. Forgive me for ranting, and this isn't meant to be personal. Well, all right, it is. But not in a nasty way.
-- lewisgirl, Aug 07 2001

-alx, hurting oneself is so seldom necessary that it almost always can be called stupid.

lewisgirl, you are neglecting the simple fact that without refigeration, food spoils faster in hot countries than in cold countries. THAT is why those folks wanted -- and became accustomed to -- hot spices. Call it evolution in action, if you wish.
-- Vernon, Aug 07 2001

[Vernon] Pain and suffering are not a pre-requisite of eating spicy food, y'know. I haven't had a belly-ache or 'ring of fire' for many a year now.

On a side-note, in my experience, frequent users of the word 'fact', and proclaimers of definite is-ness are generally rigid thinkers who do not like to have their (one 'correct') view of the world challenged. They also appear to talk complete arse a great deal of the time. You do nothing to allay that suspicion.
-- -alx, Aug 07 2001

Is evolution anything other than 'in action'?
It's a wonder there are any native inhabitants of hot countries left, if their evolution systems developed cooking habits specifically designed to make decaying food more palatable.
I think you're really missed the point; a lot of people find spicy food appealing, even though this displays their extreme lack of intelligence, and that the subsequent effects (which are at best amusing and at worst only the same as a naturally occurring illness or allergic reaction) are what [darsy]'s neat idea, and subsequent funny/constructive/effective annotations, were trying to set right. The halfbakery is really not the place for your mission to try to get the world to stop eating chilli.
-- lewisgirl, Aug 07 2001

[lewisgirl]: Decaying food is not necessarily harmful as long as it is sterilized by cooking, but the rancid taste is masked by spices. This in no way detracts from the substance of your argument.
-- angel, Aug 07 2001

Hey, check out Vernon! "Anyone stupid enough blah blah blah"!

Spicy food tastes nice. I`m not sure intelligence or evolution comes into it.
-- Pallex, Aug 07 2001

I *knew* velveeta was good for something...
-- RayfordSteele, Feb 26 2002

NO! NO NO NO!!!!!!!

AAAAH! God, my EYES!

This is just wrong! NO! The spicyness is great! And hell, if it tastes like burning and you like it then it's probably healthy! Same on the way out! I think of it as an "energy ring" rather than a ring of fire. My anus is as strong as twelve men when I've had my fire. Y'know, they always do say that we westerners need more fire in our bellies.
-- Crazy Bastard, May 09 2002

I'm sure I must have mentioned before how much I would enjoy it if UB40 were to record their version of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire".
-- waugsqueke, May 09 2002

I don't know about other guys here, but when I wake up in the morning I usually have my own supply of 'cheese' ready for application, in any case.

Therefore it would be like selling ice to the Eskimos. Could work with women though, unless they have a partner with enough 'cheese' to go around two 'rings of fire'! ;-0
-- ferret, May 09 2002

//My anus is as strong as twelve men

Blimey. You belong in a circus, Mister Bastard.
-- calum, May 09 2002

Mr Bastard, how do you measure something like that ?
-- mymus, May 09 2002

Yeah, can you like, pull a train car with it or something?
-- waugsqueke, May 09 2002

Something weird with this whole idea.  I'm something of a chili-head.  I have eaten a lot of (very) spicy food and have yet to experience that milk does anything at all to lessen the heat sensation in the mouth.  Indeed, most chili-heads I know seem to think that Coca-Cola is about the best solution.  I am told that that is because the phosphoric acid in the beverage breaks down the capsaicin; but, honestly, I don't know the truth (and haven't tried it because I hate carbonated drinks).  I usually stick to ice water or, better yet, lemonade, to combat the heat and it seems to work pretty well.

On the other hand, I'm glad to see that someone has found a new use for cc rings.
-- bristolz, May 09 2002

Hey yes. There's an unexplored marketing opportunity.
-- waugsqueke, May 09 2002

I am a curry-moster (or chili-head). What is the point of eating spicy food if you are going to try and cool your mouth down anyway?! You might as well just eat normal food! Just because you eat hot food, it dosnt make you hard or anything!!!
-- ferret, May 09 2002

[ferret]: Not everyone enjoys things the same way as you do; a point which should seem obvious but apparently not to you.  You're a 'moster,' (whatever a moster is) while I like the onset of the heat, the rush, but not so much the lingering part.  The water gets me ready for the next onset.

That's the point.
-- bristolz, May 09 2002

Hm.  Maybe I should learn to like yogurt . . . Hate the stuff.
-- bristolz, May 10 2002

I couldn't go a day without yogurt. Love the stuff. It's worth re-exploring. (I recommend Yoplait or Breyer's. Stay away from that Dannon crap.)

Sour cream is frequently used in Mexican dishes. Perhaps this is why.
-- waugsqueke, May 10 2002

Waugs: Is Stony Creek yogurt available in your area? If so it's definitely worth a try.
-- mwburden, May 10 2002

// (I recommend Yoplait or Breyer's. Stay away from that Dannon crap.) //

BLASPHEMY!! Dannon 'Fruit on the Bottom' is the only yog(h)urt that's worth anything...
-- RayfordSteele, May 11 2002

speaking of fruit on the bottom...
-- Crazy Bastard, May 19 2002

As to a 'ring of fire' cure, this thread started with the concern that 'water fails to help'. Why not just soak some tissues in milk rather than water? Seems more practical than cheese to me. I'll try it next time I get a chance (not often as I am not into spicy foods) and report if it seems to help.

Regarding "lewisgirl, you are neglecting the simple fact that without refigeration, food spoils faster in hot countries than in cold countries. THAT is why those folks wanted -- and became accustomed to -- hot spices. Call it evolution in action, if you wish."

and the later "My understanding of why the use of spices is so common and such food was developed in hot countries is that it helped the body sweat out toxins - another reason that tea is drunk in India."

I have also heard from many that hot foods in tropical climates help induce sweating and help people stay cooler and healthier. However, specifically on the hot tea business, what I heard about China was that hot tea helped people avoid infection from drinking contaminated water (similar to a tale about other cultures benefiting from alcoholic beverages as more sanitary than water).
-- jedonnelley, May 20 2002

I love curry and other hot and spicy foods so much I simply have to add my groat. In my experience yoghurt is the best remedy for painful chilli, the more concentrated the yoghurt is the better. I have found nothing so fast or effective as labneh, strained yoghurt made by middle easterners (or anyone else, though they are unlikely to call it that (in Uk look for *Greek Style* yoghurt (pah, next they will be calling it 'Greek' coffee))). I remember vividly as a friend of mine showed off with a stack of small african chillis and a bowl of labneh. It was magical to behold. The contrast junkie got bored after half a bowl of chillis and sauntered off for a pee. Oh how we laughed moments later as he tried to hump the bowl of yoghurt.

I am sure that the reasons why people in hot climates eat chillis, as stated above, are very good ones; it is also important to note that chillis only grow in 'hot' climates. They eat them because they can.
-- Ludwig, Jan 03 2003

A bit of tangent maybe but is there an easy way to prevent that very painful burning sensation when you are chopping up chillies and have to pee?
-- MickM, Jan 14 2003

-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jan 14 2003

Wear gloves when chopping chillis.
-- Jinbish, Jan 14 2003

re: mrthingy's link. I rather prefer this passage:

// For the students, the husbands, the wives, the pregnant women, the costive and the hemorrhoid, the children, the disabled and too much toilet paper using //
-- RayfordSteele, Jan 14 2003

Did Johnny Cash do a song about his burning ring of fire?
-- sufc, Jan 17 2003

three words: Cheese Whiz Bidet
-- shazam, Jun 22 2003

The subthread about spice use and geographic location is interesting. I would like to point out that chili peppers can be grown in Minnesota, and so it is probably not a matter of availability. Vernon probably had it right - food preservation is more difficult in hot climates, and spices may aid in food preservation. See link.

It is funny that capsascin evolved to keep mammals from eating the peppers (birds are unaffected) - but turned out to lead to domestication of the plant by mammals.
-- bungston, Jun 22 2003

My mom suggested that I use Chloraseptic. It numbs, no messy cremes ...and it comes in cherry. Her words. Works pretty well, I might add. Moms always know.
-- Fester, Jun 22 2003

You must throw the ring back into the fire from whence it was formed...
-- RayfordSteele, Jun 22 2003

Now I know why cheese comes in wedges!
-- grahamhgreen, Oct 07 2003

-- krelnik, Oct 07 2003

[sufc] I thought that this was a cure for that song when I read the title...
-- Eugene, Oct 07 2003

I thought that one reason milk products helped cool the heat is that capsaicin is more soluble in fat than in water. If that's so, then maybe some oil on the way out would help.

Enter Olestra, everyone's favorite indigestible fat, that exits the body relatively unchanged. Would it trap the capsaicin and transport it away? Or would it have the opposite effect, with the concentrated heat of an oil-based hot sauce?
-- nprnncbl, Oct 07 2003

Can't you hear the Choir?
we got a man to hire
he's the cheese roll friar
Don'tcha call him a liar
it's an unspeakable pyre
it's the ring of fire!
(Olestra will make it much much worse!)
-- Zimmy, Oct 08 2003

As regards the cheese enema, there was a Half-bakery idea that may come in handy for that (see link)
-- spacemoggy, Apr 29 2004

Thanks, [calum] for linking to this. It's one of my favourites.
-- lintkeeper2, Nov 04 2004

Found it for you, [UB]. No images, but still just as funny.
-- Worldgineer, Nov 04 2004

random, halfbakery