The hottest chili pepper produced is the Bhut Jolokia, also known as the ghost pepper. The pepper originates from India and is widely grown in many parts of the world. In the United States, it is easily grown in the southern part of Florida. A ripe Bhut Jolokia pepper can grow to be three or more inches in length with a width over an inch. They are usually a brilliant shade of orange-red in color. The skin covering the pepper is somewhat wrinkled in appearance. However, the ghost pepper plant is similar to other types of chili pepper plants.
Ghost Pepper Uses
Ghost peppers can be eaten individually or added to any cuisine, as a means of adding spice to the flavor. Bhut Jolokia peppers can be used in foods in fresh form or after being dried. Many individuals prefer to process the pepper into a powder for use. In America, these peppers serve as spices. However, in the originating country of India, many illnesses of the stomach are treated with the Bhut Jolokia. People of India also use the pepper as a type of laxative and as a measure of self-defense. They coat structures surrounding their dwellings with the ghost peppers to defend against and keep away elephants that are dangerous and wild.
The Hot Effects
Caution should be used when ingesting a ghost pepper. The name of ghost pepper was idealized because most felt ghostly after eating them. Others wished for death following consumption. During processing, individuals should wear gloves and avoid touching any areas of the body. This will avoid any unlikely transfers of the intense burning sensation. Being the hottest chili pepper, ghost peppers produce an immediate painful burn to the mouth. Once swallowed, the throat and stomach will begin to burn as well.
Individuals will suffer the effects from thirty minutes to an hour after eating the pepper. They will also endure an extreme amount of perspiration that can linger for two hours or more. To combat the burning sensation, individuals should drink a liquid with a high fat content, such as milk. Eating ice cream can also be very effective. To alleviate the discomfort from the skin, individuals should wash in milk or baby shampoo. Water is not an effective means of ridding the burning sensation in the mouth or on the skin.
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Photo credit: L’eau Bleue / Foter / CC BY-SA