Skip Nav
Original Recipes
Perfect Cocktail Pairings For the 2016 Grammys
Cooking Basics
How to Cook Chickpeas Every Which Way
Cooking Basics
The Best Way to Stock Up on Homemade Soup

Why Pepper Makes Us Sneeze

Burning Question: Why Does Pepper Make You Sneeze?

I've got an undeniable affinity for all things spicy, and I put freshly ground black pepper on just about everything. But without fail, when I season a dish with salt and pepper, I resist the great urge to sneeze. Pepper makes me sneeze so much that merely looking at the picture has me thinking a sneeze is coming on! So why does pepper prompt such a strong physical reaction? As it turns out, the piquant flavor that we love so much in pepper is also the reason why the spice makes us sneeze. Pepper contains piperine, a fiery irritant that inflames the nerve endings that reside inside our noses. Sneezing is an innate reflex reaction to this chemical in pepper, as a way to rid your nasal passages of this compound.

Image Source: Getty
Around The Web

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

Join The Conversation
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 6 years
the smell of fresh ground pepper is one of the happiest ever :) Bliss makes this really yummy and interesting-scented blood orange and white pepper lotion... sweet and spicy at the same time! http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml;jsessionid=M2O5NFRCVONMECV0KRTQIGQ?id=P218710&categoryId=RPYMAL&navAction=jump
c4rolin3 c4rolin3 6 years
mamasitamali- i feel the same!!! i put pepper on everything, and experiment with different types of peppercorn too :) yum yum x
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 6 years
I am so in love with pepper, I think my sneezes finally came around too :) I won't sneeze anymore and I put pepper on basically everything
Latest Food
X