Chili peppers found to ease sinus problems.

New research study found that a nasal spray containing an ingredient derived from hot chili pepper (capsicum annum) may help people "clear up" certain types of sinus inflammation, published in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Capsicum annum a derivative of chili peppers contains capsaicin, an irritant producing a burning sensation in tissue it touches, works by depleting or interfering with substance P, a chemical involved in transmitting pain impulses to the brain.

The study compared the use of the chili pepper derived nasal spray to a control placebo nasal spray in 44 subjects with nasal congestion, sinus pain and sinus pressure for two weeks.

Study Participants who used the nasal spray with capsicum reported a faster relief, on average within a minute of using the spray than the control group.

"Basically, we concluded that the spray was safe and effective on non-allergic rhinitis," said Jonathan Bernstein, MD, University of Cincinnati allergy researcher.

Non-allergic rhinitis is a condition caused by environmental factors such as; weather, household chemicals or perfumes. Some people don't know what triggers are causing their inflammation.

This is the first controlled trial where capsaicin was able to be used on a continuous basis to control symptoms. It is considered a significant advance, "because we don't really have good therapies for non-allergic rhinitis," said Bernstein, adding that in previous trials the ingredient was too hot to administer without anesthesia.