Growing the Poison Pepper

(Bill Gurstelle is guest blogging here on Boing Boing. He is the author of several books including Backyard Ballistics, and the recently published Absinthe and Flamethrowers. Twitter: @wmgurst)

I ordered naga jolokia pepper seeds from the Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University. The naga jolokia, sometimes called the bhut jolokia, the ghost pepper, or the poison pepper, is the world's hottest chile pepper. My brother, the expert gardener, is growing them right now. These are pretty difficult to grow in Minnesota; they take forever to germinate and the drop flowers at the slightest provocation.

naga jolokia seedlings bb.jpg
The scale used to measure chile pepper piquancy is called the Scoville scale. At the low end is a green bell pepper and at the high end is 100% capsicum pepper spray.

In 2001, an academic visiting India and sent back seeds of a pepper he found growing there to NMSU. Shades of hades, the fruit of the naga jolokia were hot! How hot? The peppers were analyzed and found to be 4 times hotter than the previously known hottest pepper, the Red Savina. Can eating a chile pepper be dangerous? Judge for yourself.

In Absinthe and Flamethrowers, I devote a chapter to "Thrill Eating" which is practicing the art of living dangerously by eating "dangerous" foods. So name your poison: fugu, ackee, pokeweed, casu marzu, Amanita mushrooms, naga jolokia, or Los Angeles danger dogs. As Nietzsche said, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.


  1. This discussion reminds me of my Dear ol Dad…
    Who bought a book on mushroom identification.
    He read it front to back and proceeded to point out the section that said “Do not eat anything that looks like a chantrelle if it is not exactly like the picture.”

    4 hours and a “its real close” later, the entire family was puking its guts out in the rain, and the SOB was laughin his head off.
    I love mushrooms, but I buy them.

    Pokeweed is only good if you get the very tiny baby greens. Its survival only food. If you don’t like spinach you will hate pokeweed.

    My Naga Jolokia is putting up lots of leaves but hasn’t flowered yet.

    I won’t eat deep fried twinkies or cheese whiz, but after that, its pretty much all fair game.


  2. I’ve never understood the attraction eating something dangerous just for the sake of doing so. Then again, I’m not an adrenaline junkie; I will bet at times (when I know the odds and am sufficiently amused by the game), but I don’t gamble. I’m quite willing to do risky things, but only when the benefit outweighs the risk — and boasting rights simply isn’t a benefit I care about.

    Pick your poison indeed. Emphasis on “pick”.

  3. I’ve grown some Bhut Jolokia, which are quite similar to the Naga Jolokia (certainly in terms of hotness). I don’t think they really reached their maximum potential, though, as I could eat them without too much difficulty. They also took a really long time to flower, needed hand pollination, and started trying to reflower in January.

    I’d be interested if anyone has any tips on growing chillies indoors?

    For info, the Scoville scale ( measures chilli hotness, and was originally based on the amount by which something had to be diluted before it didn’t taste hot anymore. The Jolokias get around a million scovilles, i.e. you have to dilute 1:1000000 before the hotness disappeared.

  4. You picked my very favorite youtube vid of anyone eating a naga jolokia! I love that kid. First time I watched it, i kept jumping a bit ahead:

    Eating pepper….chew… chew… face red…pant…eat bread… drink milk… EAT BREAD DRINK MILK OMGDIE.

    Laughed for about 10 minutes.


  5. That explains why I’m less attracted to my neighbor when she’s in the pool.


    Also, rim-shot. Or a boot to the head, whichever.

  6. “As Nietzsche said, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

    Or, you know, puts you in a coma. Or burns a hole through your intestines. Blinds you. Makes you vomit blood. Boils your spinal fluid. Causes permanent ass-leak.

    I could go on.

  7. Didn’t Nietzsche have a relationship with his sister? You know, like a /relationship/.

  8. Chili Peppers, the love of my life. I am lucky enough to live in the mountains of southern Spain where I have the combo of heat and height.

    Chili seeds can take 90 days or more if they take the fancy. Once established a good plant can last for five years. I grow them on my terrace where at the moment it is low 90Fs / 30C or so. Very strong sunshine. It is possible to grow them indoors but they need good light and medium humidity. Also, they like lots of water once established, but not wet soil.

    My harvest for this year is just kicking into flower. I have about 40 or so varieties and a couple of ‘accidental’ hybrids e.g., I had a bell pepper that crossed with a Bishops Crown with interesting results. Looks like a bell pepper but kicks like a mule.

    If you can find it, there is a potion called “Pure Cap” which is pure chili oil (capsaicin extracted using ethanol and reduced) which kicks out at around 1.5 million SU’s. When I bought it (reading terminal market, Phillie) I had to produce ID and sign a disclaimer stating it was for culinary and not assault use. Dip the end of a cocktail stick into that, touch your tongue, and be near a bucket and a jar of yoghurt…

    I have a recipe for a Mexican Gas Chamber in the link below. I take NO responsibility for this.

  9. @#4

    If that kid thinks he’s through the worst of it. He’s in for a dreadful surprise in 8-10 hours.

    Perhaps much less.

  10. I’m a huge spicy food fan and bought a bag of dried Bhut Jolokias awhile ago.

    Good luck with your plants!

    I really love them. Very, very spicy and they have a nice flavour too. Be careful handling and preparing them though. I can chop up a jalapeno and then touch my eyes without much discomfort. After Jolokias I rub olive oil over my hands and then wash with soap twice.

  11. I’ve read that the Jolokia only gets it’s record heat when grown in certain soils and climates. I suppose that’s true w most chiles since jalapenos vary so much depending on where they’re grown.

  12. Of course one’s ability to consume anything spicier than a banana depends on your ethnic heritage. My ancestors hail from Scotland: a sub-arctic desert containing no spices or herbs whose inhabitants have passed along the drop-dead-if-a-single-grain-of-spice-touches-your-intestines gene for a thousand years or so as it is not an evolutionary selection criterion there. For example there seems to have been a pinch of curry in a communal bowl of soup (described as “tasteless” and “bland like dishwater” by my companions) recently served to my party at a local Chinese restaurant: hence the hour and a half I later spent on the floor of my bathroom screaming in agony with blood pouring out of my ass.

    I was discussing this with a fellow S3 (Scotch Spice Syndrome) sufferer as we were picking the inedibly hot green bell peppers out of our pizzas and we agreed that neither of us has actually tasted any of the varying tastes ascribed to the various spices. It all just tastes like burnt meat as the flesh around our tastebuds bubbles to scar tissue.

    This is all quite a nuisance as all package ingredient lists have to be inspected for the dreaded and uninformative notation “spices”. If present the package cannot be considered to contain “food”. On the plus side, we both have the tastebud functionality of infants and can make distinctions that only those who have almost never put burn agents into our mouths can make. Pity those who cannot savour the infinite varieties of tap water!

    Interestingly enough there seems to be an exception in the case of spices derived from the roots or bark of plants: such as cinnamon or wasabi. Their spiciness seems to be of a completely different chemical order. My friend was sceptical but was convinced after a few molecules of horseradish were ingested without the ill effects that salt’n pepper table pepper would have had.

    I note also that homo-saps are the only mammals known to ever consider eating spices. Possibly because only they are capable of masochism. The plant world produces spices in order to deter members of the other Kingdoms from eating its members. What part of “don’t eat me” are we failing to understand?

  13. Geekman – I know from personal experience, what burns on the way in burns on the way out.

  14. @ #10, SK8RBOI69 (really?)

    Please, don’t encourage people to be foolish like you.

    If you are going to handle peppers with extreme amounts of heat, you should always wear gloves.

    Perhaps it would be useful to remind everyone that the majority of the heat in peppers is found in their seeds. Don’t touch the seeds then touch a sensitive part of your body. It WILL cause extreme discomfort.

    And in regards to this blog by Mr. Gurstelle…

    Before suggesting readers try eating potentially fatal foods, it might be a good idea to list off the specific dangers of each. As someone mentioned above, some of these make you vomit and shit blood, and that’s not the worst of what they can do.

  15. I learned at an early age that putting anything in my mouth that stings, stabs or burns is probably not a good idea. I never understood the connection between pain and yumminess. But then, I was raised by Swedish women, who’s idea of spicy food was a little cinnamon on our rice pudding.

  16. I note also that homo-saps are the only mammals known to ever consider eating spices.

    Not true! Other primates can be quite partial to spicy foods, and birds the world over seem to be quite tolerant. Olive Baboons seem to be especially fond of hot peppers.

    There was an experiment to try and keep olive baboons from raiding crops in Kenya, involving the same hot pepper oil used to keep deer out in America. It failed miserably, as it only encouraged the baboons to rip apart plants looking for the tasty spicy ones.

  17. A while back I picked up a half ounce of dried Ghost Chiles from World Spice Merchants in Seattle (down by Pike Place). Uses have included:

    1) Ghost Chile Ice Cream. Once chile is enough to make the most delicious fiery chocolate and spice ice cream. Here’s a good starting point recipe

    2) Ghost Chile Vodka. Soaked a chile in a bottle of vodka for, well, some months since no one could drink more than a shot. It’s a great dare at parties, and way better than that mamby-pamby Absolut Peppar for a Bloody Mary.

    Watch your eyes when cooking with them, wash your hands very well. A bowl of (very) diluted bleach can help or a soak in milk. Just the steam rising from the ice cream made my forehead get a mild capsaicin burn.


    “the majority of the heat in peppers is found in their seeds.”

    Note that this is untrue. The capsaicin is in glands at the top of the chili. People commonly make this mistake. The seeds pick up some of the capsaicin as they are adjacent to the glands.

    For those handling chilis, the easiest way to avoid finger burn and rubbing the eyes is to put plastic bags with elastic bands to hold them on and then cut the peppers on a plate (not the board) or piece of toughened glass NOT.

    If you do get chili on your hands OR want to cool the burn down, use milk or yoghurt. The lecithin in dairy products neutralises most (but not all) of the capsaicin.

    “Rubbing olive oil and washing your hands twice” not too good either. Capsaicin is an oil. All you do is spread the it around with olive oil. Use milk or yoghurt.

    The ‘shitting blood’ thing. If you are doing that then you need to see a doc. Eating chili is actually good for you. What normally happens with a REALLY hot curry (Vindaloo, Tindaloo, Phal) is that residual gunk that too many Mickey D’s have left there breaks away from your colon and … but that is far too much information…

  19. My obsession with heat started while I was a teen. I was at a party where pizza was served. Someone warned someone else to avoid the crushed red peppers because they were hot. Then the dares started flying. I agreed to eat a tablespoon with some pizza for $10. Yes, it was hot–my sinuses cleared, my eyes watered, my mouth burned (and, yes, the next day was no fun), but there was something else–I really liked the heat and the taste (combined with the food). Over time, and eating enough of the hot stuff, your body will stop revolting as you void (in other words, the next day becomes like any other). Since then, I’ve been trying every hot sauce and pepper I can find. I love hot, spicy food!

    I simply will need to try to grow these.

    Someone else suggested that a tolerance of hot peppers is an ethnic thing. They’re on to something, but they’re dead wrong. It’s not ethnic, it’s cultural. My wife comes from a line that just about views ketchup as hot sauce-when we married, she couldn’t even tolerate sweet peppers or onions. Sixteen years later, she enjoys some mexican food, but still doesn’t like things too hot (and she still doesn’t like onions). Prior to my red pepper dare, my family was about as bland as you can imagine. Because of my love for things spicy, our kids have all tried the hot stuff. About a third of them took to it right away, about a third don’t like the heat (but will eat things spicier than my wife likes), and the middle third has been split about 50-50 between developing a tolerance of hot peppers and things spicy and developing a liking of such things.

    Most recently, my youngest son (who was just under two at the time), was throwing a fit at the table because he didn’t have the same things that were on my plate, including jalepeno slices. I believe experience is a good teacher, so I cut off a small (1/4″x1/4″) piece of pepper and put it on his plate. He ate it, and immediately signed for more. I tried another little piece, but it was soon clear he wanted whole slices. Since that day, he’s been eating spicy food every time we serve it. He didn’t consider spicy food good or bad. To him, it was just something I was eating, so he wanted it, too.

    Bring on the heat!!!

  20. Note:
    The following mentions parasites. Read at your intestines discretion.

    Some bitter plants are apparently sought out by chimpanzees for their effects vs. nematodes. Not sure if it’s this one, but remember reading a paper describing chimps grimacing in distaste, but still eating the leaves. Not what most of us think of when most of us are looking for nice burny food, but maybe the origin of the hobby.

  21. #14: BTW, I drive my wife nuts because I can taste subtle differences in tap water wherever we go. I can’t stand most “city water” because of the amount of chemicals I can taste when I take a drink. I love untreated (non-softened) well water, and especially love to drink from fresh, cold artesian springs. To me, water can have the subtleties of wine.

    I seem to be a bird of a rare feather: I can eat super spicy food, but yet can discern subtle tastes. Someone once suggested that I’m a super-taster, referring to the quantity of taste buds on my tongue and in my mouth. If that’s the case, my liking for spicy food is rare, because super-tasters typically experience extreme flavors to a greater degree than the “normal” person.

    BTW–I had some prepared horseradish root once (grated horseradish and vinegar) that almost caused me to black out. I’d grown accustomed to hot horseradish, and wasn’t expecting the heat of the bottle prepared by a co-worker. A half-teaspoon and I had trouble breathing, I got light headed, and it hit my gut like a brick. Yes, roots and the like may be a different type of heat, but they can still whack you alongside the head if you are not careful.

    I mixed some of that nasty horseradish into cream cheese the next day–what a sublime bagel!

  22. @14 (OohSnap):
    Actually, there isn’t much heat in the seeds themselves. The capsaicin in the placental tissue (the whiter tissue surrounding the seeds) and the membrane that binds the seeds to the tissue. Wiki.

    We all know that it’s hydrophobic (doesn’t dissolve in water) which is why you need something fatty (milk, butter yoghurt) to wash it away. It’s also solid at room temperature, so the bottles of “pure” capsaicin on sale must still be dissolved in some oil.

    It works by forcing open calcium channels in the surface of neurons (nerve cells) that are normally rigged to only open when they get too hot. This allows an influx of calcium ions into the nerves, which gets translated into a sensation of heat and pain. If I remember right, birds don’t have the same receptors and so can’t taste it. I also vaguely remember reading that this is the same target that’s hit by some spider venoms. So if you can’t handle chillies, maybe you should steer extra-clear of venomous spiders?

  23. OHHHSNAP (Foolish? I know you are but what am I?)


    handling chiles – even the jolokias – does not cause any kind of discomfort to my hands. So, wearing gloves is unnecessary and wasteful. I’m just trying to help the environment :D The only discomfort I get is when I forget to wash my hands and touch my eyes or other sensitive areas.

    Since the chile doesn’t hurt my hands at all, the purpose of the olive oil is to dissolve the spicy oil and then the 2 oil combo can then more easily be washed off with soap and water. It doesn’t really matter if the spice gets spread across my hands as long as the soap takes it off.

    That said, people who are sensitive to spicy foods should very much throw a pair of rubber gloves on when handling chiles.

  24. @ # 24

    Chilis don’t make you shit blood. Some of the other items he listed, however, do.

    You are correct about the seeds vs. membrane, I just lump it all together in my head.

    @ #30 SK8ERBOI

    I’d like to see a video of you chopping up jalapenos and then touching your eyes, as you said you could do without much discomfort.

    Working with peppers, such as the jolokias, without gloves, is foolish. If you have any minor cuts, even those you can’t see, you’ll understand why I’m saying it’s foolish. Then again, who am I, but some guy with five years experience as a chef and who is certified in food safety management…

  25. So, SK8ERBOI, I’m sorry if I came off a bit accusational…

    I don’t want other people to follow your example and hurt themselves, is all.

  26. pick yer poison, eh? i pick jimson weed. go ahead, try it. i’ll be waiting here for your report.

  27. It’s not poison. Just extremely strong. I don’t wear gloves either. Or wash with oil, or soap, or anything, other than plain tap water. After about 12 hours, there’s hardly any of it left sticking on your hands.

    People build tolerance to the stuff. The more you eat, the more you can eat, the more it takes to trigger the receptors in your mouth. And there are a few variants of capsaicin. That’s why, even though you’ve gotten used to the local chillies, the first time you try a different kind, you sometimes find you’re as sensitive as anyone else who normally do not eat chillies. I know this from personal experience. (Found out about the existence of variants from the Internet).

  28. I always thought that on game/reality shows that they should eat chilis instead of live octopus or whatever. Maybe it has to do with me being vegan. But i think it would be much more entertaining, as exhibited by the video link.

    Though maybe eating Natto, Durian, huitlacoche, or marmite maybe won’t be as visually exciting to watch, though

  29. Years ago my sister gave me a lovely glass decanter for Christmas. I had no idea what to do with it, but I had recently reading a book on Voudou and remembered the part about the Loa really liking heavily spiced rum. They weren’t talking Captain Morgan’s either.. A took a pack of dried ancho peppers and some cheap rum and filled it up. Now every time the rum gets low I refill with Baccardi, and every six months or so I repplace the peppers with fresh ones. Ancho are typical, but I’ve used habeneros, African Devil Pepper, and a few others over the years.. It comes out at all of the parties and has become a running dare in the group. I only give people enough to see the color in a shot glass (it is a lovely red-brown). Half the time it causes immediate hiccups in people.

    ComFest rum.. Mmmmmm.. that’s good drinking.

    -Pope Impious XXIII, ULC, RSVP, EIEIO

  30. #19 Jerril: Birds aren’t mammals. I seem to stand corrected on the question of primates eating spices as other posters have noted various kinds of monkey business on this front. I suppose the plants are mainly concerned with keeping the vegetarian critters away as they are the primary threat. There is the theory that spices get rid of worms and such from your GI tract but note that if you are entirely successful on that front then you leave yourself open to auto-immune diseases:

    See also google search for “worms for health”.

    #24 hotpepperman: Your last paragraph veers between curry and chili. In any case, chili is only good for you if it doesn’t cause nasal bleeding and convulsions so I give it a pass. As to blood pouring out of my ass due to minute traces of super-mild curry being ingested: I did mention that to my doc at one point. “I bleed a lot when I eat spices” I said. “Oh,” she said. “Don’t do that then.” So I don’t. Problem solved. Same policy I adhere to w.r.t. hitting myself on the head with a rock. Same advice she gives Chinese patients who complain of stomach aches after drinking milkshakes.

    #26, #28 thehikingstick: Re: tap water gourmand – Tee hee, I bet that some people thought that I was using hyperbole when talking about that. Odd that you can tolerate really hot spices though. You probably are a “super-taster” and could likely make a living at that as a QA food guy. I only have a higher taste bud count since I have all my original buds but I bet you started out with a lot higher density of them.

    Re: Ethnic vs. cultural – Sorry, you’re dead wrong there. All you have to offer is one episodic piece of evidence that you know a few people who could build up a tolerance to spices after overcoming a reluctance to eating new things. In my case, and the case of every single relative of mine, out to the second cousins once removed, the adverse reaction (migraine headaches, convulsive vomiting, internal bleeding, explosive inflammatory diarrhea…) increases, not decreases, with added exposure. In addition, there are numerous cases of inadvertent double-blind tests where either the prankster or the prankee didn’t know the spice content of the food: something else totally masking the taste of the spice or a “surprise” announcement that something contained spices when in fact the prank had been sabotaged by a third party. In every case the “spice = poison” hypothesis was proven.

    In my particular case, I have no bias against trying new foods; hence my proclivity for eating raw fish which horrifies everyone else in my family. I was famous when I lived in Taiwan for being up to try anything that the local gourmands could come up with in attempts to gross out Westerners: so long as it contained no spices. Deep fried pig snout anyone?

    In the case of my aforementioned unrelated friend, she’s totally renounced her family and has basically disappeared into this weirdo Middle Eastern Christian sect. The only thing that distinguishes her from the rest of her group is her inability to eat any of their spicy food. I had never thought to ask if she was of Scottish descent until we both happened to be picking the green bell peppers out of our pizza slices.

    Spices are chemicals and different puddles in the gene-pool have different reactions to different chemicals: end of story. Saying that there’s *any* cultural or psychological basis for my clan’s food sensitivities is like saying that those kids with peanut allergies or Asians who get sick drinking milk could eat their nemesis foods “if they really wanted to”. Shades of the Duchess in Alice in Wonderland!

  31. @HotPepperMan (#24)

    Can you cite any studies regarding the colon cleansing (gunk-clearing) properties of curry? If what you say is real, I’m interested. But I’m jaded by the current fad of colon cleansing products that do nothing but feed you clay and then claim the end product is freshly scraped build-up.

  32. Possible benefits of range of spices:

    Ginger and wasabi are supposedly anti-helminthic which is a good thing to eat with raw fish.

    From an evolutionary standpoint, be aware some plants may have also evolved flavoring in order to encourage seed dispersal.

    Also Apparently eating your food with lots of spices will also prevent Scotts from stealing your lunch.

  33. @OhhSnap: Sk8erboi is probably much like me and has hands made of leather (they seem to be abnormally resistant to capsacin, and I rock climb, so I have mounds of callous on top of that). There is a whole range of tolerance. I have never found a pepper I cannot cut bare-handed, but I’m on one end of the scale. The other end, (Nadreck might fall into this group, but will likely never find out–probably for the better) will find they have a severe reaction, with both lots of pain and an outbreak of sores or somesuch (I’ve known people like this). The real answer is know thyself, and you probably want to wear gloves. (Also, people with higher pain tolerances probably care less about the sting from small cuts…)

    If you do work with peppers and hot sauces bare handed, WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE YOU PEE. That was uncomfortable, and if you don’t learn it from me, you’ll only make that mistake once.

    @Technogeek #2: It’s not adrenaline. It’s never adrenaline with peppers. It’s always the endorphins. I get a huge hit when eating peppers. I actually get a ceiling effect. Food only gets so hot. Part of that is the chemistry of capsacin (bad solubility, as noted in a previous comment) and the rest my endorphin kick which acts as a pain signal limiter. It may hurt, but it only hurts so much, and I don’t care ;).

    Finally: the video: awesome. Having performed a similar stupid stunt in college (shot of Dave’s), when I saw his pile of safety equipment, I thought, son, you do not have enough supplies. (I didn’t either, but I don’t know that you can. Milk, yogurt, &c. only work so well.)

  34. i just did a research project on chili peppers and they are the new obsession of my life. i live in washington though, so growing them costs electricity bills and all that.

    anyway, i didn’t read all the comments ’cause there are a lot of them, but the pain experienced from peppers is only an illusion, no tissue damage occurs. i just thought i should mention that because it makes pepper heads seems a little less insane (or does it?)

  35. I looked up all the others for fun, but what are Los Angeles danger dogs? Couldn’t find anything.

  36. “…pick yer poison, eh? i pick jimson weed. go ahead, try it. i’ll be waiting here for your report.”

    Before you go there, know that my cousin was hospitalized and blind for three days by jimson weed. So, make sure you have no serious commitments for a few days, and maybe have paramedics standing by.

  37. I’m pretty sure Los Angeles danger dogs are just bacon-wrapped hot dogs. Their inclusion is thus a bit of a joke.

  38. #42, 43: snig – Hmmm, I hadn’t thought of the evolutionary advantages to being tasty. I suspect, though, that this is mainly done by herbs as they’re from temperate climates where getting yourself eaten might be a bit of a problem. Spices, on the other hand, are from jungles and the like where this is not a problem. As noted in The Cryptonomicon, everywhere else being alive and mobile gets you a certain amount of respect; in the jungle it just marks you as being really fresh and good to eat.

    As to the Scots eating your lunch: You need make no apology for worrying about that. As all students of this race, from Dr. Johnson onwards, have noticed our entire history is of us going down the road to England and doing just that! Note, however, that I do not claim spices as a medically effective ward against all inhabitants of this sub-arctic desert. When I said “clan” I literally meant that and was referring to the members of the families of Bellshill, Scotland who pissed off to Hamilton, Canada around the start of the 20th century. My friend’s ancestors were Lowlanders too but I have met Glasgowegians who clearly only had cultural barriers against spice ingestion. I couldn’t speak for Highlanders or those from the Hebrides as they are, by their own admission, different kettles of fish altogether.

    I’ve never met anyone with my level of spice problems who wasn’t Scotch though. Off hand I can’t think of any other spot on the globe where the inhabitants haven’t had access to spices or herbs for roughly a thousand years. The Arctic? But even that is part of a couple of continents and lacks the isolation of the Scottish Isles.

  39. #41 – Re gunk cleaning of the colon.

    I was being sardonic on the basis of my knowledge of the poor dietary habits of my wife’s family. She’s Penn-Dutch and I am a Brit. It is one family where the Dutchies consider ketchup a vegetable. I sat down for my first Thanksgiving dinner with them and (apart from potato filling) the only thing not boiled to buggery was the bottle of ketchup.

    Someone venturing into the world of vegetables or high fibre diets like a good chickpea and spinach curry with a lot of chili in it WILL experience a ‘flushing out’ of the detritus of a pre-processed food diet. I will skip too many details, but it normally takes me a week and the need to elevate myself up the seat (so to speak) due to the ‘clogging’ issues. A good curry normally sorts it out. Again, far too much info…

  40. Jimson weed is an interesting one, but it doesn’t actually cause blindness. It does interfere with your ability to operate the muscles that change the shape of your cornea in order to effect focus.

    It’s not a pleasant psychedelic, with active constituents comprising chiefly atropine, with some hyosciamine and scopolamine thrown in for good measure. I found the trip somewhat frightening, and more intense and less easily psychologically managed than pure atropine sulfate. I think it is the atropine that affects your eyes, because I had trouble focussing on near objects the day after both datura (jimson weed) and atropine sulfate tablets, and I’ve never had issues with focus after taking hyoscine and scopolamine without atropine.

    I wouldn’t recommend taking datura stramonium to anyone, but if you like to travel the less trodden path, I would suggest starting with no more than two flowers, to get some kind of idea what you’re in for.

  41. “at the high end is 100% capsicum pepper spray”

    Do you mean “100% capsacin spray”? Capsicum is the genus of all peppers, not a chemical.

  42. The guys at work have a hot and spicy day once a week. Last year I ordered Bhut Jolokia seeds. My bud at work killed his plants. My brother has one and I have 4 with tons of peppers! They seem to be doing well here in north Texas. I’m just waiting for them to get ripe.

    Last week a friend brought Bhut Jolokia hot sauce to work. My sister immediately got hiccups and then threw up. The rest of us sat around watching people’s faces turn colors. It was great and the sauce was freaking hot.

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