Hot Peppers Might Help TN Pain

Capsaicin is the chemical that makes any hot pepper "hot". If you aren't much into hot peppers, the 2 most mild ones are banana peppers and pepperoncini peppers. If you eat yogurt or drink milk with them, the milk products coat the mouth so it won't burn so much.

Here's a section from an article I read about how it can help TN:

  • Headache help: Substance P is the key transmitter of pain to the brain. In fact, Substance P is the body's main mechanism for producing swelling and pain throughout the trigeminal nerve, which runs through the head, temple and sinus cavity. When the nerve fibers come in contact with Substance P, they react by swelling—an effect that yields headaches and sinus symptoms. Clinical studies have shown that capsaicin, a compound in hot peppers, is extremely effective for relieving and preventing cluster headaches, migraine headaches and sinus headaches.

Read more:

It would stand to reason that we could add trigeminal neuralgia to that list of types of headaches, since capsaicin helps the substance P that hits the trigeminal nerve. I did buy a bottle of pepperoncini a couple of weeks ago, and since then, my TN pain has been mostly in remission, but I never made the connection until today when I read this!

Warm wishes and prayers for you all,


My pain is STILL much better, so I'm sure it's the hot peppers, because the pain is worse if I miss a day of eating them.

Thank you, Sheila, for sharing, I'll definitely try hot peppers. Does it matter if I buy them dried or pickled or fresh? Which kind do you use and how much? Thank you!


Oldriska, I don't think it matters which ones you buy, since the capsaicin in all of them is what does the trick. Lately I even heard of people putting a dash of tabasco sauce on their food or even just on one bite of food and it also helped. Even putting hot peppers in cooking/recipes will work. I bought the mildest peppers, pepperoncini. From experiences I've read, they eat it as needed. I eat 1 or 2 a day, but if you want more, it might help more. Maybe one for each meal would be better. I will try it.

Many discussed putting capsaicin cream on their face, but this is dangerous if any smears into your eye. It was good to learn that eating them is a beneficial alternative.

I also found other discussions about hot peppers or capsaicin in TN pain.

Six weeks later update, STILL pain much better. This is awesome! Not cured, but SOOO much better! It's such a cheap and easy thing to try! I wish others would try it.Nothing to lose!


It sounds like it's worth a shot, but I doubt it will work for everyone.

I eat hot peppers all the time (I had jalepenos, red peppers, and banana peppers today), and I'm having a flareup that requires meds right now and breakthrough pain this evening that finally convinced me to start Tegretol again.

Hi Tina,

There are so many different causes for TN, especially if it's atypical, that I know you're right, it won't work for everyone. Different causes warrant different remedies. I'm sorry you are flaring again. It's so discouraging after having a period of less pain.

Same here Tina. I just saw this thread, and happen to be eating some homemade salsa with a huge, fresh jalapeño chopped up in it. It also has crushed red pepper. I am a huge fan of spicy foods and have not noticed a difference in my pain levels during or after eating them. I will continue to research this, however, and I am willing to up the spice level if there is even a slight chance of pain reduction. For me, it's certainly worth a try, as I am not on any meds and I would like to avoid them if I can...

Tina S said:

It sounds like it's worth a shot, but I doubt it will work for everyone.

I eat hot peppers all the time (I had jalepenos, red peppers, and banana peppers today), and I'm having a flareup that requires meds right now and breakthrough pain this evening that finally convinced me to start Tegretol again.

This cream can be helpful for some people. Just do be very careful with putting capsaican cream on your face for obvious reasons! Also if the cream heats up and tingles that could certainly trigger pain.

I have been wanting to try the "hot" route for years now, whether it be cream or food. But my tooth (the extraction site) feels better with cold items because it's constantly burning. I hesitate putting something that burns on something that burns! It's so severe that I use Children's Toothpaste ie 'Helly Kitty Sparkle Fun Bubblegum Flavor.' Regular toothpaste BURNS like crazy. I just can't take it.

Good morning Juliet, I was wondering if you were doing any better with the burning in your tooth. I am like you also, I have to use children’s fruit flavored toothpaste also. I was also afraid to try any of the creams with the hot peppers, because of my burning being so bad. Eventually I had to do something so I tried it, in my case it made it so much worse. Like so many of us here say, what always works for one doesn’t necessarily work for someone else. I believe that’s what makes TN so hard to treat and so frustrating! We have it cold and snow here in Michigan, which makes my struggle with TN worse. Since starting the cream Gallixa a year ago, my burning is still with the bad weather 75% better. I have still been able to get out with help warming up the car , as long as I have someone along to help me. I am having more trouble with the site of the MVD surgery back in 2006. No more shocking, a lot of ice pick stabbing, and still a lot of aching and throbbing on the right side of my head, along with boring along the jawline and cheekbone. With it now having gone down my throat, and in my ears, I have been faithfully using the Gallixa 4 to 5 times a day since the beginning of fall. I just can’t stop at this point here. There has to be more out there to help with this monster. I have been chatting with a member here, tree 69, she has done quite a bit of research and has come up with some interesting articles, and other very useful information for many of us. I was able to find everything just by going and checking out her discussions if anyone else is interested. Wishing all a happy new year and a pain free one at that! Dawn

I use sparkle flavored kids toothpaste for the same reason. I didn’t notice any significant benefits from using capsaicin. I did once however mistake it for my toothpaste. I won’t do that again! Happy New Year!