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Allergy to Jalapeno Peppers

Updated on February 7, 2015

Jalapenos Are Hot!

Jalapeño Peppers and Allergies

Jalapeno Peppers belong to the Capsicum family. These peppers are known worldwide and one of the more popular of the chili peppers. They range from a medium to dark green in color, turning red when ripe. Jalapenos range around 5cm/2 inches long and have a conical shape. They are a spicy pepper though not the hottest.

Jalapenos are used extensively in Mexican cooking; they are often used in salsa, added with nachos and sometimes with pizza. They date back to the time of the Aztecs.

What make jalapenos spicy are the seeds and ribs. This is where the heat is concentrated. Remove all or some of these parts to lessen the heat, being very careful not to touch your eyes until you've thoroughly washed your hands.

Capsaicin, the structure found in jalapenos that make them spicy. An allergy to this can irritate the mucus membranes in your mouth, nose and eyes as well as irritate your skin. It is recommended to wear gloves to help avoid skin irritation while cooking with jalapenos. An allergic reaction to jalapenos is more common when they are uncooked.


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What exactly causes allergies?

When our bodies have a negative immune response to a certain food that others are able to enjoy without problems.

Symptoms of an allergy to jalapeño peppers (you may have experience one or all of these):

Runny nose

Watery eyes

Upset stomach

Loose stools and diarrhea

Migraines or other type of headaches

Wheezing and difficulty breathing

Scratchy Throat


Facial Swelling

Acid Reflex

Facial burning sensation or through your body

Eczema or hives

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Best way to avoid an allergy attack

The best way to avoid an allergy attack is to avoid the peppers altogether. But if you are anything like me, that won’t happen. I love spicy food. I love jalapenos. Often my face will feel like it is on fire, my hands can burn when handling them and at times ended up with eczema. About half of the time I will end up with the hiccups. The hiccups can last for several minutes or off an on for hours. This is especially embracing when we are out in public.

Helpful Suggestions

If you tend to be allergic of these tasty peppers and refuse to avoid them, here are some suggestions to help:

Do not rub your eyes.

Wear gloves while handling the peppers.

Taking the digestive enzyme bromelain, 500mg twice a day has shown help with some people.

Take betaine hydrochloric acid (HCI). This increases the stomach acid. When you have heartburn, it is actually a decrease in acid. The more stomach acid you have, the more likely you'll be able to tolerate offending foods.

Take 1,000mg of vitamin C two or three times a day. This supplement can reduce allergic reactions.

papaya in fruit or the supplement form will ease digestion.

Benadryl is recommended to take on the onsite of an allergic reaction as well.

So if you are like me and can’t stay away from these tasty peppers, try to take some precautions and enjoy.

30 Hubs in 30 Days

Im taking part in the March 2010 Helpful Health Hubs Contest of 30 Hubs in 30 Days. Visit my other Hubs and help with the celebration of Health & Wellness Month.
Im taking part in the March 2010 Helpful Health Hubs Contest of 30 Hubs in 30 Days. Visit my other Hubs and help with the celebration of Health & Wellness Month.

© 2010 Sandy Mertens

Do you have allergies?

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    • profile image

      Anonymous 2 years ago

      I have a reaction if I smell a jalapeno pepper

    • profile image

      barbara 5 years ago

      has anyone ever heard of spicy peppers causing one to experience the feeling of having had too many glasses of wine? My eyes become a little impaired, I feel a little tipsey, and then in a couple of minutes, the feeling is gone, and I'm just fine! It just started this Fall. I've been eating hot foods all my life and have never felt this before.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 5 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Mary Ann, that must have been scary.

    • profile image

      Mary Ann 5 years ago

      Had an anaphlactic reaction to jalepenos; just the oil on a burrito sent to the hospital trouble breathing, couldn't talk, throat & tongue swelled. Scary; as a nurse myself I recognized it immediately. Long rdie to the ER.

    • profile image

      cody 5 years ago

      I am allergic to Jalapenos. They upset my stomach terribly :(

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Billy, when one gets hiccups and even a rash, that would be an allergy.

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 7 years ago

      I do enjoy jalapenos in Mexican dishes - I wonder how many times allergies are mistaken for just being too darn hot!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thank goodness I don't have this allergy - I love jalapenos!

    • profile image

      cosette 7 years ago

      hmm i didn't know hiccups were a sign of allergies. interesting. thanks for the good tips!

    • profile image

      "Quill" 7 years ago

      Well written and very informative...more and more people are finding they have allergies...


    • mulberry1 profile image

      mulberry1 7 years ago

      Good information. I learned about being sure to wash your hands after handling them years ago. Whew, not a lesson you forget!

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 7 years ago from US

      I'LL never have to worry about that one, I can't take them.

    • jayjay40 profile image

      jayjay40 7 years ago from Bristol England

      Well done on writing such a good hub.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      good one again! it is bad if you have allergies, I have allergies to changing weathers and fish, but I like processed fish, somehow my allergy eases with fish, Maita

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      The biggest thing is wearing gloves when preparing them! The first time I made my salsa with them I didn't feel a thing - until about half an hour later and then my hands burned and itched for about 2 days straight. Now I have a box of surgical gloves under the sink so every time I use them, I have no troubles. They are so good for you but hot, hot, hot - yes!

    • nancy_30 profile image

      nancy_30 7 years ago from Georgia

      This was a very interesting hub.

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 7 years ago

      I love jalapenos. They add so much flavor to Mexican dishes and I use them to spice up my stir-fry too. Sorry to hear that some people are allergic. Thumbs up!

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 7 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Very interesting, yup folks in new mexico put that on everything and did you know that the hotter the food the better it is for your heart, yes indeed, hot spicy food improves you heart, my taste buds hate hot stuff. Great hub...thumbs up

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      Good information. Many people may be allergic and not be aware of it just thinking WOW those are some crazy hot peppers. I'm glad I can eat peppers, love them and so good for you. Great HUB! Thanks and Peace :)