Studies show that capsaicin, the chemical that makes peppers hot, can relieve migraines and sinus headaches.
Capsaicin inhibits the key neuropeptide, Substance P – a brain pain transmitter.
For a study published in The Clinical Journal of Pain in 1998, researchers at the University of Chicago "analyzed data from 33 prior studies and found that capsaicin seemed to work better than placebos for headaches occurring in clusters," reported the New York Times.
A Lifehacker writer said hot peppers have helped him relieve his migraine pain. First, he tried chipotle peppers. Then later, he realized that habanero cream cheese worked just as well.
Studies show that the hotter the pepper, the more capsaicin it contains. Eighty percent of the capsaicin is found in a pepper's ribs and seeds.
Habanero and Scotch bonnet peppers are among the hottest peppers.
The National Headache Foundation estimates that 28 million Americans have migraines.
And according to WebMD, a migraine can last from four hours to three days and can be accompanied by sensitivity to light, nausea and vomiting.