Rhinitis means inflammation of the nose.  It affects 30% to 40% of the general population.  There are many forms of rhinitis: rhinosinusitis (or simply sinusitis), allergic rhinitis and non-allergic rhinitis.

Non-allergic rhinitis is diagnosed in patients who have negative tests for allergies – and also do not have sinusitis.  The symptoms include congestion of the nose, a blocked or obstructed sensation in the nose that causes:

  • difficulty breathing
  • clear nasal discharge (runny nose)
  • sneezing
  • nasal itching

Current treatments include oral or topical nasal antihistamines, intranasal or systemic (rare) corticosteroids, and anticholinergics.

? Chili Peppers (Capsaicin) Study

Researchers set out to compare the efficacy of capsaicin, an active component of chili peppers, vs. no therapy, placebo, or other topical or systemic medications, or ?2 combination therapies, or different capsaicin regimens, in the management of non-allergic rhinitis.

The team included randomized controlled trials in adults with on-allergic rhinitis by searching the Cochrane Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders Group Trials Register; the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials; PubMed and additional sources. Four studies were included in the analysis (n=302) that evaluated adults with moderately severe, idiopathic non-allergic rhinitis between the ages of 16–65.

? Findings + Conclusion

Capsaicin was shown to improve symptoms of non-allergic rhinitis compared to placebo.  Study findings suggest capsaicin seems beneficial for overall nasal symptoms up to 36 weeks post-treatment.  So if you have non-allegic rhinitis, try to add chili peppers to your diet – it may improve your allergy symptoms.

? Reference

http://www.cochrane.org/CD010591/ENT_capsaicin-non-allergic-rhinitis