Why does pepper make you sneeze?

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Black pepper. It's usually found hanging out alongside it's BFF salt. A little sprinkle will usually give your meal just the right kinda' kick. Tasty! But why does this little seasoning make you sneeze? First off, pepper is usually finely ground. So, if some pesky pepper particles find their way up your nostrils, watch out!

The fruit of the pepper vine has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. Peppers' active ingredient is an alkaloid called Piperine, which has antioxidant properties and can stimulates enzymes in the pancreas and liver.

People also like the way pepper goes with food. In your mouth, pepper gives you a pleasant tingling sensation. But since your schnoz is more sensitive to peppers chemical compounds, you sneeze to get it outta there! So keep your honker away from the spice rack and leave the pepper tasting to your mouth. Now that's nothing to sneeze at!

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