Why does pepper make you sneeze? because Peppers contain an alkaloid called piperine. This is what gives pepper that kick you taste when you put it in food. White and black pepper is today more commonly known as a spice but this was not always the case. We know it makes us sneeze but why doe we have this reaction to pepper? what causes it?
Piperine Causes the Sneeze
The piperine in pepper is a stimulant containing antioxidant properties which stimulate the production of digestive enzymes,located in the pancreas. Because of it’s highly stimulating properties, piperine can become a big irritant when it is in the wrong place of the body, like the nose.
Sneezing is an Involuntary Reflex
When pepper comes into contact with the internal mucous membrane housed in our noses, our acidity and pain receptors are triggered, which in turn trigger a massive involuntary response to the sensation. Our sensory system basically has no idea what to do, completely freaks out and sends signals to the nose to make it do absolutely everything it can to get it out as soon as possible so the receptors stop being triggered.
So this is why we sneeze when we get pepper up our noses, it’s also why people sometimes use it, to purposefully make them sneeze, it’s guaranteed to happen.