Chili peppers are not only great for adding a little spice to your food, but also may be good for numbing your pain, a Harvard University study has found.

Researchers found that combining the chemical capsaicin, which gives chili peppers their spicy kick, with a topical anesthetic can diminish pain in rats without any negative side effects, the Daily Vidette reports.

Bruce P. Bean, a professor of neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, and his team published their findings in the publication Nature on Thursday.

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The mechanism behind their discovery is that capsaicin binds to certain receptors, which are found only on pain-sensing neurons.

This binding allows the anesthetic QX-314 to enter nerve cells, which results in an anesthetic that can affect pain-sensing neurons effectively.