Handling Chillies Safely

Naga Jolokia chilli peppers are wonderful but diabolically hot. It goes without saying that naga powder - concentrated, dry, oven roasted fruit, ground up finely - is utterly, utterly potent and must be treated with due caution.

Be extremely careful when opening bags of Naga Powder; Open away from your, or other people'se faces. Wear gloves and try not to open the packet in windy locations (it's probably advisable to be cautious when taking your naga to a picnic or outdoor BBQ). And remember to never, ever rub your eyes after having handled chilli products: It hurts. A lot. You won't go blind, and you won't die, but you may find yourself thinking for a few long moments that death might be preferable.

Whilst chilli seeds do not themselves contain capsaicin, the membranes surrounding them are the most potent part of the plant. Please take care when handling seeds as they come with a small amount of membrane still attached and will seep considerable amounts of capsaicin into your skin. Wearing gloves is highly recommended, and be careful to keep contaminated items or body parts away from eyes and mucus membranes.

If you do find that your skin has been contaminated, I recommend washing your hands with Sorbolene cream as capsaicin is soluble in oil, not water. Rub the Sorbolene over your skin thoroughly and rinse with warm water. You may need to do this 3 or more times and take care to scrub under your fingernails. Nagas are incredibly rich in capsaicin and I have found that my skin can retain traces for 3 days after handling these chillies.

If you get any in your eye, you can use milk to wash the capsaicin out however I would also rinse with saline or pure water once the burning has started to subside.

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