House cleaning and hot chili peppers…

For the past several days (=theoretically, we are in the middle of our summer holiday right now, but it feels more like an endless cleaning marathon…), Stefano and I have been going through and throwing away a lot of the stuff that we have accumulated over the years. Useless junk. Why did we keep it in the first place? Sigh… 

We have also begun a series of projects. Yesterday, for example, we went to IKEA (ah, I just love IKEA stuff…Uhm, wait, but only if Stefano puts it together…I mean, with a quick, cursory glance at the daunting pile of differently-sized nuts and bolts and screws and thingamajigs, he figures out what to do, immediately and without checking the instructions; whereas I am not even able to build a simple IKEA bookcase properly, sigh and double-sigh…well okay, perhaps I exaggerate…), where we bought two very tall narrow CD towers that, joined together and hidden behind a door (also bought at IKEA), have been transformed into THE perfect spice cabinet. All my spices now have their own little niche–the biggest one is for turmeric, as you can imagine!–and I can actually find things when I need them and not three years later, way past the expiration date. Before yesterday, you see, my spices were shoved into the bottom of a corner kitchen cabinet, and I could never find a bloody thing, especially when I needed it.

So house cleaning can be a very VERY good thing…I guess…!

But it has kept me away from my research and the blog, which I do check carefully about once a day, mainly to delete tons of spam messages, some of which I find rather amusing…but mainly just a silly waste of my time (delete delete delete…I mean, what’s the point???).

I have also answered a few blog reader queries, but my time is limited, and I am finding it difficult to answer each and every one, so please please please bear with me and, if need be, write me a reminder…that is, write to me if you cannot find the answer to your question on my blog (scroll down my Pages on the right until you reach the Search box; that makes things easier…).

Okay, now let’s go on to the hot chili pepper part of today’s post: a few days ago, I read a very interesting Science Daily article about capsaicin–the HOT ingredient in chili peppers–and high blood pressure: It reminded me of a post that I wrote in 2007 about a myeloma and capsaicin study: At the time, I had access only to the abstract. Well, I did a brief search yesterday, and it turns out that the full study is available for free online now. I haven’t had the time to read it yet, but here is the link:

So, please pass the hot chili pepper…in fact, the hotter, the better! 🙂


  1. Hi Margaret

    Interesting stuff on capsaicin.

    A quick scan of the article reveals that the efective level of capsaicin is 50umolar, or about 15mg/liter. This is what you’d have to absorb to inhibit myeloma cells, according to their in vitro research.

    HOWEVER, capsaicin is neurotoxic, and probably would contribute to peripheral neuropathy.

    I’d be really careful of using it…


  2. Hi Frank, since I remembered seeing some OTC capsaicin-based ointments for arthritis pain relief in U.S. drugstores, I went to have a quick look at PubMed, where I found this study, among others:

    However, I firmly believe that too much of a good thing may not necessarily be a…good thing, so I certainly would not take huge amounts of it…or of anything else, for that matter (possible exception: chocolate)! 😉

  3. Hey Margaret – that’s a great idea for the spice rack. Can you show us a picture? I might do that too!!

  4. Hanna, this is not a great photo, but it will give you an idea of how it looks. I probably shouldn’t be publicizing IKEA products, but anyway, what we used were two Billy Benno CD towers and a regular Billy bookcase door.

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