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“It was a complete accident but I’m chuffed to bits – it’s a lovely looking tree,” Mr Smith told the Telegraph.
The chili was, however, grown in collaboration with scientists from Nottingham Trent University, who are interested in the medicinal use of chilis as an anesthetic. It was they who verified that the Dragon’s Breath scored the highest rating ever recorded on the Scoville heat scale, 2.48 million, beating the rival Reaper, which measures 2.2 million.
The Scoville scale measures the intensity of heat in units. The 2.48 million Scoville heat units (SHU) means that one drop of oil from this chili can be detected in 2.48 million drops of water, making it basically weapons-grade hot. For comparison, pepper spray used by the US Army is 2 million SHU.
The scientists believe that if you tried to actually eat this chili, your airways would likely close up from the burn and you’d go into anaphylactic shock and die. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a force for good, not evil.
The capsaicin oil from it is so potent it numbs the skin, giving it excellent potential as an anesthetic, especially for those allergic to painkillers, or even for use in developing countries where access to and funding for anesthetics is limited.
Chili peppers actually have a long history of medical value, from calming the gut’s immune system to helping you live longer. Just don’t eat this one.
originally posted by: SirKonstantin
The scientists believe that if you tried to actually eat this chili, your airways would likely close up from the burn and you’d go into anaphylactic shock and die.