Eli5 Could you survive extreme cold using spices

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If for example your freezing to death or something along those lines, could you use spices to warm your body up, would embarrassment work the same

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5 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

You could! Lots of spices burn, and they’re actually fairly dense so you could probably cocoon yourself in spices and stay warm. Unfortunately just ingesting them won’t solve your problem, but there are many other ways to stay warm using spices.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Basically you would die quicker, in the cold your body allows the fingers toes and other extremities to cool while maintaining a warmer core where the essential organs are.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Spices don’t make you warm. The principle “hot” spice chemical is called capsaicin. It fools the heat receptors in your skin, including on your tongue, into firing at body temperature, instead of when exposed to warm objects. This leads to your body responding as if you were hot. Blood rushes to the surface of the skin making it hot to the touch and red. You start to sweat. If the heat receptors fire too much they will activate pain sensors and it will feel like you are burning. It is all an illusion, though. Your body’s reaction to the spices will lead to your body loosing heat faster as warm blood at your skin and increased sweating pull heat away from your core and you would die faster in extreme cold due to the spices than you would have otherwise.

Anonymous 0 Comments

You would die quicker.

Your bodies response to spice is that it thinks it is getting hotter (THINKS) so dilates your arteries to try and get rid of the excess heat that you don’t actually have.

I have always noticed that after spicy food I tend to sweat less when exercising because my body is losing heat faster due to the above.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The “feeling” hot in a cold survival situation is actually very bad for you and places you at much greater risk of dying of cold.

When you feel cold your body constricts blood flow to the surface and extremities to reduce the rate of heat loss. Your skin, fingers, ears, etc are all cold because your body is keeping your blood inside insulation layers (behind surface fat) to keep your essential organs warm.

Things that make you “feel” warm – spices, alcohol, etc – reverse this and send blood to your skin and extremities, outside your insulation layers, where it will lose heat very quickly so your body has less ability to maintain your core temperature.