Spiciness – Nature’s Tool or Just Masochism?

Spiciness is a most curious trait in our world. Certain plants and herbs have the ability to mildly harm or stimulate our senses, not enough to maim or kill us, but enough to make us uncomfortable…and wonder if we should be eating it in the first place.

Chillis and spices are a strange and wonderful bunch that are used in almost every culture, but what could their purpose be?

At the end of the day, are chillis a form of drug – something to stimulate and enhance the senses? Or are they therapeutic?

Do they play a role in selective propagation? Only the animals like birds that are unaffected by spiciness will happily eat the spicy fruit and seed and carry them far away?

Or…are we just being masochists?

Nature certainly works and strange and mysterious ways.

There is an interesting Thai saying that goes:

“A crow holds the chilli in its mouth.”

I’m not entirely sure of its meaning, and how it would translate into English. What do you think it means?

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