Raw, fresh chilies should be washed in clean water before used in cooking in order to remove any residual fungicides, sand and soil. Chilies either fresh or powder form, can cause severe burning sensation to hands and may cause severe irritation to nasal passages, eyes and throat. Therefore, it may be advised in some sensitive individuals to use thin hand gloves and face masks while handling chilies.
Chili peppers contain chemical compound capsaicin. Capsaicin and its co-compounds used in the preparation of ointments, rubs and tinctures for their astringent, counter-irritant and analgesic properties.
These formulations have been in use in the treatment of arthritic pain, post-herpetic neuropathic pain, sore muscles, etc.
Scientific studies on experimental mammals suggest that capsaicin has anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-diabetic properties. It also found to reduce LDL cholesterol levels in obese persons.