ELi5: Why do our eyes water and our nose run when we eat spicy food?

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Your body is trying to wash away the irritating chemicals (e.g. capsaicin) in the spicy food, so it increases output of all fluids–including digestive ones, as it happens.

d2factotum

Dilution is the solution to pollution.

Your body does not like the concentrated capsaicin, so it tries to dilute it with mucus.

Unfortunately mucus is mostly water, and capsaicin is mostly oily due to the plants it comes from (although pure capsaicin is a crystalline solid at room temperature) , so it does not work all that well.

DeltaXi1929

The Board meeting was just regular peppers sitting at a table suggesting mutations that would totally help them reproduce.

“Monkeys and rodents keep eating us and our seeds get rekt. How can we stop it?”

“We could make the seeds more durable”
BORING

“We could make a chemical that causes anything that puts our fruit near a mucus membrane burn, blinding them and making them feel like their butthole is on fire”

SOLD!

**A few(thousand) years later. “this pepper doesn’t give me enough blindness and intestinal issues let’s turn this up a notch”

Pepper board (O_o)

Vast-Combination4046

Someone will correct me on this im sure, but I believe plants with pepper type fruits containing capsaicin developed through evolution as a defense against being eaten.

Visible-Knowledge-98

With all this spicy talk, what it is about milk that helps calm a burning tongue better than water?

BackgroundEnd3567

ELI5: How do scientists figure out how old writing is? If you have a stone with writing carved on it, you can carbon date it to find the age of the stone itself, but that doesn’t tell you when it was carved.

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Strata.

What’s on top of the writing? What’s below it? What ink was used? How old is the wood found above it? How long are the stalactites around it or over it?

Everything in terms of data has to do with determining a window of time, not an exact time, given what you know must have occurred earlier and what must have occurred later. If they’re using a particular ink that isn’t in common use until a certain date, and that date was itself determined by an example over which a tree grew or a stalactite formed. And you can date that tree or stalactite, which gives you an upper or lower bound on the date.

Strata, layers. It must have happened AFTER this but BEFORE this, and you compare against databases over thousands of sites to check it’s all consistent.

ledow

Carbon dating only works for living things.

Everything else is dated through context. For example was it found in a layer with 3000 year old biological remains? Was it written in a style we typically find in places 3000 years old? Was it worked with tools that were used in that era?

Luckbot

Carbon dating does not work on stone because it does not have any carbon in it. And even stone with carbon in it will have carbon from the mantle of the Earth which have not been anywhere near the atmosphere for extremely long and therefore does not have any C14 in it. But there are other isotope aging techniques other then carbon dating which works. Although you are completely right that it too is unreliable because the rocks is much older then the writing itself.

So scientists have to rely on other evidence to figure the age of the writing. If the writing is found together with other things then they might date these things to get an idea of the age. They can also compare the writing with other writing with a known age. Sometimes the text itself referances events with a known date. But there are a lot of stone carvings which we have very little evidence to help us date. Typically a cave painting usually have little surrounding evidence that have to be from when it was carved so we do not know if it was carved twenty thousand years ago or yesterday. The best thing we can go on here is the content of those paintings, for example if they paint a lot of boats it is likely from a time when there was a lake or ocean nearby and any paintings of animals might limit it to when those animals were native to the area.

Gnonthgol

You carbon date the skeleton of the dude holding the stone tablet.

Or you compare it to other crap that is buried beside it, or on top of it. Any archaeological site that is being excavated is going to have layers of dirt and stuff that you have to get through.

So as you’re digging a hole in the ground, you find the hubcap to a ’72 Pinto hatchback. Anything that is buried right alongside it probably came from the same post-1972 time period. Dig another foot down and you find a plastic comb and a “We Like Ike” campaign button. As you keep digging, you get to older and older stuff. Eventually you’re finding carved stone tablets and things like that, and you make your best guess on its age by looking at the other stuff on its level and also the stuff you already dug up. If you keep digging and you find a Sega Genesis controller *under* the stone tablet, then the tablet probably isn’t really that old.

cavalier78

Couple of ways

The style of writing compared to a known date

Content of the writing may provide info on the date

Dating what was found with the writing that can be dated

w2ltp

Eli5- why are meats so different like why is beef so different from chicken or pork? It’s just muscle and they all have similar diets so what makes the texture and flavor so different?

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The meats serve a different purpose when the animal is still alive. More work required from that muscle means longer fibers (more beefy texture) and more myoglobin (the red color) for extra oxygen storage. Chicken breast, for example, isn’t used very much when the chicken is alive. It’s developed very short fibers- that slimy texture when raw- and hardly any myoglobin- it’s white. The flavor mostly comes down to the subtle differences in diet.

TL;DR

– lots of muscle use = long fibers, lots of red color
– little muscle use = short fibers, little red color
– long fibers = tougher/chewier texture
– short fibers = softer/tender texture

RandomOtter32

> they all have similar diets

Your premise is wrong.

Cows primarily eat grasses—not just the grain seeds, but the entire above-ground part of the plant. They can also be fed roots and vegetables. Cows also digest food differently—microbes in their first stomach (rumen) help break down plant matter that other animals typically cannot digest.

Pigs and chickens are typically fed corn and soy, but also enjoy fruit and vegetables. Pigs also dig for root vegetables, and chickens occasionally eat insects and small animals. Chickens can also fly (poorly), and like all birds are roughly descended from dinosaurs.

Your assumption that beings that eat similar food should be the same is also wrong. Many kinds of small fish feed on plankton, but so do the largest whales.

nayhem_jr

I feel that none of these replies properly answers the question.

It’s easy to say diet and muscle use but when it comes to something like beef vs mutton, there is a very distinct taste difference though the diets and activity levels are similar. Even their milk tastes wildly different and there hasn’t been a good explanation in this thread as to why.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any answer to this and would love a good explanation.

ThePimptard

There are multiple differences at play here. You have fast twitch and slow twitch muscles (red vs white meat), birds vs mammals and dietary differences. Fast twitch is like sprint muscle. Used rarely, but when used, used in a burst. And you have red meat, for the marathons, for keeping a steady pace for longer.

Chickens don’t use much muscle at all, until they have to flee a predator. Quick burst of flight and they’re out of reach. Cows on the other hand, when they’re chased by predators, they’re in for the long haul, miles and miles of steady speed to avoid the wolves or something.
Ducks are capable of trekking, they tend to have more red meat than chickens.

Birds and mammals are different, hence bigger differences in meat. A more obvious example of this is fish and other animals. The meat of fish tends to have less stability (fall apart more easily when heated) than the meat of birds or mammals. But different paths of evolution give you different paths of their meat. Fish don’t have nearly as much fascia, as birds and mammals do.
Birds and mammals also have different enzymes and proteins. In USA there’s a tick borne disease that might make you allergic to some mammal enzymes, but not to all meat in general. So you could end up being allergic to cow and pig and sheep, but not chicken and duck.

And then there’s diet. Not looking at what they actually eat, but looking at what they’re evolutionarily build to eat and hoe to digest that. Cows eat grass and stuff that is hard to break down. They have multiple stomachs with different bacterial cultures to help break down all the cellulose. They also eat what ends up in their first stomach a second time (ruminate) to break up the parts that are seriously hard to break up, with teath and bacteria.
Chickens and pigs eat thing higher in nutritional value. Pigs aren’t perfect herbivores, but are omnivores. They are able to live off of a wide variety of foods. They can live on kitchen trash we now usually throw on a compost mount. They can live on mostly human excrement. They can live off of meat. Just everything they can fit in their mouths, they can eat. That they eat what most cows eat (soy beans, fodder, high protein kibbles) is just coincidence, just what we humans are offering them.
Chickens mostly live off of high energy foods. Grains in all sorts and shapes. Wheat, rye, corn. Of all the grasses only the most rich parts. They can also digest insects. But chickens need more energy dense foods than cows and pigs do. That we feed cows and pigs that as well, is just because we want to eat their muscles faster.

And you might not wonder what human meat tastes like. If you git curious, keep on reading. Otherwise,
skip this last part.

We’ve got this knowledge because of some people that turned to cannibalism to survive an airplane crash and who would otherwise not have ventured into cannibalism. (Uruguayan air force flight 571) Most of our meat tastes like pork. Just like pigs, us humans are omnivores. We are mammals that have a mix of slow twitch and fast twitch muscles and can almost live off of everything (except for grass and bark, we can’t digest the high cellulose contentlike cows can). Just like pigs. Only our hands and feet tend to taste different than pig, partially because of different microbiomes on the skin. Now you know what you didn’t want to know.

Alligators, crocodiles and ostriches all tend to taste similar to chicken. A lot of fast twitch (white) muscle and somewhat similar evolutionary path.

Seals, whales and puffin (and other sea birds) tend to taste somewhat more or extremely much like fish. That’s because they eat a lot of fish. I personally haven’t had the pleasure of company of someone who ate whale, but friends and family of mine have had the “pleasure” of eating seals and puffin. They taste like sea. My sister did end up eating half of my deer after she chose puffin as an appetiser, as she really really doesn’t like to eat fish. (Why don’t you english people have a dedicated word for not being able to eat something because you can’t stand the taste? “Doesn’t like” isn’t strong enough in this case).

SmilingEve

Just like different plants look and taste different from one another due to their unique chemical makeup, so do animals. You wouldn’t expect a fox fur coat to feel the same as a mink fur coat because the fur is different. Same with the meat.

Can_I_Read

ELI5 What is the chemical process that allows a sinus node in a heart able to produce electricity?

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The key to recognize is that we don’t produce electricity the way we do in our power plants…you don’t have conductive wires in your body carrying electrons around.

Your body used ions…charged atoms. Lots of common materials, e.g. salt, split into a positive and negative ions when they dissolve in water. Special biological structures called ion pumps can selectively push one kind of ion through a membrane and leave the other behind.

Now you’ve got a concentration of positively charged ions on one side of a barrier and negatively charged one on the other side…we have an electrical potential (a voltage difference). They want to recombine. If we let the ions come back together the voltage difference goes away and we have an electrical pulse, then the ion pumps can restore the potential. It’s creating and releasing these ion potentials that humans (and most other critters) use for electrical signaling.

tdscanuck

Imagine you carry buckets of water up to a pond on a hill. The energy you put into carrying the water is stored as potential energy. If you let it, the water could come down the hill and turn a watermill to do work. This is how you would store and use energy with gravity.

The human body stores and uses some energy electrically. Instead of carrying buckets of water uphill, it has tiny little pumps that push charged particles across membranes against an electrical gradient. When you eat foods with salts, they dissolve into charged ions. The biggest players are positively charged sodium and negatively charged potassium ions. These are some of the ‘electrolytes’ that sports drinks contain. There are sodium-potassium pumps in neurons that push out sodium and bring in potassium.

Now you have an electrical gradient that stores energy, kind of like the pond on the hill. If you let them, the ions will want to rush back across the membrane just like the water rushes downhill. This is the electrical energy that is released when a neuron ‘fires’.

thegnome54

So it’s the same way we produce current all throughout our body (including nerve cells). So it’s this thing called action potential. Basically they separate all the positive ions from the negative ions, creating a difference in charge that’s rather large, and once it needs to fire, it opens the gates so that all that electric potential (positive ions wanting to mingle with negative ions) gets released all at once, generating a really small jolt of energy. Many cells do this over and over again, in a synchronized manner, so create electric impulses

hipsterlatino

Electricity is just energy that you get when you separate two things that really want to be together, and your body is good at separating things

Retrac752

Fundamentally, electricity is any motion of charged particles. The most common electricity that people think of is electrons, which are charged particles, being pushed through a metal conductor by an electric field, but electrons are not the only charged particles and electric fields aren’t the only forces that can cause particles to move.

A good example of a completely different electric system is a battery such as lithium ion. In a lithium battery, the charged particles are lithium ions, and they move across the battery due to a chemical reaction. The chemical reaction happens because the lithium ions are able to bond more strongly to the cathode material than to the anode material, similar to how iron rusts because oxygen atoms are able to bond more strongly to the iron than they are to the air or water. Because the lithium ions are charged particles, that chemical reaction of those ions moving from the anode to the cathode is electricity, just as much as electrons flowing through metal.

The bodies of all biological organisms are chemical machines, and perform many functions that involve moving atoms and ions in and out of cells. Cells that produce electricity, such as those in the heart, force charged particles such as sodium ions or calcium ions to move through the cells. The chemical reaction that causes the ions to move involves proteins, which are very large molecules that perform much more complex chemical reactions than the examples with a battery or with rusting. Unlike an electric generator that moves trillions of electrons at a time by pushing them with a magnet, each cell only moves a few ions at a time. Biological electricity uses a very different process than an electric power plant, but has all the same effects as any other kind of electricity.

netphantom1

ELI5 What is Doughnut economics and how does it work?

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It’s an economic model that takes 12 social necessities and 9 ecological ceilings into a single model. Basically we want to fulfill the necessities without damaging the ecosystem. If a society manages to do so it’s considered economically prosperous.

Simplier put it’s a model that measures economical prosperity by aiming to fulfill social needs (water, housing, education, justice etc.) without damaging the eco-system. If a society could provide enough water for everyone but the water will run out in a few hundred years than it is not considered economically prosperous.

MacabreManatee

ELI5: it’s a fancy-dancy circle of life that says everything is connected and that we need to walk the knife’s edge of consuming enough that we live comfortable lives now, while not consuming too much and destroying the earth for future generations.

KJ6BWB

There are different aspects in economics and ecology that are in basic need for our society to thrive. Imagine placing all these aspects in a circle and drawing a line at the “lowest point” for which the society can thrive, for example the lowest amount of food consumed (because people need food to just live).
Then there is also a maximum amount that the economy or ecology can use, if this boundary is crossed the aspect is not sustainable. Think about emissions, those can’t be too high or we ruin the planet.

Everyone of the aspects has these 2 boundaries, a lower and an upper boundary. Since we placed the aspects in a circle, the lower and upper boundaries make a double circle shape just like a donut.

I am not sure if the examples I used are from the donut economy but hope it was clear:)

_dock_

It’s a simple way to describe what we need and how much we can take.

The bottom of the donut is our needs (‘social foundation’).
The top of the donut is the maximum of what we can take (‘ecological ceiling’).
In between the two is the good part, aka the ‘safe and just space for humanity’.

NoSaneNoPain

In property investment talk (at least in Australia), there’s the saying to buy the doughnut. Not right in centre (rezoning and density risk) or outside (land release risk). You generally want to buy in the doughnut in the established middle ring suburbs 3-10km out from the CBD… long term, these tend to be the best performing properties.

dolce_and_banana

ELI5: If a normal person’s pancreas can produce insulin on its own then why can’t an insulin creating machine/artifical pancreas be created for diabetics?

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Depending on your definition of “machine”, we already have. We can genetically engineer bacteria to produce insulin.

alonelygrave

Insulin is a protein. Proteins are the little molecular machines that make all organisms function, they’re very complex molecules, and they can only really be produced *by* organisms.

Theoretically, it might be possible to make proteins in some kind of complex chemical reactor, but we don’t have this tech at the moment. Instead, what we do instead is have living organisms make them for us. The human gene that carries instructions on how to make insulin is put into bacteria, the bacteria produce insulin using this gene, then we harvest the bacteria and extract the insulin. This is how insulin is made for people with diabetes.

mabolle

To some extent, this is what insulin pumps do. The latest ones are called closed loop systems where it requires minimal input from the pump user in order to continuously monitor your glucose and give you the necessary dose required using fairly advanced algorithms . Eventually they will be developed to such an extent that they will require no input from the user.

Some issues still remain such as the devices need to be calibrated which still requires manual glucose measurement, pumps are still quite bulky and they are still very expensive among other things.

I think the part about creating insulin has been answered by others. This is then put into the pump to create the “artificial pancreas”

thatbvg

The simple answer for this is: we can’t yet, but we are very close.

We are likely within 5-8 years of a fully automatic insulin pump. However, we will still need to fill it with insulin.

We are farther away from being able to synthesize insulin on a per-person basis (eg. Inside the pump itself).

tn_notahick

If a normal person’s hand can play the piano, why can’t a piano playing machine/artificial hand be created for the disabled?

Biology is still capable of many things that technology isn’t. We’re currently able to manufacture insulin, but it requires industrial processes and inputs that we can’t just shrink down and stick in the body.

Twin_Spoons

ELi5 – Why does breathing into a paper bag supposedly help someone having a panic attack?

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When you breathe too quickly (hyperventilate) you elimate CO2 faster than your body can produce it, causing CO2 levels in the blood to drop to unhealthy levels.

Breathing in and out of a paper bag helps put CO2 back in the body.

forgotten_sprite

Hi, EMS and mental health crisis responder here.

It doesn’t. Don’t have people do this. They need a quiet place away from others, a calm presence, and monitoring. Most panic attacks resolve themselves. You want to assist in de-escalation, not breathing into a bag.

notibanix

The intent for breathing into a paper bag is to re-breathe exhaled CO2(carbon dioxide). In the blood CO2 is dissolved into the plasma as carbonic acid. The human body had chemical receptors in the arteries which control small muscles within the arteries to vasoconstrict(squeeze tighter to increase blood pressure) or vasodilate(relax to decrease blood pressure).

The body works in balance called homeostasis. When too much CO2 is exhaled the chemical receptors will vasodilate relaxing the muscles in the arteries. Usually the ones in the head are affected first creating a headache and dizziness as the brain becomes slightly starved of blood. Another odd side effect is tingling and cramping of the fingers and toes.

In a panic attack these symptoms often make the person’s anxiety increase which then creates an even greater effect. The action of breathing into the bag has two effects. By increasing the inhaled CO2 the body reabsorbs some of the carbonic acid into the blood plasma causing vasoconstriction and increasing the blood pressure providing some relief of the headache and dizziness. It also has the added benefit of giving the person an object and activity to focus on instead of whatever created the anxiety to begin with.

Tip: Remain calm and try coaching the person with breathing techniques such as a deep breath with a long exhale time through pursed lips can provide equal or better results than a paper bag.

Edit: correction of carbolic to carbonic. And removal of extraneous period placement.

ashertiger

Student Paramedic here. Don’t do this. It is very outdated advice. You are at risk of re-inhaling too much CO2 and effectively causing CO2 retention, leading to acidosis, hypoxia and other issues.

If you have a panic attack just try to focus on your breathing and slow it down, long deep breaths. If you see someone else having a panic attack, coach them to help with this. The Bag is a bad idea, even if some TV programs/films still do it.

​

That being said, the science of why it used to be used is correct as others have stated.

ollieh22

It’s about increasing the CO2 levels in your blood. It has a calming effect, to the point where you would fall asleep and eventually die if you kept breathing it.

IllBeTheHero

ELI5 What is a migraine, compared to a what one normally thinks of as a headache?

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A migraine is a neurological condition. One of its most obvious and common symptoms is a headache, normally servere. However, a migraine is not a headache and migraines don’t have to have a headache to be a migraine.

What causes them is not well understood.

The_Thunder_Child

For me it’s the sensitivity to light and sound that makes me call it a migraine. If I want to sit in a dark room then I know it’s a migraine.

I get visual auras too but I haven’t gotten it and then a migraine or if I do they are several days apart. Usually the aura is a white out where one eye will lose vision and just see a white spot which expands to cover the peripheral only lasts less than 30 seconds. Luckily never has happened in both eyes at a time but kinda scary when driving anyway

Applejuiceinthehall

Migraines are very painful headaches that pulsate one side of your head. They also have some real weird stuff like giving you weird visual glitches in one or both eyes, or making your ears ring.

Mine, along making my vision mess up like a computer game glitch, take away my depth perception; even if I can see, I become really bad at figuring out how far something is. Makes parking a car a real pain.

It’s not really known what causes migraines or how they work; there’s some new info that they’re like weak epileptic episodes, some say they constrict your bloodflow in the head… I don’t know.

Whatever, but the most important part is that migraines have extra effects (weird visual glitches), are very painful, usually pulse with your heartbeat and basically make you go into bed. Also they hurt just oneside of your head.

Mine also raise my eye pressure, and it feels like someone took an icepick and is stabbing me in the eye.

Normal headaches are often neck tension or sinus headaches that hurt either the whole front or the back, or the whole head. And it’s a dull pain.

fat_strelok

Mine started only as visual issues. It looked like someone was pouring water over my eyes on the outside of my field of view and I’m blind at a small point where I focus. I thought I was having a stroke. About 6 months later the headache would come exactly 15 minutes after the visual stuff stops. It’s like someone took an ice pick and slammed it from the back right side of my head and drove it through my left eye. Sumatriptan will stop the headache part if I get it into my system as soon as the visual kaleidoscope stuff starts. It has some nasty side effects like slurred speech, burning sensation in my lungs, heavy limbs, and feeling lethargic, but I’ll take all of that over the ice pick to the skull. The worst are when I get one while sleeping. When I wake up it’s over but it feels like someone has punched me in the head repeatedly. Every step you take hurts your head. It’s brutal. I also didn’t understand what the big deal was before I was afflicted. Just a bad headache, right? Nope. I understand now, unfortunately.

trashyratchet

Another thing about migraines is that they can last for days, weeks, or even longer for some people.

ally00ps

ELI5 Why puting salt on the wound increases the pain significantly?

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So when you have an open wound it exposes the nerves to direct contact. Salt is what your nerves use to function so when you put salt on a wound it artificially triggers these nerves. It tiggers all of them so the message to your brain is effectively “WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?!?!” The response your brain has in such situation is to default to pain and sometimes making you sick.

You can actually trigger this response by putting your hand half on a cold plate and the other half on a hot plate. Your brain has trouble with this temperature discrepancy so it will default to pain making it feel like your hand is being burned but as soon as you take your hand away the pain stops entirely. You aren’t damaging your hand because neither of the plates are at such an extreme temp as to hurt you, it is just that your brain has no experience having your hand on a hot and cold object at the same time and doesn’t know how to read the information it is getting.

This experiment works best with kids who’s brains are still developing. I know this because my father showed me it while teaching me about the human body (yes he warned me there would be some pain beforehand but I wouldn’t actually be hurt).

Puoaper

Salt increases the flavour of food so it also has the ability to increase the flavour of pain ✨ jk
When you have an open wound, it means ur nerve endings are exposed. Sodium (and also potassium fyi) are the main ions that conduct impulses in a nerve cell neuron. So since one of the component of salt is sodium, it can can “confuse” the nerves resulting in intense pain
hope it make sense to u lolol

ywluv

But then why does gargling with warm salt water feel good on a sore throat?

nellysly

It dehydrates the cells and they start shrinking and dying off. Same for alcohol.

Plus salt is coarse so it’s abrasive to the exposed sensitivity of the wound

Dupree878

Nerves are types of microscopic (very small) cells that make up our body’s tissues. Nerves allow us to feel pain which is important for survival. A nerve responds to the world, or a stimulus (Like a thorn bush) be releasing atomic ions into the cellular environment. Ions are things like sodium or potassium in a liquid solution. The ions cause that nerve cells to hyperpolarize which is like becoming more sensitive. Salt further hyperpolarizes the cell and that allows it to ‘feel’ at lower sensitivity. So the reason salt makes the cut hurt more is because the ions make the cell ‘feel’ pain at a much lower threshold than without the salt.

Synapseon

ELI5 Why puting salt on the wound increases the pain significantly?

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So when you have an open wound it exposes the nerves to direct contact. Salt is what your nerves use to function so when you put salt on a wound it artificially triggers these nerves. It tiggers all of them so the message to your brain is effectively “WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?!?!” The response your brain has in such situation is to default to pain and sometimes making you sick.

You can actually trigger this response by putting your hand half on a cold plate and the other half on a hot plate. Your brain has trouble with this temperature discrepancy so it will default to pain making it feel like your hand is being burned but as soon as you take your hand away the pain stops entirely. You aren’t damaging your hand because neither of the plates are at such an extreme temp as to hurt you, it is just that your brain has no experience having your hand on a hot and cold object at the same time and doesn’t know how to read the information it is getting.

This experiment works best with kids who’s brains are still developing. I know this because my father showed me it while teaching me about the human body (yes he warned me there would be some pain beforehand but I wouldn’t actually be hurt).

Puoaper

Salt increases the flavour of food so it also has the ability to increase the flavour of pain ✨ jk
When you have an open wound, it means ur nerve endings are exposed. Sodium (and also potassium fyi) are the main ions that conduct impulses in a nerve cell neuron. So since one of the component of salt is sodium, it can can “confuse” the nerves resulting in intense pain
hope it make sense to u lolol

ywluv

But then why does gargling with warm salt water feel good on a sore throat?

nellysly

It dehydrates the cells and they start shrinking and dying off. Same for alcohol.

Plus salt is coarse so it’s abrasive to the exposed sensitivity of the wound

Dupree878

Nerves are types of microscopic (very small) cells that make up our body’s tissues. Nerves allow us to feel pain which is important for survival. A nerve responds to the world, or a stimulus (Like a thorn bush) be releasing atomic ions into the cellular environment. Ions are things like sodium or potassium in a liquid solution. The ions cause that nerve cells to hyperpolarize which is like becoming more sensitive. Salt further hyperpolarizes the cell and that allows it to ‘feel’ at lower sensitivity. So the reason salt makes the cut hurt more is because the ions make the cell ‘feel’ pain at a much lower threshold than without the salt.

Synapseon