So you misjudged that curry and now your mouth is on fire — what to do? You probably know that milk will stop the burning, but you have other options too. This infographic makes a handy guide.
Milk helps by mixing with the capsaicin (that hot-tasting chemical), so you can swallow it and get it away from the heat receptors on your tongue that are going haywire. Other dairy products have the same effect, which explains why sour cream is a popular taco topping and why you can order a yogurt-based lassi to drink with your favourite curry.
Oils work the same way, which means foods like peanut butter will help. High-proof alcohol can do the same. Carb-heavy foods like rice and bread can mop up the capsaicin, while sugar and honey interfere with your ability to feel the heat (even though the capsaicin is still in your mouth.)
Check out the accompanying article at Greatist for more on how capsaicin causes that burning feeling, and what you can do about it.