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how do you stop coughing when the thai pepper catches in your throat?

This happens with Thai food, esp. the hot soup with peppers, like tom yum goong, or with a pepper relish condiment (even a wee bit). The pepper just seems to stop midway in my throat and causes a hacking, incessant cough. So embarrassing. So uncomfortable.

How to stop it? Drinking loads of water helps only a tiny bit. Eating sugar -- hey, I was desperate! -- does zilch... Eating a bit of "neutral" pad kee mao noodle, nothing....

Recommendations on how to stop the coughing?

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  1. Water won't help Alkapal. If you can signal a server and get a small glass of milk - or anything with lactose..... that may do the trick. Also do not breathe in when eating the offending whatever.

    I hate when that happens.....

    1. i don't know if this might disperse the pepper more, but i have been told when food feels caught to try to take some deep breaths through my nose with my mouth closed. it takes a couple of breaths, and a couple of sips of water in between but it seems to stop the coughing

      5 Replies
      1. re: fudisgud

        actually, the pepper doesn't feel like it is physically caught (but somehow that is from where the sensation of the cough reaction seems to emanate).
        maybe the pepper passes on but that is where the irritation starts.

        actually, i am afraid to take a deep breath and maybe that is programmed genetically. i will try and breathe through my nose, too.

        you know, maybe i should make it a practice to get a thai iced tea. that way there is some dairy available.

        strangely, i've eaten really hot indian food, and it never affects me the same. likewise, mexican. and it is not all hot thai. with the soup, i think its the blast of peppery oil that seems to glaze the top of the tom yum gai (or whatever); with the relish/pepper condiment, it is my own fault really. that pepper -- just a wee bit -- is terribly hot. i should just stay away from it!!! (but my pad kee mao must have me adding the larger green peppers in the vinegar on top. and there is another red pepper condiment that seems less hot.)

        i think this last attack, the pepper condiment was freshly made. WHOA! (and WOE is me!)

        1. re: alkapal

          Eat uncrusted bread. As a last resort I apply the hemlock maneuver.

          1. re: Veggo

            Er.... Veggo, I know you like to play around with words, but you Did mean the Heimlich Maneuver. Didn't you?

            1. re: Gio

              Hmm...This could explain my abysmal success rate practicing EMS skills, and my "Hooked on Phonics" correspondence course.
              Keep eating bread.

              1. re: Veggo

                Will do, however not dunked in hemlock.

        1. Don't eat spicy foods at all, but I have problems with salad dressings , usually the vineager.

          It just goes down the wrong way I think, and I can't speak ( a relief to my husband), but a horrible coughing fit, water is no help, but it is so damn embarrassing! Never happens at home, just when out which is also strange.

          1. I've been eating spicy food all my life but what is it about Thai soup?I have the same problem and at this point , look forward to it. Because if I don't have the "cough" or " sneeze". It means that I've picked the wrong restaurant. There is no way around the cough, unless you're Thai.