The Chilli Willy Experiment

On ABC NSW radio

We were discussing chillies, or more specifically ‘chilli burn’, after handling chillies, being especially nasty for males next visit to the bathroom. One of our helpful listeners rang in with a sure fire remedy using banana. I hadn’t heard of that one and thought it could be interesting to test out. Finding someone who shared my enthusiasm enough to give it a go proved difficult.

Husband first. No amount of persuading, even in the name of science or accurate radio reporting, would entice him to give it a try. Next a work colleague. Nope. Maybe it’s an age thing, being older and wiser, so I handed it over to my daughter, Alice, to ask amongst her friends and work colleagues. Finally, we had a taker! According to her, this is how it went……


Alice & me

If someone told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it? Unlikely. Thanks to the logical part of our brain, we’re hard-wired to avoid life-threatening, tummy-turning, knee-trembling situations. So, you’d (logically) assume, if a person asked you to rub chilli on your, er, willy, that same brain region would kick into overdrive. That’d be a resounding “HELL YES!”, right? Well, not quite. One brave soul (let’s call him Tom*, shall we?) decided to ignore his better judgement, quell his rational inner voice (most of which were coming from South-based anatomy), and get his hands dirty. Literally.

Allow me to break it down for you:

The Experiment:

To test the theory suggested by an ABC radio listener, banana soothes oops-I-forgot-to-wash-my-hands-before-I-went-to-the-bathroom burn after handling chilli.



Prepare one red chilli, as per standard cooking instructions. i.e cut it down the middle, and scrape the seeds out using your finger tips.

Do not wash your hands. Do not pass Go and do not collect $200.

Wait for mother nature to call.

Um, do your business.

The end result:

“Red hot nuts”…

To put it a lil’ more eloquently, the banana theory bombed and certain anatomy burned. Although, we should note, there was a delay between cause and effect. If you’re brave enough to try this experiment at home, don’t go nuts (pardon the pun) and keep touching/rubbing the area, thinking you’ve been too easy on yourself. Just like when you stub your toe, the pain takes a while to kick in.

The banana was smashed, smeared and rubbed, to no avail.

Despite hearing rumours water is easily the worst solution to searing temperatures, Tom jumped in the shower, hoping, wishing and praying, for some relief.

What ensued was yet another excruciating heat wave. Throw into the scenario a red rash, and you have an extremely concerned man (one can assume thoughts of amputation and/or infertility were running through his once fearless mind).

Thankfully, ye old cyber world came to the rescue, in the form of Google search for “chilli burn”. One of the results? Lime juice. Another suggestion? Olive oil. In an act of sheer desperation, Tom splashed his manhood with a combination of the two.

Thankfully, it worked. The pain slowly dissipated and the ‘000’ speed-dial was cancelled.

The moral of the story:

If you’re going to cook with chilli, wear rubber gloves, use a teaspoon to scrape out the seeds and ALWAYS wash your hands post-preparation.

If you forgot, don’t reach for the banana. Do as Tom did, and try the lime/oil route. We also hear yoghurt and beer works. Tom… How’d you feel about testing out theory numero duo?

Alice Treloar
(was Writer,
Women’s Health and Men’s Health Magazines, now Producer for Channel 7)


Posted on December 8, 2010 at 6:53 pm by Brigid · Permalink
In: Radio · Tagged with: ,

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