Poisons helpline 131126


Cooking with fresh chilli

Handling chilli during cooking preparation can cause intense burning and pain. Try to minimise skin contact especially with the chilli juice and seeds.

If your skin is burning, try using vegetable cooking oil to soothe the area. Apply it to paper towel, a cotton ball or similar and gently dab over the burning area, taking care not to spread the chilli to unaffected areas. Swab the area several times (or soak in oil), then wash with soap and water and apply a cold pack. Seek medical attention if there is no relief or the area blisters.

If you rub the chilli into your eyes, flood eyes with gently running water for 15 minutes and then see your local doctor.

Herb gardens

Many people enjoy growing and using fresh herbs from their garden. However it is important to ensure that herbs picked from the garden are actually herbs! Poisoning can occur when the wrong plant is taken and used in cooking. For example crocus can be confused with chives, or annual bulbs confused with spring onions.

To avoid confusion, keep herbs to a defined area and do not mix plants with similar appearance with your herbs.

Avoid spraying herb gardens with pesticides. If garden pests are a problem, try environmental friendly controls like companion planting. If you do need to use sprays, you must wait until the chemical’s withholding period has passed (this will be on the pesticide label) before picking and eating the herbs.