Prevent Garlic & Onion Tears

Chopping onions and garlic under running water or on a cutting board spritzed with lemon juice reduces tears. The water or lemon juice blocks irritating sulfur-based compounds from binding to our released common chemical sense.

Turns out that the human sense of smell includes a third pathway, called the common chemical sense.* (The other two are the olfactory sense and the nose-throat pathway.)

Common chemical sense works through thousands of nerve endings on the moist surfaces of the eyes, nose, mouth, and throat. These nerves help us sense irritating substances, such as the cool of peppermint, the burn of ammonia or the tears of onions and garlic.

* Source – NIDCD.NIH.gov

About Genevive Bjorn

Award-winning freelance journalist based in San Diego, covering health, medicine, culture and travel.

What do you think?