Peppers are more often on the list of foods to avoid, so it may be surprising to learn that they may quench the fire of heartburn. The scientific basis of this lies in the capsaicin (the hot stuff in jalapeno peppers) which may protect the stomach lining (Journal of Physiology, Paris, Jan-Dec, 2001). Regular use appears to decrease reflux symptoms (Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, April, 2010). This may be because regular use of capsaicin cream on the skin can reduce pain. This is by depleting the chemical that transmits pain.