Forcing an irritating substance on a person is one form of abuse, especially in children. Black pepper or hot pepper (Capsicum, active agent caspaicin) may be used.

The abuser puts the irritant in the victim's mouth or throat. This may be as a powder, a hot sauce or pepper spray.


If the victim aspirates the pepper, then asphyxia can occur. This may occur due to bronchial occlusion (if the pepper is coarse ground), bronchospasm or bronchial edema. The abuser may deny the event, making the post-mortem exam crucial for identifying the cause.

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