From: Emily Sohn, Discovery News
Published January 3, 2013 08:31 AM

Beware Spice Abuse

While you're busy putting finishing touches on the holiday meal, your teenagers and pre-teen kids might have other ideas about how to use the season's aromatic spices and other ingredients. And the results could be dangerous.


"The envelope is always being pushed to create something new that will get attention, potentially create a drug-like effect and can pass under the radar of law enforcers," said Christina Hantsch, a toxicologist at Loyola University Health System, in a press release.

Here are a few of the more common forms of ingredient abuse to watch out for. Tell your kids to step away from the pantry and just say no:

Cinnamon Challenge: Thousands of videos on YouTube show people attempting to swallow a tablespoon of dry cinnamon in less than a minute, no water allowed. And although a website dedicated to the challenge offers a warning in red letters ("DO NOT ATTEMPT THE CINNAMON CHALLENGE! IT BURNS!"), the site offers video after video of young people laughing hysterically as they try it. That burning sensation, the Loyola news release explains, along with a violent coughing spell that may follow, can lead to breathing trouble and choking.

- Nutmeg Snorting: YouTube is also filled with videos of people substituting nutmeg for cinnamon in the swallowing challenge. And thrill-seekers have long been known to snort, smoke or eat large amounts of nutmeg to get a hallucinogenic high. But ingesting large amounts of nutmeg can cause nasty side-effects, according to a report by ABC News, including severe gastrointestinal distress, heart and nerve problems, scary hallucinations that can last for days, and even death.

Article continues at Discovery News

Cinnamon and Nutmeg image via Shutterstock

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