Why Does Pepper Make You Sneeze?

Blame it on science

You've figured out why slicing onions makes you cry, but do you know why pepper makes you sneeze? There you are in the middle of adding a little black pepper to your favorite chicken dish and all of a sudden, a sneeze attack hits. You know you aren't getting sick, so why can't you stop sneezing? Blame it on science.

Pepper contains a chemical that irritates your nose and causes you to sneeze.

To get a tad more scientific, pepper contains an "alkaloid of pyridine called piperine," and once it gets into your nose, it irritates the nerve endings, causing you to sneeze. This goes for black, white and green pepper.

Next time you go to grind a little pepper on your wedge salad, tilt your head to the side and try not to breathe (just kidding about that last part).