n. a crystalline compound derived from the capsicum plant of the nightshade family. Colorless yet spicy and pungent, it is irritating to the skin and, therefore, a natural deterrent to predators. Medicinally, it is used to formulate ointments (e.g. capsaicin cream) which treat arthritis and other peripheral neuropathy.
CAPSAICIN: "Spicy in taste and warm to the touch, capsaicin is both a culinary ingredient and a medicinal substance."