Table 1 Transient receptor potential channels for pain and spices
Ion channelPain modalitySpice agonists
TRPV1HeatCapsaicin (red pepper)
acidosisGingerol (ginger)
Piperine (black pepper)
Zingerone (ginger)
TRPV3NoneCarvacrol (oregano)
(warmth)Eugenol (clove)
Thymol (thyme)
Vanillin (vanilla)
TRPM8ColdMenthol (mint)
TRPA1IrritantAllicin (garlic)
painAlly isothiocyanate (mustard, horseradish, wasabi)
Carvacrol (oregano)
Cinnamaldehyde (cinnamon)
Diallyl disulfide (garlic)
Gingerol (ginger)
  • Transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels subserve different pain modalities and spice sensations. The table shows a selection of spice agonists that activate four different members of the TRP channel family: the vanilloid TRP channels TRPV1 and TRPV3, the melastatin TRP channel TRPM8 and the ankyrin TRP channel TRPA1.