Capsaicin, the hot component of chilli peppers, is a well-known tussive agent, which is regularly used as a tool to study cough and antitussives (1). Capsaicin is known to activate the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) cation channel which is thought to be involved in pain perception, inflammation, itch and cough (2-4). These functions within the body make TRPV1 an exciting target for research and drug development.
Sadofsky, L. R., Cantero-Recasens, G., Wright, C., Valverde, M. A., & Morice, A. H. (2017). TRPV1 polymorphisms influence capsaicin cough sensitivity in men. Journal of thoracic disease, 9(3), 839-840. https://doi.org/10.21037/jtd.2017.03.50