Does Piper's 'OITNB' Miracle Lotion Really Work?

You probably remember the Orange is the New Black’s tampon sandwich. Seriously, how could you forget it? But, do you remember how Piper bartered her way out of that one? After insulting Red’s food and receiving a horse-head-in-the-bed level threat via feminine hygiene product, Piper realizes she is being starved out. In order to eat again, she has to do a favor for Red. And thus, Piper's jalapeño lotion from Orange is the New Black is born.

I mean, how else can an artisanal soap and lotion maker (who’s going to be in Barney’s) win the favor of a prison cook and queen bee? By making an artisanal lotion for Red’s bad back, of course — using only Litchfield's finest ingredients: A plastic cup from the commissary, Crazy Eye’s jalapeños, Sophia’s cocoa butter (in exchange for a hunk of blonde hair), a pair of granny panties, and your own teeth.

In the end, Piper’s lotion was such a success — the capsaicin from the pepper provided relief for Red — that Piper could eat again. But, how effective is this miracle rub IRL? With a few more tools, one hot pepper and some cocoa butter, I did a little at home experiment to find out!

Step 1: What You'll Need

All you need for this experiment is one jalapeño pepper, really just half of one, and about an ounce of cocoa butter lotion. You’ll also need supplies to pulverize the pepper …

Step 2: Crush The Pepper

In prison, Piper had to crush the pepper using only her mouth — and, subsequently lots of tears. Instead of chewing and spitting into a panty strainer (because, hello, I also was not going to ruin my undies), I diced the pepper, keeping the seeds, and put them in a plastic, Ziploc bag. I then mashed the peppers and squeezed the juice from the baggy over the lotion. You could also use a food processor or other another appliance ... that is, if you’re not behind bars.

Step 3: Mix It Up

Mix the lotion and the pepper together until well combined.

Step 4: Be CAREFUL

Seriously guys, wash your hands a lot after playing with a mashed jalapeño and seeds. PLEASE do not touch your eyes! Because, I, uh, know a friend who did that.

Step 5: Apply

Carefully, apply the lotion to an achy joint. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and advise you not to put it on your face.

Step 6: Well, Did It Work?

Yes and no. I applied the lotion to my elbow and my neck (a problem spot for me). At first, the lotion felt like it was cooling the areas, i.e. Icy Hot. Then it felt a little tingly, or peppery. And then... nothing. I can’t say that I felt relief beyond the initial sensations. But, I will say my elbow felt notably softer even after a shower. That, I admit, could be a placebo effect. So, for instant relief on an achy joint, this may help. Though, I don’t think the payoff was overall that miraculous. Sorry, Piper, but I'm glad it helped you get to eat again.

Images: MTV (1), Caroline Gerdes