I suppose this is a General Chowhounding topic ...
So I'm buying an ear of corn from a Mexican street vendor ... she slathers it with butter, rolls it in cheese and sprinkles with chili powder.
"A little or a lot of chili?" , she asks in Spanish. "Mucho", I say. As the corn is handed over, a breeze blows up and mucho chili flies off the corn and lands in my eye ... aieeeee ... the agony.
So I'm wincing and moaning "chili, chili" and the corn lady pulls out some salt and hands it to me.
Does THIS seem like a time to add salt to my corn?
"No, no, chili ... ojo" I say.
This little grandmotherly woman nods smiles, pantomimes licking the back of her hand, shaking salt on it and rubbing her eye.
Too stunned and in pain to even think of the words in Spanish I blurt out "Rub salt in my eye?"
She smiles and nods.
Why not? I'm in pain already. Lick hand, sprinkle salt, rub eye ... it WORKED !!!
Now it didn't take all the pain away, but it removed the searing awful pain. Tear glands in my eye did the rest?
I guess this is an occupational hazard for this woman so she had first aid in a salt shaker.
So has anyone heard of this? Why would it work?