Everybody wants to feel safe in their home. That is why we offer state of the art pepper spray home defense systems online to protect your family, yourself, and your property. Check out our options available online today. In the meantime, we thought we would go over the history of pepper spray, and the use of peppers as weapons (that’s a weird thought, isn’t it?). Here’s a quick overview.

Early Analogues

Modern pepper spray was only invented a little more than half a century ago. However, many civilizations used the spicy capsaicin as a weapon prior to modern pepper spray hitting the market. Two notable examples come from China and Japan. In China, the practice of wrapping grounded up cayenne in rice paper to be thrown at an opponent’s face became popular and accepted because it could incapacitate people temporarily without killing them. In Japan, it was common for ninjas to use a weapon called the metsubushi, a catch all name for implements or techniques used to blind an opponent temporarily or permanently.  One popular type of metsubushi that was used by ninja and samurai alike involved a brass or lacquer box with a mouth peace that could blow out ground up pepper (and flour, mud, ashes, and dirt). In fact, there is historical evidence of metsubushi being used by the Tokugawa empire.

Interestingly, while Mexican Natives were growing peppers as early as 5,500 BC (including chiltecpin, jalapeno, ancho, paprika, serrano, cayenne, and bell peppers), there is no known evidence of it ever being used as a weapon in ancient times.

Other Applications

Peppers weren’t just used for incapacitation historically, they have also been used both to treat wounds and for torture.

Common forms of pepper spray torture involved slaveholders rubbing pepper into the eyes of slaves for infractions, or the “Derby dose”, which was a torture used in Jamaica by slave owners wherein they would beat a slave, then rub salt pickle, bird pepper, and lime juice into their open wounds. And that was just the beginning of the torture, which only gets much more graphic, vulgar, and shameful.

Modern Use

Only by the 1980s did modern pepper spray become a tool for non lethal self defense. While law enforcement is probably its most notable use currently, it actually started as a tool for postmen to protect themselves from aggressive pets. Today, we use pepper spray to safely defend against aggressive animals, domestic, feral, and wild. It wasn’t until 1987 that the FBI endorsed it as an officially allowed chemical agent, but wouldn’t be accepted in law enforcement for another four years.


Hopefully this history proved interesting, if a little depressing. Despite horrible misuse and abuse of pepper spray in the past, it is an exceptionally safe form of non lethal home defense. If you are interested in protecting your home with a pepper spray home defense system, don’t hesitate to look through our available options. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us here. We will be happy to provide any answers you may need.