Amazing Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper
What it is—Cayenne pepper belongs to the capsicum family, and its botanical name is capsicum annuum. It is the red chili pepper that is used to add flavor in food and has high medicinal values. Cayenne contains vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin K, carotenoids, and the complete B complex vitamins. It is also a source of organic calcium, potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber.
For health and medicinal purposes, you only need to drink small amounts of cayenne powder, mixed in a glass of water. How cayenne can help you—Cayenne pepper increases blood circulation. It also draws the blood to where it is especially needed. Because of these special abilities, it can be used to help you in many ways.
Cayenne is a counterirritant; it brings blood to the surface and allows the toxins to be taken away. It wonderfully improves blood circulation. An amazing substance—The benefits of cayenne are almost too unbelievable; but its reputation keeps growing and growing, and deservedly so. It can do everything from killing cancer cells in the prostate, lungs, and pancreas to immediately stopping a heart attack within 30 seconds. Incredible, but successful in many instances. The health benefits of cayenne pepper include improvements in regard to digestion, immunity, heart diseases, dyspepsia, inflammation, headache, throat congestion, and blood circulation.
Cayenne pepper improves the effectiveness of other herbs. Here is specific information: Circulatory system and high blood pressure—There are evidences that prove that giving cayenne extract orally, to a patient, helps to stop heart attack. Cayenne helps to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. Cayenne helps to dissolve fibrin, which causes formation of blood clots. It also reduces triglyceride levels. It is excellent for any type of internal hemorrhage. (Use it with an infusion with birthroot or star root.) Cayenne pepper (or cayanne pepper as it’s sometimes spelled as) increases metabolism by immediately speeding up the flow of blood in the arteries and veins.
This herb is a great food for the circulatory system. It feeds the necessary elements into the cell structure of the arteries, veins, and capillaries; so that these regain the elasticity of youth again, and the blood pressure adjusts itself to normal. It improves blood circulation. When any body part is sick, the blood flow to that area is usually affected. Cayenne helps to remove entire blood congestion, stimulates the blood flow, makes sure that the vitamins are properly delivered to all areas, and waste is removed. Cayenne pepper for high blood pressure is certainly one of its core uses; but cayenne cleans the arteries as well, helping to rid the body of the bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. It is an excellent home treatment for mild high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol levels. Cayenne preparations prevent platelets from clumping together and accumulating in the blood, allowing the blood to flow more easily. Since it is thought to help improve circulation, it’s often used by those who have cold hands and feet. It equalizes the blood circulation in the arterial and venous system, and produces natural warmth in your body. It does this by regulating the flow of blood from the head to the feet, so that the pressure is equalized. It influences the heart immediately; then it gradually extends its effects to the arteries, capillaries, and nerves. (The frequency of the pulse is not increased, but is given more vigor.) It is warming, dilating, a specific for varicose veins and other vascular troubles. Capsicum is highly effective in causing hemorrhoids to regress; and these fruits have the same action on varicose veins.
The results are attributed to alkaloids or glucosides in the peppers. Help for the heart—Dr. John Christopher, the famed natural herbalist, was relentlessly harassed by the government for his practice of herbal medicine, all the while assisting patients in curing heart disease, cancer, tuberculosis, infertility, rheumatism, leukemia, and many other conditions with herbs. He could instantly stop a heart attack if he could get the patient to drink a glass of warm cayenne water. He said, “A teaspoon of cayenne should bring the patient out of the heart attack.” For internal hemorrhaging (bleeding inside the body), if the patient can drink a glass of extra warm cayenne water, Dr. Christopher wrote, “by the count of ten the bleeding will stop. Instead of all the pressure being centralized, it is equalized and the clotting becomes more rapid.”
With over 700,000 Americans experiencing a stroke each year and almost half a million dying yearly of either heart disease or related issues, cayenne pepper is worth keeping on your shelf. Capsicum may be valuable in the prevention and treatment of blood clots. Cayenne is also great for heartburn. Digestion, stomach, and intestines—Cayenne stimulates the appetite, more especially as a hot climate tends to produce anorexia. Cayenne pepper is a useful therapeutic agent against anorexia (not eating enough food). We have always held that the saliva is the key that unlocks the door to digestion. Capsicum, a sialagogue, stimulates the flow of saliva. This will be very helpful to people who have become accustomed to swallowing their food almost whole, thus robbing themselves of the benefits of saliva in the digestive process. Capsicum will stimulate their flow of saliva as they return to a healthier attitude toward eating. Cayenne is often found in formulas for diet and weight loss. But can eating hot peppers really help you lose weight? Probably not; but cayenne supports your diet and exercise efforts. Because it aids in digestion and absorption of nutrients, cayenne can reduce excess appetite that is due to malabsorption, a common condition in overweight people.
It eases toothache and preserves the teeth from rotting. When rubbed on the gums, it stimulates them enough to prevent pyorrhea. Use it as an infusion for ulcers in the mouth, strep throat, or tonsillitis. It is used to eliminate lockjaw. When made into a lozenge with sugar and tragacanth, it is a remedy for hoarseness. Cayenne added to water can be used to gargle with, to cure sore throats. Capsaicin stimulates secretions, which helps to clear the mucus from nose and lungs by clearing the sinuses and causing sweating. Cayenne pepper added to a tea is good in conditions of cold and flu. Capsicum is particularly efficient in tonsillitis, the sore throat of scarlet fever, and diphtheria. No application is so efficient as a strong gargle or wash made with capsicum.
For sore throats, gargle with a preparation of capsicum and honey. Capsicum is also good for spasmodic and irritating coughs, heartburn, diarrhea, and scarlet fever. It boosts immunity. Vitamin A, or beta-carotene, in cayenne pepper gives protection against invading pathogens by helping the development of healthy mucous membranes in the nasal passages, lungs, and urinary tract; this gives immunity to infections. Capsicum is an important remedy in cholera. It stops vomiting. Mix equal parts of capsicum and common table salt (one half ounce of each) and one pint of lemon juice. Give in tablespoon doses for cholera, when vomiting “cholera morbus” (the gross material produced by cholera) from the system. Combine with asafetida and sweet flag root or camphor in the form of pills in cases of cholera. Cayenne is an excellent remedy for a cold; mix infusion with slippery elm and molasses or honey, and take in doses throughout the day; also excellent for sore throat and coughs. Capsicum has a powerful action on the mucous membranes, the sore throat, and in hoarseness. A gargle made of capsicum is particularly beneficial for the putrid throat.
Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which has the ability to prevent ulcers. It rebuilds the tissue in the stomach and heals both stomach and intestinal ulcers. It stimulates the peristaltic motion of the intestines. It aids in assimilation and elimination. It is excellent for quinsy and all other diseases of the throat. Cayenne stimulates digestion and muscle movement in the intestines, which helps restore deficient digestive secretions and aids absorption of food nutrients. (Stomach acid tends to decline with age; and some cases of poor digestion are related to a lack of this acid.) Cayenne pepper added to the diet helps avoid stomachaches, gas, and cramps. It does this by stimulating the flow of stomach secretions and saliva. Cayenne added to the food helps one lose weight, when needed, through proper digestion. It thus reduces excess appetite due to malabsorption.
Cayenne also stimulates circulation and blood flow to the peripheral areas of the body. Because it stimulates digestion and circulation, cayenne is often added to a wide variety of herbal remedies; it improves the absorption and circulation of the other herbs throughout the body. It enables feeble stomachs to digest food, and helps eliminate atonic dyspepsia. Capsicum is given internally in atonic dyspepsia and flatulence. Oral administration of capsicum may stimulate the gallbladder reflex. It helps eliminate liver congestion, Capsicum either contains a cholagogue or acts as a powerful stimulus upon the mucous membrane of the duodenum. Good for kidneys, spleen, and pancreas; it will heal a sore, ulcerated stomach. Attacks cancer cells—The main ingredient in Cayenne, capsaicin, has been found to destroy prostate cancer cells. Here is what the research report on this said: “Capsaicin led 80 percent of human prostate cancer cells growing in mice to commit suicide in a process known as apoptosis, the researchers said. Prostate cancer tumors in mice fed capsaicin were about one-fifth the size of tumors in untreated mice, they reported in the journal, Cancer Research. ‘Capsaicin had a profound anti-proliferative effect on human prostate cancer cells in culture,’ said Dr. Soren Lehmann of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine.” Beta-carotene contained in cayenne pepper works as a good antioxidant that prevents or repairs the damages caused by free radicals. Thus, it helps to prevent atherosclerosis and colon cancer.
Rheumatic and arthritic problems—Cayenne is used externally (on the skin) as a counterirritant in the form of ointment, plaster, medicated wool, etc. for the relief of rheumatism and lumbago. Use it as a plaster with honey for rheumatic pains and pains of the joints, gout, swellings, etc.; Use outwardly as a liniment; apply it warm or hot for arthritis and rheumatism. Cayenne pepper is very soothing; it is effective as a poultice for rheumatism, inflammation, pleurisy, and helpful also if taken internally for these. Topical (on the skin) application of cayenne pepper causes irritation in the applied area; thus it helps distract the nerves from joint pains due to arthritis and rheumatism.
Combine capsicum with cinchona for intermittent and lethargic affections, for atonic gout, and in advanced stages of rheumatism. In chronic lumbago, a plaster of capsicum with garlic, pepper and liquid amber or storax is an efficient stimulant and rubefacient application. When capsaicin causes its substance to flood out of the cells, you experience a sensation of warmth or even extreme heat. When the nerve endings have lost all of this substance, no pain signals can be transmitted to the brain until the nerve endings accumulate more of this substance. For this reason, topical cayenne pepper products (placed on the skin) are popular for the treatment of arthritis, bursitis, and for temporary relief of pain from psoriasis, herpes zoster, and neuralgia (nerve pain). These cayenne preparations are most appropriate for long-standing chronic conditions, not acute inflammations. During pregnancy and childbirth—Cayenne relieves pains of the womb and removes obstructed menstruation. Dr. Coffin includes cayenne pepper in his composition powder, to restore the normal function of the body in the various stages of pregnancy and childbirth. For morning sickness, he recommends a combination of white poplar bark, agrimony, centaury, raspberry leaves, yarrow, and rhubarb. Steep a quarter of an ounce of this mixture in two quarts of water, strain, and add (while hot) two teaspoons of powdered cinnamon and half a teaspoonful of cayenne pepper. Let the patient take one tablespoonful every three hours until the symptoms are removed. If this should not relieve, give an emetic and repeat if necessary. It has the power to control menorrhagia. Cayenne mixed with pennyroyal (an herb) and taken for three days will expel the dead birth material from a miscarriage. Good for the immune system—Currently, the importance of cayenne in helping the immune system is the subject of studies conducted by many nutritional supplement companies and microbiologists. Destroys fungus—Another benefit of cayenne pepper is its anti-fungal properties. Cayenne pepper’s anti-fungal properties are significant; although this is not its primary health benefit. Cayenne has been shown in some studies to be active against phomopsis and collectotrichum—both fungal pathogens. (Those fungal pathogens affect fruits, especially strawberries, and are not directly related to humans.
Helps solve many other problems—Cayenne is useful in alleviating allergies and muscle cramps. It gives more pep and energy, and helps wound healing with minimal scar tissue. “Capsicum supports the natural beat (rhythm) of the viscera and interior actions of the glandular, circulatory, lymphatic, and digestive systems. It has been used with great success as a cure for Rocky Mountain spotted fever, the most active stimulant to support and re-animate feeble or exhausted powers.”—March 16, 2006 by Reuters. It is also very effective in relieving diabetic complications, such as nerve damage and heart disease. Capsicum is a powerful rubefacient. Cayenne pepper is a source of beta-carotene which is helpful in reducing symptoms of asthma. It aids in all respiratory problems.
Capsicum is a general nervous stimulant, a specific for delirium tremens (alcoholic delerium). It does this by enabling the patient to retain and digest food. A dose of ten grains of finely powdered capsicum seed, given with an ounce of hot water, two or three times a day, sometimes shows wonderful effects in cases of delirium tremens. Smelling cayenne helps cure headaches. Topical application of capsaicin also helps to relieve them. For atonic gout, in paralysis, in dropsy, in tympanitis (inflammation of the inner ear), and in the debilitated stages of fever. For scrofulous, dyspepsia, and flatulence; it’s an excellent carminative. (For a carminative, make pills of equal parts of capsicum, rhubarb, and ginger or aloes.) It is a specific for hemorrhoids, cures intermittent fever, and has the power to relieve seasickness.
When taken internally, it warms the body; and it has even been used, by some herbalist doctors, to help heal and rebuild flesh damaged by frostbite. Use it in a compress or plaster, to reduce swellings and hardened tumors. As well as the fruit being used as a spice, the leaves were applied to ulcers and headaches.
For sores and wounds, it makes a good poultice. It is a stimulant when taken internally as well as being antispasmodic. Capsicum is a specific and very effective remedy for yellow fever, as well as other fevers; and it can be taken in capsules followed by a glass of water. It gives temporary relief of pain from psoriasis, herpes zoster, neuralgia, and toothache.
Cayenne actually can raise the body temperature a bit, as it stimulates circulation and blood flow to the skin. An herb, such as cayenne or ginger, that promotes sweating is considered to have a diaphoretic (sweat-inducing) action. This action can help reduce fevers and relieve the congestion of colds and sinusitis. You can use cayenne peppers topically as a pain-relieving muscle rub and joint liniment. The source of the heat is capsaicin, the fiery phenolic resin found in most hot peppers. Capsaicin causes nerve endings to release a certain chemical. This chemical transmits pain signals from the body back to the brain.
To clear a head cold and relieve sinus pain and congestion, try drinking a cup of tea made with lemon and ginger or some horseradish to which you’ve added a dash or two of cayenne pepper. How should you take cayenne?—Ideally, it should be taken orally with some water. Or place it in a mixture with flaxseed or something else on the skin. The cayenne pepper drink, when taken faithfully, will dramatically improve your heart health as well as your venous structure. Drink it with warm distilled water; but, if that is unavailable, purified water will substitute nicely. Start by mixing about a quarter of a teaspoon in a glass of warm water. Then, down the hatch. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it. Of course, the Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) rating of the cayenne pepper you’re using should be known. Most cayenne is between 30,000 to 50,000 SHUs. Some, though, like the African Birdseye cayenne pepper powder, can be anywhere from 90,000 to 140,000! Needless to say, you should scale back your dosages of this until your body acclimates to its heat. This is a medicine of great value; it may be safely used in all cases of disease, to raise and retain the internal vital heat of the system, cause a free perspiration, and keep the determining powers to the surface. Only use it in the form of a fine powder. For a dose, take from half to a teaspoonful in hot water or tea sweetened with honey.
Cayenne - cautions and warnings—Excessive amounts of capsicum (above 20 grams, thus, nearly an ounce) may induce frequent bowel movements. Keep in mind that regularly taking large amounts of cayenne may eventually damage the kidneys—and lead to pleurisy and other conditions caused by weakened kidney function. It is the kidneys which have to process the cayenne by extracting it from the blood into the urine. Too much cayenne, too frequently, weakens kidney function. If you’ve ever accidentally rubbed your eyes after cutting hot peppers, you know this herb should be handled carefully.
Cayenne pills may cause a burning sensation in the throat, stomach, or rectum of sensitive individuals. Some people may tolerate cayenne fluid preparations or combination products better than tablets or capsules. Others may find cayenne pepper in the diet easier to digest than cayenne medications. Only use small, cautious doses.
Avoid getting cayenne into the eyes or open wounds. Do not use topical applications of cayenne products too frequently; since there is some concern that nerve damage could occur with daily repetitive use. Cayenne placed directly on the skin can cause burns and even blisters; so dilute a cayenne preparation in oil before placing it on the skin. Or mix it with flour and water until it forms a paste, which you can spread on muslin, to prepare a poultice. You also can mix cayenne with orrisroot powder and dust it very lightly on heavily oiled skin, working it in with massage. Do not use cayenne in cases of high fever (104 degrees Fahrenheit or above). Cayenne preparations are not recommended for use by individuals who have rapid heart rates or who become overheated or perspire easily. Avoid internal use of cayenne in cases of asthma and gastrointestinal irritation or inflammation, except under the supervision of an experienced herbalist. Do not use cayenne on broken skin. Like all other foods or herbs, we have to also be careful when using this herb. Excessive consumption may cause burning sensations in the throat, stomach, or rectum.
When cooking or making medicines with cayenne peppers, you must take into account the widely varying intensities (heat) of different peppers—from very mild to extremely fiery.
There is even considerable variance in heat of peppers from the same bush throughout the season or due to the health and size of the pepper. Always taste peppers first. Cayenne peppers are a member of Solanaceae, also called the solanaceous or nightshade family. This family includes tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and tobacco. A very few individuals have an intolerance to this entire family, experiencing symptoms that can include joint pain after eating even a small amount of these foods. Cayenne is easy to obtain—Cayenne pepper is one of the greatest health secrets in the world. It is also remarkably inexpensive. Buy some and use it, but do not take too much at a time! Just a little usually accomplishes a lot.
-Source: Andrew Educational Library